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.