*This post is sponsored by Patient First. All opinions are my own.*
Back to school season is upon us and, if you’re like me and the mom to older tweens and teens, ensuring they have a great year is about more than a new backpack and good shoes – although those things definitely help.
Middle school can be a challenging time for so many students.
New schedules, more challenging courses, a new location and sometimes even new friends is a lot to contend with while also dealing with the body changes of puberty that tend to hit kids at these ages.
With so many new things going on, back to school for middle schoolers can be extra stressful.
To alleviate some of that stress, here are some mom approved, helpful back to school tips for middle schoolers to ensure your middle schooler is ready for success this school year.
Back to School Tips for Middle Schoolers: 10 Things to do to Have a Successful Year
Make sure they’re healthy.
A sports physical is a great place to start!
Getting an annual physical and sports physical is important no matter your age, but it’s particularly important to ensure your middle school student is in good shape to face a new school year, especially if they play sports!
Make sure their as needed prescriptions, like epi-pens and asthma medications, are filled and not expired. If they wear glasses an eye exam might be in order to ensure their prescription is up to date.
Middle school is also a time when you may need to update your child’s vaccinations. Patient First offers many routine immunizations and boosters at their locations on a walk-in basis.
Patient First is the perfect place to get these things checked off your list, and the best part is that they are open from 8 am – 10 pm every day, including holidays for busy parents like us!
About Patient First
All Patient First medical centers are open every day of the year from 8 am to 10 pm – including weekends and holidays. Patients can come at times that best fit their schedules and when urgent medical attention is needed on days as well as at times when other facilities are closed. No appointments are necessary. Patients can walk into a Patient First center and receive prompt attention upon arrival. Patients who wish to see a particular physician or physician assistant can call ahead to find out when that person will be seeing patients. X-rays, lab tests, and prescription drugs are available on-site to save time and reduce the need for extra trips. They provide a variety of services including annual physicals, sports physicals, routine immunizations, urgent care, women’s care and more.
We plan to go to Patient First for our sports physical this year. It’s awesome that you can just walk in and get it done without waiting weeks for an appointment.
Clean, efficient, friendly and fast, Patient First is a great option for a busy family.
To find your local Patient First medical center and learn more about their care and services, visit their site here.
Buy a day planner.
Doesn’t need to be fancy, but helping them keep track of their appointments and assignments in a visual way is often helpful for adolescents who easily get distracted by access to technology.
A written planner may also make it easier for mom and dad to be involved in knowing what they’ve got going on.
And a sturdy backpack.
As cool as those one strap bags and totes girls like to carry can be, they’re not going to cut it when they have heavy chrome books and other supplies to cart around.
Invest in a great backpack that’s built to last and will help keep their back pain away when they head back to school.
Get a good mask.
Unfortunately, masks may be a part of the future for in-person school so it’s best to be prepared.
Find a mask your middle schooler feels comfortable in for back to school to have it on hand just in case.
My kids adore the Under Armour mask, especially for sports, but be sure to check out this post for more ideas: The Best Face Masks Out There According to Moms
Agree on a reasonable bedtime.
Older kids may have extracurricular activities that keep them out later each evening and then they need to make time for showers, dinner and homework. Plus, a little downtime never hurts.
Set some reasonable expectations for bedtime with your middle schooler for back to school. Remember to be understanding of their need for flexibility while also ensuring that they’re getting enough rest to be healthy and do well in class.
For more tips on getting your Child’s sleep schedule back on track see the Patient First blog https://www.patientfirst.com/blog/get-your-childs-sleep-schedule-back-on-track
Talk about breakfast and lunch.
Even well rested middle schoolers are notorious for rolling out of bed just in time to catch the bus!
Talk to them about the importance of a healthy breakfast each day and make sure they have access to easy to make options for both breakfast and lunch.
Need some lunch ideas? Check out this post from Patient First: https://www.patientfirst.com/blog/8-healthy-lunchbox-ideas-for-kids
Set some goals.
And walk through some steps to make them achievable.
Now is a great time to talk about SMART goals with your middle schooler.
Designate a study space at home.
A place that is quiet, well-lit and spacious enough for them to spread out and do homework works.
The study demands ramp up in middle school right about the same time the focus seems to take a nosedive for many kids so giving them a quiet space to work, preferably a bit away from family and technology distractions, might help them succeed.
Get them a combination lock.
And let them practice.
That first time with a combo lock can be brutal.
Talk to them about social media.
And the importance of managing what you post – even if you think it’s going to disappear in 24hrs and no one important will see it.
If you haven’t talked to your kids about using social media appropriately, now is the time.
Want to see more tips?
Check out this post on Facebook to see what other parents had to say about getting their middle schoolers ready for back to school.