Middle School Resources
Helping my child handle pressure
The focus is on how to help my middle schooler handle pressure. We have 4 resources linked for you:
- Negative & Positive Peer Pressure Differences – An easy read on the difference between positive and negative peer pressure.
- The Teenage Brain And Executive Function – A short article on understanding your child’s developing brain and attaining problem-solving skills.
Two video clips on how your student might handle and survive peer pressure in middle school or high school.
- How to Handle Peer Pressure in Middle School – Our students find themselves in situations that they sometimes do not know how to get out of. This short video clip shares a few strategies for responses that students can use to help them exit a situation with more confidence.
Surviving Peer Pressure with Scenarios – Our students hear the phrase “peer pressure” on a daily basis. But do they really know what it looks and sounds like? This video shares real to life scenarios that a parent and student could watch together and talk about.
Planning for Opportunities after High School
Attached is a PDF that highlights options for students following high school. School counselors work with students to be sure each one has a plan in place before they graduate. It’s not too early to start considering the variety of options.
Thinking about Students' Interests and Careers
As you think about talking with your child about their interests, the Holland Code described in this 3-minute video, might help as that first way of thinking about those interests aligned with careers.
Here’s a link to a quick assessment that students can take to begin to think about their interests and potential careers.
Monitoring social media
How does social media affect our children? Social media is now a regular part of middle schoolers’ lives. You may know how Instagram works, and have some vague idea of what Snapchat is, but do you have a firm understanding of how these platforms affect the tween brain? Here’s 5 quick resources we hope you will find helpful. Each resource has an embedded link.
Here’s a 2-minute video with what you should know – and how you can help.
Sometimes, it can feel like middle schoolers aren’t using their brains, but in reality, they’re just preparing to use them more effectively. These brain developments create a perfect storm of opportunities to learn. Here’s a 1-minute video on how you can tap into your tween’s interests and optimize their potential.
Here’s a short article on Surprising Ways Your Child Benefits from Social Media.
Do you worry about the impact social media can have on your child? Here is a short article with suggestions on how to protect your child.
Building Self-Confidence in my Middle Schooler
Middle School is a challenging time for many students. Here are a few resources we are hoping you will find helpful in building self-confidence within your middle school student.
- Here’s a short video clip about some tips and tools for how you might build your child’s self-esteem
- Here’s a short and informative video about changes in the brain during middle school and tips on how to embrace that change
- Here are two informative, easy to read, articles that focus on specific pointers that could help in developing your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Understanding Peer Network
How to support your child when the influence of their social peer network is so strong. Here are a few linked resources for you this week:
- Connections with others are important for health and happiness. Helping our kids develop strong social connections makes it easier for them to find opportunities for kindness in their lives. This is a short article on why kindness matters.
- If your middle schooler is no longer recognizable from the sweet, funny, and pleasant child you knew during the elementary school years, you are right. There’s a huge transformation going on inside their head. Here is a brief article explaining possible reasons why your child is acting the way he/she is.
- Good friends improve your life while toxic friends can make life challenging. Check out this overview of the top seven types of toxic friends your child may encounter.
- Are you concerned that your child may have a controlling friend? This brief article discusses the 6 signs to watch for and tips on how to help your child.
Career Technical Offerings within Shasta County High Schools
Shasta County high schools have an amazing array of options for students to consider various careers as part of the coursework they choose to take in high school. Here’s two resources for you to check out in order to learn more:
- This video was taken this spring highlighting students in action throughout Shasta County school Career Technical Education programs.
- Course Information – this document provides more specific information about Career Technical Education programs in Shasta County. An updated version of the handout will be posted on the Reach Higher Shasta website as soon as we get the video link embedded (early next week).
If you have specific questions about getting involved in Career Technical Education, talk to your school counselor.
Rigorous High School Options
Do you know the difference between Honors’ Courses and Advanced Placement Courses or the difference between Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment? See the attached document for key points that highlight the differences between these more rigorous options for high school students.
If you have any questions, please contact your school counselor.
