Middle School Parents Newsletter

  • Ask questions when your child gets stuck on math problems

    Posted by Newsletter on 4/14/2019

    Middle school math can be challenging for students and parents alike! If your child gets stuck on math homework, it’s helpful to think of yourself as a guide rather than as a teacher. You don’t need to have the answers to show him how to tackle his homework effectively.

    To help your child with math homework, ask him:

    • What specific problem are you working on? This will help him focus on one task at a time, rather than become intimidated by an entire sheet of equations.
    • What do the instructions say? Have him read the directions out loud to you. It’s possible that he missed key words the first time around.
    • Are there parts of the instructions you don’t understand? Suggest that he check in his textbook or ask a classmate for clarification.
    • Are there things you’ve learned before that may help you here?


    If your child is still hopelessly stuck (and you are, too), encourage him to look for help online. If his teacher has a website, he should look there first. He can also search sites like YouTube and find instructional math videos to watch.

    If your child still isn’t able to figure it out, have him turn in as much of the work as he was able to complete. Then, encourage him to ask his teacher for help.

    Reprinted with permission from the April 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

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  • Playing board games builds skills and promotes learning

    Posted by Newsletter on 4/7/2019

    Board games provide an activity the whole family can enjoy. They also reinforce skills that inspire learning and thinking. Your child will benefit from:

     

    • Following directions. Middle schoolers still need to practice this skill—just ask any middle school teacher!
    • Lessons in logic, reasoning and strategy. For success with many games, your child will need to decide which move to make or card to play. This kind of decision making will be helpful in higher math and science classes.
    • Reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary. Some board games are all about creating words and word puzzles. For others, your child must read and understand questions and clues.
    • Creating and spotting patterns. Success in recognizing, remembering and applying patterns is directly related to success in math.
    • Focus and attention. Taking turns, planning strategies and monitoring opponents all require focus and attention. Your child will sharpen these school skills as she plays.
    • Negotiation and communication. Some board games, such as Monopoly, require players to make deals and alliances in order to move forward. Playing these games teaches kids how to collaborate with others.

     

    Reprinted with permission from the April 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

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  • Experts offer three strategies to motivate underachievers

    Posted by Newsletter on 3/31/2019

    It’s frustrating when you know your child has the ability to succeed but seems not to want to. This is the trap of underachievement.

    Experts suggest parents do three things to get kids back on track:

    1. Show your child you care about him as a person, not just a student. If a rousing lecture about getting better grades were the trick to motivation, there would be no such thing as an underachiever. Make time to talk to your child about his life, go with him to see a favorite movie, play a board game together. This helps him feel valued—an important step toward getting him motivated.
    2. Recognize improvements. It might not thrill you if your child brings home a low C on his social studies quiz. But if his last quiz grade was a D, he’s made progress. A pat on the back with a simple, “You brought your grade up. I believe in you!” can work wonders.
    3. Harness the power of friends. If your child doesn’t want your help, consider enlisting the help of one of his friends. “Grant is in your social studies class. Maybe the two of you could study for the next test together. I can make a pizza if you want to have him over on Friday.”

    Reprinted with permission from the April 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

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