MIDWAY, FL - Students have been home for little while for summer break.
Often, boredom may be starting to settle in.
For those children in their early years of learning it may be a good idea to get them master their skills during the summer months.
Family Therapist Jane Marks talked about how to approach thise after asked by a mother of twins, whose kids are heading to the 8th grade.
Marks says why not get them ready for the next grade level to eat up some time this summer.
Teen Talk: 8th Grade Preparation
Question: I have twins who are now well into the summer and are experiencing extreme boredom, they will be going into the eighth grade, and so I decided to frame up the rest of this summer for preparation for eighth grade. They pretty much have it down in terms of confidence and how to navigate the school, but I think if we look at the eighth grade from a different perspective it might make it a powerful experience for high school. What are your thoughts on this?
Answer: Because teens have been through middle school they are very confident going into eighth grade, but there are some things you can look at in the coming year that certainly may serve them in navigating the last year of middle school. Let's start with academic habits. What were their grades last year? Were they fairly successful? Was there unevenness in their academics? If the grades were successful, check! If not, let's review several areas.
1. MAKE DAILY READING PART OF YOUR SUMMER PREP WORK. Do not make it an option. Make it a part of the summertime expectation. Writing also becomes crucial as you enter into high school and so journaling, writing creative stories may also be part of looking at the academic arena. You want to learn critical reading skills as well as critical writing skills as all of this will help with major test taking.
2. DEVELOP ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS. This is a time they need to really hunker down and get those organizational skills in place. Remember this is a pre-curser to high school and using this eighth grade year to hone in on organizational skills builds a foundation for high school.
3. DEVELOP TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS. Is your child's learning style driven by deadlines? If that is the case, this is a wonderful time to address and explore the use of a planner, maybe a different kind of planner. Define goals.
4. LEARN FOCUSED CONVERSATIONS WITH ADULTS. Develop a rich vocabulary so that when you interact with adults you do so in a measured and proactive way. Summertime is also a time to learn to navigate dealing with difficult teachers. So developing meaningful relationships is also part of learning focused conversations.
5. EXPOSURE TO BOTH PRE WORK FOR BOTH THE SAT AND THE ACT. You might be surprised that many young people are not aware that doing well on these tests qualifies them for talent competitions across the nation and so exposure to this, having an understanding to what these tests mean and how they make an impact on their future is critical for future successes. An awareness of programs for middle schoolers are Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins, Joseph Baldwin Academic and Truman State University, Midwest Academic Talent Search; all of these are programs that will allow youngsters prior to high school to take these tests if they are so inclined. Prepping for the SAT and ACT will also help you do well on other tests like the PSAT. In addition to that, it will also boost those scores.
6. DEFINE YOUR HEALTH HABITS. This is something we focus on all the time. The good thing about middle school is that it doesn't start until 9:00. Healthy breakfast, protein, adequate sleep, these are all in preparation for middle school.
7. PARENTS, WERE YOU GOOD IN CHECKING ON THE PARENT PORTALS LAST YEAR? Did you and your teen have access to grades on a regular basis? If that was not the case, this needs to certainly be a part of the regular fiber of eighth grade this year.
8. BE COGNIZANT OF ALL ACCOMMODATIONS. If your youngster is academically challenged, make sure you have an awareness of what is available for eighth grade. Remember the key is getting ready for high school.
9. MIDDLE SCHOOL IS SOMETIMES STRESSFUL WITH RECALL SKILLS. If recall skills or focus skills are important, remember color coding, flashcards, paring up with study buddies, repetition and reminders are ways to help teens who tend to be a little bit more forgetful and focus in on what needs to happen.
10. FINALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE IS DEVELOPING SELF-ADVOCATING SKILLS. How to ask questions. How to check resources for answers and how to be clear about what it is you need from your teachers