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Navigating Your Child's Education: Grades 6-8

5 min read

Understanding Middle School Conflict

By Andrew Sweigard on Mar 12, 2020 9:00 PM

Middle school is commonly known as an incredibly challenging time in the lives of young people. This is largely because of the prevalence of interpersonal conflict and an inability to know how to navigate it. Throughout my years as a middle school teacher and administrator, I've encountered more of these types of issues than I can count. One type of interpersonal conflict, bullying, is certainly a major issue in middle school, but in my opinion, true bullying is the least complicated type of middle school interpersonal conflict that occurs. Most conflicts that I have dealt with are incredibly complex, as they involve numerous layers of action, interpretation and assumption, perspective, and communication. It is so important for parents of middle school students to be aware of the complexities of the middle school social structure that often gives way to interpersonal conflict.

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3 min read

Note to Self: High School Freshmen Reflect on Middle School Experience

By Abby Palmer on Feb 25, 2020 9:00 PM

I recently asked my freshman English students, “If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your middle school self that you now know?” I challenged them to reflect on this question and write about it, drawing from their own experience to offer advice to current middle schoolers and parents. Their responses were honest and thoughtful.

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7 min read

Teaching Our Kids to RESIST

By Rich Nathan on Feb 13, 2020 9:00 PM

Followers of Jesus are called to radical non-conformity to the culture around us. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

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6 min read

Is Fear Shaping Our Kids?

By Rich Nathan on Feb 6, 2020 9:00 PM

My wife Marlene and I are raising a 17-year-old. She’s a member of Generation Z (anyone born between 1997-2012, 7-22 years old). As I’ve observed her, her friends, her generation, it’s clear to me that Gen Zers share some common experiences and traits, and suffer under cultural pressures unique to this time in history. As parents and grandparents raising young people in Generation Z, it’s crucial to understand what distinguishes this generation so that we can equip ourselves and our young people to withstand the pressures we all face.

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3 min read

How do I get my child to read?!

By Gretchen Cline on Jan 21, 2020 9:00 PM

As a teacher of fifth and sixth graders, this is a question I hear commonly from parents. As students this age are maturing in their literacy skills and taking on more complex reading material, some kids fall in love with books. These book-lovers need little to no encouragement when it comes to reading. In fact, some kids may need to be told to put a book down every once in a while (at a family dinner, for example).

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2 min read

What Does Creation, Fall and Redemption Have to Do with Education? [VIDEO]

By Troy McIntosh on Jan 9, 2020 7:00 PM

One of the grand themes of Scripture is that of the Creation, Fall and Redemption. It first appears in Genesis 1 with a sweeping account of the creation of the universe. God establishes himself as creator, ruler, and sustainer of all that exists. Just two chapters later, we learn of the pervasive and devastating effects of the fall. The introduction of sin into the world shatters everything. The world is no longer as it was meant to be. Then finally, in Revelation 21 and 22, we receive a glimpse of the redemption of all things, when God restores the entire creation back to its original created order. Everything in between those beginning and ending narratives is the story of God accomplishing this purpose.

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4 min read

Learning to Let Go

By Lorie Kaufman-Rees on Dec 12, 2019 7:00 PM

“Mama bear.”

It seems to have such a positive connotation at first, doesn’t it? The notion of the protective parent, getting between her (or HIS) babies and any element of danger?

But here’s the thing (trigger warning): the key word in that sentence is BABIES.

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3 min read

Family-Friendly Volunteer Opportunities in Central Ohio

By Jim Parrish on Nov 20, 2019 1:38 PM

I got "canned" in November of 1999, but I recall it like it was yesterday. I was not expecting it nor was my family, yet this event changed the way I see things even today, 20 years later.

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2 min read

Modeling Faith for Middle Schoolers

By Michael Clutz on Nov 7, 2019 7:00 PM

Clink! Clink! Clink!

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4 min read

A Matter of Time

By Katelyn Geisler on Oct 24, 2019 7:00 PM

As a middle school Intervention Specialist, it is my joy to work every day with sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. One of the biggest struggles my students wrestle with is time management, both how they view and spend their time.

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2 min read

Engaging Students: Kindling the Love of Learning

By Robert Brisk on Oct 8, 2019 7:00 PM

Five years ago at the Wellington School, we started to question deeply one of the most basic premises of educational policy held here in the state of Ohio and in our country. We questioned the extraordinary reliance on minimum standardized testing as the only widely recognized measure of success in education. Indeed, we were not the only ones. Professor Daniel Koretz from the Harvard Graduate School of Education said it this way: “The pressure to raise test scores has become so strong that testing often degrades instruction rather than improving it. Many parents have encountered this — large amounts of teaching time lost to test prep that is boring, or worse.” Many parents agreed, wondering whether test prepping was good for their children.Was the OGT, the PARCC, or the AIR testing getting at what most mattered?

