Ah, middle school. That time of raging hormones and existential crises.
For most parents (and kids), middle school has gotten a bad rap for being, to put it mildly, a difficult time in everyone’s life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips from KidsHealth.org for making the middle school years a success.
A not-so-secret key to success in any school is for the parents to be involved. This means attending events like back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences every time they’re offered. Get to know your child’s teachers and administrators and their expectations for life in middle school. Establish clear channels of communication to help give your student the support they need for success.
Visit the School
While you’re on campus, get to know the physical layout of the school. Know where important locations are like the front office, the school nurse’s office, cafeteria, gym, athletic fields, auditorium and any special use spaces, like the media room or music room.
Also get to know the school’s online presence. Get familiar with the website and bookmark things like the school calendar, special events pages, testing dates, grades and homework assignments. Follow the school on social media, including any clubs or athletics your child may be participating in.
Middle school homework may be a little more intense than your child was used to in elementary school. Prepare your student to devote more after-school time to completing assignments. Make sure they have a quiet, distraction-free place (yep, no phone or TV) place to do homework and study, and check on them from time to time to see how they’re doing while they’re working. Have regular talks with your student about the work they’re doing in school and what assignments are coming up to avoid last-minute surprises.
Foster Organization Skills
Organization skills have to be learned and practiced. Help your child set up a system to keep them on track in middle school. Have them organize class information and assignments in binders, notebooks or folders and teach them how to use a calendar to track how they’re spending their time. Include non-academic commitments, too. Lists can be an effective way to make sure everything gets done. In addition to keeping a calendar, have your child make lists of things they need to do and prioritize them.