Beginning a new school is pretty tough for any of our children, but when out tween begins middle school even the more confident child can have some frustrations and anxieties. How best can they begin to feel a part of the new community of middle school?
Clubs! Tween’s need their group or their pack! Clubs are a wonderful answer to feeling included and assured of friends!
FUN- Just because it is school doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Learning about their talents and discovering (perhaps for the first time) new interests brings both shy and extroverted tweens to new and exciting levels. Let’s encourage our child to pursue what he/she knows they are talented in but also to expand on new interests. There are typical clubs like art, music, yearbook, band or orchestra and all just waiting to bring fresh looks into what they already know. Less traditional are scrapbooking, green club, leadership club, math, building clubs, technology, and many other clubs.
NOT BORING BUT.. SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT- It’s not just about ABC’s or math like in elementary school. Now school community becomes a variety and variety makes a difference in how our tween views learning. Without the school clubs there would be no extracurricular plays, art shows, technology contests, yearbooks to collect, school leaders, competitions of all sorts and the list keeps on growing.
NO WASTE OF TIME– Making friends for most middle school children is on the top two of their list of: How Best to Survive School! Schools are now very much aware of the ‘bully’ and are proactive in seeing the bully’s demise. Clubs are a great tool and guard against bullying. It’s not a waste of time when your child comes home with smiles and good attitude because of the new like-minded friends they met in their club. Clubs can be a shot in the arm for your tween’s attitude even in their school work. Clubs can and do make a whole lot of difference!
LEARNING COMMITMENT/RESPONSIBILITY– Middle school clubs are not going to demand a lot of your child’s time so that they have no time- but they will require meetings and some do programs/events. This is all good. Your child’s peers can teach commitment and responsibility in a realistic way! Working with their peer group helps children to get along and to be a team member- a lot like real life, right?! They will learn social etiquette even when dealing with kids they do not especially like as well as learning to work with sudden challenges. So as a parent we need to make sure we talk over with our child, the time elements and the load of responsibility that may come along with it.
PAVES THE WAY INTO THE HIGH SCHOOL- Just like adults need resumes for a good position, our kids need a record on their middle school record that says: “This child was in this club and that club” The gifts/talents they discover they process in middle school will be greatly enhanced and better protected as they come into the High School with interests already in tow.
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