Over at Slate there was a post about another blog post somewhere else where the author was reading an old series of books called, Your ___ Year Old. The subtitle for Six was, Loving and Defiant.

Hmmm. That ain’t no different from Your 12-13 year old, is it?  That would probably cover 11-18 too.  And 10-25. Do I hear 6-53?

This volume though, had a checklist to help you see if your six year old had the chops for first grade.
In 1979.

1. Will your child be six years, six months or older when he begins first grade and starts receiving reading instruction?
2. Does your child have two to five permanent or second teeth?
3. Can you child tell, in such a way that his speech is understood by a school crossing guard or policeman, where he lives?
4. Can he draw and color and stay within the lines of the design being colored?
5. Can he stand on one foot with eyes closed for five to ten seconds?
6. Can he ride a small two-wheeled bicycle without helper wheels?
7. Can he tell left hand from right?
8. Can he travel alone in the neighborhood (four to eight blocks) to store, school, playground, or to a friend’s home?
9. Can he be away from you all day without being upset?
10. Can he repeat an eight- to ten-word sentence, if you say it once, as in, “The boy ran all the way home from the store”?
11. Can he count eight to ten pennies correctly?
12. Does your child try to write or copy letters or numbers?

You were supposed to answer yes to least ten. Ummm. I have more than a couple seventh graders who might teetering on the edge if these were the criteria for entrance to SEVENTH GRADE.

1. Check.

2. Check. But the easy stuff is over.

3. “…in such a way that his speech is understood…”  Kinda by Costco. Does that count? Close enough. Check.

4. Whoa baby. When I watch one sentence meander across the page like the mighty Amazon, I don’t know if I can say yes to some of you. No Dice.

5. Mostly. There is usually a lot of wiggling involved, but we’ll call it good. Check.

6. This one they nailed. Check. FYI: Did you know scooters are making a comeback?

7. Ummm. Free pass on this one because yours truly still has trouble in this department.

8. This one is the reason this article is making the rounds on the net. It’s pretty much a universal OMG! Even though crime is down significantly from those days, people still can’t cope.

In 1979, I was skateboarding down the big hill we lived on with my six year old brother on my shoulders while another brother shot the action on Dad’s 8mm camera, hoping we would crash so he could use the slo-mo button on the camera. Neither littlest bro nor I had helmets (in ’79? hahaha), and since it was summer in Sacramento, we were both also shirtless and barefoot.

A majority of our students ride the bus or get rides from parents. But I know most of them are allowed to ramble at least that far. Check.

9. Check. Check. And Check.

10. hahahahahahahaha. OH. NONONONONONONONONO. You know how many times we junior high teachers would have to repeat something like that to get them all to remember it verbatim? Hahahahahaha! That’s a real knee slapper. No on this one.

11. Count? Not add, right? Count? Check.

12. Try? I suppose if we emphasize that word of the question, we might let you slide by. Check.

Phew, that was close. But yay! You made it.