How to Prepare For Middle School to High School

How to Prepare for High School

The time has arrived my oldest child is headed off to high school next school season and it fills me with such amazing feelings. While I can’t believe my first child is turning 14 and venturing off towards another year closer to adulthood, I am extremely proud of all she has accomplished in her nearly 14 years of life. Heading into high school at honors level classes and watching as she dealt with the growing pains of middle school. As a Mom I am trying to assure her that high school is much different than middle school, she will be in with older kids and maybe find more peers that are at her level of maturity.

This child entered into Kindergarten a year early, at age 4. Back then she actually tested smart enough to go into first grade … at age 4! Her father and I knew pushing two years early into school wouldn’t have been a good move emotionally and socially, as she gets older and finds she is the youngest in her class, I am confident we made the right decision all those years ago.  This transition of middle school to high school, listening to the changes in opinions and thoughts of my daughter as she gets older have been such an experience.

How to Prepare for High School

My daughter suffers from some anxiety, much like I do and have for many years. As an adult I mastered skills to overcome my anxiety and push myself on a regular to overcome that anxiety diagnosis I was given many moons ago. My daughter is still trying to figure out how to master anxiety and while she is such a strong girl, it can overcome her easily. This is the case with high school, so far it seems she has mixed feelings about high school, yet overall I can almost see her excited to venture into a new chapter of her life.

As a means to prepare for middle school to high school transition, I have created a few tips to help parents and students survive this transition:

  • Encourage independent conflict resolution, in middle school you should have started to step back and assist in guiding your teen to resolve conflict. Middle school was a time when your teen could actually email the teacher directly, have after school meetings and such as a means to be proactive in their own education requirements.
  • Discuss the pros of high school, such as more freedom to choose classes they are passionate about, the ability to move around the schedule and some extra privileges such as getting a job and learning how to volunteer in their local community. High school opens the doors to more trust and freedom from parents, which is appealing to many teenagers.
  • Change how you are involved as a parent, I recall my daughter once saying to me, “it seems like because I am older than my brothers you don’t talk to me as much or ask me about my life as much. I still need you even though I am getting older!” Talk about a punch to the gut! This was a gentle reminder that no matter how old your child gets, they still need you at some level.
  • Prepare your teen for the work load and independent study they will have to do in high school. During middle school the focus was about team building, lots of projects worked on with their peers, but in high school it’s a whole new ball game of independent work that will add up quickly. Establish a reasonable expectation level of grades with your teen now.

There are many ways you can work to prepare your teen for the transition from middle school to high school, my biggest tip for you is to give trust when life calls for it, establish a positive mindset about their transition and always find humor in life. I swear the fact that I can find humor in the most stressful of scenarios with my teen has helped solidify and build our bond deeper as she travels along this road of middle school into high school.

What are some tips you have for parents sending their kids off to high school?

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22 Comments

  1. my oldest is in what they consider middle school! he has one more year left then on to high school and I can honestly say I am NOT looking forward to it! Great tips and I’m sure they will come in handy!

  2. Congrats! This is a huge moment for them, but for you too! I remember when I went off to high school 10 years ago, I found that I was nervous but really had no reason to be! It isn’t much different than middle school, especially if you attend the same high school as your friends. The best advice I can give to you is to let them find their own footing, try not to interfere too much so that they can gain some independence and confidence. It will really, really help them! Good luck! 🙂

  3. oh my. First of all I wish you the best in this period of your childs life. It can be frustrating at times. But they sure are blessings to have at any age.

  4. my kids are not quite there yet, 6 and 7 years old… but I love the tips! it’s important to prepare your kids for any major change in their life!

  5. ahhhh I don’t want to think about this yet! lol Mine is going into 8th grade and will be right where yours is now in one short year. I hope HS is better than all of this middle school girl “drama” ugghh

  6. These are great tips! I used to suffer from anxiety years ago. I’m now pretty stress free on a daily basis, but then life is kind of simple right now. Good luck to her in High School!

  7. Ugh I don’t miss those years. I can remember feeling anxious as well. I wish her a smooth High School year.

  8. It will be many years until our kid will be in high school. From my experience, it’s best to try and enjoy high school. Get involved in school events. Transitions may be difficult in the first couple of months, but once you get the hang of things, it’ll all be okay.

  9. Not quite to this stage, but i’ve always loved preping. Even just to talk about the fact its coming and what to expect. I really work to educate my kids about the generals that will hit them in life and how deictions they make are critical.

  10. I can completely relate to the anxiety you and your daughter have been dealing with. While I don’t have it as bad as my sister has for years, I do suffer from it to a degree myself and it can make things extremely difficult. It sounds like you and your daughter and doing what you can to prepare and I think that’s fantastic! Hopefully these tips will help all sorts of kids in their transition as well.

  11. Changing schools and going from the “king of the hill” to a freshman is a very difficult change. My oldest one is going into middle school in August and I’ve been having chats with him about the change and that he will be fine – his biggest fear is of the older kids and also of getting lost. It breaks my heart!

  12. A couple of tips that worked when I was a kid was to go to summer school between intermediate and high school; you get a jump on the lay of the land, know some kids and teachers when the actual school term starts. Also, see what kind of activities the school has for making freshmen feel welcome – our school had a buddy day with an older kid the week before school started, and we learned alot about the activities and clubs, etc. that were available to us.

  13. This is a great topic about teens heading to high school. It really is a big milestone for them and the biggest thing a parents needs to do is stay connected with your child. Thanks for sharing the tips and these are great tips for parents.

  14. Great read. Middle school to high school transition is not that easy so parents must really guide their kids. These tips are really helpful so please allow me to share this to everyone.

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