Your child misses so much when she isn’t in school. She can make up the work, but she can’t reproduce the classroom experience.

If your child isn’t in class, she is not asking questions. She is not participating in class discussions. She is not listening to an explanation the teacher may make in “a teachable moment,” and then may not make again for some time.

Catching up on work in middle school can be more difficult and take more time than doing so in elementary school. Once your child is behind, she may stay there.
Require your child to be in school unless she is ill or there is a family emergency. 

You can also:
- Discuss with your child all the reasons why she must be in school.
- Schedule vacations or appointments after school hours and on weekends.
- Promote healthy habits such as enough sleep proper nutrition and daily exercise.
- Avoid making excuses for your child and support the school’s attendance policy.
- Seek help from teachers or doctors if your child has persistent fears about going to school.

Reprinted with permission from © 2008, The Parent Institute


Middle graders learn more when they’re having fun. Motivate your youngster to practice math skills, explore the world, or nurture his creative side with activities like these.

Crunch Numbers
Your child can play with sports statistics and practice problem-solving and math skills at the same time. A basketball lover might calculate his favorite players’ shooting percentages. A football fan could use game stats to develop a rating system and predict who will make the playoffs.

Go Globe-Trotting
Help your middle schooler learn more about geography with his game. Take turns closing your eyes and touching a random spot on a globe or world map. Ask him to find the longitude and latitude, and encourage him to research the place at the library or online (try www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook). For a country, he might find its capital, the language spoken, and its population. If his finger lands on an ocean or a lake, he can look up information about its size and weather patterns.

Spark Creativity
Get your child’s imagination flowing while he learns organization and planning skills. Give him a camera or video recorder, and ask him to make a photo collage or movie based on a theme. For autumn, hi might snap pictures of colorful trees, fields of corn, and baskets of apples. A film could show your family raking leaves or planting bulbs in a garden.

Reprinted with permission from ©Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc.