Middle school is a time of an awful lot of change for your student. When your child is in middle school, they’re experiencing rapid brain development. The realms of social emotional learning become a major priority for your middle schooler’s brain, and you enter into a period where teaching them how to practice empathy increases in importance. That means that when your child is in middle school, although academics are essential, having time to explore who they are and how to become a kinder, more caring human being who connects with others is very important, too, because that’s the part of your child’s brain that is trying hard to develop.
During this developmental period, middle school students’ brains are also very much drawn to pleasure-seeking. They could be passionate about a hobby one week and completely ambivalent about it the next week! You might think you know exactly what to buy your child for their birthday, only to find out that whatever the “thing” was is not the hot thing any more. Friend groups shift, grow, add, subtract, create drama, mesh like siblings, and then shift again before you even have a solid grasp of everyone’s names.
And because many middle school students’ brains are simply not at an ideal stage for major, in-depth academics for six to eight hours each day, learning how to focus on academics is one of the most important skills middle school kids can learn. At Excel Middle School, our programs are 100% online and self-paced, giving your student the perfect balance of time to grow academically while still allowing them time to explore the world outside of academics, too.
In sixth grade, students take either 4 or five classes including the core classes of English, math, social studies, and science. Sixth grade students have the option for a single elective. It’s up to you whether you want your student to focus on a fifth class or not. Since middle school can be a tricky transition, we leave that up to each individual family to decide for their child. You are the best judge of how much to put on your child’s academic plate.
7th grade & 8th grades
In seventh and eighth grades, since students are gradually becoming more capable of longer periods of focused academics, students are expected to enroll in 5 classes: English, math, social studies, science, and an elective.
Middle School electives are a good opportunity for your child to explore topics that can help them become a more successful high school student. Sixth and seventh grade students can choose from Internet Safety/Study Skills or Media Arts, and eighth grade students can also choose from international languages like Spanish 1 or 2 and French 1 or 2. Eighth grade students who take a language course can then transfer the credit to high school, giving them the chance to get ahead on their graduation requirements.
During this transitional time period we call middle school, it can be hard for your child to focus on academics. Up until around middle school age, your child’s brain moved at a much slower rate. However, once their brain starts that middle school age group brain development, things really start popping. Their brains are whizzing around so much that they can hardly even keep themselves on track. And even though it can be pretty frustrating and at times even comical watching them figuring out who they are and what life is all about, their brain development phase definitely explains a lot about why middle school is such a funny time in your child’s life. This crazy time is why we’ve worked hard at EMS to create engaging courses without overloading our students.
About Excel Middle School and Excel High School
Excel Middle School and Excel High School are accredited online schools that offer many different academic program options for students grade 6 through graduation. Our fully online, self-paced programs fit around your family’s schedule, and our support team is here to help you along the way. If you’re not already a student with Excel but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still got questions? Feel free to reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.