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How to Begin Preparing Your Elementary-Aged Students for Middle School

How to Begin Preparing Your Elementary-Aged Students for Middle School

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 11:55

When your eyes first meet those of your newborn, it is hard to imagine them ever growing up. It seems like they will be that tiny forever. 

As they grow, we celebrate as they accomplish milestones such as rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking. We even try to hurry them along, coaxing them to take their first steps and speak their first words. 

As they reach their toddler years, we may want to rush them through the “terrible twos” and “threenager” phases. However, as they begin preschool and kindergarten, we start wishing they could stay little forever. 

Although we might want to prolong their elementary school years as long as possible, our little ones are getting older, whether we like it or not. Parents must take steps to make sure their children are as prepared as possible for the transition to sixth grade. The middle school years are some of the most challenging and rewarding for parents and students. 

 

Here are five steps for helping make sure your elementary-aged child is ready for middle school. 

Five Steps for Preparing Elementary-Aged Students for Middle School

1) Open Lines of Communication With Your Child

Your child needs to hear from you about the challenges they will face in middle school. They need you to encourage them about their opportunities to grow in independence and confidence. At the same time, they need to know they can come to you with questions and concerns and that you will be listening as much as trying to make corrections. 

  • Ask questions that generate conversations. 
  • Repeat back their thoughts and ask follow-up questions that demonstrate you are listening.
  • Don’t be afraid of silence when you ask questions. Wait for the answers. 
  • Express your own former and current fears and doubts about change. 

2) Develop Effective Study Habits 

Academics are only going to increase in difficulty as students age. While it may seem like your child makes school look easy now, that may not be the case in middle school and beyond if they do not develop healthy study habits now. 

Now is the time to establish a calendar for studying and assignments. Put it in a prominent place, so parents and students see it every day. 

Set aside time and space for doing homework, studying subjects, and getting organized for the day and week ahead. Talk to your child’s teachers for ideas about how to make sure they have everything they need for mastering each subject. 

3) Pay Close Attention to Signs of Anxiety

You are not the only one aware that big changes are coming. Your child may be anxious about the transition to middle school, especially if it means moving to another hall or an entirely different institution. Some signs your child is struggling with anxiety include:

Headaches and stomach aches are common complaints.

  • They're having trouble communicating their problems.
  • Angry outbursts
  • Changes in their eating habits or a loss of appetite
  • Hyperactivity that is unusually high
  • Crying often without explanation
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Nightmares

If your child is showing signs of anxiety, make sure you talk to their teachers, guidance counselors, and personal therapist. 

4) Meet as Many of Your Child’s Teachers as Possible

Your child’s teachers want your child to be successful. They are looking forward to guiding them to a mastery of the subjects they teach. If your child is nearing the end of fifth grade or has graduated from elementary school, you may already know some or all of their future middle school teachers. 

Today is a great day to get to know them and allow your child to become as comfortable with them as possible.

  • Ask your child’s teachers how to make the transition seem less daunting.
  • Ask your child’s teachers for tips for studying and keeping up with assignments.
  • Ask your child’s teachers what the goals are for their classrooms.
  • Ask your child’s teachers how to have success in their classes.
  • Ask your child’s teachers what helped survive and thrive during middle school. 

5) Choose the Right School

Parents, you have choices regarding your child’s education. The right school can make the transition to upper grades much smoother for your student. 

At the Crenshaw School in Orlando, Florida, our middle school program is designed to meet the varied needs of the early adolescent. Our curriculum integrates subjects, study skills, community service, athletics, and social and personal growth activities to help each student prepare for high school, college, and beyond.

Crenshaw helps students at this level develop strong organizational skills, routine study habits, individual accountability for their work, and mature social behavior skills by addressing and supporting the developmental needs specific to adolescents. If you want to make sure your elementary-aged students are prepared for middle school, The Crenshaw School is here to help.

We would love to talk more with you about how your child would benefit from the programs here at The Crenshaw School. If you have questions or would like to know more about enrolling here, contact our team today.