Helping Middle Schools Students Cope

Middle Schoolers are Frequently Forgetful

One day your preteen locks herself out of the house. The next day she leaves her homework at home. What’s going on? According to memory researcher Charles Brainerd, it’s natural for children this age to be forgetful. With all their responsibilities—such as homework, activities and chores - it’s hard to remember everything.

These ideas may help:

  • Use visual cues - including notes and "to-do" lists. they creative reminders, such as a flower on your child’s desk to reminder her to water the garden.
  • Assign only one new responsibility at a time. Show you child how to do it and give clear, step-by-step instructions.
  • Talk about responsibilities ahead of time. On Sundays you might discuss plans for the week. At dinner, review the next day’s schedule.
  • Establish routines that turn chores and other duties into habits. For example, you child might make her bed before breakfast every morning.
  • Teach memory tricks, such as the rhyme "Thirty days hath September." Kids enjoy learning these simple aids.
  • Let you child see the results of her actions. She may get an "F" for leaving homework at home, but she’s more likely to remember it next time.

(Source: Pam Carroll, "Preteen Space Cadets," Parenting)

Planning Prevents Procrastination

Does your child put off big projects until the last minute? If so, he may not know how to plan ahead. teach him this skill with these guidelines:

    • Set expectations. Tell your child that projects must be done over time - not right before they are due.
    • Make a planning sheet. leave spaces for the assignment’s title, necessary supplies and steps that need to be completed. Choose a due date for each step.
    • Monitor Progress. check to make sure you child is meeting his deadlines. With practice, he’ll need less supervision.

    (Source: Lee Canter and Lee Hausner. Homework without Tears, Harper & Row Publishers)

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