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Talk about academics.  Middle school is a great time for kids to learn good study habits.  Let your child know how important it is to keep up with homework.  Talk about how doing well in school now can help him reach his goals later in life.

Find a quiet, well-lit place for him to study at home
.  Then, figure out together what kind of study routine will work best for him.  Hint:  Teachers usually have good study tips to share.
Be organized.  Your child will probably have more homework now that he’s in middle school.  You can help him keep track of it by getting him to use his Academic Planner in every class.  Show him how to write down homework and other information, like test dates or class trips.  He can check his planner before leaving school to make sure he brings home everything he needs.

Discuss Behavior.  Let your child know what behavior you expect from him in school.  Examples:  Be in class on time; be polite to teachers; pay attention.  Be clear about consequences for unacceptable behavior.  Is your child constantly late to class?  Consider asking for an escort for him between classes for a day or two.   

Get involved.  Volunteering at your child’s school is a great idea.  You’ll help the school, but just as important, your child will benefit.  You’ll get to know his teachers and coaches and better understand what middle school is like for him.   

Here are some ways to get involved:  Join the School Site Council (SSC), Compensatory Education Advisory Committee, or the English Learner Advisory Committee; volunteer to help in the different offices or classrooms, chaperone a field trip, talk to a class about your job, or lend a hand with after-school programs.

Stay active.  Growing kids need regular physical activity.  Sometimes gym class does not allow for enough exercise time. Try to find other ways for him to get exercise.  Look for after-school teams he can join or a nearby park where he can bike or skate.  Bonus:  Regular activity can help kids concentrate better in school.   

Source: Reprinted with permission from Resources for Educators, a Division of Aspen Publishers, Inc. (c) 2005