Between social pressures like cliques and academic ones like increased homework and a harder curriculum, middle school is a huge jump from elementary school. Your child is moving on from being well, a child and easing into their teen years. All of these confusing and stressful factors can be tough on a kid.
This is why they need to be able to depend on you as their parent to help them pull through it so they can successfully ease their way into high school. Here are a few tips for middle school so you can be the rock that your child is going to need.
1. Attend Back-To-School Night and Conferences
Just because they are moving on to a bigger school, doesn’t mean there still won’t be back-to-school nights and parent-teacher conferences. It’s very important that you attend all of these with your child.
By attending back-to-school night you get a chance to talk to their teachers to discuss different policies and find out what their expectations are for your child. Parent-teacher conferences are devised to talk about any behavioral or learning issues that your child may be having so you can see why both of these meetings are crucial.
If your child is having learning issues this will be the time where you will be discussing perhaps getting them a tutor from a place like Cedar Tutoring Academy or changing up their individualized learning plan.
2. Visit the School in Person and Virtually
By visiting the school you’ll be able to learn its layout after a little while. This may not seem like a big deal, but it does make it easier for you to talk about your child’s day with them.
If you visit the school’s website you’ll be up to date on all the important information like:
- Testing dates
- Special events such as class trips
- Schedule information for extracurricular activities
- Grades and homework assignments
You’ll also be able to see faculty contact information just in case you need to ask them about something specific regarding your child’s education.
3. Create a Good Environment for Homework
Homework is hard enough on your child once they reach middle school without you accidentally making it harder. It’s important that you set up an environment to help increase their mental focus.
You can do this by making sure the room they are working in remains quiet, well-lit, and of course, distraction-free. The room needs to be without a TV or it needs to be shut off, and they shouldn’t have their phones with them. Light music is fine though.
Be sure to check up on them every once in a while to see how they are doing and offer to sit down and help them if you notice that they are struggling with something. Just don’t give them all the answers.
4. Send Your Child to School Prepared
Set your child up to do their best in school by sending them in prepared to tackle the day. Send them off with a nutritious breakfast. If they are running late then give them a quick snack of fresh fruit or nuts to take with them.
A lot of schools offer a breakfast time so they can snack on these before the first bell. Besides being fueled by breakfast, they are also going to need to get between 8-9 hours of sleep a night.
This can be a struggle between homework, sports, and other extracurriculars. Make sure to set up a consistent bedtime routine with them and have them stick to it.
5. Help Them Learn Organization Skills
Organization skills are essential to making it through middle school. Your child will have several different teachers as well as extracurriculars that they will have to keep up with. Something as simple as an unkempt binder could cause them to lose notes and assignments.
Make sure they know how to organize their binders per subject and it’s smart to help them make a calendar to write their activities and important dates on.
6. Teach Them Study Skills
Homework isn’t the only thing that’s going to get harder when they head off to middle school. They will also need to schedule more time for studying for tests. You can help them with this rather than letting them study alone.
Sit down with them and quiz them by reading questions out to them and having them answer you back or helping them prepare flash cards. You can even create math and science problems for them to do.
7. Know the Disciplinary and Bullying Procedures
Nothing is more discouraging in middle school than bullying and unfortunately, this is the time when your child will be most vulnerable to it. Most schools have bullying policies set to protect students so make sure to familiarize yourself with it in case your child becomes a victim.
Also, go over the policy with your child so they are aware of how the school can protect them and that they don’t have to suffer in silence.
8. Be Involved
Volunteering for school events is a great way to show your child that you care about their education. However, sometimes a parent’s participation may be embarrassing to your child so, learn how to read them so you know when you’re being too much.
Make sure to also go to all of the events in school that include them. For example, if your child is in the school choir, make sure that you’re at every concert.
9. Take Time to Talk to Them About School
The best way to let your child know that you’re interested in their school life is for you to take the time to ask them questions about their school day. When your child can see that you’re interested, that will cause them to take their education a little more seriously.
Make sure that you’re not multi-tasking while talking to them and that they have your full attention. Ask them questions, look them in the eyes, and most importantly, be responsive.
Tips for Middle School: Help Your Child Survive
Middle school is a crucial and sensitive time for your child. Homework gets harder and social cliques get more brutal. Use these tips for middle school to help your child pull through it and ease seamlessly into high school.
No matter how much you help your child, if they are enrolled in the wrong middle school, their heart won’t be in their education. Keep reading for tips on enrolling your child in the right school.