Getting middle schoolers ready for high school is not an easy thing for us parents to do. Many of us are in denial – I may be there a little if I am being truthful. Many of us don’t know where to start or what we even need to prepare.
Our kids don’t know where to start either. They may be excited about high school or scared about it. Sometimes you feel they are ready and sometimes you wonder if they are mature enough for it. I think some of them question the very same thing.
Before we can get our middle school student ready for high school, we need to prepare ourselves and maybe even get a slight reality check. As a homeschool parent, we need to get it together and step things up a notch.
- Consider co-ops for learning to work in teams and academic learning interaction.
- Explore opportunities for online classes or dual enrollment.
- High school can mean slacking off, meaning you need to be more involved than you think.
- Middle school may mean a time of sharpening up foundational skills your child has not fully understood (i.e., you may even need to get a tutor).
- Re-evaluate curriculum. While a high schooler is getting the necessary credits to graduate, may not be the best time to keep changing their curriculum.
- You will need to step-up your record keeping game to prepare for transcripts.
Keep these things in the back of your mind and know that they require some evaluation from you and your child before starting high school.
Now, getting our children ready for high school is more than just a mindset change. This is a time to put steps into action. Every positive step towards their goal is a step of progression and readiness for adulthood. Crazy to think of right? However, it’s inevitable and its what has to be done.
Here are a few ideas for getting your middle schoolers ready for high school:
Ensure you are teaching independent learning in middle school, if not already.
Middle school is a time to start letting your children make their schedules and learn to keep them. They should be doing some lessons on their own and being accountable for completing them. It doesn’t mean you are hands-off from teaching them; however, they should be able to know what to do in a subject and come to you for questions or clarification. If you haven’t started doing that, start in small increments and with the easier subjects.
Start teaching needed life skills in middle school.
Teaching your student life skills not only prepares them for adulthood, but they also build confidence. The confidence they gain in learning these skills will carry over to the belief in what they can accomplish in high school. Start small as in sewing buttons on a shirt or changing a tire. Equipping your middle schooler early will set a stage for the life skills they can learn in high school.
Teach your middle schooler how to take notes.
Whether your child is college bound or not, taking notes is an excellent skill to use in classes, meetings, trade schools, etc. Taking notes creates a connection between what they learn and what they are responsible for.
Get your middle schoolers to serve somewhere.
Teens around this age can be self-focused. Helping them to look to serve others and learn of other’s needs will help them develop a leveled mindset. They can learn to not be selfish but to be mindful of the people around them.
Make this a time when your middle schooler digs deeper into geography.
Many students view the world as so farfetched. There truly is a world out there that doesn’t have to stay in the confines of a textbook. Have your middle schooler go on virtual tours of places all over the world and expand any limitations they may have about what is out there and how many people they can reach with the gospel.
Encourage your middle schooler to read.
High school and college contain a lot of reading. There is no way around it. Middle school students need to get used to reading to build their knowledge base and to write effectively. Reading provides knowledge that can’t be taken away. It helps vocabulary and spelling alike.
Encourage your middle schooler, period.
These years are very emotional for kids. I don’t mean emotional like sad. I mean emotional as in they have a lot of them. This can be a time when your child pulls away from you or a time when they grow closer to you. Either way, this is a time where they need you to be their biggest cheerleader and encourager.
Many parents do various things for getting middle schoolers ready for high school. Other parents may not be as prepared, and that can cause all matters of problems or delays.
Use middle school to prepare for all things high school — how to cook for themselves, how to keep track of their grades, how to be responsible, and develop independence. You may feel they aren’t ready; they may feel they aren’t ready. Just take it slow and make progress gradual, but make sure you both start getting ready.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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