I hear ya about the new set of challenges of 6th grade. He’s still in the same school, but the Dean of Students changed and there’s an entire set of new teachers. And this school places kids in classrooms based on their academics. Last year my kiddo was in a slower paced classroom. He excelled during testing and now the school is placing him in the more advanced classroom. I’m nervous about him adjusting to not only more academic pressure but also more pressure to be at the same maturity level as his peers. We’ll see how it goes. We have a plan in place to regularly check to see if he needs to move during the first semester.
The journal has been wonderful. We stock up on those 1 subject notebooks now so we have plenty throughout the school year. My son will go from telling stories, to having conversations with his notebook, to writing about how the rain pounding on the roof of the school building is very distracting. All the things that he’d normally comment on in class – go in the journal. And he still somehow manages to fully listen to the class discussion/lecture.