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How to Establish Good School Habits

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Parents want their children to be successful academically, and many preteens want to achieve and thrive in middle school. Whether your child is just beginning middle school, or is well into the school year, there are ways you can help your tween develop productive school habits. Developing good school habits will help your child now, but will also help later when your child is in high school and perhaps one day, college.

Developing Productive School Habits

  • Be Prepared: The first step to making the most of the school year is to be prepared. Educate yourself and your tween before middle school begins. Take a tour of the school, and find out what expectations your child's school has for the students. Learn about possible electives your child can take, and ask teachers about homework expectations and other academic commitments.
  • Have a Routine: Establishing a school routine will help your child budget his time and take control of the school year. Be sure you talk about the routine before the school year begins. Map it out on a family calendar, making sure you budget time for relaxation and time with friends. Adjust the routine as needed, and according to your child's school demands.
  • Be Enthusiastic: Parents and students often underestimate how a positive attitude can help a student achieve and thrive in middle school. Make sure you help your child stay positive and embrace any middle school changes with enthusiasm. Encourage your child to jump into middle school by signing up for an activity or a club, and to stay involved socially and academically.
  • Eat Well: Middle schoolers can be picky eaters, and even once healthy eaters may turn to junk food regularly when in middle school. But your child's body and brain are developing dramatically during these years, and they need the nourishment that a healthy diet can provide. Stock your kitchen with healthy snack options, and be sure your child eats something healthy for breakfast and dinner. You may not be able to control what your child eats at lunch while at school, but if you provide healthy meals the rest of the day that will help your child get the nourishment he needs for a demanding school day.
  • Homework is Key: Homework is the key to your child's middle school success. If your child doesn't have time for homework, his schedule needs to be adjusted. If he's struggling with a subject, you should be able to tell by reviewing his homework periodically. Help you child find the time and the space everyday to tackle homework without interruption. In addition, if needed, seek after school help or the help of a tutor to prevent your child from falling behind.
  • Avoid Overscheduling: Middle school students are often overscheduled, having too many demands and responsibilities. Help your child understand how to budget his time wisely. That might mean choosing one activity over another. Be sure your child has not taken on too many activities, and if he has, help him prioritize them or if necessary, reduce them.
  • Get Exercise: Exercise can help your child blow off steam from everyday stresses, and it can also help your student focus, prioritize and gather the energy he'll need to tackle homework or other school challenges. Encourage your child to exercise regularly, even if it's just a jog around the block or a bike ride with friends. Consider getting a little exercise with your tween, you may learn a bit about his school day and enjoy the time together making plans and troubleshooting problems.
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