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Growth and development of a school age child (6 to 12 years):
1. Physical development:
During this period, there is slower growth in height, long bones continue to grow, legs lengthen, muscles develop, and children look leaner. A school child gains about 1.4 to 2.2 kg. per year and grows 4-6 cm per year. By the age 6, first primary tooth is lost and permanent teeth begin to erupt. School age children refine fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
2. Psycho social development:
The child may exhibit independence and still needs non-obstructive parental support. By the age of 7 years, school age children begin the stage of operational thinking. They learn to consider alternate solution to solve their problems. School age children develop a sense of industry versus sense of inferiority (Erikson, 1968). A sense of industry is a sense of being able to make things perfectly.
Those children who may fail to develop skills to make things may develop a sense of inferiority. School age children's self-concept is influenced by interactions with their friends, family members, and other persons. They enjoy plays involving gross motor activities such as ball sports, hiking. They enjoy playing with friends and exhibit cooperation and social skills.
School age children like to correct their pronunciation and grammatical errors while speaking. Their vocabulary increases. By the age of 6 years, children have vocabulary of 2500 to 3000 word. After age 7, they use complex and compound sentences. By age 12, word meanings are increased about that of an adult.
School children experience emotions of anger, fear, worry, jealousy, love, and affection. By 12 years of age, children learn to organise and control their emotions.
During this stage, parents may delegate some responsibility to the children to give importance to them. School age children get new ideas from adults outside the family.
The school is the place where a child is adequately prepared, where the needs as a growing person are regarded and if successful, the school experience will have positive influence on children's personality development.
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