Transitioning to Elementary School to the Sixth Grade Building.
For many young adolescents the change from elementary school to the sixth grade building can be a time of mixed emotions. It can also be a great opportunity for new beginnings. New friends, new teachers, and new a school environment can bring out excitement and, at times, a little nervous energy.
This is also a big transition for parents. This webpage is geared to support you, as parents, through this process as well.
Listed below are tips that will help you make the transition easier for your child.
- Lockers are a major source of anxiety for students. Buy your child a combination lock so he/she can practice over the summer.
- Go to the school two or three days before school starts by attending ‘Station Days.” You will be able to get a copy of your child’s schedule. Then take a few minutes to walk from room to room with your child. Look for direct routes to classrooms, stop by the gym and spend a few minutes in the lunchroom. This will help alleviate apprehensions your child and you might have about going to school.
- Don’t buy backpacks that can store 50 pounds of materials. Remember, the students are not going to hike a mountain or spend two weeks in the wilderness. Keep backpacks simple. They should be able to hold a few items. The more the backpack can hold, the more a student will place in it. Smaller backpacks allow for better organization.
- Increase your knowledge of adolescent development. Take time to review information and materials that relate to middle level issues. Free tip sheet for parents.
- Learn the dress code. New middle school students also stress out about fashion. They want the latest styles, while parents want them to dress demurely. Check the dress code in the Student Handbook.
- Remind your child that she won’t be the only new kid at school. Everyone will be new.
- The building’s homework policy will be posted online when the school year begins. Read over it carefully with your child and don’t hesitate to ask your teachers questions once they have gone over the expectation with your child. We recommend doing this after the first few weeks of school has begun.
- Help your child learn the invaluable lifelong skill of being organized. Many kids who struggle with the transition have problems with organization. They get overwhelmed, procrastinate, and don’t ask for help until it’s too late. Give your child some summer responsibilities that will help him build time-management and other organizational skills.
- Join the PTO! Many parents think they aren’t needed or wanted at the sixth grade building, but that’s not true. We want parents involved. Teachers want parents involved. And kids, believe it or not, want their parents involved.
- Don’t fall prey to neighborhood rumors about sixth grade. Find out the facts for yourself by visiting the school and talking to the principal. “Don’t listen to gossip.” Just ask!