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Exploring the Developmental Milestones Faced by Middle Schoolers

developmental milestones


The middle school years are a time of significant transitions for children. At this age, it’s common for students to experience peer pressure, question authority, and develop a worldview. Of course, every child develops at his or her own unique pace. During these years, it’s particularly important that your child enjoy the strong support of a positive college prep school environment.

Cognitive Abilities
Elementary school set the stage for an explosion of learning in middle school. During these years, your prep school student will refine his or her abilities to organize ideas, make decisions, and understand abstract concepts. Students often begin to take an interest in current events and they develop their own perceptions of the way the world works. In middle school, memory retention becomes increasingly important.

Language Skills
Your middle school student will improve his or her grasp on abstract language and pragmatic language skills as they apply to a social context. For example, he or she will display a heightened understanding of metaphors, tone of voice, and nonverbal language cues. Middle schoolers often enjoy debates and “what if” discussions.

Socio-Emotional Issues
Middle school students often find themselves caught between two worlds. On one hand, they want to have their own unique self-identity; on the other, they yearn to fit in with their peer groups and be like their friends. You might notice that your middle schooler becomes increasingly sensitive to the reactions and perceived opinions of other people. Support your student’s growing independence from family life, but provide ongoing guidance on ethical dilemmas and the need to empathize with others. Since middle schoolers can sometimes react poorly to perceived criticism, try to ask open-ended questions about difficult situations.

At Orinda Academy, it is our mission to guide every child in reaching his or her full potential by administering a rigorous curriculum and fulfilling the socio-emotional needs of our students. Our smaller class sizes in Orinda, CA, allow our teachers to provide the one-on-one support that students need to thrive. To inquire about admissions, parents can call (925) 478-4504.