Are you a student looking forward to an exciting middle school experience? Are you a parent that’s looking to prepare your kid for middle school life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’d definitely need pointers on what to expect in middle school. Preparing for middle school takes guts and strategy. As a parent, you owe your kids the duty to help them walk through the changes in middle school. Your small efforts will go a long way to encourage and help them develop self-confidence. This article focuses on reviewing everything you should know about middle school life. Read on to find out more.
What Do You Learn in Middle School?
Middle schools are typically structured to help children transition from junior school to high school. Children transitioning into their adolescent age usually learn about the various skills and knowledge required to help them succeed in their later lives. Middle school teachers typically pick up the responsibility of assisting students in understanding the physical and cognitive changes they undergo.
The main focus of middle school curriculums is on consolidating what students have learned in elementary school. The curriculums are also designed to introduce students to new subjects and more advanced concepts to prepare students for high school level courses. Most middle schools feature comprehensive curriculums that include tons of interactive lessons and engaging activities in math, sciences, language arts, and social studies.
Here, let’s review the subjects typically featured in most middle school curriculums around the United States.
Middle school Math
Students are introduced to more advanced topics like data analysis, probability, number sense and operations, data analysis, measurement, and more in middle school.
Middle School Science
Middle school students generally get introduced to science topics that are more advanced than what they’ve faced in elementary school. At this stage, science curriculums are divided into different sciences with a core focus on topics like chemical formulas, geologic processes, Earth’s structure, chemical formulas, and more.
Middle School Language Art
As part of middle school focus, teachers continue to incorporate critical literacy studies like fluency, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, writing, and reading comprehension into students’ daily schedules. Additionally, students are introduced to advanced literary analysis studies, sentence structure, critical thinking, and more.
Middle School Social Studies
Middle school social studies are typically designed to cover a wide range of concepts and topics. Middle school students get to learn more about different cultures, ancient civilizations, geography, and politics.
What Problems Do Middle Schoolers Face?
Many middle schoolers confess that middle school is by far the weirdest stage of their life. Middle school life comes with so many changes and difficulties for students to contend with. Perhaps the biggest problem for most students is the pressure to perform well academically. There’s also the pressure to do well in sports and other extra-curricular activities that they’ve just been introduced to. Students need to understand the dynamics of these challenges so that they won’t be affected by any of them. Here are some of the most common middle school challenges to expect in school.
Even kids that once flourished in confidence can experience a severe drop in confidence if their early middle school days are not managed well. It’s common to see children comparing themselves with other kids, and some of them conclude that they are not good enough to measure up with their peers. Self-esteem issues can be the key that opens the door to long-term failure and loss of confidence for any kid.
You can help your kid overcome this by redirecting their focus to their talents and activities they enjoy. Parents and teachers should beware of being too critical of the kids’ behaviors to enable a regrowth of their self-esteem.
Despite their young age, middle schoolers still feel the pressure to do well academically. At this level, students already hear about how competitive getting into college can be. Sometimes, this pressure comes from teachers; other times, it comes from well-meaning parents who think it’s the best way to motivate their kids.
The best solution to this challenge is to avoid pushing your child too much. Bear in mind that excessively pushing your kids can take them to the edge where they’ll develop an extreme paranoia for failure.
Most children find their circle changing when they get to middle school because of having fewer things in common than they used to with their childhood friends. Since they barely have the right social skills to deal with the complexity of their changing relationships, they tend to result in coldly disassociating themselves from one another. No doubt, this will cause many of them to feel hurt about themselves. You can help your child get over the pain of losing friends by finding them the right distractions to take their minds off the trouble.
Middle school comes with its own unique set of temptations. With students finding themselves in new circles, it’s easy for them to experiment with new vices. It may be the first time some kids decide to test drinking, smoking, drugs, and other social vices. This stage can be challenging for any parent, but having friendly and genuine conversations about the dangers of these behaviors and what you expect from your kids can help them overcome the temptation.
What Should You Expect in Middle School?
As expected, middle school typically serves as a transition stage from elementary school to high school. While it can be an experience of independence and growth, students must have a foreknowledge of what to expect to be successful. Knowing what to expect can help students and parents prepare better for the experience. To help, here are some things to expect in middle school.
