2016 Feb 10: Helpful Suggestions for JH Parents

Adolescent years can sometimes be a tough time for both the adolescent and parent. These are years full of transitions and changes that are both physical and emotional. This week Mrs. April Eschberger, Rockdale Junior High Principal, has some suggestions that can help parents and students during this time of their lives.

Junior high can be a difficult for many students and their parents. At this age, students are becoming more independent and may not want to communicate with their parents about school as much. Often their social world becomes a central focus as they gain this independence. But be assured that there are still many ways to keep up with your middle school child and know what is going on with their academics and help them be successful students. This week we have a few tips that will help parents. First, stay in contact with teachers. Using our automated grading system, Skyward, your child’s grades and attendance are just a few clicks away. You can see what grades they are receiving, if they have missing assignments, and send emails to teachers.

Set a specific time for your child to do their homework each night. Select a quiet place where they can do the work. Students at junior high should be reading 20-30 minutes each night. It is a good idea to mix up the reading between both fiction and nonfiction reading. The more a child reads the greater his or her comprehension and vocabulary increase.  A suggestion is to also take your child’s technology including phones, TV, and video games, when they are working on homework so that he or she can dedicate their full attention to academics. If the homework requires technology, periodically check the screen to be sure that the student is focused and making progress on the assignment. Another great way to help your child in middle school is to help them stay organized.

Because middle school students have multiple teachers and travel to many classrooms throughout the day it is important to develop an organization system such as writing assignment in a planner, having a homework folder, or having folders for each class with the necessary supplies. Checking with you child on a regular basis and asking them about their organization system can help them as they transition to junior high and then on to high school.

Another important skill to work on with your child in middle school is to learn the importance of studying for tests and developing skills to study. A parent can help a student by quizzing them on subject material, creating flashcards, underlining or highlighting important concepts when reading, taking notes, writing summaries, or outlining material. Be sure to ask your child for suggestions on how you can help them and what they need. As a parent you do not have to know everything about the subject matter to help them develop study habits and strategies. All of these tips will help your child be successful in the middle grades. It is never too early to begin working on good study habits!