4 Classes Most Middle Schoolers Will Take

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3 min read

During middle school, your child will likely start having more options in their academic schedule. They may get to choose a foreign language, in addition to electives like art, home economics, music, and technology. Their core classes are likely to stay the same, and are usually less flexible than, for example, in high school and college. While there may be some variance depending on the school, there are four classes that your middle schooler can generally expect to take—algebra, language arts, biology, and social studies.

It can be beneficial for your student to know what they can expect to learn during their middle school years. Keep reading to learn about the four classes most middle schoolers will take. 

1. Algebra

Algebra (a branch of mathematics) refers to the use of symbols and is the foundation for many math- and science-based areas of study, including engineering and medicine. In this course, your middle schooler will learn items like the following: 

  • Solving for x
  • The FOIL method

Your middle schooler may need a graphing calculator, but be sure to check with your child’s teacher or school before purchasing one. Note, too, that some middle schools offer pre-algebra in addition to algebra courses. 

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2. Language arts

A middle school language arts course will continue to build on the skills, concepts, and genres your child has already been exposed to in elementary school. They’ll likely learn how to write longer essays, learn how to more deeply analyze a character and sustain a longer argument, and learn how to use resources to support a thesis. They’ll also likely learn how to use citations. 

Continue to encourage your child to read material they find interesting, like a topic that relates to one of their hobbies or other passions. Graphic novels, podcasts, and audio books at this age are great as well. Reading aloud together is an excellent activity for middle schoolers too. 

3. Biology

While most elementary schools generally teach science, a lot of middle schools may offer biology as a specific course or have biology as a major unit within a general science class. In a biology unit or course, students will learn more specifically about life and living organisms—everything from insects, to plants, to people. They’ll learn about genetics and the human body. They’ll also learn about how living organisms interact with the earth, using and transforming energy. In biology, your middle schooler may also experience their first dissection.

[RELATED: 5 Tactics to Encourage Academic Confidence in Your Middle Schooler]  

4. Social studies

Social studies is a broad term that many people use synonymously with history, but it actually encompasses geography, sociology, civics, anthropology, government, and economics, in addition to history. Expect your child to learn about local, state, national, and international aspects of each of these studies. Social studies assignments are sometimes connected to a community service project or other kind of civic engagement. Discussing the news and current events with your child is a great way to engage with what they’re learning in social studies. 

[RELATED: How Parents Can Help Students Set—and Achieve—Academic Goals

These four courses will help your middle school student practice foundational skills and set them up for success in high school and college.

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