I have been thinking about my 2 year old starting school in a few years. This is actually my second go at college. I originally started after I graduated from high school. I felt like I needed to be somewhere else for awhile. I am glad I did otherwise I would not have my daughter and my husband. I started college again when my daughter was just 4 months old.
I want her to learn the stuff she needs to be successful in life (and what the school deems necessary. Whether she uses it or not is her choice). I want her to learn in a way that makes sense to her. I want her to learn what she is more interested in (even if the interest does not last long). I want her to be well rounded. I want her to try to learn an instrument, to try a sport and a martial art, and to try girl scouts. It is not going to be all at once. I do not want her to be afraid to try anything (that is not bad for her).
I do not care if she is as smart as a kid in a different country. I just want her to be happy and to learn what she is most interested in. In August of this year (2014), I found an article that talked about the Third International Mathematical and Science Study (TIMSS). It compares 3 age groups and different aspects pertaining to their education like textbooks and curriculum guides. The U.S. consistently ranked a bit lower on the list. They noticed that highly successful countries spent less money, but asked more from their students and teachers. Finland recruited from the top 10% of college graduates that had a masters degree. The students were group by learning style and not ability. All communities were funded equally and no standardized testing. A few countries required after school classes.
I want to help my daughter learn, but still have not figured out all the details yet.