Middle school can be a tumultuous time for your child, especially when it comes to their confidence. In this foundational time of both their academic and social careers, you want your kid to have the tools they need to succeed. So, here’s how a middle school tutor could increase your kid’s confidence.
What Makes Middle School Different
Children often rely on set routines and structure. It gives them a sense of grounding and security to know what is supposed to happen when. This is why many parents try to keep strict schedules for their children – be that at home or with set afterschool activities. But, as a child transitions from elementary to middle school, their routine is often adjusted. The structure of classes, the people they regularly interact with, and often the timing of their extracurricular activities tend to change. This adjustment period can be hard on your middle schoolers, upsetting that feeling of security they once knew.
New Learning Structure
The change in learning structure is often the most significant routine change for your child. Most middle school kids will experience rotating classrooms for the first time, rather than all subjects being taught by a single teacher in a sole classroom. They will also be expected to have greater autonomy in their learning process. A single teacher can teach hundreds of students, thus it becomes the student’s responsibility to speak up if they aren’t understanding concepts in class. But this can be a tenuous situation for a young mind, with the fear of sounding stupid in front of their classmates often stopping them from getting the help they need.
Forming New Relationships
In elementary school, your child was used to seeing just their immediate classmates on a daily basis. But as they transition to middle school, their world often opens up to include children that they’ve never had the chance to meet. Their friendships start forming less out of convenience and more about interests as they form their own unique personalities. Because of this, it is natural for students to drift away from their old friendships for the first time. And this can come with a sense of loss and unease as they realize the friends they make now may not be in their lives forever. Additionally, as they struggle with finding their identity, they may struggle with deciding where and with whom they fit in.
Why Is This Important?
All of these changes can be stressors on a young mind. Their lives become more complicated than they ever have been before. This uncertainty can then lead to a lack of confidence. This lack of confidence, in turn, can massively impact your student’s success in school. At such a crucial time in their learning career, they are getting foundational knowledge that will lead them through both middle and high school. You don’t want your child’s confidence to put their learning at risk. You want them to have strong self-efficacy, or confidence in the classroom.
How Does Confidence Affect Learning
Studies show that students with higher self-confidence levels massively outperform their peers. Middle schoolers with increased self-efficacy show a variety of improvements in the classroom, including:
- Performing better under pressure
- Responding to setbacks quicker and with more ease
- Stepping outside of their comfort zone
- Less likelihood of giving up when topics become difficult
- Increased likelihood of taking calculated risks
- Better classroom behavior
- Higher comfortability asking questions and seeking help on topics they don’t understand
Remember, the more self-efficacy your child has, the less stress they will experience in school. And seeing as stress can impact both the way memories are formed and retrieved, it is natural that middle schoolers under less stress will outperform their classmates.
What Are Signs My Child Lacks Confidence
There are many signs to look for that your child is struggling with their confidence. These tend to be highly prevalent in middle school kids as they begin understanding more social and academic skills. Thus, they may realize where they are lacking and get discouraged. Look out for the following signs in your student, and check-in with their teachers as well to see if they display:
- Self-critical commentary
- Avoidance of new tasks or challenges
- Excessive concern over the opinion of others
- Cheating on or lying about class work
- Difficulty accepting both criticism and praise
- Tendencies of blaming others/outside forces for their difficulty
- A lack of interest in learning
- Tendencies of giving up at the first sign of frustration
- Acting out in the classroom, especially with signs of regression like acting silly or baby-like
How to Build Confidence in Kids
If your child is in need of a confidence boost, tutoring is the necessary next step. Tutoring has been proven to increase children’s sense of confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. In fact, children with tutors can outperform their peers by up to 90%. Middle school kids need this confidence, especially during such formative years. So, tutoring is the best route to take.
When looking for a tutor, it is important to find someone who will customize a learning plan for your student. Make sure they are focusing on how to build confidence in your kid’s problem areas, not just going through the motions. This is why tutoring groups such as Acadomia exist. Acadomia is determined to meet your kid where they are. We specialize in personalized tutoring adapted to the student’s program, skills, and learning style. That way, our tutor can customize a plan to build your child’s self-efficacy in the most efficient way possible. With experience in both in-home and virtual tutoring, Acadomia will work with your schedule and make sure tutoring is convenient for you and your child. Check us out today, and start building your child’s confidence now!