Thinking About Careers with Middle School Students
As you think about having conversations with your middle school student about careers, you may not know where to start. Attached is a great resource that explains:
- why it is important to start conversations about careers in middle school,
- how to think about what careers might be a good match, and
- ways to start the conversation with middle school students about careers.
Opportunities for High School Students Beyond the Classroom
Our 10th and final topic for this pilot is to share with you some of the many opportunities your child will have when he/she moves on to high school. What we know is that when a student is involved at school with a club, a sport, music, or other volunteering opportunities, they become more engaged in school overall. Linked here is a document that describes some of the opportunities students have available at the various high schools in Shasta County – as well as links to more information on school websites. If you have any questions, please contact your school counselor.
Figure This!: Math challenges that middle school students can do at home with their families.
Learnzillion: Free video lessons for students, all in organized YouTube-style videos, for both English and math. Ideal for upper elementary and middle school students.
Although your middle schooler is becoming more independent and is increasingly involved in activities outside the family, you should and must remain the most influential person in his life. Through your involvement in school and extracurriculars, you can do much to help your child believe in the value and importance of education, be enthusiastic about learning, and achieve academic success.
Here are some ways you can support your child during the middle school years:
Help your child manage homework time. Encourage her to aim high and always do her best work. Check with teachers to see how much time should be necessary to complete homework. See what your school offers to help you help your child, such as an agenda planner or some other homework reminder system, and/or a Web site with helpful links.
Show interest in your child’s studies by talking with him daily about what he’s learning and doing in school (don’t take “nothing” for an answer!). If you know your child has a project for science, get involved. The same goes for cheerleading, sports, and music — any extracurricular activities.
Discuss ideas and feelings about school, studies, and activities. Be realistic about what your child can and should be able to do. Don’t expect great grades or high test scores if she isn’t capable. That expectation will only cause unnecessary frustration.
Read and review with your child the information that schools and districts provide. Be familiar with the pupil progression plan, course offerings, student handbook, etc. All these will help you and your child successfully weave your way through the maze called middle school.
Contact counselors, administrators, and teachers periodically. Find out what your child should be learning, how she is progressing, and how you can help. Be a full partner in your child’s education.
Be sure that he attends school on a regular basis. Even if he is absent for illness or another valid reason, he needs to keep up with his studies. Call the school if your child will be missing a day, and find out what he needs to do to make up for it.
Encourage her to pursue interests and make friends through extracurricular activities. Be certain, however, that she selects no more than a few activities so she has adequate time for schoolwork. You must help her find a balance; this will take compromise and patience.
Know your child’s friends. Who does your child hang out with? Follow up on any suspicions that you may have. It is better to be safe than sorry at this time of your child’s life. Know where your child is at all times. Be clear and consistent with discipline.
Make it clear that she must follow school rules and policies. Teach her to respect people as well as property. Help her know right from wrong and what she must do when negative temptations come her way.
Encourage him to get to know his counselor and to maintain contact throughout his middle-school years, if possible. Not only will the counselor be invaluable in supporting his academic path, he’s also one of many potential adult role models for your child.
Attend parent meetings, open houses, booster clubs, parent education groups, and other activities for parents. I mentioned this before, but it is very important for your child!
Volunteer at school. Both your child and the school will benefit from your involvement and help. Schools solicit volunteers to help in a variety of ways: tutoring, assisting in the media center, giving speeches, helping out at activities, chaperoning, etc.
Consistently acknowledge and reward efforts at school. Many parents expect the school to provide the incentives for their child’s accomplishments. While schools do have a lot of motivation programs, parents need to recognize their child’s successes too. When your child works hard, your acknowledgment motivates him to persist.
None of us are perfect and we sometimes make mistakes in raising our children. But your child needs your love and respect. A pre-teen needs to become independent, responsible, and self-sufficient to succeed in most of her endeavors in school and at home. The best way to help her in all aspects of development is to try to ensure that her emotional needs are consistently met. Your understanding, common sense, adult judgment, and good sense of humor can make these middle-school years a joy for both you and your child.