What they are like: Average age 9 to 10 - Most children will ask many questions at this age which can be trying but remember they are children and it is their job to ask questions otherwise they wouldn't learn. So be patient and encourage this learning experiment. They will begin to understand environmental issues such as pollution. They will be able to grasp many diverse concepts if explained in simple terms.
What they should know: By year four children should be able to use cursive writing. They should be able to write letters, short stories, notes, shopping lists etc. Read books with chapters at their level, plan projects and carry these out. Present the projects once finished. They should understand the concept of simple multiplication, rounding numbers, estimating, simple data and graphing, addition and subtraction. Roman numerals are introduced.
Focus for the year: Center on 'child-centred' learning where children do the work. They research, read, write and present their project without much input from you. Independent reading and research should be encouraged but you should never be far away should the child need help. Don't leave children to their own devices too long. Regularly check what they are doing and help them improve, change, correct and finish their project.
Important subjects: Besides English, Mathematics, Science and Technology there is the introduction of the importance of Social Studies as a subject. The study of people, their relationships and their environment. Social Studies should be multi-cultural, include people from other countries, tribes and history. The Bible is an excellent learning tool for this and Bible stories such as Jonah, Moses, Paul and the Lord himself, may be used to cover many aspects of Social Studies. Geography is introduced and when covering Biblical stories use a good Bible atlas or map book to trace routes the apostles may have taken. Locate countries on a world globe, atlas and large map. Again artistic abilities are expanded upon. Best way to help: Work on their self-esteem and self-confidence. Continue to teach respect and proper behaviour. All done in love and you will reap the rewards in due course.
What they are like: Average age 10 to 11 - Children at this age are more ready to accept responsibility but also question authority. They ask for explanations which should be given and not ignored. They want recognition for their achievements and often expect rewards.
What they should know: During year five children should learn to use a dictionary, encyclopedia, map, atlas and index. They should be able to research material for school projects independently, be familiar with newspapers and library references. Research should be done in a structured format. Take notes and quickly read through portions of text to retrieve information. They should be able to use time lines and interpret graphs. Successfully add, subtract, multiply, divide, use decimals and money. Introduction of addition and subtraction of fractions Understand and complete simple Science projects and experiments.
Focus for the year: They are required to independently learn and set their own tasks and goals. From year five on children are working towards secondary school where these skills are essential. Problem solving, making judgments and evaluating becomes important. Continue building on literacy and numeracy.
Important subjects: More complex English such as book reviews, grammar, punctuation and spelling of larger words are introduced. Comprehensive research and reporting becomes essential. Mathematics becomes more complex with the introduction of long division, more complex fractions, area and mass. Science and Technology are often hands-on to encourage further learning. Computers are used on a regular basis, not for games only! Purchase educational software to encourage fun learning. Health issues become more important with personal development and sexuality issues. More advanced artistic abilities are explored.
Best way to help: Be there for your children! Listen to their problems, their joys and experiments. Lend a helping hand when asked, don't be too busy with the affairs of this world that you miss out on your own children growing up, because it goes by all to fast.