Your Parenting Info Sign Up

How to Transition Successfully

by Margot F. | April 30th, 2014 | Elementary, School

children-306607_640The transition from elementary school to middle or high school is exciting and an important step in a child’s education. How can a parent help the child make this move successfully?

The grade a child leaves elementary school depends on the area you live in. For some, the elementary school is from Kindergarten to Grade 7 and then to high school for Grade 8. For others, after Grade 5 or 6, a couple of years are spent in middle school before moving to high school. The transition from elementary to middle school is easier but still significant. A child in Grade 5 or 6 might feel mature and able to handle anything; however a parent should be nearby and supportive when challenges arise.

One way to help a child is to be familiar with the new school. Attend an open house with your child and get a tour if possible. Talk about opportunities the new school will present. Drama, Industrial Arts and Home Economics might be of interest in addition to extracurricular activities such as photography and wrestling. Find out the school schedule and establish how much time a student spends in home room and which classes are taught by other teachers.

For some students, a detail such as the right kind of lock to use for their locker can be important. Get a lock your child feels comfortable with. If a regular combination lock causes frustration, choose a key lock or a simpler combination lock. Take the time to practice before school starts so the child can manage the lock easily.

If possible, stay involved in middle school activities. With cutbacks, a parent might be able to run a club. When my son was in Grades 6 and 7, I ran a book club once a week at lunch. It was a good way to see who my son was hanging out with and get a sense of how the school was run. Check to see if your child wants to be involved in a group you are running or attend another activity. For working parents, it might be easier to help out at a onetime event such as a science fair or the graduation ceremony. Participation of any kind is helpful for your child and appreciated by the school.

The move from elementary to high school is big. Many high schools will arrange for the transitioning students to visit the new school for a tour and a fun activity with students in Grades 8 or 9. A high school might also have an evening for parents to introduce the administration and explain the school philosophy and expectations. How are students to keep track of a daily schedule and assignments? Does the school use a paper day planner or an online program? How can a parent contact a teacher or counselor?

The transition from elementary school to middle or high school is exciting for students and parents. With a little preparation the change will be successful.

Comments on How to Transition Successfully