What they are like: Average age 6½ to 8 - ;Children at this age are more independent and can work cooperatively. They can concentrate longer but still need plenty of guidance. They don't consider themselves as little any more but a lot of supervision and support is still required.
What they should know: For most children basic literacy and numeracy are established. They should be able to read age appropriate books, write a story with meaning and be able to read it back to you. Add and subtract sums up to twenty or more and understand that Mathematics is part of everyday life in the form of money, calendar days of the week and months. Even in cooking or baking a cake Mathematics is used. They should feel comfortable using technology like switching on a television, radio and be able to operate basic functions on a computer.
Focus for the year: Continual reading and writing skills is the major subject for the year. Spelling becomes more important and should be focused upon as much as possible. Proper sounds should be spoken and the correct spelling should be attained. Re-enforce sound-blends and phonics if not grasped fully in year one. Continue strengthening Mathematical abilities.
Important subjects: Reading and writing is still the main focal point at this age. Start focusing on children's comprehension. Can they understand what they read and are they able to relate back to you what they have just read? Mathematics is still basic addition and subtraction but simple division can be introduced getting children ready for their times tables. Artistic abilities are explored at any age using creative methods introduced by you as a parent and improved upon by your child. All other learning areas are incorporated with these main learning areas.
Best way to help: Don't compare your child with other children in front of them. This will hurt their self-esteem and they may lose sight of what they set out to achieve. Encourage library visits and have children chose their own books as much as possible. Guidance and checking the books before taking them home is highly recommended to ensure the suitability of certain types of books. Life experiences are very important and hobbies such as collecting stamps, rocks, pictures should be encouraged. Social interaction across a broad age range is desirable.
What they are like: Average age 8 to 9½ - Year three really marks the beginning of a more advanced primary education. At this age expect to see your child maturing and using a much larger vocabulary. They'll be able to suggest ideas and carry these out, draw on past experiences and improve on these.
What they should know: As stated earlier children develop and learn at different rates but as a guide your child should be able to listen and follow instructions independently. Read and comprehend exercises in a text book Starting to use cursive writing, reading and writing with confidence. Understand space, measurement and numbers in mathematics also advancing in science and the other learning areas.
Focus for the year: Literacy skills are the most important. Once children grasp reading and writing really well, it will basically set them up for life. Mathematics is the next important subject and you need to strengthen what has already been taught and build on this foundation. Encourage fun learning and use relevant issues to compliment children's learning. Real life-issues such as how much money you spend, how much pocket money can be earned and so forth. Measurements used in baking cakes or cookies are fantastic, giving hands-on skills as well as the satisfaction of having accomplished something worthwhile. Help children understand that mathematics is useful in everything they do in their lives.
Important subjects: Besides English and Mathematics there is Science and Technology. Children will encounter Science right from the beginning without knowing it. Reading books about animals, discovering insects in the garden, enjoying the plants and flowers, in fact the whole of God's creation is at your fingertips. What a wonderful Science adventure! Technology is used every day when they switch on a light, put bread in the toaster, use a computer, watch television and so forth. Increase awareness of these and explain about the items children use and often take for granted. Obtain library books which explain in easy format how things work. Remember children are not afraid of learning! Again artistic abilities are explored at any age using creative methods introduced by you as a parent and improved upon by your child.
Best way to help: Continue to read books with your child. Read out loud books at their level or more matured books. They enjoy listening to adventure stories and if a chapter a day is part of their school work it won't be too much for them. If you can read well and with expression, you will have your child sitting on the edge of the seat listening and using their imagination. Encourage children to read out loud to you as this promotes reading with expression. Because they hear you read with expression they will follow suit.