School Readiness: Preparing for Middle School (page 2)
Your middle school student may need more independence to discover new interests and build skills and knowledge, but will also need your continued support and guidance.
Middle School Readiness Checklist
Before your child passes through those middle-school doors, consider whether he or she is socially prepared by using the following checklist. Please remember that each child is unique; these are simply some general guidelines to consider for students in grades 6-8.
- Your child can point out strengths and weaknesses in himself/herself and in others.
- Your child understands the importance of a good attitude.
- Your child knows how to reduce his/her level of stress.
- Your child is extremely good at expressing his/her feelings.
- Your child is able to identify the characteristics of a positive relationship.
- Your child is able to resolve conflicts.
- Your child understands the importance of individuality.
The Middle School Years: What Should Parents Expect?
Transitioning into middle school can be a huge adjustment for your child. The routines, school work, campus, teachers, friends, and fellow students are usually very new. This change can be overwhelming and may have an impact on your child’s motivation and self-esteem.
Middle school students experience a number of physical, emotional, and mental changes. As a middle school parent, you should be aware that your child will experience fluctuating emotions and motivation levels, and will be exposed to new situations and experiences. Peer pressure, academic demands, exposure to new social environments, and physical changes will be added distractions to an already new and sometimes overwhelming world.
As a parent of a middle school child, you will need to maintain constant communication and connection with your child. Keep in mind that while your child may need more space and independence to discover new interests and build skills and knowledge, he or she will also need your continued support and guidance throughout the middle school years.
How Can I Help My Child Move From Elementary To Middle School?
Helping your child transition from elementary school, where he or she was familiar with the school environment, can be challenging. Some ways to help your child through this move may include:
- Attending an open house at the middle school
- Meeting with your child’s school guidance counselor
- Exposing your child to a broad range of experiences and programs. Encouraging your child to participate in new programs can help him or her explore new interests.
- Setting ground rules for your child. Make sure your child knows what time to get up, be ready for school, and when to do homework.
- Helping your child get organized. The amount of homework, school work, and after-school activities increases in middle school. Help your child learn good study habits.
Keep Your Child Motivated To Learn And Do Well In And Out Of School
It is important to encourage your child to do his or her best in school and in any outside activities. As a parent you can do this by:
- Showing love. Provide support and encourage your child to develop his or her interests.
- Teaching responsibility. Encourage your child to be responsible for chores, completing homework assignments, taking on community activities, and acknowledging good and bad decisions that he or she has made.
- Being a role model. Show that you value education and exhibit the values and behavior you hope your child will develop.
- Providing your child with a range of experiences.A range of experiences in sports, music, volunteer activities, travel, etc., will allow your child to discover and develop his or her strengths.
- Setting limits. Discuss with your child what TV shows, movies, and video games are appropriate for him or her to watch or play. Be aware of the activities and friendships that your child has.
- Talking to your child. Be aware of what your child is doing. Talk to your child about his or her day, activities, school work, friends, and interests.
- Being aware of potential issues. Know and understand the potential problems or pressures that face your child such as drug use, depression, eating disorders, and poor school performance so that they can be addressed as soon as possible.
Stay Involved In Your Child's School And Other Activities
Your child may need more independence in his or her early teens, but it is still important for you to remain involved and interested in your child’s school and after-school activities.
- Learn about and keep in touch with your child’s school
- Attend school events and volunteer in your child’s school
- Stay aware of your child’s homework and school demands
- Monitor your child’s progress
- Remember your child’s next transition–to high school
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