|When children enter school, Erikson says that they begin the stage of "Industry". During this period (5 to 12 years of age), children focus on developing the skills they need for their work in school and in life.
They enjoy working on real projects and making things. They are refining the physical skills they have learned and can become quite skillful at games and athletic activities. School life and friends are very important to school-age children. They feel less need for adult supervision, yet they are still dependent on adults. The family child care home environment can provide a safe and welcoming place for children before and after their day at school and during school vacations.
Understanding the developmental needs of school-age children allows me to plan a program that meets their needs and helps each school-age child grow and develop. In the following, I have outlined what school-age children are like and how my curriculum, based on the Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care, helps meet their needs.
- School-age children are eager to be independent of adults. I will give school-age children opportunities to make choices, play on their own, and be with their peers.
- School-age children act self-assured but can still have many doubts about themselves. I will plan activities that enable school-age children to succeed.
- School-age children are concerned about being accepted by peers and conforming to group expectations. I will create an environment where all children feel part of the group and ar accepted for their unique abilities and interests.
- School-age children display strong likes and dislikes. I will provide opportunities for children to talk about their feelings and express their ideas.
- School-age children enjoy assisting young children and being leaders. I will include school-age children in activities I have planned for the younger children and give them responsibilities that help them develop leadership skills.
- School-age children enjoy working on long-term projects and like to produce finished products. I will work with school-age children on designing projects that hold their interest over a period of time.
- School-age children can follow directions and think abstractly. I will plan cooking activities and science projects that require following directions.
- School-age children enjoy cooperative games and games with rules but may have difficulty accepting when they lose. I will select games and plan activities that school-age children can play together or on their own.
- School-age children are increasingly skilled and interested in reading and expressing themselves verbally and in writing. I will select appropriate books and provide writing and drawing tools and materials.
- School-age children are increasingly able to coordinate their actions. I will plan activities that enable school-age children to develop their large and small muscle skills.
- School-age children are interested in developing specific physical skills. I will plan athletics or sports-related special activities that will enable school-age chidlren to refine their skills.
Some of the toys and materials that I have purchased for school-age children:
For more information on caring for School-age children in a Family Child Care environment, please refer to the "Creative Curriculum for Family Child Care" by Diane Trister Dodge.
- board and card games and manipulatives
- decks of cards
- jigsaw puzzles
- materials for art projects and science projects
- writing materials such as pens, pencils, colored pencils, markers, and crayons
- jump ropes, balls, and various sports equipment
- construction materials for wood working
- sewing materials such as burlap, felt, large tapestry needles, and yarn
- props for dramatic play, such as puppets, masks, and doctor's kit materials donated by hospital (real stethoscope, old uniforms, masks)
- wallpaper sample books
- large cardboard boxes for outdoor play
- flashlights, measuring tapes, and rulers
- playdough that hardens, etc.