10 Things to Know About the Psychology of School for Children

When thinking about school, the mental association is likely different from person to person. Some may shiver, some may smile, some may have wonderful memories, and some may have hardly any memories at all! There are many different forms of education that people of all ages can access throughout their lives. 

For children attending school, this is the very beginning of their developmental stages. School for children maybe their first time away from their parents and listening to someone who is not their guardian. It is also likely their first time socializing with their peers, experiencing new relationships, having to do tasks such as homework, joining sports teams, following new rules, hitting new goals, getting into trouble, attending dances and excursions. School for children is the very beginning of who they are and the backbone of their inner psychology. Let’s learn a little more. Here are 10 things to know about the psychology of school for children.

School may be a different experience from child to child.

All children are different. We know this we were all children! Because of our varying personalities and backgrounds, school may be a different experience from child to child. This may ring true for their parents as well. For children who are shy, school can be a bit of a struggle. They are around many people and must speak up quite often. For children who are outgoing, they may be excited for each school day. A school setting is bustling and they may thrive. For children with disabilities, school may look a little different. However, with a school system and parents who understand their needs, they can find a similar education to their peers. For children with families from different countries, families who are disconnected, families who move often, or any other factors, their education can propose its own set of pros and cons. 

School educates the whole child during these developmental stages. 

Childhood education involves teaching children a set curriculum of basic subjects. They include math, science, and reading. As children grow and develop, these subjects expand and change. Math may become algebra and geometry as well, reading may become English and creative writing, science may become chemistry and biology…so on and so forth. They are also introduced to new subjects such as health and different languages. 
A childhood education essentially means memorizing these subjects and repeating them when being tested on them. These subjects are of course crucial for a young and growing mind, but the education experience also teaches children things outside of their fundamental subjects. 

School may teach children independence and responsibility skills. 

School for some children can start at as young as five years old. While this may not seem like the most responsible stage of their lives, they are starting to understand that term. As children graduate from each grade and earn their education, their independence and responsibility skills grow. This can be due to homework assignments, field trips, fundraisers, organized events, after school activities, joining a sports team, and more. While a young student may just think they are learning the basic school subjects, they are actually learning so much more!

School may help children and teens identify themselves. 

Children’s brains are like sponges. They absorb everything and there is much room for learning. As they develop during their years in school, they are also developing their self-identity. Self identity is who they believe they are, what they believe in, what they desire, who they surround themselves with, and more. As children learn who they are and interact with their peers along the way, they are also developing their emotional, social, and cognitive selves. 

School can greatly help children with emotional skills and understanding. 

As we mentioned above, school is a big part of children’s development. Earning an education is more than passing tests . It also provides children with a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them. Brain development is formed by consistent and supportive relationships in a child’s life. While the ground work for this may be found in the child’s home with their family or guardians who they see every day, school is a big part of this development as well. Children may learn emotional skills and understanding when they make new friends, have disagreements with their peers, follow new rules from their teachers, play on sports teams, and more. 

Featured Programs

A child’s home life can affect the way they are in school. 

It’s no surprise that a children’s home life is absolutely crucial to their healthy growth and development. As we mentioned earlier, a child’s time in school educates the whole child. It’s much more than text books. On this same concept, a whole child includes developing and growing at home as well. If a child does not feel safe at home, they may find solace in their classroom. If a child does not learn manners, sharing, or social skills at home, they may seriously struggle with getting along with their teachers and classmates. Or if a teenager’s parent is hardly home and working long hours, they may fall behind with their attendance and homework assignments. For many children, their home life represents their school life. 

Many childhood friendships may begin in a school setting.

For many children, school is their first time interacting with children who are not their siblings or cousins. This also may be their first time interacting with children who are the exact same age as them. Classmates are going through the same stage of life, taking on similar challenges, and learning about themselves in a similar way. 
Not only do school friendships make school more fun, it has many psychological benefits. Friendships boost self esteem and social skills. These social skills include getting along with new people, getting along with different personality types, and working through conflicts. Many experts claim that when children and teenagers don’t experience friendships, they lack these skills. This may lead to falling behind emotionally and socially. 

Some children may struggle with school at times.

Children may struggle in school for a multitude of reasons. Children and teens don’t tend to admit when they are struggling in school so it is up to their parents and teachers to take note of what is happening. While some struggles are more serious than others, most experts tend to believe that as soon as a kid is struggling in school, action needs to be taken. If not, they will only continue to fall further behind. While the reasons for struggling may vary, there are some key signs that it is happening. These may include:

  • Not wanting to discuss school
  • A sudden change in attitude about school
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • A change in appetite
  • Spending an extended amount of time on homework
  • A teacher reaches out
  • Getting into trouble at school
  • Poor grades and attendance 

Children go through many changes from kindergarten to high school.

While the grade and class system may vary from country to country, most children are in school from five or six years old to 17 or 18 years old. This is a big chunk of time! Children and teens go through many changes during their school career. From learning the alphabet to attending prom, so much of a child’s life takes place within the walls of school. Along with gaining friends, losing friends, succeeding, and failing, children also undergo major hormonal changes as they grow and develop in school. Children and teens experience all spectrums of their own brain during these crucial years. 

Homeschooling can have a different psychological affect on children.

Homeschooling or home education is a form of school education that can take place at home or any place other than a standard school building. Parents may choose this option for many different reasons. Some parents prefer to be the primary role models for their children rather than teachers or other people of power in a traditional school system. They may also want to avoid separation from their children before they are ready and remove the pressure that some curriculums place on kids. 

Many experts strongly believe that homeschooling children does not negatively affect a child’s development, specifically their social skills. There are many options that parents or homeschool teachers can consider in order to ensure proper socialization and communication with peers. 

Related Resources:

10 Most Affordable School Psychology Online Degree Programs

Top 25 Online Master’s in Educational Psychology

50 Great Websites for School Psychologists