Middle school is a big adjustment for both children and parents. Your child is going from the oldest class in primary school, to the bottom of the stack in middle school. It can seem as if overnight their level of personal responsibility has grown.
The caliber of work increases, and students are expected to do more on their own. Your child is going to be moving through a fast-paced schedule and will have to get used to all new teachers and teaching styles.
Middle school can be a big change from the “hand-holding” and familiarity of primary school.
As difficult as this transition can be, there are ways to make it easier.
In middle school, organization and planning are keys to long-term success. With a proper structure in place, your child will be in the best position to succeed. Here are some helpful tips for getting your child ready for the transition to middle school...
6 Tips for a Successful Transition to Middle School
1. Stay organized.
With the switching of classes, it is important now more than ever to keep school materials organized. Talk with your child to figure out what works best for them.
2. Use a calendar.
Calendars can help foster time management skills which are vital for middle school. Set up a calendar at home in a place where it can be easily seen. Write down all known upcoming activities in one color, and then write the due dates of any tests, projects, and school events in another.
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3. Get involved.
Getting involved in extracurricular activities is a great way to balance out school work with fun, as well as meet new friends. There are often a greater variety of extracurricular activities available for middle school students. This allows them to branch out and meet new friends who have similar interests.
4. Take responsibility for learning.
Don't be afraid to ask for help! If your student is struggling, encourage him/her to ask the teacher for help. Ask questions if you don't understand something, go for extra help before the test or quiz, take advantage of any clinics or study groups that are available.
5. Practice independent reading daily.
Reading is a skill that will translate across the curriculum. Your child doesn't have to be reading advanced level text at home. Take a trip to the library or bookstore to find a book they are interested in. Even just 15 minutes of reading a day will help to build vocabulary and increase comprehension.
6. Develop study skills.
Every child learns differently - for some, reading over notes works; for others, it's flashcards. Tests and quizzes are going to be more difficult in middle school. Students need to find a method of studying that works for them and stick with it.
And, here are the '6 tips for Middle School' in a handy infographic!
(Hint: Click to enlarge. Enjoy!)
Originally published December 21, 2017; updated February 15, 2018