• Middle School Matters
    Develop Good Work Habits
    Success in high school and college is dependent on your student’s ability to stay organized, manage their assignments, and be prepared with needed resources. If they haven’t already, middle schoolers should begin using a binder with dividers and an agenda or homework calendar. Parents can support the development of organizational and study skills by checking their student’s binder and calendar nightly. Rather than waiting until bedtime, check their work early enough in the evening to allow time for revisions. This keeps stress to a minimum and makes homework-time manageable.
    Some students struggle with forgetfulness. “I forgot to bring home my math book.” Or, “I forgot to turn in my homework.” These lapses in responsibility lower grades and increase stress. Help your student develop a remembering system that works for them. Maybe you hang a question mark on the zipper pull of their backpack meant to silently question, “do you have everything you need?” before they zip up.
    Be College and Career Minded
    Practically everywhere you go is someone’s workplace. Encourage your child to observe people working as you go about your normal outings. Have deliberate conversations about career paths and even earning potential. At the market, there are stock people, baggers, checkers, butchers, managers, and so on. Be sure to point out that someone designed the building, someone else approved the plans, and teams of skilled laborers built it. Don’t burn them out with too much information in one shopping trip, but you can talk about advertising, product development, quality control, and many other aspects of the grocery business in future trips. (Then try that at the gas station, the neighborhood park, etc). Most students are familiar with careers such as doctors, nurses, cops, firemen, teachers, and what their parents do, you can help them learn about other careers too.
    It’s not too soon to start visiting college campuses. Start locally. Find out about events hosted at the universities in your area. Perhaps a firework show, a children’s symphony, or an athletic event will get your family to the campus, but while there, take a good look around. Take your child’s picture in front of a university sign, landmark or identifiable building. Stop in the university bookstore for a college souvenir. (We often pick up college pennants, t-shirts, frisbees or pompons, but magnets and stickers are usually available if you want something smaller.)
Last Modified on September 27, 2012