The Sensational Six-Year-Old

The Sensational Six-Year-Old

Photograph by Jeff Woodward.No one is more industrious than a six-year-old. Sixes take on every activity with unbridled enthusiasm. Work is completed in no time at all, though quantity, not quality, is the measure that counts for them—along with trying new things. Being first to read a new book, spell a new word, make a new friend, play a new game . . . all matter a great deal to sixes.

Children at six love surprises and treats from their parents and teachers. A note in a lunchbox from mom or dad or a personal message from the teacher is special each time it appears. Sixes also love jokes, silly songs, and guessing games. Their vocabulary is rapidly expanding, and their minds are like sponges, constantly soaking up new facts and ideas. At this age, conversation cannot be contained, nor should it be; theirs is an out-loud world. The talk is constant and contagious—in the classroom, the car, and right up to bedtime. There is so much to report on and share! Sixes might not know everything there is to know about butterflies or rain or addition or measuring or “Knock Knock” jokes, but they love to talk about what they do know.

Children at this age love to be outdoors, whether to learn a game in physical education, play at recess, go on a field trip, or check on the weather. They love their classroom jobs and get excited to see what their new job will be each time their assignment changes.

First grade was named for sixes, who love to be first at everything possible. That’s why teachers rotate line leaders and meeting leaders, message readers and door closers (because the next best thing to being first is being last). The enthusiasm of six is delightful and exhausting. With so much going on, it’s an age that goes by in a wink.

In this series based on Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4–14, Chip Wood focuses on the positive developmental attributes generally present in children at different ages.


Tags: Child Development, First Grade, Yardsticks Series