Moving from elementary school to middle school is a big step for any child. It’s likely to be both an exciting time and a nerve-wracking one for kids and their families. Your child may have worries about all sorts of things, from changes in academics and social time with friends to logistical concerns about how middle school works. As a parent, you may have some concerns of your own, too.
It’s essential to get to the root of these concerns and understand your family’s primary worries. Then, you can be a strong, supportive parent for your child during this time. Fortunately, we’ve collected some of the best elementary to middle school transition tips to help you out.
1. Contact Teachers Early in the School Year
Your child may be going from having one elementary teacher for everything to having multiple middle school teachers for different subjects — and this change can feel a bit abrupt. The academic workload may also increase, which is a common concern for kids entering middle school.
However, teachers can help ease anxieties about making the transition to middle school, so it’s a good idea to take the initiative and contact your child’s new teachers early. Introduce yourself and your child and get to know your child’s teachers. You can also bring up any specific concerns your child may have so that the teachers are aware and can help make your child more comfortable.
2. Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities
One of the easiest ways to help the transition between elementary and middle school is to encourage involvement in extracurricular activities. These activities allow kids to explore special interests they’re excited about beyond their traditional school studies. Joining extracurricular activities is also an excellent chance for kids to connect with peers who share similar interests. It expands their social life, allowing them to meet and hang out with children who aren’t in their classes.
At CCA, we have an array of extracurricular activities, both online and in-person, and many of our students take advantage of these opportunities. The flexibility of online classes makes it even easier to participate in these extra activities and allows kids a chance to connect with others across the state.
3. Stay Connected With Friends
One of the concerns of entering middle school is that kids may not see their friends as much as they used to. Extra schoolwork and different class schedules can keep young friends apart. You can help this situation by ensuring your child has a healthy social life and develops strong social bonds before entering middle school.
Make sure your child stays connected with their friends from elementary school by scheduling time with them and discussing other methods of keeping in contact. Good friends can be a great sounding board for any issues and anxieties about the transition and make it easier for your child.
4. Spend Time With Family
A strong family life is also crucial to any childhood transition, including the move from elementary to middle school. Maintaining strong family bonds is fundamental to healthy relationships and helping a child to feel loved and supported. Family members from both the immediate and extended family can provide a crucial support network for children to fall back on when any issues arise.
Besides the support and care that family members provide, quality time spent with family is also fun and can be a great stress-relieving activity for everyone. Be sure to schedule enough time with your immediate and extended family so your child can have the full benefits of these essential connections.
5. Reach Out to School Counselors
One of the most important — and often most underutilized — resources for childhood transitions is the school counselor. Helping out during educational transitions is a significant responsibility for school counselors. These educational professionals are experienced and well-equipped to assist during these transition periods and are there to help you and your child.
The school counselor can help your child determine which classes to take or the levels of study in which they belong. They can also guide your child to any necessary assessments, as well as deal with long-term educational goals and how to stay on track to reach them. School counselors can also help deal with anxieties and questions regarding the next step in schooling. Consider reaching out to your school’s counselors for additional support.
What to Know About CCA’s Family Resources for Elementary to Middle School Transitioning
At Commonwealth Charter Academy, we’re proud to offer several quality resources for our students and families preparing for middle school and dealing with this important transition. CCA has a family services department to help our families through special situations like these, so you’ll have the resources you need to make this a more seamless transition.
Whether your child is making the transition from in-person learning to online school or moving from online elementary to online middle school, our family services department is here to help. You can utilize these fantastic family resources at CCA:
- Family Involvement Coordinators (FICs): Our experienced coordinators can help answer your questions and direct you to any additional resources needed. They also oversee our unique family mentoring program and can connect you with other families in your area.
- Family mentors: As a new family in our program, you’ll be paired with a veteran family who knows the ropes. These family mentors can help answer your questions and guide you throughout the year. It’s a great way to connect with others who understand your situation perfectly!
- Family Service Centers: Even though our classes are online, CCA operates over a dozen service centers across the state for families to visit. Here, you can get in-person assistance with enrollment or other issues and meet with our staff. Our service centers also host several special events throughout the year for our families.
Our resources can be a big help with the elementary to middle school transition for all families. We encourage you to reach out and utilize these unique programs and services.
Learn More About Commonwealth Charter Academy Today
We hope these tips for students entering middle school can help your family make this important transition a little easier. At CCA, we enroll K-12 students throughout Pennsylvania year-round. We pride ourselves on our many programs and services that support our students and their families throughout their academic careers.