Moving On: Transitioning from Elementary to Middle School

By Priscilla Wright, M.Ed, LPC,NCC

Pre teen girl getting on school bus

Moving on to middle school can be an exciting time.  Some children embrace this change while others find it difficult. Here are a few things that parents can do to ease the transition.

School Environment: The expectations are greater in middle school. Students are expected to keep track of and complete multiple assignments. Adjust to the teaching styles of 6 or 7 teachers as opposed to 1 teacher (in most elementary school settings).

  • Parents can help their child by selecting an organizer that may work best for the child.
  • Parents can also help students keep track of assignments by checking in via the school’s electronic classroom, a virtual environment were assignments and grades are posted.

Peers:  Peer groups may change in middle school due to the merging of other schools. This may mean new peers and or the loss of older peer relationships. At this age, children are exploring new interest and align themselves with peers who share those interests. Children are starting to change physically, cognitively, and, emotionally.

  • Continue to praise your child for their accomplishments. Encourage your child’s interest.
  • Make time to have conversations with your child. Have a daily check-in with your child about his or her day.
  • If problems are starting to arise with schoolwork, check in with your child, and the subject matter teacher to find solutions.

Involvement: Parental involvement in academics may decrease in middle school. Maintain an active presence in your child’s academic career. Children whose parents are involved in their studies have grater potential for academic success.

Priscilla WrightPriscilla Wright is a licensed professional counselor practicing at Commonwealth Behavioral Health Inc. located in Midlothian, Virginia. Ms. Wright holds a master’s degree in Counselor Education and is currently completing a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Ms. Wright is also a National Certified Counselor. At Commonwealth Behavioral Health Inc., Ms. Wright works with children, adolescents, and adults on issues to include stress management, co-parenting, as well as anxiety and mood disorders. Ms. Wright believes in a holistic (looking at the person as a whole) approach to practice. Ms. Wright’s research interest includes topics on intellectual disabilities, stress management, and topics regarding family systems.