One biggest mistakes I made when my son started middle school, was letting him convince me that he was old enough to handle things on his own – mostly on keeping organized. I’m not sure if he was fooling me, as much as he was fooling himself. Somehow I had forgotten how middle school was different from grade school in so many ways, and I believe he was resistant to admit just how terrified he was over how different middle school was from grade school. We were certainly in store for some middle school mishaps at the beginning of the school year.
Remembering the location and combination of your locker is hard enough. But add to that the multiple teachers and homework assignments, the embarrassment of dressing out for gym class, and all the awkwardness that just comes with being a tween. With all of this newness and pressure on students, being unorganized is a sure recipe for disaster. After my sons gym clothes, lunch money, and portfolio all disappeared in one week, I knew it was time for me to step in and gently guide him into a routine.
Middle school differs from elementary school in many ways – one of the most important, but underestimated, is the increased pressure it puts in kids’ organizational abilities. I recall asking my son how much homework he had after school, only to learn later he had remembered just two of five assignments.
Tips for Helping Your Middle School Student Get Organized
1. Attend back to school orientation with your child. This will give your student a chance to learn the layout of the school and meet teachers.
2. Use planners or assignment books. The chances of your tween remembering 5 or 6 different assignments and due dates is slim to none. With your planner, your whole homework schedule and after school activities can be organized. Write things in it like homework, events, meetings, etc.
3. Set up a bulletin board and back to school calendar where you and your child can both keep track of things like projects, after school activities, school fundraisers, etc. Place the calendar in a highly visible location in your home. I also recommend a dry erase board.
4. Pack the night before. School mornings can be rough, so having your middle school student get into the habit of setting out clothes and packing up the night before will save you a lot of stress and get you out the door on time.
5. Emergency snacks. Let’s face it tweens and teens need a lot of fuel for their ever growing and changing bodies. Keep a stash of trail mix and juice boxes in your child’s backpack to help them get through that long period between lunch and the end of the day.
6. Labeling. Label everything from pencil cases, notebooks, folders and backpacks. This might seem elementary but is imperative for middle school students. Almost every kid on campus has the same school sweatshirt or gym clothes, so labeling is important.
Put a label on it! Kick off the school year right and prevent unnecessary mishaps. Reply below for $5 off your Bright Star Kids order.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bright Star Kids. The opinions and text are all mine.