Surviving Middle School

  • Help!! My child is struggling and I don’t know what to do.
    Right around the time that progress reports arrive home via your student, I receive many phone calls and e-mails from frantic parents concerned about grades and frustrated with their child.  I truly empathize with parents because they feel helpless and don’t know how to help their child find the road to success.  Surviving the middle school years is one of the more challenging endeavors most parents undertake in their child rearing years. There are several ways to help maintain your sanity and still nurture the relationship you have developed with your child as they muddle through the rocky and confusing waters of adolescence.  I have listed below several interventions that might help you to help your child succeed:

    The 10 Step Process to Surviving Middle School

    1. Review the grades with your child in a rational manner and ask your child how you can help them to improve.

    2. Remind your child that they have a fresh start with the beginning of the new quarter.

    3. Develop a homework plan together. A time, place, supplies needed, schedule of how to attack the assignments each night.

    4. Require your child to fill out their agenda book for each class every night and if needed, ask them to have each teacher initial next to the assignments that are written down.  Make use of the teacher web pages with posted assignments as well.

    5. Review the agenda every night and ask to see each assignment that is written down. Don’t accept “I left it at school” or “I haven’t finished it yet, I will finish it later” as an answer.  Require that you see all assignments completed.  Next, initial it indicating you know you saw it completed at home.  Should your student neglect to turn in the assignment, you can look for it knowing you saw it completed.

    6. Ask your child to bring home their chrome book and all of their books (if they are not on line) every night if you can’t keep track of which books should come home on which night.  Many of the books now are on-line. Check with your student's teachers.

    7. Have your student stop by the counseling office for a list of high school tutors.  Check out the Camrillo Library's Homework Center.

    8. Review your child’s State Test scores to identify areas that they are struggling in and work with your child in those areas.

    9. Contact your child’s teacher to discuss ways to help your child improve.  Align yourself with the school/teacher(s) to help your student make changes and adjustments quickly.  Teach your child to problem solve and take responsibility for their behavior rather than initially requesting a class change.

    10. Foster communication with your child and ask them how school is going on a daily basis.  Time goes by quickly when you're busy working and raising a family.  Remember that sometimes kids just need a brief reminder that you care and are interested in their academic progress.  Moreover, some kids need more of your time than other kids; especially transitioning to the 6th grade.