This school year why don’t you and your child take the P-E-T approach to school?
That’s Planning-Effort-Teamwork—three words that can spell the difference between a
so-so year and a great one for your middle grader. Create a successful year with these ideas.

Plan ahead. Help your child set goals for the year, such as improving his science grade. Then, have him create a specific plan to achieve those goals. Examples: Review textbook every day after school for 30 minutes; start studying for tests as soon as they are announced.

Effort counts. Encourage your child to participate actively in class. Taking notes, following along when the teacher reads, and asking questions all keep your middle grader involved. Also, finishing his homework on time allows him to join in class discussions. Staying “plugged in” to learning will mean better grades at report card time.

Team up. Want your middle grader to be excited about starting a new school year? How you talk about school makes a big difference in your child’s attitude. Show support for teachers by making contact early in the year and attending school functions. Ask your middle grader about new classes or extracurricular activities. You’ll be sending a strong message that his school is important to you too.

Source: Reprinted with permission from Middle Years (PC) 2006 Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc