As the school year comes to an end, many students are looking forward to “down time” during the long break. However, the former 5th graders going into 6th grade may be a bit nervous. Truth be known, if the student is not nervous, the parents certainly are. Going from Elementary School into Middle School is a huge milestone! There are ways to help ease the stress of this transition.
First, acknowledge the differences in how your child will attend school. Instead of one Elementary School teacher, your child will have a busy schedule with multiple teachers. Have a conversation with your child before school starts to help them get prepared for the transition to the different expectations of the classroom schedules. Make a list of questions or concerns your child may have, so you can have a productive conversation with the new teachers.
Secondly, get to know each teacher by introducing yourself at the beginning of the academic year. The school will provide opportunities to meet the teachers and to ask questions. Teachers welcome introductory emails, as well as interactions in the beginning of the school year activities, such as Back to School Night.
Thirdly, encourage your child to take responsibility for their schooling. Create routines and habits of getting your child ready for school. Have a routine to ensure that all needed school supplies are packed before school. Have your child get their backpacks ready and tell you what is needed for the next day. Get into the habit of doing homework and homework checks at the same time every day to guarantee that your child has completed their assigned work by the deadlines. By making this a habit in their younger years, you will safeguard their commitment to their studies for years to come.
Finally, be okay for your child to grow. The Middle School years can be difficult, but they can also be wonderful! Your child will transition from child to a teenager during this time. This is a period for them to gain independence, increase their personal responsibility, and develop their sense of self.
For further information, please visit parent sites at Edutopia.org and Understood.org to find more information to help with the elementary school to middle school transition.