Be a Shock Absorber
You once navigated the transition from elementary to middle school, and now's the time to pass on your wisdom to your child. We're not suggesting your regale them with stories of "when I was your age ...." You could, however, deflect some of the stressors that await your student by helping him get organized.
For a sixth grader, organization is more than simply knowing where the books and pencils lie. It means helping him develop a system that will form the foundation for high school and college. Help your student get in the habit of tracking assignments on a weekly assignment sheet, whether in paper or electronic form. As your student checks this sheet daily, it will remind him which supplies he needs for class. It will also prompt him to plan ahead and complete assignments due later in the week [source: Peters].
By helping your student learn the ropes, you'll be acting as a shock absorber for all the changes that lie ahead -- and there's no better way to help your sixth grader succeed.
Author's Note: 5 Ways You Can Help Your Child Succeed in Sixth Grade
As the parent of a son who recently finished sixth grade and two daughters who will eventually reach that milestone, I researched these tips like I was studying for a graduate exam. I was relieved to discover that I'd inadvertently set my son up for success by encouraging the exploration of his particular interests (we either have a software engineer or a wheat farmer on our hands). I was glad to find a number of additional steps I can take to help my girls prepare for sixth grade someday. You can bet they'll be mastering the art of organization. Is preschool too early to start?
- Ghezzi, Patti. "Sixth Grade Social Changes: What to Expect." School Family. (June 26, 2012) http://www.schoolfamily.com/school-family-articles/article/10625-sixth-grade-social-changes-what-to-expect/
- Peters, Ruth. "How to Get Kids Organized for Middle School." MSNBC. (June 26, 2012) http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20425248/ns/today-parenting_and_family/t/how-get-kids-organized-middle-school/
- Plugged in Parents. "Practicing Healthy Discipline." Oct. 4, 2010. (June 26, 2012) http://www.pluggedinparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=172&itemid=0
- Price-Mitchell, Marilyn. "The Psychology of Youth Sports." Psychology Today. Jan. 8, 2012. (June 26, 2012) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201201/the-psychology-youth-sports
- Stumpenhorst, Joe. "Innovation Day 2011." Personal Blog. March 4, 2011. (June 26, 2012) http://stumpteacher.blogspot.com/2011/03/innovation-day-2011.html
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