What are the best lessons to teach kids before they enter middle school? This is a question that many parents have been asking themselves for years. After all, there have been so many changes in education since we were young! Well, it turns out that people who had good reading skills and learned how to use a computer early on did better academically than those who didn't. In this blog post, we'll discuss just what you should be teaching your child before entering into the world of middle school academics.
The number one thing that parents can do to help their child academically before entering middle school is to ensure that the child has a strong reading comprehension. At least two studies (here and here) have found that children with good reading skills had higher GPAs than those without them. What's more, good reading comprehension skills reduce the likelihood of dropping out!
So take this opportunity to help your child hone their reading skills. If you have a younger child, make sure they get enough one-on-one time with an adult to show them the basics of phonics and spelling. For older kids, let them read whatever interests them. If they are curious about non-fiction, let them read about whatever piques their interest. This could be history articles, technology articles, even stories about nature and space!
2. Being Inclusive and Respectful To Others
Children are not born racist and judgmental. They’re taught that behavior by their parents. Likewise, parents also have the power to teach their kids how to be open-minded and respectful towards others. You can start at home by having the right mindset about race and culture and showing your children examples of how, despite outward differences, we're all human. Also, encourage them to speak out against bullying and tell an adult if they ever see it happening. While children can't prevent discrimination the way big corporations and governments do, they can participate in efforts to fight back.
3. Doing Laundry
Okay, this might not seem important at first glance but hear me out. We all know that life gets busy when you have a child, work full-time, and keep up with housework. However, there is a link between how much housework a person does and the number of depressive symptoms they experiences. In other words, if moms are doing more housework, they report feeling better overall.
It's a big job to take care of a home and family, primarily when you work full time as well. However, you can ensure that your kids are pitching in with basic chores like putting their dirty clothes in the laundry room or wiping up messes after meals. This way, you can save some time by doing less housework, which in turn will make you feel better.
4. Using The Internet Wisely
We all know how addicting it is to look at Pinterest and scroll through Facebook. However, we also know that social media can be a powerful tool when used correctly. The internet will become an essential part of their everyday life for middle school kids. They will need to research essays for history class, write book reports on Amazon and read resources on Google.
So how can you prepare your children for this new reality? First, let them explore the Internet with you when they are younger (even if that means taking some time to look at funny cat memes). Also, make sure they understand the difference between using social media for research and posting pictures of their lunch and brunch.
5. First Aid Skills
Every human should be able to save a life. And who better to learn from than your child's parents? The more kids know about first aid, the safer they'll be as they enter middle school and start experiencing new emotions like independence and self-reliance. You can teach them some basic first aid skills, which you can learn here, like how to stop bleeding, CPR, and the Heimlich maneuver. Also, teach them about stranger danger to help keep themselves safe.
6. Planting Seedlings
There's something about planting a seed and watching it sprout into a plant that is just magical. It teaches children that hard work pays off and patience will be rewarded. Also, you can talk to your child about the importance of recycling, saving natural resources, and caring for the environment. Because if we don't teach our kids now, then who will?