Middle school years set the stage for future success. These are foundational years for many subjects. These are also the years where great study habits and a love for reading can be encouraged. Fine-tuning particular skills now can make it easier for your child to get accustomed to the upcoming challenges of high school and later college. Perfecting certain skill sets now will make your child capable of adapting and able to have more options for college. Try to make the most of this period by employing the following tips for success.
Help your child stay focused and increase motivation by setting goals. Explore short-term and long-term goals with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly ideas to instill the benefits of making and sticking to a plan of action. Have rewards as part of your goal achievement process to keep motivation high.
Figure out which type of calendar situation works best for your family. Do you and your child like to write things down and read them? Do you prefer apps and electronic reminders? Would a daily planner or journal or a wall or desk calendar work best? Once you determine how your family likes to communicate, it will be much easier to use this method to keep track of goals, deadlines, projects, activities and important things.
What does your child like to do with their spare time? Do they play sports or coach? Do they participate in clubs or volunteer? Help them identify and explore their interests by encouraging them to get involved in clubs and activities to meet new people and feel more engaged with their peers.
Determine how to check in with your child to see that they are managing their studies and commitments in a positive way. Ensure they have time to complete any homework and follow up on report cards, class projects, sports, job responsibilities, etc. Establishing positive communication can help your child feel supported and reduce the chances of leaving items to the last minute or feeling overwhelmed.
Try to make reading a daily habit and a fun one. Explore poetry, short stories, news articles, Hollywood gossip, film reviews, magazine articles, cookbooks, graphic novels, comics and anything else that draws interest. Pick a book to read aloud after supper and take turns voicing different characters. This is a great way to practice enunciation and public speaking.
Taking on challenges is a part of life. Encourage your child to explore challenging courses and AP options. This can be a great way to boost confidence and help them prepare for harder classes in high school.
Discuss how challenging events or strong personalities can be helpful in the long run. Let your child know that it is important to discuss any challenges with schoolwork, friendships, bosses, household issues, transportation, finances, etc. to establish a plan of action and empower them to make changes. Communication is key. Holding in stress or not discussing any challenges will only breed stress and lack of sleep.
Educate yourself and your child on financial aid. Learning about different options now can make things much easier when the time comes to pay for college. It is never too early to learn about different options. Waiting until junior or senior year can be extra stressful. Think about part-time job options and how to earn money now to help pay for college expenses.
Plan to visit a nearby college with your child. If you have a local college in the vicinity, look at their campus event schedule to see when their community days are available or if they offer any classes for local families and children. Simply visiting a college campus can ignite a spark in your child that will make them want to attend.