With your tween now entering middle school, preparing them for the transition can be one of the best things you can do to help them.
Entering middle school can be a big adjustment for kids, and while the school will help prepare them a little, there are more things you can do at home to help them succeed.
Did you know that research has shown that in the tween years that a lot of children lose interest in school? There are a few reasons for this.
- Many of their interests change. They may care more about their friends and the social aspect of school rather than grades and classes.
- Their bodies are changing. They are at the age where their bodies are going through changes, and they are developing.
- Middle school can be more demanding. When kids enter middle school, there are more demands that need to be met. That may mean more schoolwork or homework, more classes they will have to take, more sports activities, and others.
As parents, we may not be able to control everything that happens, but we can help prepare them for what is about to come and the beset way to handle those changes. These are a few of the things that you can do when it comes to preparing your tween for middle school.
Talk About Changes That May Be Coming
One of the first things you should do after they finish elementary school is to talk with them about middle school and some of the changes that are going to happen. There are two huge changes that will most likely be happening and those are 1) going to a new school and 2) having to adjust to all of the new classmates they may meet and mingle with.
There may be other changes they are worried about or that you haven’t thought about. Sit down and talk with them to see what they may be worried about or what they are curious about. Flat out asking them may be one of the best ways to get a feel for what they are thinking about when it comes to transitioning.
As they talk, be sure to let them know that even though this may be a scary time with a lot of adjustments, there will be lots of fun and excitement that come along with the change.
Start Establishing a Routine for the Upcoming Year
With middle school comes more responsibilities and many changes. Just like their younger school years, having a routine can really help your tween through the middle school years. Some parents like to start routines during the summer months or a month or so before the new school year starts. This can ensure that your child is eased into the new changes and not just thrown into them.
While you help your tween establish a new routine, it is also a good time to help them learn more about being organization and of course, time management.
In the middle school years, they will be juggling classes and different assignments from each of those classes. They will also be switching classes between bells and having to be on time for their next class. Teaching them some organizational skills will help them keep everything together so they can find it when they need it. Time management skills will help them be on time to their classes.
Another good routine to start is to get your child to pack their bookbag or lunch bag the night before. They can also lay out their clothes the night before so they can get up, eat breakfast, and get ready. All of these will help make the school morning run smoother.
Attend Orientation or Schedule a Tour of the School
Most schools offer orientation days where kids and parents can meet their teachers and get to know the layout of the school a little more and where their classes will be. If your school doesn’t do an orientation, you can always call the school to see if they will give you and your new middle schooler a look around.
Attending the orientation, or a tour of the school, can help them see what their new environment is going to be like. They won’t come in on the first day and wonder where they are going, where the restrooms are, or where their lockers and classrooms will be. Instead, your tween will be a little more prepared and know exactly where their classes are going to be.
Get All the Supplies They Need for the Year
Oh, the joys of back-to-school shopping! As parents, we may not have fun shopping for new clothes and school supplies for the new school year, but your tween may enjoy it.
Shopping for new school supplies and clothes may also excite them for the upcoming year and take their mind off the stress and fears of the transitions.
In addition to your typical folders, notebooks, and pencils, let your child pick out different accessories for their lockers. Their lockers will store everything they need during the school year, so making it their own can be helpful. They’ll feel joy and comfort when opening their lockers and seeing some of their favorite things.
Tip: get them familiar with combination locks. Locks are not something they may have had to worry about in elementary school, but in middle school, they will typically need a combination lock for their lockers. Have them practice locking and unlocking the combination lock beforehand so that they know the process and can get it down.
Encourage Your Tween to Be Social
Middle school is when kids start to be more social. The social aspect of middle school can be one of the most challenging parts of the entire process.
It’s the time when they can join social groups, get involved in extracurricular activities, and make new friends. Encourage them to be social and to take part in these activities. Encourage them to be friendly with everyone and not to treat anyone any differently.
What You Can Do as a Parent
While your tween figures out their new routines and starts their middle school journey, there are a few things you can do as a parent to ensure they are on track.
- Stay on top of their academics and make sure they are doing their schoolwork so they don’t get behind.
- Stay positive and upbeat about the upcoming changes. This will help your tween be more excited too.
- Check in with them periodically to see how they are doing and if they are facing any trouble that you can help with.
- Talk with their teachers to be sure they are doing well.
- Encourage and reward responsible behavior.
- Be there for your tween when they need advice or want to talk about how they are feeling or things that may be happening.
The transition from elementary school to middle school can be hard for kids. Getting them prepared and helping them navigate that change can help them succeed and do well during that transition.
More Parenting Reads And Ideas For Your New Middle Schooler
- If your tween is just about to finish elementary school, here are some fun and endearing gift ideas for an elementary school graduate.
- Have your girl looking her best, beautiful elementary school graduation dresses
- For farewell speeches and graduate gift cards, some inspiring elementary school graduate quote ideas
- Shop early for your Middle School supplies, and don’t forget a cool backpack that can fit all their books and tech needs.