Forget the awkward braces and bad skin - middle school is hard enough with the constant demands on pre-teens to stay organized and keep on top of their work. Plus the organizational skills and planning your kids learn in middle school have major implications for high school and college success, which makes it even more important to keep your son or daughter on track.
While some kids seem to catch on quickly and adjust to the huge amounts of information they are fed every day, other kids need a little help. Do you spend more time than you want to admit on last-minute assignments your child "forgot" to do or have you on more than one occasion had to write the teacher about lost homework?
Here are some ways you can help your child get organized for school this year:
- MAKE THINGS EASY AND AUTOMATIC: The best way to
teach your son or daughter organizational skills is to get them in the habit of planning and writing out their assignments. Something that many teens find very helpful is having sturdy binders like those made by Avery. Their multiple colors makes it easy to organize subjects by different colored binders.
- USE DIVIDERS TO GET ORGANIZED: Using Avery dividers helps kids get even more organized within each subject binder. The dividers can separate class notes from assignments and handouts. The first section should be specifically dedicated to the finished homework to be turned in. That way it's the first thing a child sees when class starts!
- MAKE THINGS PRETTY AND FUN FOR INSPIRATION:
Many middle schools are dividing school days classes between "A" days and "B" days so students can store the binders they aren't using in their lockers. Have your pre-teens decorate their binders with pictures of their favorite bands or movie stars for a fun pick-me-up every time they see the cover. Avery even has some binders that come with glitter built into the covers. Anything that helps build excitement for organization is a good thing.
- MAKE GETTING A JUMP ON ASSIGNMENT A THING: Most kids focus on the due date of big projects, but experienced school moms suggest kids should sit down with a parent on the day the assignment is given and write down a plan for getting the work done. This habit helps everyone prepare and then mark it on the family calendar.
- GET AN EXTRA SET OF TEXTBOOKS: Try to get a second set of books if possible. We've all had that moment when everyone realizes the book needed for the assignment has been left at school. This can also make it easier on your kid, instead of having your pre-teen lug heavy textbooks back and forth, get a second set of textbooks at home. This really doesn't have to be expensive. You can usually find cheap second-hand versions online or at the school bookstore. You can also ask teachers if they have extra old textbooks that your kid can borrow for the semester.