Studies show that many children’s grades drop during the first year of middle school. It’s at this point that they can become less interested in studying and less self-assured about their abilities.
But rigorous academic standards and tougher high school graduation requirements mean students need to be diligent with their studies throughout the middle school years. So how do you spark an interest in academics when texting and the lure of the Internet loom large? Here are some ideas…
Be a positive role model.
When talking about your own work, emphasize not only the frustrations but also the satisfactions that go along with reaching a goal or finishing a job. This is a great way to show your children that achievement has its rewards.
Give your children lots of support.
Although the middle years are a time when children crave more independence, they still need your understanding and clear expectations from you. Your positive, patient support can be one of the best motivators there is.
Praise your children realistically.
Use words like “bright,” “creative,” “imaginative,” “kind” and “hard-working,” as opposed to “brilliant,” “genius,” “smartest” and “perfect.” And let them know that struggling with a task is not a bad thing.
Stay involved in your children’s learning.
This includes asking questions of your children and their teachers, participating in school activities, and checking on homework, test grades, etc.
Tap into your children’s interests.
For example, subscribing to a preteen or sports magazine can promote reading; using the Internet along with your children to locate information on their favorite musical groups can promote good research skills.