- Preschool Learning Online
- How to Prepare for Tests
- The Keys to Effective Discipline
- Before you Buy a New Home
- Organized for a New School Year
The transition from elementary school to middle school can be tolling on a child. There are more classes to go to, changing of classrooms, having multiple teachers to please, new friends from other schools to meet and learning how to use a locker. In addition, it is all done during a difficult stage of life where a pre-teen becomes a teen. Good organization can help make this change go smoother. Following are some tips or parents to help their middle schoolers implement.
In addition to shopping for school supplies, it is helpful to go over the school map with the students, and perhaps make a copy with the class and teacher’s name on each room. This will be helpful for the student to carry with them until it is familiar. In addition, the student’s schedule should also be written out and kept with the map. The locker combination should be written down at home, as well as in a place, such as wallet, purse or backpack incase it is forgotten while at school.
Daily Assignment List
This can be in a daily planner or for tech-savvy pre-teens, a PDA. Or, this can even be done in a notebook- or perhaps parent and child can create their own daily planner on the computer and make copies for each school day. But, no matter what type of paper is used, the student should record every assignment for every class every day. Perhaps making a bullet point for each subject each morning will remind the student to fill in the blank. If there is no homework, they should notate that, so no blanks are left.
Another way to keep track of assignments is through a monthly calendar hung up at home. There are some assignments, such as science projects, that will be assigned further ahead of time. A strategy would be to break down the project into smaller projects that can be done along with the nightly homework, rather than a day or two before it is due.
Go Over List While at School
Train your student to look over their list at their locker each day before leaving school for home each day. This way, they can bring home the correct books and notebooks. One big pitfall of being unorganized at school is forgetting a book at school. Getting in the habit of going over the assignment list at the locker will create a positive habit of always having the materials to do assignments.
Set Aside Time and Place for Homework
Study habits formed in middle school set the stage for how a student will study throughout the rest of their academic careers, meaning high school and college. A student should have a clean, well-lit area to study, perhaps in a desk in their bedroom, or an area set off to the side in a den or family room. For concentration purposes- young people are easily distracted- separate any siblings and be sure to make the Internet (or at least instant messenger and e-mail off-limits), televisions and telephone off-limits until study time is over. Homework and study time does not have to be right after school, as the student may need some time to wind down. However, this should be done at about the same time each day to build the routine. And, this routine should be enforced! Of course there will always be days where there may be a special event, but implementing a set time to do homework will keep the middle school student more organized.
Prioritize and Check-Off Work
As assignments are completed, they should be checked off the assignment list. Mom and/or Dad can then check the list and the homework to make sure it is completed. One thing to keep in mind is for student to work on tomorrow first! Some assignments are given a day or two before they are due. Have students prioritize their homework. But, be sure if time allows, that they do everything on the first night assigned. For instance, if on Monday, one assignment is given in math that is due Tuesday and a short composition in English due Wednesday, have them do both. Because, on Tuesday, they could get several more assignments due Wednesday- Monday was a light day, and there would have been time. If the student waits another day, they face the possibility of being inundated with more work!
Organize for Tomorrow
Just like a student can forget an assignment inside their locker, they can also leave their homework, well, at home. When students are done with their work, they should place it in their backpack in an area by the door. Mornings in most households can be busy with waking up, showering, breakfast, mom and dad getting ready as well, and then going out to the bus stop or waiting for a ride. Just like setting out clothes to save time the night before works, packing the school bag the night before will result in being prepared for class. In addition to homework, also place lunch money, papers that need to be signed, gym clothes, etc. along with the bag.
And then- the day starts all over again!
With the start of middle school comes added responsibility on the part of the student. They must learn to multi-task, learn to work with many different teaching styles and expectations and how to juggle more homework with more available after-school activities. But, keeping organized using these simple tips are sure to make the middle school years run like a well-oiled machine. When the middle schooler is ready to graduate to high school, they will be very prepared for that new transition- and the new demands that come with the next level of education.