How Old Are 6th Graders And The Subjects They Learn

Generally, according to the US grade placement, 6th graders are between 11 – 12 years of age. That is if the student wasn’t held back a year or didn’t skip any grade.

Grade placement is an important thing to consider when taking your kid back to school. 6th grade is especially important for kids as it marks the first year of middle school.

In this grade, your child will learn a vast array of skills and important subjects. They will also learn how to be more independent and develop their opinions and preferences.

However, you must understand that they are still young and need your guidance now more than ever. In this grade, they are bound to face challenges that may be overwhelming, and this requires a certain level of preparedness.

In this article, I will be talking about 6th grade students, the subjects they cover, the skills they need, the challenges 6th grade students face, and how best to prepare your child.

What is the average age of 6th graders?

According to the United State’s grade placement system, the average age of 6th graders is said to be 11. However, this age may vary from state to state or school district.

In most schools, students are admitted younger or older than the average age. Either because the child was held back a year, skipped a grade, or it could be the time of enrolment.

What subjects do 6th graders cover?

In the 6th grade, your child will be required to cover 8 subjects. 4 of which are major subjects, and the other 4 are to be taken from elective courses. These subjects are;

Major subjects

Elective subjects

What skills should a 6th grader have?

The 6th grade is a new adventure for your kid, and this adventure requires certain skills. The set of skill a 6th grade student need include the following;

1. Reading and writing skills

Reading and writing - lmshero

As a student, reading, and writing skills are some of the most vital skills. Particularly, 6th graders need these skills for the following;

  • Actively participating in conversations or debates
  • Identifying plots and themes of stories, plays, and poems by studying all characters. As well as being able to tell the moral of the story
  • Understanding and using similes, metaphors, and other figures of speech
  • Reading and understanding information from stories, articles, plays, and comprehension passages
  • Knowing the use of standard English vocabulary and terms
  • Writing essays or reports and giving speeches in front of their colleagues

2. Social skills

child not socializing - lmsher

Another skill that 6th graders ought to have is social skills. This skill will be needed for the following;

  • Working, playing, and sharing with others, both in the same grade as them or in higher grades
  • Seek help or guidance from colleagues, seniors, or teachers

3. Math skills

Your child will also need to have a good understanding of math. This skill would be needed in the following aspects;

  • Understanding place value and must be able to solve problems with decimals
  • Knowing how to subtract, add, multiply and divide fractions properly
  • Tell the time (to the nearest 1 minute)
  • Use units of measurement to solve problems

What are the challenges 6th graders face?

Like every other 6th grade student, your child is bound to face challenges. These challenges will test their preparedness level and may impact their overall performance.

Some of the challenges that 6th graders face are;

1. Academic challenges

6th graders experience the pressure that every high school student once did. They find it hard to adjust to the new class structure and subjects.

Additionally, 6th graders are concerned about their grades as many of them start seeing the need to attend top colleges. Some are even worried about performing well on their upcoming SAT or PSAT.

Additionally, many 6th graders feel pressured by their teachers to meet up to standard. Surprisingly, some even feel pressured by their well-intentioned parents.

2. Social challenges

Middle school is a crucial stage in the life of 6th graders. They change from being seniors at the elementary level to being juniors at middle school.

For many kids, it is challenging to change environments and make new friends. Especially for kids who do not have good social skills initially. They feel pressure from other kids or cliques; some are lonely and sometimes they are even bullied.

Because of this, many 6th graders find it hard to perform at the level they ought to. Most of these kids find it challenging to speak in front of their colleagues, share thoughts, or show their creative skills.

How to prepare your child for the 6th grade

Now you know the challenges that 6th graders face, let’s see how you can best prepare your child for this grade.

1. Create a study routine for your child

The first and most important step you should take is to create a reading routine for your child to follow. Obviously, there will be more obligations, school work, and extracurricular activities. That is why it is important having a routine.

This way, you will be helping your child prioritize their studies over other activities. However, it would be best if you talk to your child about the best time they need for their study.

Remember, one of the challenges they face is pressure from parents, even though their intentions are good. It would be best to talk to them about the importance of studying and offer them a reward for good performance.

2. Teach them to maintain healthy friendships with schoolmates

As mentioned earlier, 6th graders are bound to mingle with new peer groups, either good or bad. Remember, they are in a stage where they can be easily influenced, so the kind of friends they follow is very important.

Ensure you educate them on the importance of friendship and how they can spot and maintain a healthy one.

3. Join them in their study and help them build their skills

Another important role you should play is to join them in their study. Particularly teaching and exposing your child to things that would build or sharpen their critical thinking skills.

Additionally, you should help your child improve his or her public speaking skills. This can be done by using relevant materials that will help build their vocabulary.

Ensure you make it fun for them; try games, puzzles, or fun quizzes.


Can a child be older than the average age of his grade?


Certain factors may cause a child to be younger or older than the average age of their grade. Many schools are willing to admit such students as long as they are up to the task.

What are the best books for 6th graders?

Some of the best are; Inside out and back again (grade 6), Dairy of the 6th grade ninja paperback, and A long walk to the water.

What are the best apps for 6th graders to learn new words?

Some of the best are; Sight Words – Learning games (Android), Reading Eggs (Android, iPad, and iPhone), and World’s Worst Pet – Vocabulary (iOS).

What are the best apps for 6th graders to learn math?

Dragon Box Numbers (Android, iPhone, and iPad), Moose Math (iOS and Android), and Sushi Monster by Scholastic (iPhone and iPad).


6th graders are mostly in the middle of their adolescent years. They’re starting to experiment with a lot of things, they’re dealing with puberty, and they’re making important decisions about their future.

The realities of growing up can be tough, but it’s also a time when kids are discovering who they are and what they want in life.

Your role as a parent includes creating a routine for your child to study and teaching them the importance of socializing. Additionally, you should assist them to improve on their skill sets.

By doing this, you help equip them better for the challenges they will face. Surely, with preparedness, they will overcome such challenges and come out with good grades.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you did, you should also see how old 5th graders are & the skills they should have.

Thanks for reading.