• Success during the Middle School Years

    Posted by Michal Farley on 9/7/2018



    Middle School is an exciting yet challenging time in our lives. It is very important that during this time children feel safe, supported, and have an adult they trust that they can and do talk to. Students in middle school are constantly trying to decipher among right and wrong, understand and create appropriate relationships, and learn how to manage their time more efficiently. It is a lot to handle. It is also during this time that they are trying to understand who they are separate from the people that have supported them their whole lives, their parents. As the middle school guidance counselor, I hope that I can be of assistance and support to you and your child during this time. My goal is to help each student experience success academically and socially during their middle school years.

    With the help of http://kidshealth.org, I have compiled some ideas for us as parents/guardians to use to help our children have the academic success now and in the future.

    1. Be Involved in their Academic Success  Attend parent/teacher conferences, know our school, our school’s website, and how to use and access the parent portal. (Ask me if you do not know how.)Support homework expectations, and have your student do homework in a quiet, well-lit area with no phone or TV nearby. (If you are unhappy with the homework load, talk with the teacher, but please do not criticize the teacher or the teacher’s expectations in front of your child.)
    2. Make Mornings Positive  A good night sleep (pre-teens need 10-12 hours, teens need 8.5-9.5), a low stress morning (a routine that is consistent and fun), and a good breakfast(low sugar, good protein) will help your student be prepared to learn and socialize.
    3. Help them Learn Organization.Each night your student should be bringing home an agenda. Take five minutes each night to look over the agenda and the assignments being assigned. Help your child organize their notebooks, prioritize their assignments, and maybe create a to-do list to help them get started.
    4. Help with Study Skills  Before a test help your child learn how to study. Review the material and study with easy techniques: simple questioning, provide the missing word, create practice tests. The more processes the brain uses to handle information, such as writing, reading, speaking, and listening, the more likely the information will be retained.
    5. Know the Schools Discipline Procedures  It is important for your child to know what is expected at school and that you will support the school’s consequences when expectations are not met. *If you have a concern with a school policy or discipline procedure, please contact the administration regarding that concern. Undermining the school and their policies in front of your child may inhibit your child’s respect for their school and their teachers.
    6. Get Involved with the School  It is important to be part of their educational life. Go to their games, volunteer for field trips and time in the classroom when you can. It is important also to respect their space. Follow your children’s clues to determine how much interaction works for both of you.
    7. Take Attendance Seriously  We need them here. School is their job. Helping them learn how important it is for them to perform well at their job as well as enjoy their job is an essential life-long skill. If they cannot perform well, or if they do not enjoy – we need to find out why.
    8. Take Time to Talk  Talk about everything and anything that interests them. Talk about movies, music, faith, friends, relationships, and what you do during the day. Keep the talk positive, create the atmosphere so that they will want to come to talk to you. Middle School is a time to complete the groundwork of your relationship with your child before they head off to High School.

    Thank you for taking the time to read these suggestions. It was so helpful for me as a parent and educator to write them. I really look forward to seeing your amazing children each day. Please contact me if there is anything I can do to help this year be successful for them academically and/or socially.


    Michal Farley, Middle School Guidance Counselor


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