Keeping up with your child's academic progress can feel challenging, especially if you aren't familiar with norms or aren't sure what your child should know at each stage of development.
What exactly should your 7-year-old know? Your child's teacher may be the best authority on how your child stacks up compared to their peers since their teacher works directly with them regularly and knows what content has already been covered.
However, there are some fairly universal guidelines you can use to gauge your child's overall academic progress.
For many 7-year-olds, whether they're in first or second grade, reading has become increasingly important. Most 7-year-olds should be able to do a reasonable amount of independent reading, including:
- Sounding out unfamiliar words
- Using context words (and/or pictures) to figure out potentially unfamiliar words
- Comprehending more of what they're reading, including putting together cause and effect in some stories or answering questions about what they’ve read
Keep in mind that reading skills may vary dramatically between children at this age.
Some 7-year-olds are ready to take off with early chapter books and can independently enjoy them, while others may still be working on early-level reader books.
Consult your child's teacher to get a feel for the type of reading material that's most desirable or useful for your child, and make sure to stock your home with plenty of material that'll tempt your child to read.
Don't discourage your child from reading books that you feel are "below their level," either. Often, children will read those lower-level books for fun, which can help create and nurture a lifelong love of reading.
In general, your 7-year-old should have a vast vocabulary and know several thousand words. They should be able to:
- Name and understand days, months, and seasons
- Describe how things relate to one another
- Use logical thinking to express themself in some contexts
- Use more complex sentences
- Tell a story more effectively
Generally, language skills will start to display some of your child's steps toward social and emotional development, too.
Your child may begin to complain more often or seem to have stronger emotional reactions to some things, especially things they perceive as an injustice.
Frequently, children at this stage have a more developed sense of right and wrong—they’ll often express when confronted with potential problems or peers who may not follow the rules—and will follow directions well.
Age seven is a crucial year for cognitive development. Your child may, at this age, have the comprehension needed to solve much more complex problems.
They may start to show a longer attention span—especially when engaged in activities they enjoy—and have a greater awareness of the world around them. You may also notice that your child:
- Asks more questions about the world around them
- Puts together unrelated pieces of information and draws their own conclusions about that information
- Has a greater desire toward "perfection" or "getting it right," which may impact their self-esteem if they do struggle in specific areas
Throughout this year, you may see your child's worldview expand considerably, both because of the content they learn at school and because of the things they learn through interacting with classmates and with you.
Math skills will also continue to grow and develop this year. Your child will learn how to:
- Tell time
- Understand the basic concept of numbers and how they interact together
- Repeat three numbers backward
- Create and continue numeric patterns
- Manage addition and subtraction up to 20
- Skip count, including 2s, 4s, and 5s
Children around age seven should also start to grasp more numeric concepts in general.
For example, a 7-year-old might start to understand that number sentences can be turned backward: 5 + 8 is the same thing as 8 + 5, and 7 + 10 is the same as 10 + 7.
Your child may also start to identify and place larger numbers on a number line or understand basic fractions, including halves and quarters. Your child may also work more with concepts of money.
Many math skills at this age are still modeled with manipulatives that can make it easier for children to grasp those concepts.
At seven, math is a core concept to integrate into your daily life! Talk about numbers with your child. Cooking together is a great way to explore numeric concepts like fractions, as well as test your child's reading skills.
Through those simple interactions, you may get a much better feel of your child's overall skill with math and numbers.
What Should I Do if It Seems Like My Child Is Falling Behind?
Academic, cognitive, and social skills aren't always a linear checklist your child must meet in a specific timeframe.
Some children will always meet milestones at different points—and they may surprise you with their knowledge and growth over time.
However, if you do start to feel that your child is falling behind, taking early action can help you support your child and increase the odds that they’ll solve any problems they might be facing before they become more serious.
First, talk to your child's teacher. You may learn, to your surprise, that your child is much better at something in the classroom than at home!
You may also discover what concepts have been presented frequently in class, which your child should be more familiar with, and which ones haven't—which could explain why your child isn't as comfortable with them.
If your child has academic deficits or seems to be lagging behind in some areas, a tutor can help.
When your child works with a tutor, they’ll receive the one-on-one support they need to grasp new concepts or achieve higher overall levels of academic success.
If your child is struggling, contact TutorMe today to learn more about how we can help your child break through barriers and excel in their studies.