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4 min read

Stress and Your Middle Schooler

By Nancy Secrest on Sep 24, 2019 7:00 PM

Stress and anxiety affect all ages in our society, but it is especially pronounced in the middle school years. While the middle school years are notoriously awkward and rife with transition, they are arguably more challenging now than ever before due to the busyness of our culture, the pressures and prevalence of after-school activities, and the often-consuming use of technology.

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2 min read

Three Simple Study Strategies to Help Your Middle Schooler

By Tammi Evans on Sep 12, 2019 7:00 PM

Academic success in middle school often requires intentionality and discipline that students may not have needed or developed in their earlier years of education. There are many specific strategies of study that tweens and teens can use to learn and retain information. Here are three that I have found especially useful in my years of teaching and leading middle schoolers...

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3 min read

Parenting Tweens: The League of Folly and a Tribe of Discipline

By Dean Fulks on Aug 27, 2019 7:00 PM

Prov. 22:15 – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Proverbs 22:15 is obviously a controversial verse for a number of reasons. This particular proverb seems to point to physical forms of discipline and could be misconstrued or taken to a very harmful extreme. Discipline can take many different forms in a parent-child relationship. How we discipline our children must be determined within the context of our relationship with the Lord and the individual needs of our children.

What’s interesting to me is that these words “bound up” and “rod” in Hebrew have dual meanings. So while at first glance, one could quickly read this verse (and other Proverbs that refer to the “rod” in parenting) and conclude, “If I spank my child, that will correct their behavior.” But through drilling down into the meaning of this text, we read a richer, deeper vision for godly parental discipline.

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1 min read

Getting a Smart Start to Middle School

By Ruth Beschta on Aug 15, 2019 1:00 PM

Transitioning from fifth grade to sixth grade is a big jump. There are usually many adjustments that new middle schoolers must make as they make this transition. They may be changing classes for the first time, dealing with a locker for the first time, learning how to interact with several teachers instead of just one or a few, grappling with more challenging class content, navigating new social dynamics and much more.

Here are a few ways to help your tween get a start smart to middle school:

Topics: Middle School
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3 min read

Self-Concept in the Middle School Years

By Patricia Boyd on Aug 1, 2019 11:00 AM

“I’m not smart.”

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3 min read

Two Ways to Help Your Middle School Student Own Their Education

By Tammi Evans on Jul 19, 2019 11:30 AM

Transitioning from elementary school to middle school can be difficult for young students. The middle school years are marked with significant milestones and changes.

Topics: Middle School
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2 min read

A Holistic Approach to Education and Discipleship

By Worthington Christian School on Jun 20, 2019 12:01 PM

So much of our lives and society is compartmentalized and segmented. It’s easy to think, “Worship happens at church; pastors are responsible for biblical teaching and discipleship. Learning about the world happens at school; teachers are responsible for disseminating knowledge. Experiencing relationships happens at home and with friends; parents are responsible for teaching their children about love, grace, and forgiveness.” While these assumptions and responsibilities are in part correct, they do not fully represent how Scripture prescribes our lives.

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5 min read

Hot Summer Reads for Middle Schoolers

By Worthington Christian School on Jun 18, 2019 9:35 AM

Let's be honest: reading a good book is probably not at the top of your middle schooler's summer priorities. From outdoor play to summer camps and activities to screentime , summer reading can get lost in the shuffle. Nonetheless, it is important for continued development of literacy skills, expanded vocabulary, creativity cultivation and success in the coming academic year. 

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3 min read

Growing Middle Schoolers Into Spiritually Healthy Adults

By Troy McIntosh on Jun 6, 2019 1:45 PM

 

Now that our youngest daughter has gone off to college and left my wife and me as (mostly) empty-nesters, I sometimes wonder whether we provided our daughters with the parenting they will need to be spiritually healthy as young adults. I suppose most Christian parents engage in this thought process at some point. And, of course, like most parents, I look back and think of a thousand things I would do differently if I could go back in time given what I now know.

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2 min read

The Importance of Student Collaboration in Developing Soft Skills

By Troy McIntosh on Jun 6, 2019 1:40 PM

In a world of an increasingly competitive job market, the tendency for educators and parents is to place more and more emphasis on academic achievement in order to position our children and students for the best possible university opportunities and career choices. While academic ability and technical skills are essential, employers are beginning to shift focus in their hiring practices, placing greater value in interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate. 

Two recently published studies show how a major American technology firm changed its mind about its hiring practices. Over the last couple of years, they transformed how they thought about the vital qualities that its employees ought to have. They shifted from believing that they needed the brightest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) minds to recognizing more collaborative qualities such as “being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

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1 min read

The Necessity of Challenge for Students

By Troy McIntosh on Jun 6, 2019 1:33 PM

Genesis 1 is the basis for our desire to develop creativity into students’ academic life. The nature of God as a creator means that, as His people created to be like Him, we glorify His nature when we act creatively. Moving just two chapters later in the book, however, we find Genesis 3 and the ugly ramifications of the fall of man. It is this chapter that forms the basis of the necessity of students to be challenged in school.

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