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Is it okay for a 4-year-old to be in school all day?
I think it's too much as a general rule, but in individual cases it might be just fine. Certainly, if his parents want him to learn Chinese, now is the time to begin—if not sooner. In Singapore—a country that is officially bilingual—children from Chinese-speaking homes learn English in early childhood programs, while children from English-speaking homes attend Chinese language programs. If the school is attuned to the needs of young children, an intensive bilingual program with heavy emphasis on pre-academic skills does not need to be stressful. However, it certainly can be. I would say that the little boy's behavior is the best indicator as to whether this is too much for him. If he whines and cries and doesn't want to go, I would say it's too much.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education