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Parent Resources 

Elementary: Ages 5-10

Characteristics of Age Group (5-10):

High energy and need lots of activity
Practicing large muscle and fine motor skills
Developing physical flexibility
Growing attention span
Respond to simple rules and limits
Eager to learn
Beginning to reason
Feel their ideas count
Easily hurt and insulted
Identify with the family
Eager to please
Enjoy small groups
Emphasize fairness

Wide variety of activities and choices, but offered under a set routine. Examples of opportunities to look for:
Frequent individual interaction with adults
Games with simple rules
Quiet areas as well as noisy areas
Outside experiences
Imaginative play opportunities
Some clear responsibilities like clean-up
Projects that apply school day lessons about the family and community
Opportunities to read aloud, silently, and to talk about books and ideas
Matching, ordering and sorting activities
Opportunities to apply arithmetic problems in real-world ways
Opportunities to ask questions about science and technology and think about how they can find the answer
Exposure to professionals and experts from various fields, such as scientists and engineers
Small experiments with everyday products
Nature walks and talks
Opportunities to work with a variety of materials for projects
Physical activities that do not emphasize competition 
Music, dance and drama opportunities
Opportunities to try experiences from diverse cultures



Preadolescents & Teens: Ages 10-14


Characteristics of Age Group (10-14):

High energy and need lots of activity
Like to achieve and be seen as competent
Seem inconsistent in ideas and moods
Use logic and reasoning
Think beyond the immediate experience
Can exchange ideas
Seek independence
Want voice in decisions
Feel awkward and embarrassed in some situations
Need praise and approval
Identify strongly with peers
Begin experimentation
Wide variety of options. Examples of opportunities to look for:
Connections to real-world experience
Opportunities to interact in large and small groups as well as individual recognition
Experiences that explore ethics and values with respected adults
Opportunities to serve others
Physical activity
Opportunities for decision-making and leadership
Opportunities to apply school day lessons through performances and projects
Experiences emphasizing reasoning and problem-solving in subjects such as art, science and mathematics
Opportunities to explore subjects in-depth
Opportunities to meet a diverse group of professionals and exposure to college and career paths
Project based learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, applying concepts learned during the school day
Quiet times for homework with adult help and peer help when needed
Games that provide opportunities to practice basic skills, such as chess, checkers, puzzles and word games
Wide range of reading activities with discussion of the ideas found in the books
Experiences built on a wide diversity of cultures and ethnic groups


Teens: Ages 14-18


Characteristics of Age Group (14-18):

Concerned about body and appearance
Highly developed motor skills
Worry about clumsiness, illness and diet
Think abstractly
Learn by doing
Less influenced by parents, more influenced by peers
Need and demand more freedom and privacy
Mask true feelings
Need praise and adult recognition
Admire heroes that demonstrate characteristics of friendship and romance
Recognize diversity of ideas
Earning money/working may be important
Examples of opportunities for look for:
Opportunities to explore a variety of career paths and college firsthand, and to meet a diverse group of professionals 
Real world work experience, ideally with academic credit or tie
Opportunities to serve others, contribute to community or mentor or tutor younger students
Opportunities to earn or recover credit, or catch up or move ahead with academic interests
Opportunities to interact in large and small groups as well as individual recognition
Physical activity
Opportunities for decision-making and leadership
Experiences emphasizing reasoning and problem-solving in subjects such as art, science, mathematics
Opportunities to explore subjects in-depth  
Opportunities to participate in research experiences and internships with mentors in industry or universities
Presentations and projects that involve appearance
Opportunities to discuss and address physical risk, including smoking, drugs, drinking and sexual activity
Opportunities to show competence in a public setting
Opportunities to express feelings through projects and activities
One-on-one opportunities to talk with adults
Discussions of diverse ideas and opinions with adults and peers, and exploration of ethics and values
Specific help with skill areas that are causing problems
Opportunities to work on school day projects and papers with library and Internet support