It’s easy to think about how to prepare your child for the first day of Kindergarten. There are hundreds of checklists for what a child needs to know to help him survive those first transitional days being away from Mom.
There are even hundreds of articles helping Moms know how to let go of their baby and let them grow up. But what about the Moms of tween kids who are heading off to Middle School this Fall? 5th Grade is over and it’s time for that 11 year old to take off in the sometimes scary world of 6th grade.
My son will be starting a new school in just a month and he is excited and nervous (as are we) at the same time.
Here are 4 ways to prepare for Middle School that you may not think about….
Close out Elementary School
Most middle school students are excited about the strange new world they are fixing to discover. There may be a nerves that kick in but the majority of twelve year olds realize it is just the next step.
The students are ready to move forward, but the papers, crafts, and projects from Elementary School are often still piled high in the garage, under the beds or in a Rubbermaid tote. Take some time this summer to organize and prune out the irrelevant papers that have accumulated these past 6 years.
Whether you choose to make a notebook with all the special papers, certificates and projects or just put them in a box and label it “Elementary School”, at least make sure that all the memorabilia from this first chapter is organized and stored back in an organized manner.
Visit the Middle School
Some schools offer a mid summer orientation day for new students coming into a Middle School. If they have this available, then take advantage of it. Let your tween visit the school and get an idea of where they will be going. This is especially helpful if you are moving to a new area.
We decided on a private Christian school for our son and after visiting it this summer, my son is even more excited about going there.
Talk about Grown Up Stuff
If you haven’t already talked to your middle school student about life and realities of sex, now is the time. No matter what your home values are, you don’t want your child to learn about these things from their friends. Even if it is an uncomfortable topic, address the facts of life before they head off to school.
If you expect your student to make good grades and keep a certain GPA, then start talking about it now. Let it be part of your daily conversations that you expect a particular standard. Then when school starts and grades come in, it will already be established what your expectations are.
My husband and I know that middle school will be an adjustment, not just being a new school, teachers, and friends, but his school will be more academically challenging than public school was… we know what he is capable of, but we will keep all this in mind regarding his grades.
This is a tough one for us because we do have high expectations, but we also don’t want to put too much pressure on him as he transitions to a new school — a new everything.
I think we are as prepared as we can be for this next milestone in our son’s life. I do know that as scared and worried as I was just a year ago about my son going into middle school, I am excited for him, now.
How do you prepare for Middle School?