Your preteen isn’t just reading and writing in school. He’s also gaining practical knowledge that can be applied outside of the classroom. To help expand that knowledge, take the things your child learns in school and reinforce them at home. Here are some ideas:
  • Sharpen his math skills. It’s nearly tax time, so enlist your preteen’s help with crunching the numbers on your return. Don’t give him anything too complicated (be sure to check his work), but let him experience what it feels like to apply math in a real-life situation.
  • Encourage him to use logic. Are you working on a puzzle or riddle? Ask your preteen to add his two cents. You might be surprised by his ability to use reasoning to find the answer.
  • Get him to lend a hand. If you’re building something or doing repairs around the house, have your middle schooler pitch in. Carpentry isn’t just a useful skill to have—it’s also a concrete way to bring geometry (using such things as angles and straight lines) to life.
  • Ask for his input. If you’re looking for something to read, ask your preteen to tell you about that novel he just finished in language arts. By simply describing it, he’ll be honing his communication skills.

Source: The Parent Institute, a division of NIS, Inc. (c) 2007