Kids do think ahead sometimes, especially when it comes to big transitions. Fifth-graders moving up to Middle School worry about the schedule, changing classrooms and teachers, lockers, and mixing with older kids. Eighth-graders moving to Upper School often cite preparing for college, tougher courses, more choices, and whether they can balance everything. Parents worry about these things, too, as they try to anticipate their child’s path forward. Imaginings of what might be often distracts them from the excitement of what’s to come.
The cure: trying it! Once students, with support, experience a day in the life at the next level and see what actually happens, the fears fade away. That’s why Allendale Columbia does a Next Steps program every February for fifth-graders and eighth-graders. (more…)
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Upper School
There are some easy pre-school preparations that tweens can tackle on their own for heading back to school – gathering their own supplies, getting summer reading finished up, and having sports forms ready to hand in. Other school-ready concepts may not be as easy to tackle solo for middle school students. To help early adolescents head back to school in top form, here are a few recommendations:
Sleep on it: For some students, summer becomes a time of shifting bed times, staying up late and sleeping in. Making the sleep transition back to normal school hours can be a tricky one. According to the CDC, school aged teens need between 9 and 10 hours of sleep a night. With school right around the corner, try to encourage your middle schooler to head to bed closer to the time of their normal schedule during the school year. With modified sports, homework, and a different start time than the summer months, their physical and mental demands will require more sleep.
Food for thought: For some households, the kitchen is open 24-7, and tweens find themselves in the fridge and pantry looking for snacks whenever their growing appetite demands. If you are a home that allows for free-range children, transitioning back to three meals a day may be an adjustment for kids. Having good conversations around food choices, healthy snacks, and eating in general can be a great way to get them back to big and early breakfasts, school lunches, and later dinners.
Dog days of summer: Hair brushing, deodorant, and overall physical appearance may not be on the top priority list for tweens during the summer. Getting them back in the swing of things when it comes to hygiene will ease early morning battles that might occur over showers and wardrobe. Getting into a morning or evening shower routine, laying clothes out the night before, and keeping the deodorant and toothbrush in an easily accessible place can make the mornings go much more smoothly when headed back to school.
If the shoe fits: According to Teens Health, a major growth spurt occurs at the time of puberty, which is usually between age 8 to 13 years in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys. With your luck, this probably happened over the summer, and recently purchased school shoes and clothes no longer fit your growing and stretching tween. To avoid blisters and foot pain, check your child’s shoes before they head off to walk the hallways of school. Buying new school clothes seems to be a ritual for some households, and shoes are one thing that is often neglected. If buying a new wardrobe was not in your economic summer plans, have your tween try on their clothes so they can find those that best fit for heading back to school.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade