Parents Guide to Middle School – Be Ready to Help Your Kids Through School
Many books are dedicated to helping parents through the first year of a baby’s life and even elementary school, but the guide most useful to parents is a parent’s guide to middle school. Elementary school and middle school are vastly different. Not only is the school different, but the inhabitants are also vastly different. The tween creatures who go to middle school every day in no way resemble the cuddly, lovable little darlings that attended elementary school. Somewhere during the summer between elementary school and middle school all of that changes and parents find themselves in need of a parent’s guide to middle school.
Parent’s Guide to Middle School
Middle school is beginning to prepare students for high school and college. One of the ways this is taking place is by having up to 6 different classes in one day. Students are expected to go from one class to the next and don’t have a single teacher, but instead have multiple teachers. The middle school student is expected to know their schedule and be responsible for getting themselves to class.
*Responsibilities and Expectations
Because middle school is preparation for high school, expectations of students are much higher. Students are responsible for keeping their homework from each class organized and turning it in on time. The expectations are that they can manage the workload and even manage their transportation home. Most schools have an activity bus for students who stay after school for extracurricular activities and it is up to the students to ensure they are on the appropriate bus.
Homework plays a much more important part in middle school than it did in elementary school. In elementary school, there is more emphasis on effort than there is on content. In middle school, grades are submitted on the 4.0 criteria instead of the percentage criteria. Students should get used to seeing a grade point instead of a subjective grade such as a check or a plus sign. Homework is a daily activity in middle school and timeliness, accuracy and penmanship all contribute to a good grade.
*Maturity and Attitude
Middle schoolers are in a precarious position as far as phsycial development. Some have gotten dramatically taller or started looking more like an adult. Some are still very small and less developed. This adjustment along with the changes in expectations causes some significant changes in attitude. Gone is the child who will hold your hand or give you a kiss in the parking lot. All of a sudden they want to make their own decisions, have their own relationships and manage their own social life.
A parents guide to middle school is helpful in navigating these years. Having a middle schooler is an exercise in patience and understanding. It is also a time to reflect on the child you have raised, someone who is able to make their own decisions, their own friends and have their own responsibilities. This is a middle schooler in all their glory, standing on the edge of adulthood.