ELEMENTARY

THE MAJOR CULTURE SHIFT – SCHOOL
This means less time for play, more early mornings, and a higher demand for focused attention.m Where previously a kid might have been one adorable toddler drawing the attention of multiple adults, they are now in a classroom with multiple kids – some even as cute and smart as they are. At school, at church, or on the soccer field, one thing is true: the moment you show. up, they will start talking to you if they are the only one there. They want your undivided attention. They want your focus. They want your approval. So give it, as freely and as often as you can. Kids at this age crave opportunities to have a little unstructured play, a chance to skip and run, to throw and catch, and to use their imagination. 

676
weeks till
graduation

KIDS IN THIS PHASE ARE A BEAUTIFUL BLEND OF CAPABLE AND DEPENDENT
As second and third graders settle into formal education, they begin to notice (yes, even for the first time) that “not everyone is like me.” Until now, everyone was on equal footing. Seriously, what Kindergartener isn’t “the best” at everything? By second grade, kids take notice of qualities that make one kid athletic and another artistic, one kid blond and another kid brown-skinned. Expect a new world of adjectives in this phase as kids begin to tell you more about their growing social world.
No one should have a favorite phase-especially since life should be fair, but if you like this phase a whole lot, you aren’t alone. Kids aren’t especially needy, but they are still kids. Impressionable, enthusiastic, eager, and excited about what you are excited about. You still set the schedule, and if you think something sounds like fun you can convince them! 

572
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graduation

TOP OF THE SCHOOL FOOD CHAIN
Call it a club. Call it a clique. Call it a team. A tribe mentality begins to form during fourth and fifth grade. Some friends will become “best friends” and some other kids won’t get invited to the party. If you see your fourth or fifth grader doing, saying, or wearing something that confuses you, check out what their peers are doing, saying or wearing. Peer approval (and disapproval) is significantly motivating in this phase. Don’t worry, your opinion will matter again…one day.
Everybody’s morals are roughly aligned and their life experience is still limited enough that everything makes sense. Maybe that’s why this phase usually determines clarity of mind that comes with knowing the ropes and feeling knowledgable about what makes the world tick. Lean into that confidence and build it. Let them know you see their potential and you believe in it. There’s no such thing as an overly confident middle schooler.

468
weeks till
graduation