7 Tips To Help Your Children Through Middle School
Parental support is critical in assisting preteens and teens to succeed in middle school. However, as students become more independent throughout these years, it can be difficult for parents to recognize which circumstances require parental participation and which require a more behind-the-scenes approach.
Here are some of the most effective strategies for keeping your child on pace for academic success in middle school.
Participate in Back-to-School Night and Parent-Teacher Conferences.
When parents are interested in their children’s academic lives, they perform better in school. Attending back-to-school night at the beginning of the school year is a terrific way to meet your child’s instructors and learn about their expectations. School administrators may also talk about school-wide programs and procedures.
Another approach to staying informed is to attend parent-teacher conferences. These could take place once or twice a year during progress reporting periods. However, many middle schools only hold parent-teacher conferences when parental engagement is required to address issues such as behavior problems, falling below grade-level expectations, or benefiting from advanced class work.
If your child has specific learning or behavioral needs, meetings with teachers and other school personnel might be planned to discuss creating or amending individualized education plans (IEPs), 504 education plans, or special education plans.
Remember that any time during the school year, parents or guardians can seek meetings with teachers, principals, school counselors, or other school personnel.
Visited The School And Website
When discussing your child’s school day, knowing the physical layout of the school building and grounds might help you connect with him or her. It’s useful to know where the main office, school nurse, canteen, gym, athletic grounds, auditorium, and special classes are located.
On the school’s website, you can learn about:
- The school yearbook
- Contacting school personnel
- Dances and class trips
- Dates of testing
- Sports, clubs, and other extracurricular sign-up information and timetables
- Homework assignments, grades, and middle school worksheets
Many teachers have websites where they post homework assignments, test and quiz dates, and access to textbooks and other resources. Special resources for students and parents are usually available on the websites of the district, school, or teacher.
During the middle school years, homework becomes more rigorous, and the time spent on it is likely to be longer than during the elementary years, averaging 1 to 2 hours per school night.
Make sure your child has a peaceful, well-lit, distraction-free workspace that is well-stocked with school supplies. Distraction-free means no phone, TV, or websites other than those connected to homework. Check-in on a regular basis to ensure that your child hasn’t become sidetracked.
Sit down with your child regularly to discuss class loads and ensure they are balanced. It’s also important to set a precise homework start time each night. Helping preteens and teens develop a homework schedule and a consistent homework routine communicates the message that academics are important.
Encourage your youngster to seek assistance when it is required. Most teachers are available for extra assistance before or after school and may be able to recommend other resources.
Instill Organization Skills
Nobody is born with excellent organizing abilities; they must be developed and exercised. Being organized is essential for success in middle school, when most children meet various teachers and classrooms for the first time each day, and where some students participate in extracurricular or after-school programs for the first time. Because time management skills are rarely explicitly taught in school, preteens and teens can benefit from their parents’ assistance in organizing tasks and managing time.
Binders, notebooks, or folders should be used to arrange class information and assignments by subject. Teach your youngster how to keep organized and schedule study periods by using a calendar or personal planner. Timetables or calendars should contain your child’s extracurricular activities to aid in time management.
It’s also a good idea to teach your preteen or teen how to create a daily to-do list to prioritize tasks and manage time. A simple after-school to-do list might include:
- Swimming practice
- Feed the dog
- Prepare for the social studies exam (30 minutes)
- Complete the math worksheet
- Go review your science class notes (15 minutes)
- Put your clothes away
Teach Study Skills
Planning is an important component of assisting your middle-schooler in studying for exams, especially now that he or she is managing work from different teachers.
Make sure you know when your tests are and that you have enough study time before each one. When there is a lot to study, help your child estimate how much time it will take to study for each test, then create a study calendar so your child does not have to study for numerous tests all at once.
Remind your child to take notes in class, arrange them by subject, and go over them every day at home.
Simple strategies such as simple questions, asking for the missing word, and generating practice tests will help your youngster review content and study. The more processes the brain employs to comprehend information, such as writing, reading, speaking, and listening, the more probable it is that the information will be recalled. Repeating words, reading passages aloud, rewriting notes, and picturing or drawing material all aid in memory retention. Remind your child that remembering something correctly frequently requires several attempts.
Practicing math or scientific questions is a fantastic way to prepare for exams. The teacher can direct your child to appropriate internet practice tools.
Also, remember that sleeping well is smarter than cramming. According to recent research, students who forego sleep to study are more likely to suffer on tests the following day.
Get To Know The Disciplinary And Bullying Policies
In most schools, disciplinary procedures (also known as the student code of conduct) are referenced in student handbooks. The rules frequently include expectations as well as punishments for not fulfilling those expectations, such as student behavior, dress regulations, electronic device use, and appropriate language.
Attendance, vandalism, cheating, violence, and weapons policies may be included. Many schools also have anti-bullying measures. It is beneficial to understand the school’s definition of bullying, as well as the repercussions for bullies, support for victims, and reporting procedures for bullying.
It is critical that your preteen or adolescent understands what is expected at school and that you support the school’s penalties when those expectations are not met. It is simplest for pupils when school standards match those at home so that both environments are seen as secure and loving places where everyone works together as a team.
Take Attendance Seriously
If a middle schooler has a fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, he or she should take a sick day. Otherwise, it is critical that students arrive at school on time every day because catching up on classwork, projects, tests, and assignments can be stressful and seriously impact learning.
Middle schoolers may not want to attend school for a variety of reasons, including bullying, difficult homework, low grades, social problems, or disagreements with classmates or professors. Speak with your child and even an administrator or school counselor to learn more about what’s causing any concern.
Students may also be late for class due to shifts in their body clocks. The body’s internal biological clock is reset during adolescence, causing a teen to sleep longer at night and get up later in the morning. Maintaining a consistent daily sleep routine for your teen might help prevent weariness and tardiness.
Educators will engage with families and minimize workloads or assignments for kids who have chronic health concerns so that they can stay on track. If your kid has a chronic health condition, a 504 education plan can help him or she learn at school. If you want to create a 504 plan for your child, talk to the school administration.
These seven tips should help you support your children through middle school. Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below.