Photo by pen
As we count down the days to back to school, the Daily Buzz talks with moms and public school teachers about what you and your child can expect in the coming year.
MOMof2ALteacher: Students in 7th grade are expected to express feelings, opinions, and facts in written form. Many states have a writing assessment at the end of the year to test their skills. Students will delve into literature and civics and may be required to do research projects dealing with these subjects. The main subjects taught are literature, social studies, math, and science. Seventh graders will need to be prepared for more responsibilities in academics and more in-depth requirements.
MOMof2ALteacher: Students will need a sturdy binder with at least six dividers, pencils, pens, highlighters, plenty of paper, a homework pad, a ruler, a calculator, a pencil pouch, colored pencils, a flash drive or blank DVD, book covers (or paper bags work), and a book bag.
pen: We get a lot of our school supplies from sales. Last year, in all I spent over $50. I think $20 of it was for paper.
MOMof2ALteacher: Homework will be lengthy, especially in math. Parents are encouraged to help on projects, but daily homework should require little help from parents.
pen: My daughter always did her homework in her free hour at school, but she always left the hard questions for me to help her. Teachers always love the parents to help.
MOMof2ALteacher: Seventh graders typically stay very close to their friends and social circle. Students will claim to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but it will be mostly text messaging and emails. Parents should keep tabs on students' cell phone activity. Students may feel pressured to act or dress a certain way to "fit in." Bullies will be in schools until they graduate.
pen: My daughter didn't have a lot of friends. She said they were bad kids, and she wasn't like them. There were a couple of bullies, but the school did a good job of stopping that. She felt peer pressure to act up and disrespect the teachers. My daughter also had a boyfriend until he moved. I was happy when he moved.
MOMof2ALteacher: The most common problem in middle school is talking in class. Kids at this age find it difficult to control their talking. Gossiping is also a problem at this age. I would encourage parents to discuss the effects of gossiping before school starts. Texting is a problem, so students should leave their cell phones at home. Some schools will take these up and not give them back until the end of the year. Make sure your 7th grader gets plenty of sleep. Their bodies are changing and need the extra rest.
pen: At this age, they will try to push their boundaries. With preteens, there are a lot of changes, so you have to be patient. Everything seems overwhelming for them.
MOMof2ALteacher: Students are given many warnings in middle school, but the warnings will run out. Typical punishments include: after school detention, in-school suspension, silent lunch, etc.
MOMof2ALteacher: Buses can be a great alternative to taking your child to school. For some families, it is the only option. I would suggest having your child try it if it is needed. Buses are not all the same. You will need to investigate it for yourself.
pen: My daughter rode the bus. It is easier, and it gives her time to talk with her friends before school.
MOMof2ALteacher: Many athletic and academic clubs are available to 7th grade students. These may include: track, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, drama, band, chorus, etc.
pen: There are lots of after-school programs — from jump roping to computers.
MOMof2ALteacher: Parents are strongly encouraged to participate in their child's school. They can file papers, clean up the grounds, shelve books, run errands, and grade papers. Parents should ask their student's teacher at the beginning of the year if they will need help and leave their phone number and email address.
pen: Parents should just make sure their kids are behaved and do their homework. They can also help with after-school activities.
MOMof2ALteacher: The biggest concern I hear from parents is academic performance. Many students stray from their straight A status from elementary school, and they begin to spend more time worrying about friends and the weekend skating party!
pen: Our biggest challenges were dealing with puberty and bullies.
Stay tuned for lots more "What to Expect" features in the Daily Buzz. Over the next several weeks, we'll be covering pre-K through the first year of college.
Thanks so much to MOMof2ALteacher and pen who helped us present this valuable Back to School information for 7th graders. Schools and activities vary depending on the district and where you live, of course.
What was the 7th grade experience like for you and your child?
More "What to Expect" Back to School features: