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4 Ways to Prepare for Middle School

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: July 17, 2014 | Categories: Children, Education, Family

how to prepare for middle school

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.

Set Expectations

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?

17 Responses to 4 Ways to Prepare for Middle School

  1. I love the idea of closing out elementary school and visiting the new school. Ugh, yes, communication is even more key as they get older and are faced with new topics of conversation.

  2. HilLesha says:

    My son is still in elementary, but it won’t be before long when he’ll be in middle school – time flies!

  3. Colleen says:

    My middle schooler is heading into high school this year and I can tell he is a little nervous. I have three more years before my youngest heads to middle school.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Definitely agree with talking about grown up stuff. I had no idea what my son would be exposed to when he entered middle school.

  5. We did this 2 years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long!

  6. Kathy says:

    I can’t even think about getting ready for Middle School. I’m finding it difficult to let my son go to kindergarten…LOL!

  7. These are some great tips for parents to put into use. I really think the grown up discussions are really worth having.

  8. Terri S says:

    Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing them.

  9. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing these tips. I was really nervous to start middle school and I talked to my cousin who went to the same school and it made me feel better about it.

  10. Raijean says:

    Great tips, I have a long ways to go before the boychild gets there.

  11. Tammy says:

    Middle School was tough for us, because our daughter went from a gifted program back into a regular school. It actually ended up with us pulling her out in 7th grade and start homeschooling, so I don’t have any good advice, LOL.

  12. Angela says:

    Middle school is a lot different from elementary school. These are some great tips to prepare.

  13. Great tips. We homeschool and are trying to adjust to preparing our oldest to venture off to college.

  14. Ivan P says:

    The most important thing is self confidence as well as listening 🙂

  15. Crystal says:

    I remember middle school and how hard it was! It’s just a challenging time of life, so anything we can do to make it easier for our kids is critical. Those are great tips. I can’t believe it’s almost time for middle school!

  16. Marcie W. says:

    My oldest will be entering fifth grade this year and I am nervous about the years to come. At the charter school my children attend the middle schoolers simply go to a different section of the building so at least there is no switching schools to deal with.

  17. Kelsey Apley says:

    Middle school scared me when I was a kid, but you hear all the scary stories! It is a great way to prepare kids, good post!

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