Kids & Parenting

Tips for middle school parents

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Tips for middle school parents and their children as head to class in the Fall

Middle school can be a trying time for everyone involved. For students, the one classroom system gives way to multiple classes and diverse subjects. For guardians, it can be tough to gauge how your child is feeling about the new classes, as well as learn everything you need to know in the short time between elementary and intermediate grades.

As a parent of a new student, it's important to gain as much knowledge about the environment as is humanly possible. Below, we'll take a look at a few ideas for guardians (and students) entering into the new and foreign world of junior high.

Make an Appointment to See the Junior High

Karen Unger is an author and teacher who's written on the junior high and high school years throughout her career. She offers insights into tips for middle school parents at the Parents Connect website.

Karen writes that it is always helpful to know the layout of a new institution. As students transition from the one class system of the elementary years to the multiple classes available during junior high, to know and understand where everything is before your first day of class can be very helpful.

Take your child/student on a tour of the campus; find the major hotspots, like the cafeteria, classrooms, bathrooms, library, computer lab, gym, and other such pertinent locations which your child may be visiting on a daily basis.

By doing this, some of the uncertainty (and unease) for the student can be alleviated as they won't be as lost on the first day of classes as the rest of their peers.

Find out When Everything Starts

Almost as important as where everything is is the question of, "What time does it start?" Will your child be riding the bus, getting a ride from you, or walking with fellow students and friends? Start times will usually be different than those of elementary classes, so it's important to gain an understanding of when things start at this new level and plan accordingly.

What time should I be waking them up? What's a good time for breakfast? How much time do they then have to walk, ride, or run to junior high? Do they have everything they need? Knowing the time table of classes will help to ascertain exactly when the day needs to begin for both you and the new student.

Get to Know the Teachers

As adults, we tend to think we know everything there is to know. Sometimes, though, it's important to learn new things ourselves. By meeting with teachers, we can glean important knowledge on things like:
  • How much time should my son or daughter be spending on homework?
  • Will there be regularly scheduled tests? How much homework will be normally assigned?
  • What type of projects will need to be completed by the student?
  • Can you as a parent be involved in extracurricular activities, like being a chaperone or volunteer?

These are some of the questions you can ask of the new teacher/s. With a better understanding of the whole process, you can be a better informed parent to your child.

Volunteer at Dances

So, you've asked and been told you may become a volunteer. What's the best way to embarrass your son or daughter? Why it's to volunteer at their next dance, of course.

All kidding aside, this can be a great time to meet other parents, teachers, and new friends of your child. On top of this, you may also attend concerts, plays, meetings, and other such activities, which can help to give you a better understanding of the facilities, teachers, students, and institution.

Talk to Your Child about Their Experiences

Talking with your child can be one of the most important things you can do as a parent. It's imperative to learn how they're doing with the new changes. Ask specific questions that can help you to better understand their thoughts and feelings on their jump to junior high.

For even more ideas, head over to the School Family site to learn more about the best tips for middle school parents.


Parents Connect: Prep Your Child (and yourself!) for the Middle-School Years.

School Family: 10 Tips for Middle School Parents.

Above photo attributed to RDECOM

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