Middle school is a critical time in a child’s development. In preschool and preparatory school, the environment was comfortable. The kids were nice to each other. The work wasn’t challenging. The kids were praised for any effort they put forth. Suddenly, they get to middle school and that little monster, puberty, strikes. Kids start feeling more self conscious than they have in the past. Sometimes those insecurities cause them to tear each other down. Sometimes, the internal scars that a child picks up in middle school shapes the self-image they have in high school and beyond. Often, the transition that a middle school child goes through takes their focus off of academics, and hurts their education.
If you have a child going through middle school, we’ve put together a few tips for supporting them through the transition.
Supporting Your Child’s Academic Growth in Middle School
- Supporting Your Middle School Student’s Reading Skills
Giving your child a love of reading will give them a place to escape to, a constructive way to entertain themselves, and will promote their learning in every other area of their academic career. A few ways to reinforce your child’s reading skills include:
- Make the school library a place that you both visit frequently. When your child enjoys being in the school library, they’ll become acquainted with the reading material stored their, and develop their own literary tastes.
- Encourage diverse reading materials. Show them newspaper articles or blog posts that they might find interesting. Get them an age-appropriate magazine subscription. The more they enjoy the written word, the easier reading will be.
- Help your child learn resources for gaining new vocabulary. Make a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the internet available to them, to explore the English language.
- Make family reading time a part of every single day. When they are young, read them picture books. As they get older, and their attention span grows, adopt chapter books. This is not only a great way to encourage a love of reading, this builds quality time and great memories into every single day.
- Supporting Your Middle School Student’s Math Skills
Being successful in math will make your child successful in school throughout their education, and beyond. A few ways to reinforce math skills in a middle school age student include:
- Give your child real life applications to use the math they’re learning. For example, have them double the ingredients in the cookie recipe you’re making. Create a budget for grocery shopping together. Work together to calculate how much paint you’ll need to paint a room.
- Help your child learn more than one way to solve a math equation. Every person thinks and learns differently. If they are struggling to adopt a concept, the problem might be the method they are learning doesn’t jive with the way they think.
- Make it a priority to get your child through pre-algebra and algebra by the end of middle school. This will give them a huge advantage when they get to high school.
- Supporting Your Middle School Student’s Science Skills
The last critical learning element for a child in middle school is science. If they adopt an interest in science at a middle school age, it will help them stay engaged in school, and more successful. A few ways to help a child learn to love science include:
- Read about science in current events together, and discuss the subject together. Perhaps this is exploration of outer space. Perhaps this is a sea animal that has never been discovered before now. Perhaps this is a development in robotics. Science is such a vast subject, there is something that could appeal to any person.
- Show excitement and support of your child’s participation in their science fair. Sometimes your involvement in your child’s day to day activities is what it takes to get them engaged.
- Visit local science museums and exhibits together. Make sure to discuss what you witnessed and the science behind it.
- Discuss the scientific method, and then use it in real life applications. For example, conduct a science experiment about which ingredients make a cake rise. Making the scientific method a part of life will make your child view life through scientific goggles.
Do you have questions or comments? Please share your input with us in the comment section below.