Transition from Elem. school to middle school next year

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000
Transition from Elem. school to middle school next year
9
Tue, 10-04-2011 - 7:56am

How did your child do with the transition from elem. school to middle school?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2007
I stumbled upon this and thought you'd be interested...(I was on the site reading about up on protein)...

http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/school/middle_school.html
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000

Thank you to everyone who has shared with me.

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
I'm mostly a lurker here, but wanted to say that both my kids have had a surprisingly easy transition to MS (I have one in HS grade and one who just started MS this year). I was more worried about my older dd making the transition, but MS was so good for her. In 5th grade, the girls in her small ES were mainly interested in boys, makeup, etc., whereas she had entirely different interests. In MS, she found friends who shared her interests and allowed her to be herself. So I would just be sure that the school you choose is a good fit for your child and her interests.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2000

Hi Theresa,

Your son sounds like my daughter in that she also loves school.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2007
btdt. She's gonna love it and so will you! If anything, it's less overwhelming than elementary school.

I can remember being braced for "the transition". I laugh about that now.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
We are currently in the midst of this transition, although for us it's bigger. Dd12 has started school for the first after from a lifetime of minimally structured unschooling, and 8th grade here is part of the high school. So she's gone from nothing (no assignments, no external academic expectations, no tests, no writing demands, no schedule) to full-on high school.

It seems to be going well for us. My dd is not *as* perfectionistic as some of my other kids, though she does have tendencies that way. She made some good decisions about cutting back on a couple of things this year -- because she was starting school full-time and also taking on a challenging new youth choir. She's staying on top of things, which is really the trick for her to avoid stress. She gets to work on them as soon as they're assigned so that she avoids the stress of deadlines.

I don't know. It doesn't seem that big a deal for my dd. Maybe because this is her first experience at school she doesn't find the additional workload of high school to be "additional" at all. To her it's just what school is, a challenge she willingly undertook because she wanted the structure and the external expectations. She never assumed it would be "just like elementary school, only more so." She went in with a fresh and open mind, owning her decision and feeling optimistic about it.

One thing I think is helpful is that my dd has a healthy skepticism about school and grades. Her perfectionism relates to her own very high standards for learning, but she is not at all focused on shallow measures of achievement like grades and awards. She thinks school is great in that it's serving her needs and is enjoyable, but she doesn't see it as the yardstick against which she measures her self-worth. My elder kids have had this orientation too and I think it's very healthy. Grades are pretty much beside the point for them, so they don't tend to get hung up on jumping through hoops to please teachers if there's no additional learning likely to result. They take mastery very very seriously indeed, but grades are pretty much beside the point. If there's anything you can do to encourage that attitude to school in your dd, I highly recommend doing so. Put the emphasis on what she's learning and how well she's learning it, not on her teachers' not-necessarily-well-correlated measurement of it. I think that helps insulate kids against some of the most harmful effects of their perfectionism.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
I agree with turtletime that attending and engaging in school activities helps a lot. I discovered this by accident with my now 7th grader. She had a lot of anxiety about school until becoming very active in a number of activities. Now school feels like a second home to her, and this gives her the emotional support she needs. The trick is making sure your DD finds activities she loves. In my case, because my older DD is very shy I had to increase my own involvement in school activities for a while.
The other big thing for us was getting organized. This meant planning longer homework assignments carefully so they'd get done bit by bit rather than in a frenzy the night before, making sure the backpacks are ready before going to bed, checking that the homework assignment book is filled out adequately, and prioritizing work.
One of the best moves I made was letting DD own her work and her decisions. If she vented about test grades or assignments, I'd try to listen and commiserate without advising her. She typically ended up analyzing her own mistakes or developing a strategy to deal with it. The few times I asked her if she wanted me to talk to her teacher she answered, "No, I'll try talking to him myself first." She felt empowered and developed realistic expectations for herself.
Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Welcome to the board. I've been through that transition twice now. Well, I still consider DS in transition as he's on his 5th week. I was pretty terrified both times about my kids starting. Middle school was the worst period of my life and I've just been ready for that to be the case with my kids but it hasn't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005

We are currently in the midst of that transition; ds11 is in 6th grade. I was worried, and he had a few issues at the very beginning, but it has really been wonderful.

The biggest transition for us has been the workload. Before, he had accelerated math (one grade ahead) and