Preparing for middle school math may be overwhelming whether your child is starting 6th grade or finishing up 8th grade Algebra. Take a deep breath and get ready for a great school year. Start the year off right with our teacher endorsed checklist...
1) Set up a routine for success - Designate a quiet, comfortable spot in the house as a study area. Sometimes providing a yummy snack during study time can be a good motivator and take the edge off. Make sure your child has a set time whether it is right after school or just after dinner so there are no surprises and it becomes part of the evening routine.
2) Have Supplies Ready - Make sure to gather all school supplies before the school year starts. You can usually find this on the school's website. Your child will start out prepared and ready to learn. Make sure to have a basic calculator at home so you can double check homework answers. Some teachers will have calculators in the classrooms while others may not have a full class set. Even if a student uses a calculator to check answers most teachers only give full credit if all of the steps are shown. A lot of math teachers also like to have students keep a spiral notebook for math notes so be sure to pick up a couple of these when they go on sale. Oh... and you can never have enough sharp pencils.
3) No Homework? Hmmm.... - Be careful of the auto response "I don't have any homework tonight". Chances are there is something your child can work on to help him or her succeed in math. If there is truly no assigned homework, have your child show you what he or she worked on in class and come up with a problem for you to solve. It is also recommended that parents look over the completed homework...sometimes kids remember that there were a few more problems they need to finish...oops!J
4) Make Contact - Your child's teacher may have up to 150 students or more on a daily basis. Teachers appreciate any information you can share about your child and the sooner, the better. It will help start out the school year with open communication and help the teacher get to know your child's needs quickly. A quick email introducing yourself and how to get ahold of you can go a long way. If you feel like your child is overwhelmed at any time, set up a meeting with his or her teacher and come up with an individual plan.
5) Stay Involved - Math can either be a favorite or "the dreaded
subject". Make sure you know how your child is doing at all times. It can be very hard to catch up once a student falls behind in math. A lot of schools have online grade books that you can check at any time. I would bookmark this page and check it as often as your email.
6) Fit Body = Fit Mind - Make sure your pre-teen or teenager is getting enough sleep (8 hours at least), is eating a healthy breakfast and exercises regularly. The mind and body work together so that the brain muscle can work at its best. The energy drinks tends to leave kids sluggish and exhausted by the end of the day. You can't go wrong with good ol' fashioned cereal with milk.
Have a great school year!