Children at six love surprises and treats from their teachers and parents. A note in a lunchbox, a message from the teacher, is special each time one appears. Sixes also love jokes, silly songs, and guessing games. Their vocabulary is expanding at a rapid rate and their minds are like sponges, soaking up new facts and ideas constantly. At this age, conversation cannot be contained, nor should it be; theirs is an out-loud world. The talk is constant and contagious—in the classroom, the car, and right up to bed time. There is so much to report on and tell the grownups about! They might not know everything there is to know about butterflies or rain or addition or measuring or “Knock Knock” jokes, but they love to talk about what they do know.
Children at this age love to be outdoors, whether to learn a game in physical education, play at recess, go on a field trip, or check on the weather. They love their classroom jobs and get excited to see what their new job will be each time their teachers changes the assignments. Likewise at home, they enjoy having a family job as long as it changes rather frequently. Novelty seems like a birthright to sixes—except when it comes to bedtime routines, to which they generally like to cling.
First grade was named for sixes, who love to be first at everything possible. That’s why teachers rotate line leaders and meeting leaders, message readers and door closers (because the next best thing to being first is being last). The enthusiasm of six is delightful and exhausting. It’s an age that, with so much going on, goes by in a wink.