Friday, October 26, 2012

Explaining Age Six

My first grader's teacher sent home some pages from a book called Yardsticks by Chip Wood (didn't catch the punniness of the author's name until just now).  The book explains child development milestone, especially how they manifest in the classroom and in the child's approach to schoolwork.  Mrs. P. sent home the pages for ages six and seven, and I found the the age six descriptions highly reassuring.  Teddy seems exactly on track with they yardsticks provided here.

A few excerpts:
"The importance of friends now rivals the importance of parents and teachers in the child's social development.  Classrooms full of six year olds are busy, noisy places.  Talking, humming, whistling, bustling are the order of the day.

"'ndustrious' describes the overall behavior at six.   S/he is now as interested in school work as spontaneous play.  Children delight in cooperative projects, activities and tasks.  No job is too big, no mountain too high.  However, their eyes can be bigger than their stomachs or skills, and sixes risk and overpowering sense of inadequacy and inferiority as they tackle new frontiers.  Teachers and parents need to remember that, at this age, the process is more important than the product."

For a parent focused on achievement and competence, that last sentence and the whole notion of new ambition in my six-year-old were helpful reminders.  Spelling comes, eventually.

Finally, the narrative closes with a statement whose superlative tone struck me:

"The eagerness, curiosity, imagination, drive and enthusiasm of the six year old is perhaps never again matched in quantity or intensity during the life span."

Wow.  OK.  Savor those qualities and do not quash.  Savor those qualities and do not quash.  Six - like every age - passes so quickly.

1 comment:

Jacksons said...

I have appreciated that book as a parent and teacher.