Middle school is a world of its own! Kids are transitioning away from being a little kid, dealing with hormones and their brains switching into more grown-up thinking. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades are a very important developmental time for kids; kids can also lay a strong groundwork of academics during these three years. You may be wondering what you can do to prepare your child academically. Check out these five back to school tips for your middle school student.
Changing classes is probably one of the biggest adjustments when switching from elementary school to middle school. Students are only in class for forty five minutes before moving onto their next class. The summer before middle school, teach your child about the importance of being on time for things like class and sporting events. Writing down important events on a calendar is also a skill that you can introduce during the weeks before school starts.
Some kids are natural at staying organized in school, but some need help! Middle school is a good time to start teaching your student good habits with regards to keeping track of assignments and improving study skills. Try to determine the kind of system that will work best for your student; show her binders, folders, and other styles of class organizers and see which one she gravitates toward. Come up with a simple system for managing assignments and keeping them organized so your student always knows where to find everything.
Middle school is where math gets really serious. Students will start using complicated word problems, percentages, and even scientific notation. Your child may start bringing home math homework and you might have no idea how to help them. Check out Khan Academy videos to brush up on math skills this summer.
If you have watched your child grow up, you know that they change so much over the years. Your middle schooler will change tremendously over the next few months and years. They will form new friendships because they will now be integrated with students from various elementary schools. Middle school students also start getting involved in extra-curricular activities like band, football, baseball, and cheerleading, as well as attending events like dances! It would be wise to have a chat with your middle schooler about the changes about to occur both physically and emotionally, or at least spend some time opening up the lines of communication so your child knows that you are available to chat anytime (without judgment!)
Middle school is when a lot of parents start giving their child more chances to show they are ready for more responsibility. When students enter middle school, they will be exposed to more “real life” things than they might have seen in elementary school, and the combination of hormones and additional freedom at school, along with new friends might lead to some kids getting a little more rebellious in nature. Although it’s natural for middle schoolers to stretch their wings a little (and crossing lines is part of development in middle school), remind your child about making wise decisions. The summer before is a good time to identify things your child is passionate about, and letting them get involved in, such as helping at the local animal shelter, mowing lawns, or even babysitting.
Your elementary student is growing up and is headed to middle school. Enjoy this time period in your child’s life, as he is heading toward adulthood. It’s your job to help him get there in one piece!