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Going to seventh grade is exciting. Being in seventh grade is distressing. Overcoming seventh grade is a quest for the strong-willed. Despite being many people’s favorite or even lucky number, the seventh grade can be a dreadful period for many children. Many seventh graders are preteens turning into teenagers and the intense cognitive, physical, and emotional changes they undergo can manifest as uncomfortable contradictions. Like our faith journey, where we are in the already but not yet reality, these kids are no longer little kids, but they are not big kids yet, either. 

Without having to move schools, moving up from sixth to seventh grade is a leap in transition. The online resources for finding the right school for your children are endless out there, with institutions and experts sharing their perspectives from varying angles. If you’re a Christian parent, or you simply want a nurturing and supportive environment in which your preteen can safely navigate these changes in their bodies and mind, then we’re here to help!

4 Tips for Christian Parents in Choosing a Middle School

1. Pay a Visit

As you browse through various school websites trying your best to gain insight into what the school offers, schedule an on-site visit to survey the school grounds and their facilities. Bring your kids along to see how they feel being at the school; if they enjoy the play areas, the outdoor space, or the library if they are into reading! Besides, it is all about the vibe these days.

As a potential applicant, be confident in asking about all things that matter to you and your child.

  • How does the school champion each student’s gift set? Are they merely academics-driven?
  • What is the school’s correction or discipline policy?
  • How do they help students struggling with learning needs?
  • How is faith integrated or practiced at school?
  • How involved are the parents of this school?

As you consider these things and more, discuss with your spouse and child and ask about their takeaway post-visit. Look into any parent forums for a more transparent and honest review of the school.

Discover. Learn. Thrive.

2. Consider All Things with Your Child at Heart 

Being a Christian preteen/teenager in the 21st century in a world dominated by social media and technology can be overwhelming as they try to reconcile two contradictory worlds. Parents and teachers are at the forefront of children’s learning, and we can only do so much if we are not educating them ourselves, otherwise known as homeschooling. Yet, if we choose to entrust our children to an institution then we must understand what they are offering our children and how it can shape their future.

As you put your children and their learning at the center, consider their learning style, their passion, and whether the potential school provides avenues for students to explore or channel their passion and interest. Find a school with the right foundation for your children, especially if a biblical foundation is of importance to you. We need to be reminded that our seventh graders are at the age of wanting to fit in without having a firm foundation of their identity yet. The guiding question we could ask ourselves is, therefore, how can we best support and prepare them while showering them with so much grace for being in such a challenging phase?

3. Determining Priorities

At the end of the day, there is not one school that has it all. Whether its affordable tuition fees, outstanding facilities, a great curriculum in line with our beliefs, impressive after-school programs, or simply convenient distance, there is bound to be one box unchecked. As we remind ourselves of our effort to give the best for our children, all we can do is look at our priorities. Are we prioritizing their spiritual growth, are we shaping their sports career, or are we pursuing academic goals? Every parent has their own parenting style and goals. Some of you are ambitious, while some of you are laid back. We will not always get it right, but we can trust that God can bring something good out of any decisions we choose to make.

Read more: Parenting Education: Parents as Lifelong Learners

4. Seek Out Indicators That the School Supports Children’s Social and Emotional Development

The preteen and early teenage years can present significant challenges, making it crucial to select a learning environment that not only emphasizes academic achievement but also prioritizes the well-being of students. Consider asking about programs or initiatives focused on building empathy, compassion, and respect among students, reflecting the Christian values of love and community. Inquire about the availability of counseling programs, reflecting the Christian notion of caring for one another’s emotional and spiritual needs.

Some schools demonstrate their commitment by assigning dedicated counselors to students throughout their middle school journey, mirroring the Christian concept of consistent support and guidance. Additionally, assess how the school facilitates the transition for incoming students, particularly sixth graders, into the middle school environment, fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion reminiscent of Christian fellowship.

Read more: Emotional Intelligence in School: Diving into IQ vs. EQ


In conclusion, navigating the transition to seventh grade is akin to embarking on a challenging journey, one that requires resilience and guidance, much like our spiritual journey. As parents, especially those grounded in Christian values, selecting a middle school for your child that aligns with our beliefs is paramount. By visiting schools, considering our children’s needs, determining our priorities, and seeking indicators of social and emotional support, we can ensure that our preteens and teenagers are equipped to navigate this critical phase of their lives with grace and strength. Just as we lean on our faith for guidance, let us also lean on the values of love, compassion, and community to guide our decisions and support our children as they navigate the challenges of seventh grade and beyond.

If you’re interested to know more about the life of a seventh-graders at Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH), come and visit our campus to meet and chat with our team! Click here to book your visit day.

Your Journey to Lifelong Learning Starts Here

Sekolah Pelita Harapan

Established in 1993, Sekolah Pelita Harapan (SPH) has become a trusted International Christian School in Jakarta providing Christian education for Indonesian and expatriate families. As a dedicated partner in education, SPH seeks to empower families with personalized programs and resources, fostering academic excellence, nurturing faith, building character, and facilitating their children's personal growth.