The transition to middle school can be tough, not just for students, but for parents as well. The first few months can be overwhelming. Here are some helpful hints on how to ease the transition into middle school.

1. Brush up on the basics. Work with your child's 6th grade teachers to ensure that your child is ready for the rigors of middle school. Summer is a great time to brush up on math and reading skills, or to do some journaling or creative writing. There are many books available at the library, and book stores, to help reinforce these needed skills, and introduce them to the 7th grade curriculum.

2. Make new friends. Many of your child's friends may be going to different schools, or at least have different classes and schedules.  Try to expand their circle of friends by  being involved in sport teams, dance classes, or anything else your in which your child is interested. These are great ways to help your child be introduced to new and exciting activities, explore personal interests, and develop friendships.

3. Find a quiet place to study. The demands of middle school are much greater than elementary school. More time is required for study and self-discipline. A key ingredient for success is being responsible in completing assignments and projects, some of which may be due on the same day. Therefore, work with your child before the school year begins to establish a consistent time and place to complete assignments at home.

4. Get organized. This is the key! With the demands of multiple teachers, extracurricular activities, and social activities that will inevitably compete for your child's attention, organization is paramount to success. There is a weekly assignment calendar on my website. Planners are given to your child the first day of class to write down assignments and due dates. Encourage your child to use the planner and other organizational tools properly. BE VIGILENT. Go over the planner daily with your child and the assignment page so you can keep on top of things. The ability to organize will promote success now, and in the future.

5. Behavior. Act your age. Children need to brush up and taught interpersonal skills. Students of this age are expected to display the beginnings of socially appropriate adult behavior. Social blunders once thought of as "cute" as a 7 or 8 year old are not acceptable as a 12 or 13 year old. Spend time reviewing the traits of socially acceptable behavior and guide their developing skills. use the "3 C's" - common sense, common courtesy, and common manners.

6. Promote Responsibility. Many times students ask for an "excuse" to get out of going to detention. I strongly encourage that students, especially at this age, realize there are consequences for not fulfilling assignments. Students learn from example, not rhetoric. Make sure they have what they need the night before. Promote the importance on school by scheduling appointments, whenever possible, around the school day. Especially in a lab class, missing days and assignments can have a profound affect on grades.

7. REMEMBER - ATTENDANCE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Don't let the anxiety of beginning middle school overshadow the excitement. Preparing your child now will ease their nerves and provide skills that will serve your child well beyond their adolescent years. Good attendance will alleviate a lot of frustration and anxiety since attendance promotes preparedness. I teach bell to bellnad, yes, even before holidays. Absences negatively impact grades.



Go to for information on the 7th grade curriculum and Arizona State standards.