When we are six; That magical milestone of six years old reveals which kids are ready to achieve

Greetings!  I’m Nico Trimoff, manager of transcription and accessibility services at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
Today, I have a very light hearted article to share with you.  One that will give you an insight into the minds of our kids.  I loved it when I first read it and wanted to share it with you.
I’m Nico Trimoff wishing you a great day and upcoming holiday weekend.
When we are six; That magical milestone of six years old reveals which kids
are ready to achieve

Elizabeth Payne
Ottawa Citizen, June 4, 2009
They can be bouncy and bossy, hyper-focused one minute and driven to
gap-toothed silliness the next. But pay attention, to spend time with a
six-year-old is to witness the future.
Every childhood milestone is important, but six is magic. Author A.A. Milne
captured the sense of optimism that defines the age in his poem The End,
which finishes with the lines: “But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”
I recited the poem to both of my children when they turned six and have
clear memories of my own sense of invulnerability at that age.
But not every six-year-old shares that optimism.
Six can also be an age at which things begin to fall apart for children who
are not ready to learn, to socialize or to be part of a classroom. And that
can be a sad foretaste of their future.
If the issues that have slowed their development are not addressed, they
will be less likely to finish school or to succeed in life than their peers
and more likely to come into conflict with the law. Which makes the findings
of a study into the school readiness of Ottawa children both crucial and
worrisome. While the vast majority of the children studied were ready for
school, a significant number — about 27 per cent — were “vulnerable” in at
least one area
when it came to school readiness.
The School Readiness to Learn in Ottawa report is the result of a 2005/2006
study of more than 7,500 senior kindergarten students using a checklist
developed by the late child psychologist Dr. Dan Offord and Dr. Magdalena
Janus at McMaster University’s Offord Centre for Child Studies.
The checklist looks at physical health and well-being, social competence,
emotional maturity, language and cognitive development and communications
skills and general knowledge.
The study, which breaks down its findings by neighbourhoods, draws a
socio-economic map of the city in which children in poorer neighbourhoods
tend to be less ready for school than their peers in wealthier
If you live in Katimavik/Hazeldean, Orléans South, West Carleton, Glen Cairn
or the Glebe, for example, your children are likely to have very good
language and cognitive development skills by the time they enter school. The
neighbourhoods that ranked the lowest when it comes to language and
cognitive development skills are Overbrook, Lowertown, Carlington, and
Vanier, as well as neighbourhoods described as Ottawa South East and Ottawa
North East.
In communications skills and general knowledge, children living in the
Glebe, Glen Cairn, Blackburn Hamlet, Cumberland and Goulburn ranked most
ready, while children in Nepean North, Dalhousie, Carlington, Lowertown and
Centretown were the least ready.
In addition, girls were significantly more ready for school than boys, older
children (whose birthdays are earlier in the year) were significantly more
ready than their younger counterparts. It also found that students with
English as a second language or French as a second language status in school
were less prepared than their peers and that students in French immersion
were more prepared for school than their peers.
The results are, in many ways, predictable. Socio-economic status is often
associated with school performance. So how can knowing that change things
for students who are lagging behind?
There are ways to improve the outlook of these children, says Dr. Janus.
Just doing the study is a good start — it helps focus the attention of
school board and other officials on school readiness problems and to seek
solutions to improve their prognosis.
And while it may seem that some children are fated to be less prepared for
school, Janus says socio-economics are often a “proxy” for other things. So,
while you may not be able to change parents’ incomes, you can change their
attitudes toward their children’s education and resources available to them
and their children.
The Ottawa study comes at a time when increasing attention is being paid to
who succeeds in life; Malcolm Gladwell in his recent book Outliers concluded
it isn’t always based on talent or potential. He interviews Chris Langan
who, with an IQ of 195, is believed to be the smartest man in America. His
most recent job? Bouncer at a bar.
Despite his intelligence, Langan lacks many of the advantages shared by his
middle-class peers, concludes Gladwell. As a result, he had difficulty
navigating the world. The results of the Ottawa School Readiness to Learn
research suggests there are children like Chris Langan in some city
neighbourhoods — full of potential that may not be tapped without
The study is one step toward a worthy goal, to make sure all Ottawa children
reach that magical milestone of six looking forward to great futures.
Elizabeth Payne is a member of the Citizen’s editorial board.
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About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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