Ah, August. Once you descend upon us, we parents really know that our window to procrastinate is getting fairly smaller, and you separate the women from the well, uh…the unprepared.
Even though I homeschool the trifecta, the cellist is still in public school (be still my aching heart) and EVERY year for the last ten years, I have always looked at the beginning of school with a fondness and slight dread.
First of all, he’ll be in 8th grade. For us Chicagoans, that means, graduation, and then moving on to high school. I. CAN. NOT. DEAL!
So here are some tips to get those of you with middle school and junior high children with the program.
Don’t procrastinate. See what I did there? Make sure that all supplies that you are aware that they will need (i.e. paper, pencils/pens, etc.,) are purchased before the first day of school. Believe it or not, teachers believe in giving assignments the first day because they are cool like that.
- Get to know your children’s teachers. While your kids may not want you tagging along on field trips anymore, I bet their teachers will love the fact that you stay involved with their progress. NOTE: Staying involved means keeping abreast of your child’s schoolwork, testing, etc. NOT attempting to tell the teacher how they should be running the classroom. If you want to do that, then I suggest you homeschool like me – I have the best of both worlds. Also, CHECK HOMEWORK AND ASK ABOUT MEMOS SENT HOME!
- Fill out that paperwork as it comes home. Seriously. You’ll love yourself if you do it the first week, and you won’t get that annoying reminder paperwork if you do. 🙂
- Don’t think that just because your kid is a teen/tween they don’t need you anymore. They may be a little bit more private, but they need you now more than they ever did. Don’t be pushy, but also don’t be afraid to ask questions, and LET THEM ANSWER. You may not like the things that are stated (admissions of bullying, shyness, etc.) but this will provide an opening for great discussions throughout the school year.
- Put your child on a schedule! The right amount of sleep is still necessary, and while your 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th grader may be more than capable of going to bed when they get tired – they may not shut off when they need to. With the addition of all the new tech gear: phones, tablets, computers, it may be hard for them to know when to turn off. Give a bedtime and stick to it.
- And the last thing: feel free to apply these rules or not. I realize that every household may not work like mine. However, do what’s necessary to ensure that your child has the best school year to date.