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The School Years

This can be an easy time to pay less attention to our children if they are at school most of the day, so it's important to make your time together count.

I have found children at this age quite secretive about their life at school:
Me: How was school today?
Child: Fine.
Me: What did you do?
Child: Not much......

I know this sounds familiar, but the hidden message in this conversation is that your child is saying: "School is my time and what I do there is personal". It can be their private space and business.

As long as they are happy in themselves you need not grill them about it too much !

Of course it is important to observe for signs of trouble at school, which children are often just as likely to keep to themselves.

Being involved with your child's school is an important part of remaining connected to their school life and schools are usually happy to have parental involvement ! Indeed many small, independent schools could not function without it's parents commitment.

The school your child goes to should be a subject that you give a lot of consideration to, it will shape and mould them, just as their first six years of life fully in your care has done. Please visit my Education page for my thoughts on this topic.

A major life change for your child is occurring at the onset of baby tooth loss, usually around six years. It demonstrates a dramatic physical change as well as an awakening to the world and gradually leaving the early childhood realm behind. I have noticed with my own children, tooth loss patterns that correspond with their personalities ! My dreamy boy is losing baby teeth much later than his energetic sister. The visits from the tooth fairy are something we are able to keep even with our 10 year old. The Tooth Fairy frequently trades special treasures like gemstones, books, jewelry and such for those prized teeth, (what does she do with them all...?) we imagine elaborate pearly castles and woodland trimmings. We believe in keeping the creatures and folk of the magickal realm alive throughout life !

I have learnt a great deal about child development through Waldorf/Steiner Education, but learning about the 9th year changes for my children were remarkable. The following article is from an anthroposophical perspective, but maybe this is something that will make sense for you also....

The Ninth year

Adapted from an article by Bernadette Shearer on a talk by Dr James Dyson

Introducing his talk, Dr Dyson referred to the many children he sees in Steiner Schools from Classes 3 and 4. The development change which happens in the child's ninth year is recognised by teachers in Waldorf Schools as being an important landmark. However this change is difficult to describe since there is no obvious physiological marker: with the transition for the child at sever years there is the change of teeth and fourteen years there is puberty.

To understand the change in the ninth year one needs to look closely at Steiner education and child development. Dr Dyson regards Rudolf Steiner as the only person to have described the physiological and psychological changes in the nine year old. These changes mark a transition which may begin in the eight and a half year old and go on to nine and a half years.

Sometimes the transition will span a year but six months is usual. For many children the transition is hardly visible; the children who are referred to Dr. Dyson experience a more dramatic period. Problems which the young child had suffered and were felt to be resolved may flare up again. A child Dr. Dyson saw recently suffered, once again from a squint. Signs include asthma, eczema, headaches, sleep disturbances, lethargy, tiredness on walking up hills, growing pains, dig