5 Tips to Help Transition into Middle School

The transition to middle school can bring many changes to your child’s daily school experience: multiple teachers, different classrooms, increased academic expectations, a bigger campus, and a new social scene. For parents, the change often means less time in the classroom and interacting with your child’s teachers. But, along with this change come exciting opportunities! Middle school lets kids expand their academic and social horizons and they can start to explore who they are and what kind of people they want to become. Here are five tips to help this transition go as smoothly as possible for your child:

1. Organization: Consider getting a daily planner for your child. Planners help students track assignments from each teacher and class. A tidy backpack, cubby, locker, or homework space helps them easily find what they need throughout the day.

2. Self-advocacy: Your child is growing in independence. Let them take the lead in discussing problems and solutions with teachers, but be ready to help as needed.

3. Connection: Encourage your child to build relationships with fellow students, teachers, advisors, and counselors on campus. There are many different sources of friendship and support at school. This skill will serve them well throughout their life.

4. Balance: Help your child get involved in extracurriculars. Sports, clubs, and other activities are a great way to maintain a healthy balance while pursuing interests and creating new relationships. Research also shows that extracurricular activity can help improve academic performance.

5. Involvement: Attend parent-teacher nights, open houses, Parents Association events, sports and arts events and other activities so you can connect with your student’s teachers and other parents at your school.

Middle school is just one of the many changes adolescents start to go through. Some may seem ready to leap ahead to high school, while others may look back longingly on recess. You may see both behaviors from your child! While students this age long to be independent and treated as adults, they still need your sup- port. Helping them foster good habits is a great way to get them started well.