Making a Successful Transition into Middle School and High School
Summary: Making a Successful Transition into Middle School and High School
1. There is a physical/mental/emotional transition from the grade school student to the older student. This results in moving from concrete understanding to abstract understanding, and we want to help our kids successfully make this transition.
2. While the experts say it happens around ages 10-12, we want to observe our own children carefully to see when the transition occurs on an individual basis. Girls may mature in their thinking more quickly than boys, some kids are early bloomers and some are late bloomers. We don't want to hold our kids back, or require more of them than they are able to do.
3. The 'middle school' years involve lots of transition. One doesn't wake up one morning as an abstract thinker ready to conquer Algebra and Debate, it is a training and progression.
4. Some subjects lend themselves more easily than others to this higher level thinking, don't feel like every subject has to evolve into advanced reasoning in one particular time period.
5. Reading aloud on the couch fits in PERFECTLY with the advancing years, we can just expect to have more discussion and challenging, thought provoking questions requiring advanced thinking, rather than simple narration and comprehension in the older student.
6. We may want to study 'logic' as coursework. This helps in all areas of study
7. We want to be wary of 'informing' our children to death. The middle years are when we should see less emphasis on factual recall and more discussions about 'why' and 'how'.
8. These ideas can be applied to the curriculum you prefer. Some books may have it built in, "Veritas Press Omnibus", others need a little encouraging "Abeka". As a teacher, be looking for the application questions and critical thinking questions at the end of the sections your students are reading. Again, we are assuming there is good factual recall, and we are trying to build on that and take it to the 'advanced thinking' phase.
9. Use 'logic' and mock trials with your kids to help them analyze their own behaviors and thinking.