Entering middle school can be a challenge for many students. Follow these tips to help your child succeed!
Sit down with your child to set expectations and prep them for what’s coming: “School is going to get more challenging this year. Let’s talk about what to expect and how you’re going to handle it.”
Tour the campus before school begins to help make the transition less overwhelming.
Make a map of the school with your child and mark your child’s schedule on the map.
Take a “show and tell” approach to getting your child organized, meaning you first show your kids how to do a task. Then, you gradually take the training wheels off and have them do tasks themselves. For example, lay everything out on the table that needs to go in your child’s backpack; notebooks, lunch, field trip money, water, etc. Have your child put everything in their backpack. Do this for several weeks. Then, have your child take on these tasks independently. (Yes, this approach takes longer, but the long-term results are worth it!)
Use the same approach to ensure homework assignments are done if your child is struggling with this responsibility. Check that assignments are done every few nights. Then, after a few months, give your child more independence and stop checking on homework completion.
Know what’s going on in school and due dates for homework, projects and other learning tasks. That way, when you ask your child, “What big projects do you have coming up next week?” you’ll be able to check whether your child is on top of their workload.
Show your child how to organize binders, set up assignment calendars and use an academic planner.
Let your child advocate for themselves, such as if they disagree with a grade or they need to chat with a school advisor about any social issues.
Model the behaviors you want from your child and make sure you aren’t sending mixed messages. Are you setting a good example? For example, do you arrive on time? Keep appointments? Strive for excellence in your work? Try to improve? Show respect to those in positions of importance?