by: Phil Bettison, Early Elementary Pastor, Johnny Kluever, Preteen Pastor & Matt Feria, Middle School Pastor
Fall can be a difficult time. Summer was fun, schedules were crazy, and getting “back into the groove” has it challenges. But, once a rhythm is established, there is peace there. For some, there can be BIG transitions! Like a new grade or a new school. Here are some practical tips for helping your child, and YOU be successful with new things.
Transitioning into Elementary School: For some kids, they’ll be in the same building, which is comforting. Familiar territory and familiar faces can be anchoring for their young souls. However, new teachers, new rooms, and possibly new classmates can come with new challenges. What’s the best thing you can do? Talk. Beyond “how was school today?”, find creative ways to find out how your child’s day went and learn what they’ve experienced. A few examples are:
- When were you the happiest?
- What did your teacher say most today?
- What was your favorite part of lunch?
- Is there anyone in your class who needs a time out?
- How did you help someone today?
Engaging your child this way will help find out how their day was and learn more about who they and who they are becoming are as well.
Many things are worth waiting for and many things are short lived. A kiddo’s time in Summit can fly by as many times 4th and 5th grade school years do as well. But the valuable growth and maturation process of a Preteen during their Summit years is truly vital. 6th graders move on to their Middle School years more prepared for the things they will face and 4th graders begin their Preteen journey eager to develop in gigantic ways and in their relationship with Jesus.
The best way for a 4th grader to get engaged and meet new people is to attend services on the weekend as well as Summit Night Events outside church time. These events normally take place on Monday nights at Eastern Hills and are an easy invite to neighbors and classmates that might not come to church otherwise. We hope to see you there for an awesome time!
Transitioning students into Middle School: It is time for students to enter into the world of middle school that they have only heard stories about: this mysterious world of mean teachers, impossible tests, and terrifying giants (also known as 8th graders). While middle school is not usually as scary as it is made out to be, it is ALWAYS a serious adjustment for kids. One of the reasons that middle school can be tough is that, as kids begin to experience more freedom, they go through an intense process of figuring out who they are- of finding their identity. In times of transition, the most important thing that a student can know is that their identity is found in Christ. They are defined not by their status, their successes, or their failures, but by their Savior’s love for them. It is this knowledge that can make big changes, no matter how scary, just a little bit easier.