Important Mental and Physical Changes That Happen at Every Phase

 
 
 
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In Deuteronomy 6, Moses addressed the nation of Israel and made a passionate plea to “impress” on the hearts of children core truths that relate to God’s character. Some translations use the phrase “teach diligently.” The phrase can also be translated to mean “to cause to learn.” He wasn’t advocating a lecture-based, Torah literacy program where a teacher’s responsibility ended once they presented the content.

What Moses knew was this. The role of a leader is not to simply present accurate information. The role of a leader is to keep presenting, to keep translating, to keep creating experiences until someone has learned what they need to know.

So your job is simple.

Know what can be expected of them and know how they think so they will hear what you say and know what to do.

ZERO TO ONE

Mental: The brain has 100 billion neurons (roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way), more than at any other time in life

Physical: Double their birth weight and learning to roll over

ONE & TWO

Mental:Understands roughly 70 words and learning to walk

Physical:Has grown to half their adult height and can follow two-part instructions

Watch Now: They Grow Up So Fast

THREE & FOUR

Mental: Has one quadrillion (a thousand trillion) connections between brain cells (twice as many as an adult)

Physical: Can stand on one foot, jump, walk backward, and pedal a tricycle

K & FIRST

Mental: Draws a person (with a body), writes their name, and brushes their own teeth

Physical: Understands ironic humor, learning to read and tie shoes

Read More: 3 Questions Every Elementary Schooler Is Asking Themselves

SECOND & THIRD

Mental: Categorizes information and enjoys games with codes and puzzles

Physical: Understands different points of view

FOURTH & FIFTH

Mental: Masters hand-eye coordination and reads to learn instead of learning to read

Physical: Attention span increases up to 45 minutes, and the average girl begins puberty

Related: 35 Reasons My Middle Schooler Might Be Freaking Out

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Physical: The average boy begins puberty and gains 50% of their ideal adult weight during puberty (including an increase in lean muscle mass

HIGH SCHOOL

Mental: Takes on an adult appearance, but the brain (prefrontal cortex) is still developing and will be for another 5+ years

Physical: A majority will develop acne as a result of hormonal changes

Read More: A Dynamic View of God: Helping Kids Connect With God at Every Phase

Just remember, when you understand the way a kid’s mind is changing, you stand a far better chance of identifying clues that help you know what they are thinking, conveying a message they can understand, and laying a foundation for later learning.
 
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