Highlights of the Middle School Year

If your tween is beginning middle school, there's a lot to look forward to

The first day of school is an exciting time for your middle schooler. iStockphoto.com

 The beginning of middle school can be daunting for both you and your child, but the truth is there are so many events during the school year that will excite your tween and motivate him through the school year. When your child gets ready to begin her middle school career, be sure to point out some of the fun highlights. 

Highlights of the Middle School Experience

School Orientation: You won't want to miss out on middle school orientation, it's an exciting time for your child and will help prepare him for the first week of school.

At orientation your tween will learn where his classes are, how to use the lockers, and he'll get a feel for his new middle school. You'll learn how to support your child during the middle school years, while still allowing him a little independence. Be sure you check out the school activities and clubs your tween may want to consider joining, as well. 

The First Day: The first day of middle school is going to be a bit stressful, but the good thing about that first day is there is only one of them. Once your tween comes home after his first day of school, he'll know so much more than he did the day before. A lot of the anxiety he experienced will likely be over, and he'll be ready to embrace the new year. 

The First School Dance: The first school dance is always an exciting time for middle schoolers. Allow your tween the freedom to enjoy the middle school dances by not waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets, or clothes for the dance.

Discuss appropriate behavior with your tween, and if you plan on volunteering at the dance, run your idea past your tween first. It might be less awkward for him if you aren't there on dance night. 

School Tryouts: If your tween is thinking about trying out for the school play, a sports team, or if she's thinking about running for class officer, tryouts will likely be a highlight for her during the school year.

Tryouts can be stressful for your tween, but they are also a wonderful learning experience for any child. Support your tween so that she learns how to put her best foot forward, but prepare her to be a good loser, just in case she's not successful the first time around. 

Field Trip Day: It doesn't matter how old you get, field trips are fun and your tween will likely look forward to any field trips her class makes through the year. Before you volunteer to chaperone a field trip, clear it with your child first. Your tween is getting older, and that may mean that he prefers you take a less visible role in his schooling. If you do end up chaperoning a field trip, allow your child the chance to share the experience with his friends. In other words, give him a lot of space on the trip -- you can always mingle with the other parents!

Report Card Day: The first day of report cards will be an anxious time for your tween as he sees what he can do in a post-elementary environment. Be sure you let your tween know that you're proud of his hard work, and if there are any challenges with your child's education, address them right away.

A meeting with his teacher or class counselor may help solve any issues promptly, and before the next grading period. 

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