Children are capable of so much more than we usually expect.

Independence looks different depending on the age of a child, but every child can show independence. Here are some benchmarks of independence for those in our Upper Elementary program (grades 4-6).


In an organized environment, children in grades 4-6 can:

  • dress and prepare their own breakfast each morning.
  • plan and pack their own lunch.
  • be responsible for remembering water bottle, homework, take-home folder, and other papers that are due.
  • wear weather appropriate clothing, including remembering to wear/bring a jacket for outdoor recess.
  • pick up after themselves.
  • allot time, and manage until completion, their book of the month report and project.
  • accurately complete most of their work- plan most weeks.


At home and at school, children in grades 4-6 can:

  • pick up after themselves (they do it at school).
  • clean their rooms and help out daily around the house.
  • take out the trash and recycling.
  • care for pets.
  • put away groceries.
  • help wash the car (it transports them everywhere).
  • help with yard work.


At home and at school, children in grades 4-6 can:

  • write thank you notes for gifts received.
  • exhibit grace and courtesy.
  • use Conflict Resolution skills.
  • help others problem solve.
  • respect authority.


For children in grades 4-6, it is OK:

  • for your child to learn from her mistakes.
  • to eat whatever the teacher can find at school for lunch because lunch was forgotten at home or in the car.
  • if the laundry is not folded perfectly or in the right place in the closet or drawer.
  • if your child feels some frustration at having to figure something out on his own.
  • to miss a favorite television show to have time to wind down and read before bed.
  • to go to bed early to keep from being too tired to get up on time in the morning.
  • to make two trips to move all of her belongings from one place to the next.
  • to spill.
  • for your child to feel disappointed because he was told “no.”
  • for your child to search for something that has been lost.
  • for your child to complain about doing homework and using the dictionary.
  • if her projects or book reports look like she did it and not her parent.
  • to forget his homework (occasionally).
  • if your child is more focused on quality of work over the quantity.
  • for your child to complain about taking care of his belongings.
  • for your child to complain about having to dress appropriately for the weather.
  • to not be able to explain all of the work done at school and why.
  • if your child does not share details of her day with you.
  • to have a limit on screen time during the school week and on weekends and/or not have screen time until homework and chores are done.
  • for your child to arrive at school in her pajamas with a comb, toothbrush, and clothes in a bag.
  • to be upset with a friend, and work to resolve the issue.
  • for you to have different expectations of your child than other parents have of theirs.