Stages of Life Development: Early Elementary

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Benchmarks Early elementary students gain new skills that will help their competency in all areas of development. They ask more complex faith questions that create in-depth discussions. They may look different from their peers and have different skills due to their own rate of development. Making new friends can be a challenge but can be done by learning how to accept and include others. This stage is one of increasing independence and exploration. Spiritual Early elementary children are beginning to learn more about God through singing songs, reading Bible stories, participating in traditions, and asking questions. They are beginning to ask big questions such as "What happens when I die?" or "Why did God create the devil?" They may ask more questions as you share the Bible with them. Social Children become more aware of the differences between themselves and their peers through social exchanges, especially at recess or other less structured times. They may experience acceptance or rejection while making friends. Adults play an important role in teaching children how to include everyone and acknowledging God's creation of different people. Emotional Early elementary children are learning how to manage and identify their emotions, so being empathetic toward others' emotions is an even greater challenge. It is easy for them to have their feelings hurt and assume things are done on purpose. Parents do well by teaching empathy and how to treat others the same way we would like to be treated. Intellectual As opposed to learning to read, early elementary students are reading to learn. The greatest intellectual milestone of this age is gaining confidence: to read, to ask detailed questions, to challenge themselves, and to make new friends. Children are building their own sense of competence and gaining confidence that will help them grow in all other areas of development. Physical At this age, children need to move frequently, especially during long school days. During these years, height, age, and weight have great variance from child to child. It's important to use these differences to teach kids the importance of loving their neighbors. Skills in coordination, handwriting, physical education, and sports are still evolving. Early Elementary • 2 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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