10 Aug 2017

10 Tips to Prepare Your Child for Middle School

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Transitioning to middle school can be an exciting, yet stressful and scary time for both you and your child. Be sure to put these 10 tips on your to-do list to help your student make the transition successfully.

1. Visit your child’s new school once or twice before school starts to help them navigate the grounds and building. Have them locate the hallways where their classes will be held as well as the bathrooms.

2. Review the school’s website with your child, or if they want to do this independently give them six things to find on the website.

3. Create an Infinite Campus account or an account with whatever your school district uses to track school information. Infinite Campus (IC) enables you and your student to keep track of things like assignments, grades, and attendance. I recommend students check IC at least twice a week.

4. Make a point of getting to know the front desk staff, school counselor, and principal. Identify a few staff members your child can reach out to if they need help or a safe haven.

5. Keep back to school supplies simple. Some schools recommend different binders, homework folders, and notebooks for each class. Requiring students to keep track of 18 to 21 items each school day is a recipe for disaster! Keep systems simple. I recommend one polycarbonate homework folder, one binder that is either 1″ or 1.5″ with plastic pocket dividers for each class, and of course an academic planner.

6. Get a PE lock and have your child practice the combination. If your child has difficulty using standard combination locks, check out Word Lock. Be sure to keep a copy of your child’s locker number and combination at home.

7. Have your child get into a regular sleep schedule and morning routineduring the week or two leading up to school. This will normalize school morning activities to get your child into the healthy habit of being rested and ready for school. Include some night before preparation to minimize morning stress and chaos.

8. Practice the start of the school day in advance, including the walk, bike ride, or bus route to your child’s new school, timing how long it takes.

9. If your child is on a 504 or IEP, send or email a brief letter about your child to each of his or her teachers. State what your child needs to succeed in class. Also, place a copy of your child’s 504 accommodations in a sleeve in their school binder.

10. Set up a family calendar for all family members’ events so that everyone is aware of each person’s schedule. Have your child record his or her extracurricular activities in their academic planner. This will help your child see when they have time to get their homework done and create ownership for both school and extracurricular activities.

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