Practical Suggestions for how to Learn and Grow: Age 6-9

For parents:

Our aim for every child is to help them develop the ability to steer their own life in a direction that is meaningful and satisfying to them. This involves continuously building and refining skills that will help them become independent and feel in charge of their own lives.

These skills develop over time as your child interacts with others and participates in social and educational activities, but you can also help your child develop the skills through practice. Below are some of the key skills your child should develop to become increasingly independent.

Key skills:

  • Make choices: Being able to choose a preference when two or more options are available

  • Make decisions: Being able to consider possible solutions and select the one that best meets your own needs while also considering how it affects others

  • Solve problems: Being able to find solutions for challenging situations

  • Set and reach goals: Deciding on a goal and developing a plan to reach it

  • Advocate for themselves: Knowing and standing up for one’s rights and communicating assertively

  • Manage and assess own behavior: Being able to evaluate your own actions and drive your own learning

  • Recognize own strengths, limitations and abilities: Identifying own preferences, interests and abilities and using this to experience success 

In this section, we list some activities you can do with your child to begin practicing these skills. When you have done them, you can make up other exercises yourself to help your child develop the skills.

For children:

Here are some fun activities you can try out with your family at home or with your friends at school. These activities can teach you about things like how to choose to do what you like most or what to do when you have a problem. If you do the activities with an adult, you can ask them to help you write down your thoughts.

Choose what you like:

  • Choose the clothes you will wear to school tomorrow
  • Choose a piece of fruit that you would like to eat after school
  • Ask yourself: Did I like my choice?

Make a decision:

  • Decide who you will ask to play with you tomorrow at school
  • Decide when you will work on your homework for school
  • Ask yourself:

    • Why did I make that decision?
    • Was it a good decision?
    • Why was it good/not so good?

Solve a problem:

  • Think of a problem you sometimes have at school. What could you do to solve it?
  • Think of a problem you have experienced with your friends. Did you solve it? What did you do to solve it?
  • Ask yourself:

    • Why did I choose the answer I did?
    • Did my answer work?

Make a plan:

  • Think of something you really like to do
  • Then make a plan for how you can do it
  • Ask yourself:

    • What does it take for my plan to work?
    • Who else can help me?
    • How will I know if my plan was good?

Speak up for yourself:

  • Think of a time when you didn’t understand what a friend was saying
  • What did you do?
  • Ask yourself:

    • Did I ask my friend to speak up in a good way?
    • What did my friend say?
    • Will I handle it the same way next time?

Being with others:

  • The last time you got upset about something, what did you do?
  • The next time, write down, or draw, what upset you
  • Ask yourself:

    • What can I do to feel better?
    • Who can help me?
    • What happened when I asked for help?

What are you good at?

  • Make a list of things you are good at.
  • When do you like to do these things?
  • Ask yourself:

    • Why am I good at these things?
    • What other things would I like to become good at?