Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Surviving Middle School Melodies

Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, The: Middle School (Worst Case Scenario Junior Editions)Hear it? It's the sound of middle schoolers heading off to school. Ahhh, the bliss of absent tweens.

But happens to our children when they go from elementary school to no man's land - middle school. It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. They're too old for elementary school and too young for high school, essentially we've tossed them into no man's land. For no man (or young woman) knows exactly what to do with themselves at this stage of life.

Tween are old enough that they begin to set new social standard for themselves. They've been developing a personality for the past ten to twelve years. They like they're mind sets have matured.

It's an exciting time, their not babies anymore. Bye bye Elementary school!

Your middle schooler has already developed their own set of expectations for these next few years of middle school. Sit down and talk to them. It's not the same as when you were in school, I'm sure. Yet, you want to make sure your middle schooler is walking into class the first day with the right kind of attitude. That, and you don't want your child raising the bar that might come crashing down on them.

Things are going to change.  They'll have more responsibilities. Not all their friends are going to be their friends again. Interest will change.

About.com has good article, "Preparing for Middle School" on tips and techniques to balance school and home.

In order to prepare your middle schooler to survive these years of transition, you can add these to this year's shopping list.

1. A Student Planner. Unlike Elementary School, middle schoolers are introduced to a new scheduled class and homework routines. Help them keep their days and assignments organized. Less confusion on their part is less frustration on yours.

2. A sturdy Backpack or Messenger Bag. School textbooks are no longer kept in a desk. Now, your middle schooler must store books in lockers and carry them in their backpacks. Look at size, style, and durability. A middle schooler's backpack is like their best friend --they'll hang out with it all year long.

3. Wrist Watch. You're middle schooler has been learning to tell time since the first grade. Now, when you tell them to be home by 6pm for dinner, they've got no excuses. Just like when they've got to run to the bus stop and be there on time. Tweens are old enough now for time management both in the home and at school.

4. Alarm Clock. Time to get up! If their old enough to have an opinion, they're old enough to set the alarm and abide the beeping in the morning. Staying up late now holds a new tune with this helpful gadget.

5. Allowance. You may not have been doing this back in elementary school.Now that your child has entered into middle school, consider setting them up on an allowance. This isn't anything that should be based on grades or chores, those are both expected without receiving payment. But now that your child is growing more independent, they too need a source of income. Give them a set amount every week or two weeks. This may or may not include their lunch money. Help your child learn to manage money, and understand the concept of earning or saving for the thing they want and expect you to provide for them beyond the norm.

As always, don't forget the pens, pencils, calculator, and notebooks while you're out shopping for those cool new school clothes and rad shoes this school year!

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