Sixth Grade

The sixth-grader experiences a fundamental shift that may feel reminiscent of toddlerhood, as they tend to say “no” a lot, and reject input from their parents. Their bodies also change and develop, taking on a slightly awkward appearance; the presence of hormones becomes apparent in the physical changes and the emotional accountability of the sixth-grader.

Sixth graders genuinely stand on the cusp of two worlds; they are no longer children, but not quite adolescents. Many retain much of the playfulness of childhood along with their new, unfolding cognitive abilities.

This can be an unsettling time, as they feel their separation from the world strongly. There is often a perceptible pull between childhood and adolescence felt in the classroom, which can be moment to moment! Some are reluctant to leave behind the haven of childhood; others embrace this new entity, seeking the freedom of their future at full speed. 

All have emerged from the dreamy consciousness of the myth, ready to learn about themselves and the world.  They are full of questions and begin to show the capacity for fully grasping cause and effect, understanding the connections between one event and another, and extrapolating from one experience to another, particularly evidenced in subjects like Astronomy and Physics. 

Slowly and carefully, much like their own first toddling steps, the sixth graders are ready to comprehend concepts and abstraction. The sixth-grade curriculum is designed to meet these new cognitive abilities by providing appropriate exercises designed to strengthen and develop the maturing mind without exhausting it.

Here we find the mirror of the polarity of deep feelings inside the students: In history, we explore the lives of the firm, lawful Romans, and later,  the emergence of chivalry in Medieval times. Students examine the intense nature of the earth of Mineralogy, to the far reaches of the stars in Astronomy. They practice the stunning execution of Geometric Drawings, along with the mathematical computations involved in calculating interest in Business Math. This is a year of polarities!  In addition, everything we do now is linked to the “real world,” as this is their focus now, with the future streaming towards them.  By the end of the year, one can see an increasingly mature response to challenges, as they demonstrate they are ready for the task of finding their place in the world.

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