Getting Ready for Middle School

Middle school is a big leap for families. Kids and parents alike can feel overwhelmed by all of the changes that go along with this milestone. We talked to our team of experts, including parents of middle schoolers and actual middle school kids. Here are a few tips for navigating the middle school transition.

Daily changes.

Help your middle schooler get organized for a more complicated daily schedule. If the school has lockers, teach her how to use a combination lock.

Prepare the route.

Middle school is a great time to teach kids to get to school on their own. If walking or taking Muni, practice the route to and from school ahead of time with an adult.

Get in the loop.

Middle school kids are notorious for “forgetting” to share important school informations. Fortunately, many schools make use of SFUSD communications platforms. Sign up for your school’s email or online communications groups.

Space it out.

Get ready to give your kid more freedom and space. Let them figure out school for themselves, even if it means making a few mistakes along the way.

But be an ear.

At the same time, remember that middle school kids are still young and need a safe space to be a kid. Be ready to listen and let them still act childish in the safety of home.

Set limits.

Middle school is a time of incredible physical and emotional change. Help set limits by enforcing bedtimes and rules around screen time and phone time.


Resources for middle school transition:

Parent Toolkit. Guiding Our Kids Through School Transitions: Middle School.

CNN. Awkward! The Tough Transition to Middle School.

GreatSchools. Smoothing Your Child’s Transition to Middle School