I am reading the book Success in Middle School: A Transition Road Map with my 11-year-old daughter. I believe that the key word in the title is “transition.” I picked that word instead of “success” because I think success becomes a very personal definition for each student. Those definitions will range from success equaling academic records alone, to success defined by how proud and fulfilled a student feels as a whole child. Transition, however, is something that all students moving from elementary school to middle school go through. I wanted to share with you the topic areas in this book. They catch our attention as we strategize how to help during this transition.


  • Logistics: What’s different in the middle school schedule and layout? (Lockers, changing classrooms, etc.)
  • Study Habits: How do you step up your accountability for your learning and your grades? How can you best organize yourself?


  • Meaningful Friendships: What do you value in a friend? How will you choose friends?
  • Developing Compassion: How do you appreciate differences? How do you deepen your relationships?
  • Connecting with Others: How will you meet new people and get to know them? How will you know when you’re with the wrong group?
  • Healthy Boundaries: How do you set appropriate limits?


  • Nuturing Brain and Body: How do you take care of your health to be your best?
  • Learning to Take Risks: How do you learn which are appropriate risks that help you grow?
  • Attitude: How do you remain optimistic and envision your own success?

As my daughter and I work through the book I will blog on the sections that strike me as most insightful.  For example, I really like introducing the concept and the vocabulary word, “accountable” to our upcoming middle schoolers because accountability is something that we all learn and work on for our entire lives! Our kids are starting to think more concretely and they can begin to understand examples of being accountable for their school work, actions, and decisions. In this book, accountable is defined as: “responsible to someone or for some action.”

Run this word by your young student and let me know what kinds of reactions you receive!

Mama J is a published writer who has a passion for the topics of family dynamics and relationships. She specializes in magazine articles and personal essays. Stay tuned for her updated website at www.dianefromme.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply