School-age children are able to focus for a longer period of time on set tasks endowing them with the ability to find reasons, understand and think about simple problems. Memory and understanding of concepts improve dramatically. They develop curiosity and absorb information with ease.
Thus, school-age children typically follow predictable patterns in how they learn and grow. As they grow from kindergarten to pre-teens, their minds and bodies undergo dramatic changes. They are on the way to adulthood, and they are acquiring skills which help them to earn success in their schools, homes and communities. Cognitive development is very evident along with physical and socio-emotional development and is much stressed on in any top school in Beirut.
Thinking or cognitive skills of school-age children becomes increasingly sophisticated even as they encounter new ideas, places and people. They hone the ability to learn from abstract sources like books, movies etc. This is the time to enjoy how your kids react to formal schooling and move forward through the various grades.
There are some cognitive milestones for school-age children but are subject to individual differences as each child is unique. Milestones provide guidance about when certain behaviours and skills begin to emerge. They are patterns of growth and development.
Middle Childhood (Ages 5 To 7)
- They start to observe things from the perspective of other school-age children
- They develop their oral language skills
- They enjoy building and planning
- They begin to understand concepts of time, space and dimension like left-right, today-yesterday- tomorrow.
- They develop some self –confidence and mastery over learning.
- Learn to write and read and can assimilate simple words.
- Start to argue and reason.
- Can do simple addition and subtraction.
Early Adolescence (Ages 8 to 12)
- Are much aware of other’s perspectives.
- Able to think hypothetically and logically
- Become more goal oriented
- Develop special interests that are motivating
- Cognitive development may be impacted by the emotional state
- Develop adult skills like telling time and counting money.
- May enjoy reading books; can interpret the context of a paragraph and compose stories.
- Be able to enjoy word games and appreciate the humour.
Cognitive Development Difficulties
Cognitive development is a distinct process particular to each school-age child. But, at times, school-age children may display cognitive difficulties which can impact their behaviour and learning. Such difficulties may be viewed as ‘going through a stage’ of school-age children.
Such school-age children may not receive proper care, support intervention from adults and other caregivers. We might ignore such behaviour of children and dismiss them as mood changes. Some of such behaviours that should not be overlooked are:
- Antisocial behaviour (inability to relate to peers and fit into a peer group)
- Excessive depression
- Finding it tough to stay engaged in an academic task
- Acting out
It is vital to identify behaviour that is annoying (talking back, playing loud music, occasional moodiness) and behaviour which is authentically hurtful (risk-taking in a harmful way, antisocial actions, excessive depression). In case, you are worried about the development of a school-age child, such feelings must not be ignored. Parents must consult the child’s health care provider about developmental concerns. He may be able to refer the child to a specialist.