Today’s ‘Instagram’ middle schoolers are dissimilar from the way parents behaved in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Tech, sexuality, violence and drugs have all advanced over the years. Children have to grapple with countless issues that can jeopardize and destabilize their studies.
For that reason, it is prudent for parents to have a guide that highlights important aspects of their kid’s life in middle school. If a student is to be successful in school, he or she needs the utmost support of a parent.
So how do you support your kid in middle school? How do you institute a solid foundation that guarantees successful graduation from middle school? Read on!
As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to guide your teen in matters of setting goals and managing time. Additionally, you are obligated to help your child develop positive character and excellent study skills. The support and deliberations you have with your teen are rewarding post middle school.
A common issue that affects parents, teachers and learners is time management. Today’s teens are the busiest. They have to balance issues related to academics, extracurricular commitments and their social life. By having an effective study timetable, you will help your middle schooler to exercise control over their time.
Have a Schedule
Coming up with a schedule is one thing. Executing it is another. Therefore, developing a schedule should be complemented by effective execution. These features should characterize your schedule:
- Manageable – Split the schedule into subjects. This is particularly true when you are starting out. Let him or her begin with the most difficult lessons in the morning, when the mind is fresh. As the day progresses, he or she tackles the less difficult subjects. Alternatively, he or she can commit several minutes for long-term assignments like presentations or lingering tests. Breaking down sophisticated and big projects into smaller ones makes them more manageable.
- Consistent – Ensure the time-table you set guarantees consistency on the part of your child when it comes to handling assignments. This goes miles in establishing accountability while at the same time assisting him or her to internalize his or her schedule.
- Task-Oriented – You need to assist your kid come up with a realistic timetable. One way of doing this is by making sure the schedule’s main emphasis is on tasks. It needs to be clear on what the learner needs to accomplish every night or in the week. By doing this, you will assist him or her to enhance his concentration as he or she pursues precise, concrete goals.
Set Up a Study Space at Home
It is important to designate a workspace or desk for your child at home. It needs to be conducive for studying. Is it well-lit? Is the space free from distractions? Have all the necessary study supplies (scratch paper, highlighters, pens/pencils and colorful post-its) at the study area.
Allow your child to decorate their study space. Guide them on how to organize and tidy their desk. Proper organization ensures your child has an easy time handling the following day’s tasks.
Consider Practicing for Tests
Most parents and their children review content before an examination. This is not the ideal strategy to prepare for imminent exams. Taking an interactive method such as utilizing flash cards or finishing practice tests is more effective. Practicing for tests entails doing things such as asking questions and having your child answer through essay-style explanations. It is a great way to verify whether your child has understood the material.
Teach Your Child to Avoid Cramming
Teach your child to study a bits and bits of a topic daily. Doing so is more effective for long-term retention compared to extended periods in a day. Together, structure his or her study timetable in such a way that it has breaks between various subjects. Practicing 10 minutes daily helps. Having breaks between studying different lessons improves retention and helps them to remain fruitful and attentive.
Creating A Portfolio
Creating a portfolio is one a good way to prepare for college and high school. A portfolio contains everything important in the journey of a learner to an institution of higher learning. Some of the info contained touches on things such as community activities, co-curricular activities and even private information.
What Does a Portfolio Contain?
An array of things constitutes a portfolio. The most important among them all are samples that demonstrate your child’s best efforts. Additionally, it has items that reveal progress over time.
Portfolios can be:
- Plastic pouches
- Electronic files
- Divided folders
Some of the categories that can be included are:
- Academic Information
- Personal Information
- Co-curricular activities
- Community service/job history
Personal information is necessary whether you are applying for admission, filling sponsorship forms or registering for entrance tests. Often, the following details are required:
- Income tax return
- Modifications/special needs
- Parent’s professional and education
- Driver’s license number
- Social security number (Alien registration numbers for non-US citizens)
- Immunization record
- Birth certificate
You can add some of the above items when your child reaches high school.
The academic history of a learner is vital during college application. Course achievement, grades and selections are excellent demonstrators of how brilliantly students perform in college. The following items touching on academics should be added:
- College/summer classes and academic camps attended
- Counselor or teacher recommendations
- Improvement history
- Academic recognition
- Test scores. It can include SAT results, ACT, PSAT and STAAR
- Completed projects and sample assignments
Future employers and post high school officers desire well-rounded learners. It is prudent that you demonstrate the active nature of your child in different groups such as athletics, and organizations. Note: Some scholarships are given to students based on co-curricular activities like:
- Taking part in athletics, interest groups and being part of a band
- Learner government duties and roles
- Involvement CV that demonstrates membership in organizations and clubs. The resume must also show dates of registration, committee involvement and leadership duties
- Achievements or impact to an organization
- Educational travel that includes journals, papers, reflections
Community Service/Job History
There is more to being admitted in college than academics. As an applicant, your child need to prove their involvement in employment and community service outside class. Experience in these two areas shows the ability of your child to use skills and utilize time well. Participating in communal work means that your child strives to make the world a better place.
In this section of the portfolio, fill details such as:
- Work commendations
- Employee recommendations and evaluations
- Educational travel that includes journals, papers, reflections
- Civic and/or church organizations
- Community sponsored service projects
- Work experience CV
- Reflections and skills learned on career interests
Note: Your child’s portfolio should reveal his or her personality. It needs to demonstrate how adequately a learner is ready for what lies ahead after graduation. Portfolios help learners create a picture of who they desire to be after secondary school. Having it plays a role in making solid choices for the future.
