Halstrom Blog Post
Navigating the Tricky Transition to Middle School
The difference between elementary and middle school is immense. For many preteens, it marks the departure from small, learner-focused classrooms and the introduction of busy hallways, piles of homework, and amplified social pressure. As a parent, this is a difficult time. You want what is best for your child, and often a traditional education is not the answer. At Halstrom Academy, we take the biggest fears of incoming middle schoolers and put them at ease. These fears could include:
Entry into middle school marks a total shift in the way your child experiences education. In elementary school, students spend all of their time with their teacher. Usually, students are in just one classroom, the school building itself is often smaller, as is the student-to-teacher ratio. Middle schools, on the other hand, are large, maze-like buildings. Faced with changing classes, often for the first time, students need to navigate the hallways, learn locker combinations, and decipher a schedule that sometimes sends them to as many as six different classrooms.
This isn't just overwhelming; it's counterproductive. Instead of feeling safe and supported, students fear getting lost and left behind. At Halstrom Academy, we promote a nurturing school culture with flexible schedules based on the individual student's needs. Our small-campus environments ensure students don't get lost or left behind. Additionally, our 1:1 educational environment means that students get to know their teachers on an individual basis.
Middle school is the "next step" in a child's education, which leads to peer pressure and social expectations. Clear lines are drawn based on a social hierarchy and bullying reaches an all-time high. Bullying and social pressure can then lead to a loss of confidence, anxiety, or depression.
At Halstrom, there is a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and we've worked hard to create a bully-free environment. Students cultivate tolerance, understanding, and graciousness as they learn to love learning.
One of the unfortunate markers of middle school tends to be declining grades. This isn't a surprise considering the average middle school includes more subjects, larger classes, and stressed teachers. At Halstrom, we circumvent this by focusing curricula around the students' skills, needs, and interests. As an active participant in their education, students have the chance to work one-to-one with their teacher to meet learning goals. Additionally, independent study is encouraged and technology is embraced, making learning fun and natural.