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Middle Years Newsletter: April 2019

Middle Years Newsletter April 2019

Year-end planning:

As the school year winds down, your child’s schedule will fill up with exams, projects, and events. To stay on top of everything, she might write obligations on a wall calendar. Or she could use an electronic calendar and share it with you so you’re in the loop. Work together to stay organized and set your student up for success. 


Acne advice: A good skin-care routine helps prevent or reduce acne. Encourage your middle grader to wash their face with a cleanser twice a day. Tell them not to pop pimples, since that could cause scarring. If the problem persists, consider taking them to a dermatologist.


Sixty-second challenges:

For a quick, fun way to connect with your tween, have family members create challenges you can do in a minute or less! For example, set a timer and race to see who can stack the most plastic cups one-handed. Or compete to be the first to wriggle a cookie from your forehead to your mouth.


Worth quoting:

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” Rainer Maria Rilke


Just for fun:

Q: Why should you be quiet at a bowling alley?

A: So you can hear a pin drop.


On a roll with reading:

Reading for pleasure on a regular basis will boost your tween’s vocabulary and general knowledge, and it may improve their test scores, too. Get them on board with these strategies. 

Find a good fit: Falling in love with reading may simply be a matter of finding the right books. Suggest that your middle grader try the first book in a popular series—if he enjoys it, he may be eager to read the next one. Also, he can get lists of books similar to those he likes by googling the title plus the term “read-alikes.” 

Read with friends. Offer to drive your child to meet friends at the library. They might browse the shelves for fiction or nonfiction based on their own interests, then find a spot to settle in and read side by side. Or perhaps they’ll all get copies of the same book to read at home. When they finish, they could meet up to discuss their thoughts about the book.

Family story hour: If you think your tween has outgrown listening to you read to him, think again! In fact, children of all ages benefit from being read to. Offer to read the first chapter or two of a book out loud. Then, leave the book where he’ll find it. He just may get hooked and read the rest on his own.


Raise an appreciative child:

Tweens don’t always realize how much their parents and others do for them. Help your child feel and express appreciation, and ward off a sense of entitlement, with these ideas:
■ Teach your tween to be grateful for things she might consider no big deal. Maybe you wait in the car every week during her music lesson, or a friend’s mom drives her to a birthday party. Encourage her to think about the effort involved (“It was nice of Mrs. Lake to go out of her way to pick you up”) and to say thank you.
■ Explain that you provide for your middle grader’s needs, but set an expectation that she’ll save or work for wants, like a skateboard or video game. Suggest that she do odd jobs, such as babysitting or washing cars, to earn money.