Transitioning From Elementary to Middle School
The transition from elementary school to middle school can result in many changes. Students will now have multiple classes with a number of teachers and have many more classmates. In this new stage of their lives, they would also be expected to operate more independently by their teachers. This big change can cause your students to feel anxious, but there are definitely ways where you as a parent can help them feel more prepared.
How to Help Prepare Your Student
1. Tour the campus
After your student receives their class schedule, tour the campus with them! That way, they can see where their classrooms are to help avoid feeling lost or overwhelmed on their first day. Breaks between classes are also short, so if they know where their classes are in advance, it can also help to save some valuable time. It’s also a great way for them to find any other important locations such as bathrooms and the cafeteria.
2. Stay organized
Now that your student will have more than just one class, they will have an increased amount of assignments they will have to keep track of. At Tutoring Club, we’re always helping students stay organized with their assignments. We find that having a planner is greatly beneficial for our students. Have your student get accustomed to using a planner in order to track due dates and stay on top of homework. Schools usually give out planners to students at the beginning of the school year so check to see if yours did.
3. Time management
In middle school, your student might pick up some more extracurricular activities such as sports, band, or performing arts. Between all those activities and the extra load of homework, your student can easily have a lot on their plate. Have a talk with your student to set their schedules, allowing them to find time to fit everything without overworking themselves. By using their planner, they can also keep track of the times for these activities.
We teach our students study skills that are both efficient and make it easier for them to retain information. Your student’s schedule may be packed, but with effective studying methods, they can maximize their learning in smaller amounts of time. We recommend designating specific times within their schedule every week for homework and studying. Having a routine is key!
4. Practice opening lock
Most middle schools would have general lockers and/or P.E. lockers for your students to store their belongings. Get a lock and have your student practice inputting the combination to unlock it. For most students, this will be their first time having to open a lock. By practicing beforehand, they can have a much smoother time accessing their lockers at school.
5. Discuss social expectations
Middle school is an interesting time where students start to experience social expectations and their peers won’t always be pleasant. Have a talk with your student before school starts and be open about the issues that can arise. Let them know that it is important for them to remain true to themselves, to select friends carefully, and that it’s ok not to please everyone. Assure your student that the line of communication with you is always open if they ever need to talk. Your student will be going through so many changes that they’ll need you now more than ever!