Transitioning to Middle School

Transitioning from elementary to middle school brings many questions and concerns for both parents and students. Moving up to middle or junior high school can be both scary and exciting. Parents can help their preteens prepare for this monumental transition by gathering information and staying involved in their child's education.

As with any stage and rite of passage of childhood, communication between parent and child is crucial. Staying connected to your child?s school and his or her friends may be an important component to parenting during the middle school years.

Here are some ideas for parents to help their child's matriculation process from elementary school a success:

Visit the School
If possible, get a feel for your child?s middle school before his or her enrollment. Most middle schools offer an orientation for its in-coming students and their parents. A phone call or meeting with a guidance counselor or an administrator may also be helpful and will give parents a chance to ask questions about classes and scheduling. You may even request a tour of the school with your child.

Whenever possible, registration should be completed well before the first week of school. Last minute registrations may result in poor elective class choices or even missing their first day of school.

Discuss expected changes
Parents and students should understand that middle school students have more personal responsibilities than elementary school students do. Students will learn to change classes several times a day and have as many as six different teachers. Students will be responsible to memorize their class schedule, carry their own school supplies, and maintain appropriate behavior. Consequences for poor behavior of middle school students may be more severe than younger students experience in earlier grades.

Shopping List
Before you and your preteen head to the stores to conquer back to school shopping, gather some information first. More and more public schools are implementing uniform dress code polices. School uniforms are usually reasonably priced, available at many retail stores and are easy to wash and wear. Parents may find that they'll end up saving money on school clothes if their kids wear uniforms. You may only need to purchase four or five uniforms as oppose to many different outfits for your growing child. Check with your child's school, prior to stocking up on school clothes.

Middle school can be an exciting time during the early years of adolescence. Most students handle the adjustment well and make the most of the experience. It is imperative to stay connected with your child, his or her fiends and the school. Daily communication with your child will aid the transition and will help your child achieve personal, social, emotional and academic success in middle school. Productive middle school years will prove to be an investment in your child?s future.