Educational Preparedness for the Next Level: Middle School

Elementary schools opened the door wide enough for children to experience routine, rules, and a foundation of learning within a cozy, tight-knit community of classmates. Teachers took time during small group instruction and one-on-one meetings to focus on improving individual weaknesses, while building confidence levels!  Inspirational words helped encourage children not to fear the size of the junior high campus and immersion into block scheduling. As the door of educational and social opportunity extends farther, rising sixth-graders will need a balance of independence and guidance.

Calendar Skills

For the remainder of the summer, rising sixth-graders should practice utilizing their desk calendar to good purpose.

  1. Preteens can resume the responsibility of keeping track of meetings and activities by simply writing dates down. And, don’t forget to cross off each task upon completion!  It’s a great feeling!
  2. Make sure your preteen knows how to create a daily to-do list, prioritizing tasks and encouraging time management. This can include tasks such as walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, vacuum, and read two chapters.
  3. Teachers will challenge students to read independently and will present a quiz on a designated day; therefore, encourage your child to set weekly goals. Procrastination impacts many intelligent students, especially if they disregard their daily and monthly calendars!

Processing Information

Every student can verbalize how they feel about the words “write,” “calculate,” “read,” and “take notes” with one facial expression!  The trick to working through difficult tasks is to discover effective organizational methods and tools.  For instance, the act of notetaking takes time and practice.  Audiobooks, for example, increase the ability to process information and improve listening.  Perhaps reading is a strength; then, think about writing key words in color to enhance your visual memory, or begin using index cards. Some people need to talk through directions, reading prompts, and computations.  Try it out!  If it doesn’t work, find a new method!  No one is born with excellent organizational skills; however, students can create success with the aid of a handful of ideal strategies!

Establishing Open Dialogue

The mindset of a child drastically changes from age 11 to 12.  The child who once loved strawberries and tomatoes may soon show disdain because a classmate claimed the color red was offensive! The fun-loving cheerleader may turn in an assignment late because she didn’t want to read it in front of her classmates.  Between mood swings and issues involving navigating through loyal friendships, the arrival of adolescence will place a new priority into open dialogue and confirming self-acceptance!

Nonfiction and fiction novels can illustrate how real people and characters solve the difficulties of social drama.  Through themes of a novel, parents can help ’tweens see themselves as heroes of their own stories! 

Making Decisions

Between sixth and seventh grade, children will try to distance themselves from parents and seek opportunities for social interaction with each other. More than ever, preteens and teens need to engage in activities at school and discover new interests, while expanding their social circles.  It’s allowing your child to become safely involved in the community.  Trust borders with a fine line at times.  The goal of the awkward pubescent years requires guidance, providing an anchor of support, and learning from the mistakes that will indeed include heartbreak, embarrassment, and a feeling of failure. Through those moments, the middle school child will grow!

Parents will miss the intimate relationships from their child’s elementary school teachers.  Don’t worry, middle school teachers are not hands-off.  They will require you to openly communicate difficulties as well as positive experiences occurring at home.  The triangle connecting parents, teachers, and students still exists, although it will include twice as many staff members.  They will expect students to be subject to a learning curve when it comes to lockers, changing classrooms, organizing notebooks and binders, and studying for exams—all within the layers of friendship dramas, new academic rigors, and puberty.  Work together!

Next Month:  Educational Preparedness for High School


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