Preparing Your Middle Schooler for High School: Wave the Magic WAND (and Keep a Bag of Tricks!) by Mona Housman

Entering the high school years can be cause for a freak-out moment. However, looking back from a future vantage point, many parents and tutors agree that students who are prepared with a few key tools can transition well into high school.

So here’s your magic WAND:

Much of high school requires written communication. Being able to write a well-developed paragraph by 6th grade (with a clear topic sentence and supporting facts), moving into three paragraphs by 7th grade, and the traditional five-paragraph essay by 8th grade can be a huge help for high school and beyond.

Bag of Tricks: If your student struggles to get words onto a blank
page in 6th grade, let him dictate his thoughts to you to be typed out by you and then re-copied. In 7th grade, help your student further develop a skeleton paragraph by adding transition words like “Because of this…” or “In contrast…” and fill in the blanks with further detail or explanation.

Becoming aware of your student’s emerging personality throughout middle school will help both of you communicate more effectively and figure out what motivates your student. Interactive quizzes online are a fun way to identify learning style, discern love language, and equip your student with social skills and other life skills for high school.

High school tutors caution that in our eagerness to get students ready for Pre-Algebra and beyond, students are skipping the foundational math basics traditionally covered in 6th/7th grade. Mastery of fractions, decimals, and percents as well as multiplication and division (without a calculator) are key to success in high school math.

Bag of Tricks: Offer to put money aside when your student recognizes when decimals and percents can make the difference in real life. Your student can earn the money when they are able to show you how they used math to find the best deal on a video game or clothing sale item (include comparison shopping and online shipping options).

Allowing your student to discover the activities and hobbies that really make life worth living can be an important part of preparing for high school. Make time for one or two new interests each year. Give opportunities for spiritual development at a youth group or in missions. Finally, enable your student to lead younger students at some point while they are in middle school to instill a sense of leadership ability before they get to high school.

Written by Mona Housman, HomeLife Academy Counselor. You can reach Homelife Academy with questions at admin at homelifeacademy dot com or 888-560-0774. 
HomeLife Academy is a private school that has been serving homeschool families for over 11 years. We offer families freedom and flexibility while providing them with legal coverage and the support of a full records and counseling staff. Visit our website to find out more about HomeLife.

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