It's no secret that team sports benefit sixth graders. Not only will your child master new skills, but he'll also become plugged into a positive peer group. Emerging research even contends that when children invest a lot of time in sports, they learn strategic thinking methods that spill over into other areas of life [source: Price-Mitchell].
Team sports aren't limited to the basketball court or football field, though. The key is to get your student get involved, whatever the pursuit. You can help by conducting some behind-the-scenes research and steering your student in the right direction. Does your sixth grader's school have a chess team, book club or science competition? If not, perhaps you could help start a school organization that reflects your child's interests, such as paleontology.