Congratulations! Your child has graduated from their elementary school and has moved on to middle school. This is an exciting time for you and your child as they become more mature, independent, and worldly. They had many challenges in their past them, and plenty ahead of them as well.
Sixth grade represents a large time of transition and development, so there are many new things your child may be having a hard time with. Their academic and social lives have taken a huge leap this year, so they may need your help to manage things or correct their course if they are struggling.
Challenges They May Be Facing
There are a few areas where your child may be struggling at this crucial point in their academic career.
- Lack of organization. Whether their backpack is a mess or they’re constantly forgetting things, your child may be overwhelmed by middle school life due to a lack of organization and timemanagement skills.
- Puberty. The classic problem for every budding young adult, your child may be starting to go through puberty, if they haven’t already. This brings a load of growth as well as hormonal and bodily changes they aren’t used to, and this can be a big challenge to overcome.
- Testing anxiety. If they haven’t already, your child may be getting nervous about their standardized tests, or even their regular assessments in school. Their tests are getting longer, more complicated, and more important for their grades, so it’s natural for them to feel more pressure in this area.
- Social problems. With puberty and harder schoolwork also comes a rise in social pressures. Peer pressure is especially intense now as they are relying less on you and more on their friends and classmates. Sixth grade is also a prime time for children to experience bullying, especially from children in older grades.
How You Can Help
Luckily, there are some ways you can help your child to succeed in their sixth grade year.
- Enroll in Math Genie. Whether your child is struggling in a specific subject or with their management skills, the program at Math Genie can help. The teachers give helpful and kind feedback, allowing your child to build their scholastic skills along with their confidence. They also receive support from their classmates, allowing them to build positive relationships outside of school. Their Middle School program targets academic and social challenges specific for this age group.
- Talk to your child. If your child is experiencing bullying, peer pressure, growing pains, or other anxieties, they are the ones who will be able to give you the most direct information. Even small cues like “I hate my class” or “I can never find anything” can be huge indicators of a problem and how you can solve it together. It’s important for you to keep a good relationship with your child, even as they start to become more independent from you.
- Reward them for their hard work. Whether your child is bringing in good grades or not, keeping up with rewards can be a huge help. Tell them you are proud of their hard work and determination, rather than complimenting their intelligence, and encourage them to explore things that are interesting to them. Even small things like taking them out for a treat after a test will help with their worries and keep you as a source of love and help.
No matter how your child is struggling, it’s important to keep in mind how chaotic and challenging the transition to middle school can be for anyone. Even thinking back to how you handled sixth grade is helpful because you may remember how it was hard for you.
Genie Academy offers a range of after-school educational activities for students, encompassing areas such as mathematics, reading, writing, and coding. Spread across New Jersey, including a location in Plainsboro, these programs are specifically crafted for students from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade.1