Helping Your Child Prepare for Junior High School

Graduating from elementary school to Junior High can be a traumatic and trying time for any student. However, parents can help their children to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible. Read on to learn more about how to help your child prepare for junior high school.

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The transition from elementary school to junior high or middle school can be very intimidating and scary for students. Being in a new school means having to meet new friends and teachers. Additionally, this is the age when lockers with combinations, changing classrooms, and more difficult schoolwork are introduced.

Not only this, but early adolescence brings a wave of emotional and physical changes that are sometimes confusing and hard for young adults to handle. Many students can get lost in the new school atmosphere due to the peer and academic pressures, falling behind in school and creating poor academic habits.

Parents can help ease their student's jitters and frustrations that come with the transition, and help their student adjust to the new academic world.

Set Boundaries

Lay down ground rules with regards to your child's academic and extracurricular activities. Challenge them to get involved with their school but give boundaries for how many extracurricular activities they can participate in.

Explain to your children that you are not trying to be controlling but you want to make sure they have time for their studies as well. Also discuss with your child how classes may become harder and there will be more work than in their old school. One way to ensure your child is putting time and effort into their classes is to have a specific amount of time they should study each day.

Buy Supplies

Help your student to get organized before school starts. Go with your child to purchase school supplies including a backpack, ruler, binder, lined paper, and pens. Most school districts provide families with a list of recommended school supplies for each grade. Look over the list together and make sure you purchase each of these supplies. Your child cannot succeed if they are not provided with the proper tools.

Homework Resources

Create a homework calendar. Some schools will provide students with one, but even if their school does not do this, it is a great way to keep your child's schedule organized so they know what they need to be studying and what they should be doing for each course.

Take your child to the school and city library before school begins so they can become familiarized with the resources. Many students go through school without utilizing the books and other materials that are offered at their local libraries. Learning library skills early is beneficial because they will become more and more important as their education progresses.

Junior High Orientation

Many schools also have an open house or an orientation day for the students and sometimes their parents as well. Make sure to make the most of this opportunity. The open house or orientation will allow your child to explore their new school before their classes start. This way, they won't get lost during the first day of school, which is usually one of the top fears of children.

If there is an open house or orientation, the students will be shown their lockers and the combinations so they have a chance to practice opening them before school. If your child does not get to do this, you might want to buy a combination lock over the summer so they can practice using a combination. It's surprising, but not being able to open a locker is another top fear of students entering junior high or middle school.

Guidance Counselors

If you or your child is still scared and anxious after the implementation of these techniques, then a meeting with their guidance counselor may be useful.

Junior high and middle school guidance counselors know numerous tips and techniques to make this transition easier for the child and the parent. They are at the school to ensure the success of each student, so they should be more than happy to meet with you and your child. After all, the success of a child's transition into a new school will determine the success of their academic career at the school.

Monitoring Your Child

Once your child has entered their new school, make sure to monitor their moods and study habits. It is critical to maintain an open and honest line of communication. To stay involved with your student's education, learn about their school, communicate with their teachers, attend school events, and volunteer in the classroom or anywhere else you are needed.

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