If something is not right with your child’s schooling, chances are it is felt by the entire family. Middle school students have been deeply affected by changes brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have been struggling with distance learning, others have been navigating an in-person learning environment that looks vastly different, and many are trying to balance both through a hybrid model. Whatever your situation, there are a few sure ways to tell your child needs a change.

change middle school

They seem distant.

If your child seems distant, especially if they don’t want to discuss anything related to school, there could be a problem. Whether it’s of an academic or social nature may require some investigating, but distant or even depressed behavior is often the first sign a young teen is struggling with school. 

Their grades are slipping.

While middle school does bring more challenging coursework, it should never cause an A-B student to suddenly start producing Cs and Ds. If grades are going downhill fast, it usually means a child is not getting enough individual attention, or that their learning style is not being met. 

They are vocal about their struggles.

If your child says things like they are bored at school, don’t want to go to school, or even hate school, it’s easy to see they need a change. Try to ask specific questions when your child makes a statement like this to get to the heart of the issue, and consider inviting your child to play an active role in choosing a new school.

They are going through appetite, sleep, or behavior changes.

The nature of early adolescence may bring about some attitude changes, but your child shouldn’t be totally off kilter. If they are not eating well, struggling with a consistent sleep pattern, or exhibit new negative behaviors, take a serious look at what is happening during their school day. 

So what DOES my middle schooler need?

Many parents ask this question, and thankfully, brain research helps us answer it. During this season of life, students crave engagement, autonomy, and a strong sense of belonging. They are learning machines who experience more rapid brain growth than any other school-age child. If your child used to love learning but suddenly feels it is a burden, rest assured — this is not how things are supposed to be. As you consider a school change, here are some key things to look for.

Values Alignment

Middle school is a formative season of life where students are mapping out their own worldview. Alignment between what is being taught at home and school is key for Christian families who desire to see their pre-teens grow in their understanding of who God is and how to make their faith their own.


Middle school students want a voice in their education. Tailored education plans allow teachers to meet students where they are, and they allow students to experience intrinsic motivation through autonomy. 


When a middle schooler feels like he or she does not belong, it can have lasting psychological effects. Pre-teens thrive in a consistent community of caring teachers, like-minded peers, and connected parents. 


The mind of a middle schooler craves stimulation, and their academic courses need to be highly engaging and fun. Look for a school that understands pre-teens need more than long lectures and tests; they desire to question, create, and produce work that is meaningful. 

Discover Lenawee Christian Academy

Lenawee Christian Academy is a highly engaging online learning community for students in grades 6-8. We invite you to discover why families like yours have switched to our school and the benefits they’ve seen by contacting us online to schedule a meeting. 

A Tuition Discount is available for a limited time! Enroll your student by February 15, 2021 and get 1/2-off the tuition for the 2021-22 school year. Use promo code LCA1231# when you apply.

This offer is extended to families with incoming 6th or 7th graders. This offer is not available to current students enrolled at Lenawee Christian School or families who reside within 30 miles of the LCS campus in Adrian, MI