We’re all about getting ready for sixth grade here at AWJ, and every summer our first step in planning for the new year is to get up to speed on child development.
We have a collection of child development books we consult each year (more about those later), but the summer before sixth grade is the time for Hermann Koepke’s book On the Threshold of Adolescence.
On the Threshold of Adolescence does a pretty good job of describing the changes that come about with the 12-year-change. It is definitely written with the perspective of the teacher in mind, more than that of a parent. Though I appreciated this perspective, in some ways the book feels a bit outdated and even somewhat alarmist. Some of the challenges that are described as resulting from the shift that happens in the 12-year-change, were more dramatic and serious than anything I have experienced with sixth grade students in the past. I’ve never dealt with shoplifting or smoking sixth grade Waldorf students.
If you look past those dramatic descriptions, though, and keep your eye on the underlying child development topics, On the Threshold of Adolescence is a good read. (It’s also fairly short and accessible — always a plus for busy teachers.)
Here are some other books that come highly recommended that are worth checking out.
Parenting Teens With Love And Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood, Updated and Expanded Edition
Positive Discipline for Teenagers, Revised 3rd Edition: Empowering Your Teens and Yourself Through Kind and Firm Parenting
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk