Starting 6th Grade: 5 Tips To Help Your Child

For children, starting middle school is a complicated passage, accompanied by many upheavals in the organization of their schedule. To ensure that this stage in their schooling is not too difficult, parents and children must prepare themselves. Here are 5 tips to help your child succeed in 6th grade.

1- Take stock of what will change

To succeed in 6th grade, your child first needs to know what to expect in middle school and be reassured.

The transition from CM2 to 6e is indeed accompanied by three major changes:
- the number of teachers increases from one teacher to 8 teachers
- the schedule is now broken down into one- to two-hour blocks and students must move quickly from one subject to another by changing rooms or teachers
- when they arrive at the college, the sixth graders are the little ones and fear being bullied by the big ones.

It's perfectly normal for your child to feel frightened when faced with such upheaval. To help him/her through this transition without too much stress, it is important to reassure him/her by emphasizing that some things don't change.

Basically, he will continue to be part of a class with classmates, to go to classes to work on subjects he already knows (like math or French) or that are new like modern languages and technology.

2- Accompanying the child in all the steps of his return to school

Because entering 6th grade is a pivotal moment in your child's schooling, you need more than ever to help them prepare for the start of school.

This means not only buying school supplies in advance but also preparing his things with him at the start, each night for the next day, so that he gets familiar with his new schedule and doesn't forget the materials to bring for each class.

You should also support him during the whole month of September, asking him questions about his day, his teachers etc. while he gets familiar with his new environment. And of course, tell him that the beginning is the most difficult period but that, even afterwards, you will be there to help him throughout the year.

3- Avoid putting pressure on him

Entering middle school is of course an important step that involves more personal work on the part of the students and taking assessment tests in September, in French and math.

This key stage in schooling is dreaded by students but also by many parents... If you want your child to experience serenity when entering 6th grade, you must not communicate your stress or put pressure on him.

During this pivotal year when personal work becomes more important, also be sure to not overload your child with extracurricular activities. Limit them to one or two activities per week, with a focus on sports to help them blow off steam and relieve stress.

4- Teach him to get organized

With the entry into 6th grade, the organization of school work becomes much more complex. The schedule is more fragmented and sometimes varies from week to week.

The main skills middle schoolers need to develop are organizational skills as well as greater autonomy in managing their homework.

To teach your child to be organized, you need to be more present for him/her the first few weeks. Keep an eye on his textbook and make sure he has done his bag and homework correctly.

Also, so he doesn't get overwhelmed with homework, teach him to look ahead from week to week and prioritize his assignments. If your child hasn't written everything down properly, be aware that most colleges now use an interactive textbook where all homework assignments are listed as well as planned field trips.

5- Encourage him to reach out to others

When entering 6th grade, children also dread not finding their elementary school friends, not having any friends or even being hazed by the older kids.

Even if your child feels lonely because his or her old friends from elementary school are in a different school, reassure him or her! It is always possible to make new friends when you make the effort to reach out to others.

Field trips, art workshops or team sports sessions are all opportunities to bond with new peers.

On the other hand, if your child is being bullied by the older kids and you have concerns about his or her well-being in middle school, you can contact his or her homeroom teacher to report the problem.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Département des Yvelines on Flickr
Tags: middle school, homework, stress, elementary school, textbook, sports, pressure, French, bullied, Well-being, listed, hazed, eye, bond, autonomy, Steam, extracurricular activities, technology, perfectly normal, CM2, stock, homeroom,
In French: Entrée en 6e : 5 conseils pour aider votre enfant
En español: Empezando el sexto grado: 5 consejos para ayudar a su hijo
In italiano: Inizio della prima media: 5 consigli per aiutare vostro figlio
Auf Deutsch: Eintritt in die 6. Klasse: 5 Tipps, wie Sie Ihrem Kind helfen können
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