Transitions: Elementary School to Middle School

Elementary school is all fun and games until it is time for the transition from elementary school to middle school. Middle school is a major transition in a child’s life that is filled with physical, mental, and emotional changes and includes many firsts. Like the first time with no recess, the first time to switch teachers every hour, the first time to take honors classes, and the first time to play for your school’s sports team.

During this transition not only are aspects of your child’s school changing, but your child is too. Physically, their body is growing and maturing; they are going through puberty. Mentally, they are adequately challenged in classes or it is too hard. Emotionally, they are experiencing mood swings and outbursts of anger.

Like all transitions, the transition for the child is a transition for the parent too. Parents, talk about these aspects of the elementary school to middle school transition with your child:


Today with social media use there is an increase in bullying. Kids can hide behind their phones and social media accounts to send mean texts and direct messages that they would not say in person. But just because it is not said in person doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the victim of bullying.


Puberty is a roller coaster of body changes and emotions for both boys and girls. Girls get their periods, boy’s voices change, and both boys and girls experience acne and hair growth in places that they aren’t used to. Mood changes and outbursts of anger are especially heightened when juggling the transitions of middle school.

Emphasis on academics

Academics are one of middle school’s biggest transitions from elementary school. The classes and expectations get higher, and the homework piles up. Your child may go from getting 100% on their grammar tests in elementary school to struggling with writing a paper in honors English. The transition to the academic standards in middle school can take a toll on your child mentally and psychically.


Like bullying, social media has an influence on popularity. Everyone is in competition to post the best Snapchat story or the best Instagram picture. Popularity is an image. In reality, it doesn’t matter how many likes you have on Instagram or how many people have watched your Snapchat story, it matters how good of a friend you are. Encourage your child to care about what is important, like honest and true friendships. That will make them happy, not social media popularity.

For more help and advice with the transition from elementary school to middle school check out Harvest Time Partner’s Face to Face conversation games.

Harvest Time Partners thanks contributing writer Emily Garber for her insights on life’s transitions.