Four Reasons Why the 8th Grade Matters
As adolescents begin their transition into adulthood, their academic performance and attitudes can have a profound impact on their future. The 8th grade, in fact, is a crucial year for most students. According to a research report by ACT, students who are not on track for college and career readiness by 8th grade are unlikely to attain that level of readiness by high school graduation.
1) Harder Coursework
The coursework is getting harder, and students are often asked to apply multiple subjects into a single project. Schoolwork is now a more significant part of life, and 8th graders must start putting forth more effort to maintain high grades. Their grades and performance will impact their coursework in high school and, ultimately, their path to college.
2) Groups & Social Development
At this age, adolescents are developing physically and socially, while facing many social pressures. Students are learning more about themselves as well as their talents and abilities. It is also a crucial year for them to gain – or lose – self-confidence and motivation. Students who find success in the 8th grade, whether it be in a subject, sport and/or club, tend to experience more success in the later grades.
3) Successful Habits
In 8th grade and beyond, school is not just about making high grades. The organizational skills, time management, and study habits of students affect their grades as much, if not more, than their intelligence. Eighth grade is the time for students to start organizing and developing smart and practical lifelong habits.
On their journey to adulthood, most 8th graders have increased responsibilities both at home and school, yet they are exposed to more choices. Deciding to do homework after school or play video games with friends depends on the student’s priority. Priorities that are established in the 8th grade will likely be the same in the high school, so it is important for students to determine their long-term goals so they can make better decisions.
Is Your 8th Grader on Track?
Eighth grade truly sets the path for high school and college success, therefore, it is a crucial time to steer students in the right direction. If you are not sure if your eighth-grader is on the right track, make an appointment with his or her guidance counselor for an assessment and for any possible course changes.
If you have an 8th grader that is struggling to make passing grades or seems unmotivated you might consider alternatives to traditional public school education such as a boarding school that removes distractions and helps to focus students.
Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas, is a college-preparatory boarding school for young men in grades 8-12. For more information about MMA, visit our website: http://www.mma-tx.org