You want your child to be successful and happy at school. Your child will experience many changes during the middle school years, but that doesn't mean the best years are behind. Help your tween embrace middle school, and have the best school year ever. Consider the tips below:
Help Your Child Have the Best School Year Possible
Be sure your child knows what to expect before the school year begins. Attend school orientation, or ask for a school tour.
Talk about all the upside of being a middle schooler, such as having a locker, playing on a school team, and making new friends.
Help your child understand how to use a locker and a combination lock.
Learn about any after-school clubs, sports teams or other activities that will be available to your child.
Be sure your child gets plenty of sleep during the school week, and on the weekend so that he's rested and prepared for class. Tweens should have between nine and ten hours of sleep a night.
Provide healthy breakfast options and stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy ready-to-eat snacks.
Try to prepare a family meal at least twice a week so that the family can sit down together and talk about the week, and what's going on at school, in the neighborhood and at work. Studies show that kids are less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors when they take part in family meals.
Be sure your child has all the school supplies he'll need for the year. Stock a shelf or cabinet with extra pens and pencils, loose leaf paper, composition books, poster board and glue.
Limit distractions when your child is doing his homework. Encourage him to turn his phone off, and keep younger siblings from bothering your middle schooler while he's completing his school assignments or projects.
Be sure your child stays on top of his studies and his homework if he has to miss school, and try to avoid taking your child out of school unless it's absolutely necessary.
Ask your child about his school day every day, and listen carefully when he talks about his teachers, subjects and friends.
Resist the urge to sign your child up for several after school activities. Wait until you know what his homework load will be before he commits to demanding and time consuming schedules.
Be sure your child understands the school's rules and the consequences for breaking those rules.
Help your child prepare for tests and quizzes by asking questions, going over previous assignments or by helping him make flashcards. Check your child's assignments at least once a week, in order to determine if he understands the material and is staying on top of his classes.
Try to find the time to volunteer at least once during the year. Consider attending a field trip, chaperoning a school dance or helping at a special event.
If your child is struggling with a particular topic, ask the school about after school help or tutoring.
Attend back to school night so that you have the chance to meet your child's teachers, ask questions and learn a bit about what the school year will be like.
Arm your child with the skills he'll need to deal with a bully, a difficult teacher or other typical middle school challenges. Let him know that whatever problems he encounters, you're available to help him find solutions and troubleshoot challenges.
Be sure your child has some downtime everyday to regroup. Downtime could include spending time with friends, listening to music, or reading.
Keep on top of your child's moods and behaviors. The middle school years can be tough, and it's normal for tweens to be moody from time to time. But if your child displays signs of anxiety or depression, it might be wise to make contact with his teachers, guidance counselor and perhaps his pediatrician.