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6 Tips for a Successful Transition to Middle School

By: Alexis Krolian

Middle school is a big adjustment for both children and parents. Your child is going from the oldest class in primary school, to the bottom of the stack in middle school. It can seem as if overnight their level of personal responsibility has grown. The caliber of work increases, and students are expected to do more on their own. Your child is going to be moving through a fast-paced schedule and will have to get used to all new teachers and teaching styles. Middle school can be a big change from the “hand-holding” and familiarity of primary school. As difficult as this transition can be, there are ways to make it easier.

Planning for Middle School
In middle school, organization and planning are keys to long-term success. With a proper structure in place, your child will be in the best position to succeed. Here are some helpful tips for getting your child ready for the transition to middle school...



6 Tips for Choosing the Right Book for Your Preschooler

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1. A well-chosen book will have engaging illustrations.
Look for colorful and fun illustrations that bring the story to life and engage your child’s imagination. The author Jan Brett hides clues to the story in her beautifully illustrated children’s books which adds another layer of fun and interest to her stories.

Books from Eric Carle and Ezra Jack Keats are also must-haves for the young child. Their stories are fun, and the illustrations are bright and colorful as well as being beautiful art. Talk about the illustrations with your child and maybe recreate some with your child.

2. A well-chosen book is worded well.
A well-chosen book is worded in a way that draws the reader in and makes them want to find out what happens next. There is a flow to the text, and it is clear and not confusing for the young child.

Some of the best children’s books use rhyme, repetition and humor to tell the story. A well-chosen book will also introduce new words and help to expand your child’s vocabulary.

3. A well-chosen book teaches.

A well-chosen book teaches your child something. Books that teach your child about the world around them. Look for books about seasons, animals, history, holidays and other lands.

Books are also a great way to address a behavior that your child may be exhibiting. Books like Hands Are Not for Hitting and the other books in the Martine Agassi, Ph. D. Best Behavior Series teach your child in a gentle and fun way.

4. A well-chosen book has a fun and great ending.
A well-chosen book has a wonderful ending where the problem is solve or there is a fun and unexpected turn at the end. If your child wants to hear it over and over again, you know you have selected a winner!

5. Don’t forget about classic children’s books.
Like a good navy blazer, classics never go out of style. Staples in your child’s library may include:

• Where The Wild Things Are
• Goodnight Moon
• Corduroy
• The Very Hungry Caterpillar
• Amelia Bedelia (series of books)
• The Snowy Day
• Green Eggs and Ham
• Harold and the Purple Crayon
Also be sure to include books of fairytales and fables.

(NOTE: The above books – and so much more – are available at Words Bookstore in Maplewood. Shop local!)

6. Introducing chapter books

As your child’s attention span begins to expand, you may want to introduce chapter books. Bedtime is a wonderful time to read a chapter-a-night to your child. Childhood classics such as Peter Pan and Charlotte’s Web are two favorites.

Pass on the love of reading to your child. Reading to and with your child will nurture a life-long love of books. It is a great way to spend time with your child.

Whether it be an afternoon snuggled up with a pile of books, a day at the library or a bedtime story, READ, READ, READ!