This school year we started the big wide world of middle school. It doesn't really feel all that different from 5th grade, to be honest. It's just one more year up the scale. She is a bit more independent in getting her work done, and it's been a little more challenging, but not too much. Our neighbor started 6th grade too, and I feel that his transition was a little harder. He has had to learn how to get from class period to class period before the tardy bell rings. In middle school, your teacher doesn't walk you everywhere like in elementary. The expectations are just more.
Our college daughter has had a lot of transitions this year as well. When there is a problem or question with a grade, she has to be the one to contact the teacher and discuss the concern with them. She has to be the one to advocate for herself. She has to keep up with all assignments, due dates, etc. on her own. It's been a big change, but she's doing great.
Adulthood kind of smacks you down, no matter what. When you graduate, all of a sudden the world expects you to handle most things by yourself and you've never had to do that before. Seeing the things my older daughters have had to learn to handle, makes me pause to wonder how I can help my youngest get ready.
But, and this is the truth, I'm not preparing her for the same world they are in. She's a lot younger and who knows how things will be then? I prepared my older kids the best I could, but things have changed so much. When I was in college, everything was on paper. We didn't even have e-mail. My daughter has so much online stuff and apps to keep up with, it's crazy. The world has changed a lot.
You know what hasn't changed, though?
that hard work gets you places
that being organized helps
that having good habits and routines makes life less stressful
that doing your best and doing the right thing is always the right thing to do
that your relationship with the Lord is the most important thing
These are things we can teach and instill in our children to prepare them for the adult world--whatever that may look like when they get there.