I wish I had learned, before my child started
6th grade, that he could have one zipper binder for the morning and one
for the afternoon, both stocked with the requisite stationery supplies.
This way, he would not have to stuff everything into one big fat binder
and then carry it around all day, breaking his arms in the process.
One note of caution, however: If the morning and afternoon core subjects
"flip" from one day to the other, then this plan does not work
as well. An alternative could be to have two core subjects in one
zipper binder; i.e., one binder for math and science, while the other
for English language arts and social studies. Ask your teacher for
I did not realized that, if a child is absent from school even for just
one day, not only does he have to make up the homework, he is also expected
to take the initiative to approach the teacher(s) to take make-up quizzes/tests
if any were given during his absence. In our case, due to the child's
tight schedules, the make-up quizzes/tests were administered is at lunch
I purchased one of those $6.00 locker shelves for my 6th grader and it
helped tremendously. Now when she is packing up she moves books from one
shelf to the other instead of using the floor. No more lost books or stepped
on hands and assignments. Ii purchased it at bed bath and beyond, and
they also have them at staples.
I think one of the things new parents don't know is if they have a problem
or question , they can call their Childs guidance counselor. I found this
info helpful my first year. Also, they may want to schedule a "team
meeting". A team meeting is done thru the counselors. The counselor
will get all of the Childs core teachers, the AP of their respective house
and the counselor themselves together to meet with you. You can then discuss
any issues or questions about your child or the curriculum.
It is very important to arrange visits with your guidance counselor before
a problem arises. They will get in touch with all of your core teachers
and arrange a meeting.
While concerned about the many new screen names that my son was collecting,
I discovered that by establishing some rules at home, I actually learned
a lot more about the children my son was becoming friendly with.
The transition to middle school is gradual and appropriate. The
transition is more difficult for the parents than for the child. It is
amazing that over 600 children can attend this school and not get lost
in the shuffle. The teachers are able and interested in getting to know
your child individually even given the number of students they have. It
was surprising how well they knew my son even early in the school year.
Communication is possible and even easy, but you have to take the initiative
by calling the guidance office. E-mail is very effective with a
There is no homework policy, but you should contact the TEAM LEADER
if you feel it is excessive. If the child has been working for a few hours
and they are still having trouble, write a note to the teacher. Make
sure your child is using his/her AGENDA. ASK for it every night.
There is still plenty of fun in 6th grade. They are still kids and the
teachers know that better than anyone. Kids quickly make friends
with people from other elementary schools and you'll soon be hearing about
kids you never heard of before. The encore classes are a great way
to mix with all the other children.
While great care is taken to help children and parents adjust to 6th grade,
there is another transition that will occur in 7th grade. The focus
in 6th grade is organization and personal responsibility. In 7th grade
it is assumed that these skills have been mastered.
Don't worry about kids going to Gino's after school. It is
another way they are asserting their independence. With a cell phone,
you can be assured that they arrived where they were going.