As your child transitions into middle school, they may face various challenges worth addressing. It’s worth noting that your child may attempt to distance themselves from you during this period, nevertheless, it’s a typical part of their development. It’s vital to stay informed about these issues and provide your child with the necessary support academically, socially, and emotionally. Here are some typical challenges and some advice on how to tackle them.

Challenge: Grades take a nosedive.

Solution: Dig deeper to uncover the underlying cause.

To ensure your child’s academic success, it’s worth addressing their social well-being aside from schooling. It’s important to check in with your child regularly about any changes or challenges they may be facing.

Middle school requires students to be more organized and independent. With multiple teachers and varying expectations, nevertheless, it’s crucial to help your child develop systems to keep track of important papers and assignments. Consider providing a binder with a folder for completed work aside from one for papers returned by the teacher.

It’s worth encouraging your child to use a planner to record daily assignments and check them off when completed. By readily helping your child stay organized and on top of their work, you can ultimately set them up for success in middle school and globally beyond.

Challenge: Homework is a heavy burden.

Solution: Temporarily step into the role of homework coach (or get a tutor!)

Even the most self-motivated child may need help from parents when homework becomes more demanding, and challenging, and requires skills that they may not yet have mastered.

In the early stages, you may need to supervise your child’s homework. However, it is important to remember that it is their homework, and they must complete it independently in order to learn. You can provide support by asking questions that guide them to their own solutions, for example:

– Where would you like to start?
– What resources can you use to help you with this project?
– Where can you find the information you need?
– Can you tell me how you plan to tackle this challenge?
– What have you tried so far that didn’t quite work out?
– What have you tried that’s been going well?
– What’s next on your to-do list?

Challenge: Your child struggles with big projects.

Solution: Help them learn how to manage their time effectively.

During middle school years, managing time effectively is super important. While teachers typically teach time management skills at the end of elementary education, your child may still need some guidance to develop this habit.

To start, make sure your child checks her planner every day. Teaching her how to break down big assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks can be really helpful. This approach can make assignments seem less scary and less likely to be put off. It can also help your child estimate the time required for each task, so she can schedule her time realistically and even include breaks after more challenging subjects.

Keeping track of study time will help her learn how to use her time efficiently. If she spends too much time on a particular subject, don’t worry! She may just need some extra support. Just remember, managing time is really important in middle school, and it can make a big impact on academic performance.

Here are some specific tips:

– Help your child create a planner and use it regularly.
– Teach her how to break down big assignments into smaller tasks.
– Help her estimate how long each task will take and create a realistic schedule.
– Encourage her to take breaks after the hardest subjects.
– Help her keep track of how much time she spends studying.

If your child is struggling with time management, don’t be afraid to ask for help from her teachers or a tutor.

Problem: Tests are getting longer and harder.

Solution: Improve your study habits.

Studying for tests is a skill that some students struggle with. They don’t understand where the questions come from, and they think that other students are just lucky when they do well. Below are some suggestions worth considering to help you support your child:

– Help your child study by doing active learning activities. This means highlighting notes, using Post-its, making flashcards, summarizing what they learned at the end of each section, answering self-test questions, and mapping or diagramming concepts.
– Find out when your child is most focused. Some kids focus better in the morning, while others focus better at night. Help your child study during their peak times.
– Sometimes we need to memorize things. You may have used a mnemonic device like Roy G. Biv to remember the colors of the rainbow. You can invent your own silly mnemonic devices together to make studying more fun.
– Studying for tests is easier if you have good notes. Make sure your child takes clear and concise notes in class.

Whether your child needs to improve his grades, plan and organize a big project, prepare for tests, or simply reinforce concepts learned in school through homework, in Homework in a Cafe we are ready to support him! Contact us now.

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Fixes for 7 common middle school problems
by: GreatSchools Staff | Updated: February 13