Should I start preparing for IIT JEE from grade 6th ?
This is a persistent myth specially among Indian, ambitious and over enthusiastic (read protective) parents, that 'sooner the better' (शुभस्य शीघ्रम).
Certainly this is absolutely true for some fields where sooner is indeed better. For example in some competitive sports involving muscle memory like cricket, foot ball etc. sooner is indeed better.
Catch them young is cent percent true for certain sports, strategic games like chess involving specific skills like pattern recognition and photographic memory. For some academic subjects involving child prodigies again the thesis holds ground.
For IT JEE does preparing since grade 6th or even grade 9th has any value for a normal average or even bright student?
From my observation and experience from teaching students from grade 6th to grade 9th for IIT JEE, there is no perceived advantage from very early start.
My reasons are as follows (Based on experience).
Grade 6th or even grade 9th student is not very matured to understand IIT JEE concepts. He/she is just in a playful stage of teen years with raging hormones, lack of focus and discipline. He/she is not mature enough to understand importance of career and IIT JEE nor is inclined to learn all mumbo jumbo involved in IIT JEE prep.
Their physical body is not developed enough to study for long hours like 5 hours per day required to study for IIT JEE. JEE preparation requires long hours of practice (typically six hours per day apart from coaching and school). The reason is not that it is very tough but that the course is too wide. They cannot/will not/should not work this hard at this playful and tender age. Their fingers are weak so as their back bone. Hence they can never finish the required home work for JEE classes per day.
Children in early teens require multiple intelligences to be developed. At this impressionable age they must try most available option to try and find any other exceptional latent skill the might have. After 11th they may never get chance to find their hidden talents if any. Hence parents must encourage their kids to find their passion in some sports, music, arts, board games etc. and develop a concrete hobby for life.
Two years of preparation is sufficient for IIT JEE. I recommend students to enroll for coaching's/tuitions etc. just after 10th board exams. In the summer vacation they will finish the required bridge course to fill the gap of basics between IIT JEE prep and boards. After ward two years is more than enough time to clear IIT JEE with good ranks.
Early starters tend to forget the course learned in grade 9th since they do dual course. They often need revision in 11th grade. Hence early bird do not catch any worm in the case of test preparation. Early prep is just marketing and business gimmick for fat earning coaching industry.
If parents are really inclined to give their kids a early start they can give their kids some Algebra book by Hall and knight and trigonometry book by SL Loney and let them find their edge. Some foundation material is also good for kids as well as some online test series.
Hence do not fret parents. Let your kids live their cherished childhood and develop them selves into an all round personality. IIT JEE preparation will take its course in due time.
Ideal time is just after 10th board if your are planning for no regular coaching.
Else after grade 11th exams if going to some regular coaching.
Private tuition with some offline test series (weekly) is best of both worlds scenario.