Back to School: As a Middle Schooler
Making the transition from child to teen...inside the classroom! There are many differences that your students will see as they are introduced to middle school. You both need to be ready!
Things are Changing
As your student moves from elementary to middle school, there are many changes that are taking place. Not only is your child maturing into a young adult, but they are stepping into a new world at school!
Although many districts have the students changing classes prior to sixth grade, there is something completely different when they are required to move from class to class all day.
When students move into middle school, they are expected to take responsibility. But what do they need to prepare for this transition?
Preparing your Student
Prior to the beginning of their sixth grade year, be sure that your student is required to take on responsibilities!
A planner is a great tool for students! This requires them to take the time to record daily assignments and gives them an opportunity to hold them self accountable for the completion of the work.
Establish a quiet study area for your student!
For many students, middle school is the first time they are assigned regular homework assignments. Be sure that your student has a designated area where they can go to complete their work.
Paying attention to grades
Be sure to discuss the importance of good effort and grades with your student. Throughout the middle school years, students often get into the habits that will follow them through high school.
Being a Prepared Parent
Go to the school with your student.
Many schools will have some type of orientation for sixth graders; be sure that you attend this meeting with your student. Not only will this help your student be more comfortable with their new school, but will also help assure you of where your student is and the school's expectations.
Be prepared to pick-up supplies during the first week.
Unlike elementary schools, middle schools often give out supply lists during the first days of school. It can be very stressful for students to have to go the first few days or weeks without their needed supplies. Be sure that you allot time during the first few days of school to pick up your student's needed supplies.
Stay in touch with your student's teachers.
Often times, parent-teacher conference participation drops off at the middle school level, however this is a time when parent-teacher contact is needed more than ever! If your schedule doesn't allow you to attend conferences, be sure to call or e-mail your student's teachers. Also, don't hesitate to contact your student's teachers prior to the first conference time.
Check up on them!
Although the student must take on responsibility for the completion of the work and the learning in the classroom, they are still a child. Be sure that your student is understanding the work and completing the homework in a timely manner. Often times, simply going through your student's planner with them in the evening is a great opportunity to ask about their accomplishments and struggles.
Let your student know that you support them.
Often times middle school is a time of great change and insecurity. Be sure that you reassure your student you support them and are willing to help in any way needed. Although they may think they're too old, dinner conversations about their day are more important than ever!
When All Else Fails, Just Ask
Remember that in the midst of all the change, you and your student still have a number of resources available at the school that are will to help in any way possible. The teachers, counselor, principal, and even the secretary are there to make this transition as easy as possible. Keep yourself and your student informed so you can enjoy not only the first days of middle school, but all the years to come!