5 Ways to Help a Middle Schooler Adjust to Post-Holiday Education


Most pre-teens are ecstatic to be able to take a break from school during the winter holiday. The middle school years are tough because kids are being introduced to a ton of academic concepts that are much more complicated than what they learned in elementary school. Simultaneously, they are experiencing social and emotional growth and beginning to find their first steps of independence. Although having a couple of weeks off in December is a great thing, it means students will have to adjust to going back to school to complete the second half of the academic year. The adjustment can be smooth or difficult, and there are a few things that make the situation easier for both student and parent – our private Orange County middle school tutors are here to help.

1.  Get caught up on reading

One of the things that most middle schoolers complain about is the amount of reading they need to complete their classroom assignments. Many kids are sent home with novels to read and textbooks to skim through but are otherwise caught up in various family and holiday activities. If kids have something due within the first week or two of going back to school, it’s important that they have an opportunity to get caught up on their reading. Many students at this stage of their education need a little bit more time to work on reading comprehension and understand what’s going on with different characters and plot points. If they are all caught up in both their fiction and textbook reading students are much more likely to have a smooth transition coming back from winter break.

2. Review difficult concepts

Winter break is also an excellent time to review difficult concepts. Although middle schoolers will need plenty of time to rest and relax from the first half of the school year, spending even one or two hours focusing on topics they’re struggling with can help them when they go back to school. Attempting to focus on several topics at one time, which is essentially mandatory during the school months, can become overwhelming. Thus, winter break allows students the opportunity to concentrate on just the things they need extra help with. This can make a student’s life much less stressful later on (READ: 5 Things to do this December to End the Year Strong).

3. A fresh start for time management

Very few middle school students are experts in time management. In fact, it’s probably the first time that students have ever attended to manage their schedule. As a result, the first semester of the school year in 6th grade is usually full of time management fails. This is OK because winter break is a great time to encourage students to give themselves a fresh start. Perhaps they just have too many activities in their schedule, or maybe they need to focus more on one concept and less on others. This is a great opportunity for students to start learning about work-life balance, so they have the concept down once they start high school.

4. A healthy daily routine

It’s also a good idea to reintroduce the importance of a healthy daily routine over the winter break. Once the holiday feasting is over students should have the opportunity to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and go to bed with enough time to get a full night’s sleep. Many students stop exercising in the winter when it gets colder but moderate exercise is essential to physical health and mental balance.

5. Allow time for independence

Many middle school students feel a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of time they spend with family over the winter break. They’re still young, but they’re starting to feel like they want to make their decisions and do their own thing. If possible, it’s great for them to have a couple of hours each day where they get to choose what activity they want to do. Maybe they want to play outside or read their favorite book. Perhaps they want to hang out with their best friend at a coffee shop. If a small amount of independence can be added into their routine, they’re more likely to feel good about going back to a strict schedule when classes start up again.

Our experienced Orange County middle school tutors will help your kids get back in the swing of things once holiday break is over. Call us today for more information.

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