What a Middle School Student Needs to Know

Making the most of the middle school experience

Starting middle school can be scary for many students, but it doesn't have to be. Middle school is a time of change and adventure, and your middle school student can begin this new phase prepared and ready for anything. Here's what your middle school student needs to know, and how you can help your tween make the most of this brief adventure.

How to Tackle Homework

Your middle school student will likely have more homework than ever before, and the homework will likely be more involved. Having a homework contract can help keep your child focused and prevent him from getting behind. You can help your child make homework easier by having all necessary school supplies on hand, and by providing a workable study space. Middle school students should be independent workers, but that doesn't mean you can't be available when your child has a question or needs a second opinion about a project or a research paper -- just don't take over. Allow your tween to do the real work.

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How to Recognize Bullies

Bullying behavior tends to peak during the middle school years. Your child can expect to run into the school bully or mean girl, at least once during the next few years. Knowing how to recognize a typical bully is key, but it's also important for parents to know the signs that their child might be the victim of bullying behavior. Prepare your tween by role playing specific scenarios. How would your tween react if a bully pushed him on the school bus, or if someone challenged him to a fight? Make sure your tween knows who to go to for help if things get out of hand at school.

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How to Make Great Friends

Friendships can be tricky in the middle school years. Peer pressure and social cliques can tear friendships apart, but it's important for preteens to make and keep friends who are supportive, helpful and positive. It's also important to help preteens learn how to manage friendships problems, when they pop up. Expect a few friendship challenges these next few years. Prepare your tween by explaining the qualities of a good friend, and encourage your child to be one. Give your tween the confidence to stand up to peer pressure.

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How to Be a Good Student

What makes a good student? Success in the classroom is dependent on several factors, including your child's personality and temperament. You can help your middle school student achieve in the classroom by providing support, being positive, and if necessary, hiring a tutor if your child falls behind. Most of all, your preteen needs to know that starting middle school gives him a clean slate, and that means anything can happen, if he applies himself. Make sure your tween understands that you want him to do his best work, but that you understand if he encounters challenges from time to time. 

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How to Stay Organized

With all the new demands that come with middle school, learning how to stay organized is crucial for your middle school student. Begin by helping your child establish a morning routine. But it's also important that your child organize his afternoon, weekend and free time, so that homework, projects and other demands aren't left to the last minute. Be sure your child has an organizer so that he can keep his assignments and work in one spot. An agenda will likely be issued by your tween's school. If your child doesn't know how to use it, give him a few pointers.

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