Intellectual Skills: Ninth Grade

Ninth Grade • Now that he's in high school, more will be expected from your teenager intellectually and academically. That includes everything from quality and quantity of homework to his level of maturity during class discussions. Class projects will be more complex and will require more planning. Leaving research reports until the night before won't fly in high school the way last-minute science fair entries did in middle school.

• Higher expectations coincide with his own increasing abilities: He will have interests that span farther and wider than ever, in addition to a greater awareness and curiosity about the world around him. While a younger teenager usually sticks to the tangible in his way of thinking or speaking about issues, a ninth-grader will be able to go beyond such details and describe the complex reasons for a phenomenon. At the least, he'll be able to hazard guesses about why certain things are the way they are.

• An example of his expanding intellect is his newfound skill of deductive reasoning: Play a game of "Twenty Questions" with him, and you should notice a difference. When he was younger, he probably made specific guesses, such as "Is it a bird?" or "Is it a motorcycle?" Now, he will ask broader, categorical questions that enable him to narrow more quickly to the correct answer: "Is it a person?" "Is it a man?" "Is he a celebrity?"

More skills and milestones:

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