Is Your Child
Ready for Middle School?
How is Middle School Different?
- Middle schools usually start in grade six (but can start
in fifth grade) and go through grade eight (as opposed to
junior high, which starts in grade seven and goes through
grade eight or nine).
- Middle school routines, schoolwork, campus, teachers,
friends and fellow students are usually very new. With peer
pressure and academic demands, this new world can be overwhelming.
- Middle school students experience a number of physical,
emotional and mental changes as well. Your child will experience
fluctuating emotions and motivation levels.
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- Middle school students need more space and independence
to discover new interests and build skills and knowledge,
but they also need continued support and guidance from parents.
Can I Help My Child Transition to Middle School?
You can help your child make this
your child become familiar with his or her new building,
classrooms and lockers.
- Meeting with your child's school guidance counselor.
the counselor's advice on how to help your child transition
into his or her new school.
- Exposing your child to a broad range of experiences
him or her explore new interests (in school, community involvement
and sports) and start to consider future plans.
- Setting ground rules for your child.
sure your child knows what time to get up, when to be ready
for school, and when to do homework. Also let your child
know that he or she is expected to do his or her best in
- Helping your child get organized.
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your child learn good study habits such as doing homework
at a certain time, talking about assignments, writing assignments
in a calendar, going to the library, and cleaning out his
or her backpack.
How Can I Keep My Child Motivated?
can help your child do his or her best in school or outside
support and encourage your child to develop his or her interests.
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.
that you value education and exhibit the values and behavior
you hope your child will develop.
- Providing your child with a range of experiences.
range of experiences in sports, music, volunteer activities,
travel, etc., will allow your child to discover and develop
his or her strengths.
what TV shows, movies and video games are appropriate for
your child to watch or play. Know what music your child
listens to and which magazines he or she reads. Be aware
of your child's activities and friendships.
to your child about his or her day, activities, schoolwork,
friends and interests. Listen to your child and discuss
the subjects that are important to him or her, even if those
subjects do not seem important to you.
- Being aware of potential issues.
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and understand the problems and pressures your child may
face, such as drug use, depression, eating disorders and
poor school performance.
How Can I Stay Involved?
will need to give your child more independence in his or her
early teens, but it is still important for you to remain involved
and interested in his or her after-school activities.
- Learn about your child's school.
your child's principal or school guidance counselor for
a parent handbook or manual. Ask what classes the middle
school offers and what classes your child will need to take
in middle school and high school.
- Keep in touch with your child's school and teachers.
parent-teacher conferences, read school newsletters and
stay in regular communication with your child's teachers.
Maintain communication by phone or email if possible.
to sports events and concerts, PTA meetings, back-to-school
nights and awards events to keep up with school activities
and your child's interests and hobbies.
- Volunteer in your child's school.
for ways to help out at your child's school, such as serving
on school committees, making phone calls, assisting your
child's teachers, or acting as a parent chaperone.
- Stay aware of your child's homework and school
is important for you to keep track of your child's homework
load and deadlines. However, do not do homework for your
child. Encourage your child to do his or her best work on
- Monitor your child's progress.
aware of your child's progress on schoolwork, tests and
grades so you can address any potential problems or issues
before they become larger.
- Remember your child's next transition - to high
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sure that your child is aware of the classes and programs
he or she will need to take in middle school to prepare
for high school and beyond.
For more information: