Middle Years September 2017

In gear for a new year

As the new school year gets under way, encourage your middle grader to set himself up for success with these strategies.

Sticking to my routines
Let your tween experiment with routines until he finds those that work best. If he’s often rushing to catch the bus, he might set his alarm 5 minutes earlier, then 10 minutes earlier, until his mornings go smoothly. For his evening routine, perhaps he’ll do homework after dinner on days he has sports practices and right after school on other days. Once he has routines he likes, have him write them down so he’ll remember them.

Expecting my best
Encourage your child to decide what he expects from himself. Where does he want to improve? He might focus on pay- ing attention to detail if he lost points last year by not filling out science lab reports thoroughly. Or maybe he’ll create a plan for spreading out long-term projects so he’s not scrambling at the last minute. He’ll gain satisfaction from a job well done when he follows through.

Watching my progress
Suggest that your middle grader hang a school year “timeline” in his bedroom. He could string yarn from one corner to another and use clothespins to clip on assignments or tests he’s proud of. Per- haps he’ll display an essay on a favorite novel or a self-portrait he drew in art. Seeing his progress can motivate him to keep working hard.

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