It can be a time of wonder when your elementary school child moves up into middle school. However, sometimes this adjustment period can be really difficult on kids. So, parents, here are some of our ideas and tips about how you can help explain middle school to your child and smooth the adjustment.
One of the first things your child is going to realize about middle school is that the work load picks up. If you’re not prepared for this, then your first few months or even your first year in middle school can be really stressful. One way to help manage this stress and make sure that your child can adjust is, during the summer before your child starts middle school, explain the change in workload, so they’re prepared. Another helpful tip is to teach your child about spacing assignments and planning. Spacing out the workload is going to help keep your child on top of things and reduce unhealthy stress. As well as this, you should introduce your child to planning. Planning can help your child manage assignments and help them in the long term. Planning is a valuable asset, and you don’t have to be good at it for it to work. You just need to put in effort and have a work ethic.
Work ethic is another important thing you should teach your child about, if you haven’t already. In elementary school, assignment are incorporated more into fun activities, especially for the younger grades. There is some of this for the upper part of elementary school, but even less for middle school. Making sure that you can get your assignments and projects done in time is incredibly important, as homework becomes part of your grade. A strong work ethic will help your child get through their assignments without the worry of missing a due date. Plus, they’ll have time for other things they enjoy outside of school.
Speaking of enjoyment, another important thing to teach your child before going into middle school is balancing outside school activities with school work. Chances are your child has some sort of hobby they like to do outside of school. It could be sports, robotics, a chess club, or practically anything. While their extra-curricular activities are important, schoolwork is even more important, even if it doesn’t seem that way to your kid. Some parents use the strategy, no TV or games until you finish your homework. While this may work for some, it may not work for others. Whatever the case, you and your child should be on the same page for what work must be done and how it must be managed.
Social groups and interactions can be a very challenging thing for middle schoolers. In middle school, there is a lot more diversity, and kids can focus more on their interests outside of school, with groups in school to support them. With these new groups can come more complex social interactions, as well as teasing and bullying among people whose interests do not aline with a bullies. Manipulation and being made fun of are also very popular in middle school, especially by popular kids who pick on kids that don’t “fit in” for whatever reason. When confronted, they often go with the “I was just joking” approach to try and weasel out of their actions. Bullying in middle school is a vicious cycle, and generally is more mental and name-calling then physical beat up. Try to slowly ease your child into learning this, and see if you can find ways for them to help and end this vicious cycle of bullying.
Lastly, one of the biggest differences is that in middle school, you sometimes get to pick your own classes and electives. Making sure that your child picks the classes that they are interested in is very important. Having classes that are interesting and engaging versus classes that are dull to your child; well there’s really no comparison. So, make sure that they have a say in the classes that they are going to take for the following year, and make sure they are devoted to the subject and really are sure they want to.
And that’s going to wrap up our adjusting to middle school suggestions, ideas, tips, and tricks. If you have any other suggestions that we did not mention, feel free to comment down below what you think.