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Middle School Organization: Three Things You Can Do Today

Middle School Organization: Three Things You Can Do Today

Middle school is a shock to your child’s well ordered world. Not only do they go from being the┬ábig fish to the minnow again, the common middle school schedule includes six or seven classes per semester. This occurs normally with six or seven different teachers who have six or seven different sets of expectations. For many students, the biggest sore thumb that sticks out of all the new procedures can be summed up in one word: Binders. They’re everywhere. They crumble. They get lost in the locker. They hold loose papers in no particular order. They count for a portion of your child’s grade.

Even though it’s all a normal part of growing up, you can help ease those growing pains a little. This is meant to be a temporary state of affairs while you take a few weeks or months to teach your little one how to function more independently.

Do This

Brush Up On Teacher Expectations: Find the document that the teacher sent home to describe how the binder is supposed to be put together. Can’t find it? Ask for a new one via email. This is a great time to test your communication with the teacher. If they don’t have such a thing but instead “just tell the students in class” how to organize, go ahead and ask them to write one. I promise that you’re not the only family who would benefit from a little guidance.

Consider An Inbox Folder: Remember those wonderful years of elementary school when your child had the one folder? One side was probably marked “homework” and the other “take home” or something similar? It was awesome because it worked. You can do something similar. Provide your child with just one vinyl folder or manila envelope to carry from class to class along with their other materials. Instruct them to put any papers that they get from their teachers in this one spot.

Perform The Dining Table Sort and Review: Every day after school you teach them to sort their papers into the right places in their binders. Yes, this means that for a few weeks your student is hauling EVERYTHING home. But it’s meant to be temporary. You show them how to do it. The quicker they catch on, the quicker they don’t have to bring it all home any more.

Benefits

1. Independence: It sounds silly, but many middle school students don’t realize that the binders they had to bring to school at the beginning of the year have any purpose other than random paper storage. So you get to teach them that each different teacher has different expectations. Teach them that those expectations are specific to each teacher.

2. Planning Skills: Once you have weaned off of the need to bring everything home every day, you can work on helping your child realize when to bring materials home for homework purposes. For example, if your 7th grader has pre-algebra and science homework then they need to bring their math and science notebooks home. Without a doubt those teachers gave notes in class about how to do the homework, and those notes are useless if they’re sitting in the locker.

 

 

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