Transitioning into middle school is a big change for students and parents. It requires more adept time management skills, independent responsibility, and a tougher course load. However, with the right tips, students can develop lifelong skills to help them succeed in all future academic endeavors. We have developed a list of beneficial habits to help your child transition and flourish in the upper grade levels.

Write a To-Do list. Albeit one of the simplest time management techniques out there, compiling a to-do list everyday will keep your middle schooler on track when they get home. They will get the satisfaction of checking off responsibilities from the list as they complete them, and keep their homework, projects, chores, etc., organized. For an extra motivator, tell your student they have to finish all of their to-do list items before they can enjoy leisurely activities in order to teach them to prioritize their schoolwork over fun time.

Have a designated work space. Creating an area devoted solely to homework time is an excellent way to keep work and play separate. It becomes an environment dedicated to productivity. Doing homework or working on projects in multiple areas, or in spaces typically used for relaxation, inhibits a student’s ability to focus on the task at hand. Set up your student at the kitchen or dining room table after school or invest in a desk for their room. Allow students to customize their work area with fun organizational crafts to set up the perfect work space.

Set a good example. Children are extremely observant. Simple tasks like reading with your child, working alongside them, and creating a learning-friendly home helps your middle schooler see progress in action. They will copy your behavior and feel less like they are missing out on other fun activities since you are also working, even if it’s simple, everyday tasks. Encouraging and showing your middle schooler how to put their best academic foot forward will create a college-going culture at home to keep them on a path toward future success.

While middle school can seem daunting at first, reinforcing your child’s confidence in themselves, helping them develop time management skills, and supporting them in their academic and extracurricular endeavors will make junior high a piece of cake.