Your Child's Middle School Schedule

Girl studying with her mother at home

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Going to middle school for the first time can be exciting for both you and your child. One of the most exciting moments that a new middle schooler experiences is when he or she gets her middle school schedule for the first time.

Your child’s school schedule is important: it will list all of the classes your child will take during the school year, as well as the teachers assigned to your student. Here’s what parents and 'tweens need to know about school schedules.

The Middle School Schedule 

Your student will likely sign up for classes before he leaves elementary school. The middle school guidance office will send a form home with your student to fill out for the next year.

Many of your child’s classes will already be determined. Most students are required to take an English course, a math course, a science course, and a history or social studies course.

But there will also be room in your child’s course for an elective. An elective is a course that is not required, but that benefits your child’s education.

Some students opt to take music courses, such as chorus or band, as their elective. Others prefer to study a foreign language or take an art class as their elective.

Your child’s schedule may arrive in the middle of summer, a few weeks before the school year begins. Many schools still mail their schedules to students, or you may receive the schedule by email. Other schools will distribute your child’s schedule at the school open house or orientation.

When your child receives his or her schedule, the first thing they’ll do is find out if their friends are in any of their classes. Besides, your child may end up meeting new people in his classes, and grow his circle of friends.

If your child finds that his best friends are not in his classes, resist the urge to change his schedule around. Middle schoolers aren’t little kids anymore, and they need to learn how to be flexible.

'Tweens will also react to their teachers. If they’ve heard negative things about a teacher, they may ask you for permission to switch into another class. If this happens, ask your child to give the teacher a shot.

Some 'tweens may love a teacher that other students do not. In addition, it’s important for your child to learn how to get along with a variety of personalities, and middle school is the time to do that.

Class Schedule 

Your child’s class schedule will likely explain the order of his classes: homeroom; first period; second period; third period; lunch; fourth period; fifth period; sixth period; and so on. Also listed on his schedule will be the names of his teachers as well as the room number for the class. Your child’s lunchtime will also be indicated on his class schedule.

Block Scheduling 

Many middle schools schedule classes according to blocks. Block scheduling will rotate classes either by day or by semester. For example, on a daily rotation, your child may attend Math, History, Gym, and Art on Day 1. On Day 2 he may have Foreign Language, English, Science, and Band. The schedule will rotate every day.

On a semester rotation, your child may take Math, History, Gym, and Art the first semester. The second semester she may take a Foreign Language, English, Science, and Band.

Many parents, students, and educators prefer the block system of scheduling, as it can help students focus on their areas of studies, and prevents them from having to juggle six separate classes at a time.

Be positive and excited when your child gets his school schedule. Try to start the year off on a positive note, so that your 'tween puts his best foot forward on that very first day of school.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Romero C, Master A, Paunesku D, Dweck CS, Gross JJ. Academic and emotional functioning in middle school: the role of implicit theories. Emotion. 2014;14(2):227-234. doi:10.1037/a0035490

  2. Spengler M, Brunner M, Damian RI, Lüdtke O, Martin R, Roberts BW. Student characteristics and behaviors at age 12 predict occupational success 40 years later over and above childhood IQ and parental socioeconomic status. Dev Psychol. 2015;51(9):1329-1340. doi:10.1037/dev0000025

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.