10 Differences Between Middle School and High School

Class Choices

In most middle schools, with their emphasis on community-building and nurturing students, kids don't get much choice in what classes they take. Students might be put in different groups based on skill level, but in general, there's little variation in the courses. Sixth grade is American history, seventh grade is pre-algebra, and that's about it. High school is a whole new ballgame, with seemingly endless choices -- which is exciting, obviously, but it can be overwhelming. And the scheduling is always tough, too: What happens if your trombone-playing child is also a math whiz, and advanced trigonometry is at the same time as band practice? Or if physics conflicts with French? There might not be an easy answer or a quick fix, but if parents, teachers and counselors work together, they can create a balanced schedule.