The middle school schedule is usually different from what kids are used to in elementary school. All too suddenly, they are introduced to tougher assignments and more sophisticated learning gadgets. The light emitted by some of these gadgets can suppress the natural hormones that help humans feel drowsy. Apart from that, they are introduced to the importance of doing their assignments. Most serious students wouldn’t sleep until they are done with their loads of daily assignments. The best way to help your kids get over this is to avoid overscheduling. Also, encourage them to start their homework early so that they can finish on time to get enough sleep. Experts also advise shutting down every device one hour before bedtime to get their brains relaxed and ready to sleep.
This is the stage when tweens get introduced to complex social webs that include classmates that run hot or cold. Frankly, not every member of these social webs will be best friends, but they’ll still find a way to work together towards group goals. Students must learn how to keep a safe and polite distance from members of their social groups with perceived tricky behaviors.
As students approach middle school, they experience severe changes in the outlook of their academic works. For many students, this period comes with more challenging academic requirements. Teachers also become more direct with feedback, often leading to loss of confidence and self-doubt. Parents should salvage their tweens self-esteem by encouraging their students and telling them that it’s normal to struggle in some subjects. Reminding your middle school students that the right efforts will make them better can be the key to helping them overcome their academic disappointments.
How to Prepare for Middle School?
As your child gets ready to enter middle school, you’ll naturally develop some concerns about their ability to adapt to the new experience. Most parents are concerned about their kids’ ability to learn enough to prepare them for high school. You want to be sure that your kids do the right things as they travel to and from school for the first time. Here are preparation tips for parents and tweens transitioning to middle school life.
Talk about the coming changes
An excellent place to start your preparation is by talking to your child about the coming changes. Your tweens who have heard about these changes are probably worried about how they’ll cope. This is a good time to talk to them about expectations and why they should be on their best behavior throughout middle school. Listen to their worries and reassure them that they’ll survive.
Get their class schedule early and review it together
Educators advise getting your kid’s class schedules to review with them beforehand. Help your kids develop concrete plans on how to handle their daily schedules. You can also use this time to correct any mistakes in their schedule and help them create a version they can access at all times. Some schools refuse to give out their class schedule before school resumes. If that’s the case with your middle school, gently explain to them that your kid needs it to prepare better.
Organize class materials according to schedule
Most children find it challenging to create time to organize their class materials with middle school’s busy schedule. You want to work together to arrange everything before they resume school. You can go the extra length to color-code their books so that different subjects have different books for easier recognition. Being able to grab what they need at any time can help your kid keep to class schedules.
Adjusting to the new routines of high school can be challenging for anybody. At this point, students are not sure that they are taking the right steps. You want to reassure your kids that they can succeed in middle school. The small applause you give them when they correctly solve their homework will go a long way to help them develop confidence.
3 Advice for Incoming Middle School Students
Middle school life comes with more academic and social responsibilities than most people are aware of. The upgrade in academic responsibilities can easily become overwhelming for anybody. However, you don’t have to let these changes stop you from having an enjoyable middle school experience. With the right attitude, you’ll be able to get over the anxiety that comes with the new situation. Here are tips that will help you enjoy the best of middle school life.
Keep your old friends close
Middle school comes with its frenzy. You’ll meet hundreds of new people, with many of them showing the potential of becoming close friends with you. It’s common for students to get so caught up with their new circles that they completely forget about old friends. Don’t forget that your old friends have been there for you through thick and thin. Instead of letting them go, try introducing your new friends to your old friends. Maintaining both types of friendship would not only open you up to a larger circle, but it’ll also ensure that you have more people you can trust to watch your back academically and in every other angle.
Find your niche
Unlike elementary school, middle school opens you up to more class choices, meaning that you can pick only a few classes that you love and enjoy. For example, you can opt for art classes if you like drawing or an orchestra class if you enjoy music so much. Apart from the confidence that it brings, finding your niche will also help ensure that you go through each day without feeling bored.
Prioritize studies and doing home works on time
Middle school comes with so many activities. It’s so easy to get so lost in all these activities that you forget your home works. However, you’ll need to remember at all times that the primary reason you are in school is to study. While sports and other extracurricular activities are good, it’s important to still find time for personal studies and assignments. Set out time every day when you’ll move to a quiet place without distractions to study. Setting yourself up for success will make homework enjoyable.
Wrapping Things Up: What to Expect in High School
Middle school comes with a whole new experience. It can be fun or tiring, depending on the level of preparation you put into it. Surely, you’ll face challenges, from overwhelming academic works to social difficulties. Whatever it is, you can still take control of your experience and make it great. Throughout this article, we’ve provided tips and advice that will help you walk through middle school unscathed. With the right middle school orientation, students will enjoy a healthy experience throughout school and connect with friends that will help them attain their goals.