Well, this year in Third Grade has been an interesting ride. I have some advice for all of you coming up to Third Grade, but please keep in mind I am only basing this on my personal experience and your child may not experience any of this at all.
Nine is the age of DOING. I read that over and over and over places, did my best to put it into practice with practical life skills, music and singing, crafts, handwork, doing math with games and hands-on application in addition to more regular work.
And it was interesting, because it seemed as if nine has been one large outbreath. It was an age of writing and drawing skills regressing for my child, to the point where she looked at her Second Grade Main Lesson books and said, “I did a much better job last year.”
It was the year of “Mommy, I am trying to be careful and not rush……but I just want to be done.”
It was the year of frustrations and tears in the late fall especially, and now things seem to have evened out.
So, here are my suggestions:
- Keep Third Grade on an even keel and do as much hands-on, practical work as you can. Don’t try to schedule too much and really focus on the main things. I felt like, at least for my child in this year, less was more for her. Your child may be different, but this was my experience.
- But also, remember, some regular writing and such needs to happen and only you can determine the line and when to gently push and ask your child to rise up or when to let it go. As the homeschooling parent only you can determine this by watching your child.
- Remember, some children hit the nine year change hard, and nine-year olds are actually fairly fragile. Consider how you deal with this time in your gesture, your mood, your words.
- Alternatively, this is still time for boundaries and using your gentle and loving authority in your home: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/03/discipline-support-and-guidance-of-the-nine-year-old/
- Take the long-term view of discipline: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/20/how-do-i-instill-inner-discipline-in-my-child/
- Consider ditching the Main Lesson book for some blocks.
- Be wary of outside activities. If Third Grade is a rather big leap from First and Second, which I think it is, sometimes the other issue is it seems as if extra-curricular activities also ramp up and expect more and the combination can be just way too much. Sometimes you have to weigh things. We were involved in sports this year that culminated in two competitions for the whole year, the experience was a very positive one overall for my daughter and she was so pleased, but the practice schedule was challenging.
- Play, play, play. Let your nine-year-old have plenty of time for PLAY.
- Depending on your child’s birthday, this sort of experience may not happen in Third Grade at all. It may be Fourth. Just something to keep in mind. Children develop at different rates.
- Consider that what you lay as a foundation between at ages 9, 10, and 11 is preparation for the twelve-year change and heading into the teenaged years. See back post listed below, and also this really popular one: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/18/the-assault-on-girlhood/
- Here are some back posts about the nine year old: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/02/15/my-advice-for-the-nine-year-change/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/11/23/the-nine-year-old-girl/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/06/06/the-foundation-years-of-ages-9-12-decreasing-high-risk-behavior-in-teens/ and and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/28/the-nine-year-old-a-traditional-view/ Whew, I have written way more about the nine year change than I have thought.
Here are some posts about homeschooling Third Grade:
- and here:
- and here:
- and here:
- and here:
- Many blessings to all,