The transition to middle school can be exciting but also overwhelming for your child.
These transitional years mark a time when your child is inundated with environmental, social, emotional and physical changes. A smooth transition through middle school will be one of the keys to helping your child be successful. The following areas are important to help with this transition.
Organization is one of the most challenging tasks when beginning middle school (more materials, locker breaks, changing classes, etc.). Help your child develop a system for organizing his/her notebook. Teach your child how to master big projects by breaking them down into smaller ones. Encourage a “neat” locker and book bag to prevent being late to class. Teaching your child to plan each day, to keep up with homework, and to learn self-discipline strategies is important to motivating your child to become more responsible.
While it may seem to be a natural progression to allow your child more independence, your involvement in middle school years is still important! Parents’ involvement in their child’s education has a positive impact on attendance, grades, behavior, and motivation. Parents are encouraged to
- volunteer in the classroom or school,
- participate in PTSA meetings/activities,
- attend concerts/performances at school,
- check teacher blogs,
- have daily conversations with your child about the school day,
- maintain communication with teachers via email,
- get to know your child’s friends, and
- get to know your child’s school counselor.
Your child should spend an average of at least one hour per night on homework. Most teachers use blogs and update assignments. Take advantage of school issued agendas to track homework and projects. Helping your child develop strong homework habits will build the foundation needed for success throughout your child’s educational journey.
Making new friends is one of the many experiences your child will encounter. Encourage your child to branch out and meet new friends by being involved in school activities. Have him/her join a team, club, or other extra-curricular activity and attend after-school events. Talk to your child about social skills and traits that make and keep good friends. Take the time to meet your child’s friends and encourage an open relationship to discuss peer pressure with your child.
Making the transition into middle school is the first and one of the important steps to securing a successful middle school experience. It is one that deserves time and attention. The good news? Your child is ready. With your support, your child will rise to the challenge.
Melisa M. Marsh, Supervisor
Contributing Author: Lara Salzman, Counselor at Hightower Trail Middle School