How to Search for A Career
Begin with Interests
Consult the learning institution and establish whether it offers interest inventories. How does the school give parents or guardians copies of the results? Getting the results gives you and your child a clear picture on some of the options he or she can undertake in future.
Once you have done that, it is time to help your teen take an online test. Click here for a free assessment. Through the platform, you can select an interest, career and check the different post high school certification and/or education requirements. Every career on the platform is associated to its cluster.
Learners can find out more careers here. This site is handy when it comes to offering information touching on specific professions, prospective salaries, forecasted growth in the career, academic requirements and how to adequately prepare for the profession. On the site, there are also links to crucial data on the country’s employment.
Have a Discussion on Your Career Experience
As a parent or guardian, you can provide valuable insight regarding the importance of working. This is regardless of the career path your child decides to follow. Have a candid and open talk on your professional experience and exactly what makes it tick for you.
Schedule an Interview
It is very important that your child has a personal experience on an interview or job. Consider setting up a couple of interviews to ensure this happens. This will go miles in offering them a glimpse of the ins and outs of a career.
The following are some of the common interview questions:
- What made you choose this career?
- What do you consider to be the most satisfying part of a job?
- What level of schooling have you attained?
Another way of going about this is having your teen interview to learn more about what your career entails. Let your child visit the Roadtrip Nation to find out more about various career paths. The platform has countless videos that provide insights touching on backgrounds of various careers in the country.
The good thing is middle school should be about exploration. Therefore, your child need not be worried about making the ‘right’ choice at this point in time. You should allow him or her to not only explore but discuss all career option. In spite of the professional path they choose, one thing is for sure – education is vital to expounding their career options.
Planning for Graduation
The fact that secondary school has countless choices means that you need to understand everything about graduation. For example, what are the requirements? Some institutions need their learners to complete not less than 26 credits.
Proper planning is essential to meeting all these and many other requirements. That way, your child can graduate in time.
A sophisticated concept for both learners and parents is secondary school credits. Find out more about the important factor of success here.
How to Save Cash for College?
It is your duty as a guardian or parent to discuss with your child the significance of having money management skills. Although great choices for college sponsorship exist, you need to know the various ways you can utilize to save for education in an institution of higher learning. For instance, you can create a 529 savings plan. Alternatively, your family can adjust spending to save some bucks towards college.
The most important thing is to ensure cash is available when required.
use these saving tips to save cash for your kid’s college learning.
In addition to the above, the following tips can also be handy:
- Have a savings plan and stick to it?
- Assist your kid to create, and run a savings account. Help him or her understand issues such as interest rates and the benefits of adding cash to the account frequently
- Always review college costs to have a rough idea of the exact costs that will be required
Here are the different accounts you can utilize to set aside money for educating your child in college:
Conventional savings account
This is the normal savings account. Everyone, including your child needs to have it. Provided your savings account is insured by NCUA or FDIC, you are guaranteed of getting your money even when the bank goes under. Secondly, you are also assured that your hard-earned money will attract interest.
Roth IRA is handy when it comes to storing futuristic retirement savings. Guardians and parents make contributions via after-tax dollars. What is the implication of this? It simply means that the withdrawals you make upon maturity are free of tax. However, when filing for tax returns, you do not qualify for deductions.
The major advantage of this account is that your savings grow tax-free. Secondly, the accounts offer flexibility. When your kid completes his or her education, you can utilize the rest of the money for retirement.
The best attribute about 529 plans is the fact that they are tax-advantaged. With these plans, parents and guardians can devote their after-tax cash into varied, low-stock bond and stock funds. Afterwards, the money is withdrawable for education expenditures which are qualified.
You can open this account immediately your kid is born. Some companies provide the plan to their workers. Parents can utilize money in these accounts for graduate and undergraduate studies at any certified institution of higher learning in the country.
Coverdell savings account
This is the best alternative to the 529 plan. Coverdell accounts are tailored to offer assistance to families to cover fees for college, secondary and elementary education. Similar to the 529 plans, this account also allows parents and guardians to contribute via after-tax money. Savings grow free of tax. Provided you use your withdrawals for certain expenditures, they remain tax-free.
Prepaid tuition plans
If you are looking for great alternatives to the above accounts, then you should consider prepaid tuition plans. These are handy if you desire your teen to enroll at an in-state college or university. Through the plans, you can part with some money that goes into tuition credits. The price is usually predetermined.
The accounts retain similar parental protections, financial aid and tax as 529 plans. Nonetheless, they are not susceptible to swings within the stock market. What happens if your kid changes schools? Well, you might get a chance to transfer funds over or get a refund.
What Financial Aid Entails
When in middle school, both children and parents might think that college is too many years ahead. However, to have an easy time at an institution of higher learning, it is better and prudent to begin planning early enough. University costs are categorized into:
- Personal expenditures
- Institutional costs
Learn more about what university or college financial assistance entails here.
How to Get Support at College
Parents do not need to have answers to every question their kids ask regarding college. Fortunately, if you do not have a concrete answer to a question, plenty of resources and tools are available to help you out. In addition to that, university awareness programs, tutors and guidance counselors are available to handle any issue (s) you and your child might have when it comes to preparing to go to college.
Share with your child these tips to help him or her enjoy college life:
- Utilize university/college awareness activities provided by the district
- If possible, he or she needs to find a mentor. Mentors are handy to provide career advice, offer a unique perspective on social and academic issues, build self-confidence and make arrangements for internships
- As a parent, you must know everyone involved in the life of your child while in school
- Talk to fellow parents. It is also prudent to talk to other teens in the school as it helps you know what is going on from the perspective of others