There are many ways that you can show your middle school child that you are interested in academic success and that you are available to offer support and protection when there are problems. Some suggestions:
- Talk with your child about what happens at school every day. Ask often— in fact, daily—if there are messages from the school, upcoming deadlines that need to be on the calendar, forms to sign, etc. You may find a regular book bag cleaning helps, too. We’ve all had that last-minute scramble to handle those must-have school items at the breakfast table. It’s not that your child is holding out on you, but school logistics just don’t register when you’re 13.
- Spend some down time with your middle school child. Share a meal or snack. Do something fun together. Does your child have a talent that he or she can teach you? Spend at least part of your time together talking. Let your child know what you like about him or her... his quirky sense of humor and loyalty to his friends, her perseverance and curious nature.
- Listen to and share worries. Ask your child what you can do to make things better. Sometimes, he or she just needs to talk. If the problem is school-related, talk it through. Is it a serious matter that requires a parent’s intervention or is it something you can help your child work through himself?
- Avoid scolding and arguing when your teenager brings bad news home. Listen to their reasons and discuss options and solutions. It helps if your child knows that you believe he or she will be successful.
- Value their education by encouraging homework and reading. Help your child choose a good time and place to do assignments and special projects. Provide the necessary materials and give your student your unconditional support. is a national movement that inspires parents to become more involved in their children’s education. Teachable moments are everywhere. Be your child’s favorite teacher. Connect in meaningful ways and your simple actions will reap immense rewards at home, play, and school!
How to Stay Involved In Your Older Student's Education
You may be thinking, “Sure, it’s easy to volunteer over at the elementary school, but my middle schooler ignores me when we’re in the same room and my high school student is just like a toddler... ‘I can do it myself!’ How involved can I be with my older kids?”
Know that your involvement in your older student’s education is as important as ever. In fact, parents have a key advisory role as their older student makes important decisions in planning for life aft er high school. Staying involved throughout the middle grades will make it easier to maintain that critical advisory role with your high school student.While it can be a little more complicated to be involved with older students, it’s worth it to be in tune with what’s going on at your student’s school, how your child is do-ing in the classroom, and ways he or she can get more involved at school. (Studies show that students who are involved in activities feel more connected to the school and have a better attitude about their school experience.)Check out these tips for staying engaged in your child’s learning and being involved at school