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Winding Down Middle School: Tips to Help Your Child Gear Up for High School Success

By Huntington Learning Center

Goodbye, middle school. Hello, high school. If you’re the parent of a soon-to-be high school student, you might be anticipating the change with a little bit (or a lot) of trepidation. No need to stress! Here are a few tips to help your student make a great transition and begin building a foundation for college success:

Fine-tune organizational skills.

If your student was hampered by disorganization in middle school, there’s no room for that kind of chaos in high school. Remind your student to establish a good system for keeping track of all homework assignments and upcoming test and project dates. That could include a paper planner, planner app on their smartphone, and some sort of inbox or filing system at home for keeping track of important papers. Lean on the school for best practices and guidance, but remind your student: organized students minimize stress and wasted time.

Lay the groundwork for strong time management. 

This summer, get serious about your family routine and make sure your student follows suit. Hang a family calendar in a visible place and write all responsibilities on it, even if that’s just sports tournaments, vacations, and recitals for the summer. Come fall, talk with your student about how to organize and prioritize their time by blocking off time in their planner for school, studying, extracurricular commitments, family obligations, and more. Uphold a routine at home that supports your student’s goals.

Empower your student.

Middle school teachers encourage independence, but in high school, it is expected that your student will take ownership of school. Your student must learn to advocate for themselves when they fall behind in class or need homework help. Remind your student that they are their own advocate, and that you are there for support.

Reflect.

As the school year winds down, don’t miss the opportunity to talk with your student about the middle school experience. Ask what subjects they liked the most, and what they enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) about middle school. Talk about which teachers pushed them the most and how they have grown as students. Then, use that as a chance to talk about the future. Has your student given any thought to college yet? Are there careers or college majors that sound interesting? What excites and scares your student about high school?

This is an exciting time that also brings some anxiety to students. Talk about it. There’s plenty you can do to help your student get ready for high school, and Huntington can help. If your student struggled in middle school and has concerns about succeeding in high school, we can work with them this summer to help them build organizational and study skills, make sure they’re not missing any vital subject skills, and get them excited to do well in high school. It’s a new chapter, after all. Get things off on the right foot!