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    Back-to-School To-Do List: Middle School

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    Preparing for School

    Getting ready for a new school year means being highly organized. WebMD offers this to-do list to help you and your middle schooler make a smooth transition from summer to scholastics:

    • Call your child's school or check the school's web site for required supplies, absence policies, and school rules and dress codes.
    • Schedule a visit with the doctor's office for a flu vaccine and other vaccinations or exams required for school or sports activities.
    • Call your child's school or check its web site to prepare for enrolling your child. You may need proof of residence or vaccination records.
    • Prepare a plan for what to do if your child gets sick and has to stay home for a few days. Find out how to get lesson plans and assignments from your child's teachers, so your child can keep up.

    Routines to Make Life Easier

    • Remind your child about pedestrian, biking, and bus safety. Insist they use cross walks, safe paths, and not walk behind buses -- adolescents are still at risk for accidents.
    • Encourage your child to walk, bike, or blade to places near home (with safety gear!).
    • Go over your expectations about lunch choices and agree upon acceptable after-school snacks.
    • Establish rules for when homework gets done and where. Talk about your expectations for how school fits in with extracurricular activities, socializing and game playing.
    • Work out mutually agreed upon expectations about after-school chores.
    • Set up a place in your home to put things that go to school (backpacks, papers, books, etc.). Take a few minutes before bed each night to put things there to reduce chaos in the morning.
    • One simple rule can reduce chaos and distractions in the morning: No TV before school.

    Chats to Have With Your Adolescent

    • Find a quiet time to talk with your child about her feelings about starting school. Ask her about academic and social goals for the year.
    • Help keep your child healthy. Remind your child to cough and sneeze into a tissue or elbow or shoulder if a tissue isn't available. Also, talk about healthy hand washing and healthy sharing of personal items.
    • It's not too early. Talk with your child about important issues of adolescence: Internet safety, bullying and teasing, peer pressure, smoking, drugs, and alcohol.

    Things to Buy for Your Adolescent

    • Have your child pick out basic school supplies, such as pencils, paper, computer supplies, binders, folders, a backpack, and lunch box.
    • Help your child choose mix-and-match school clothes. Be sure you have gym clothes and special shoes, if needed, as well as a jacket or coat.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on July 21, 2016
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