8 Encourage a healthy lifestyle With all of the changes that middle school students are going through, it’s important that they eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Have nutritious food at home, make sure your child does something physical on a regular basis, and insist on a reasonable bedtime. Help improve organizational skills With more teachers, more classes, more homework, and more activities, middle schoolers need to develop good organizational skills. When stu- dents are organized, they get better grades, they’re less frustrated, and they have more time for family and friends. Middle school students often need help with organization. This is one area in which parents can really make a difference! Use these tips and sugges- tions to help your child be more organized. u Encourage your child to use a student planner, assignment note- book, or agenda to keep track of assignments. Check it periodically to make sure your child is using it correctly. u See that your child has a folder, binder, or notebook that’s clearly labeled for each class. Also, set up a file at home for the returned papers, quizzes, and tests your child wants to keep. u Remind your child to put all papers (handouts, assignments, etc.) in the appropriate folder or binder. Loose papers should never be stuck inside of books or stuffed into a backpack. Encourage your child to clean out his/her locker and backpack each week. u Help your child organize and prioritize homework. u Large assignments can seem overwhelming, and sometimes middle school students need help figuring out where to begin. Show your child how to break large assignments and projects down into smaller, more manageable tasks. u Have your child get everything ready for the next day before going to bed each night.