Organizing Your New Middle-Schooler

If your child has entered middle school for the first time this year…then you already know what I’m going through. I spent a little over an hour Sunday night organizing binders, notebooks, unnamed, incomplete and undated assignments. Sheesh. Gone are the days where the teacher makes sure that your awesome son or daughter has his or her things neatly placed, named and dated in ONE little folder. Now there’s 5 or 6 different notebooks, all which have to be organized a different way; homework to help with, check, and keep up with from SEVERAL subjects; weekly reading and instrument practicing schedules which have to be filled out, as well as weekly projects, and online assignments.

If it can be overwhelming for us as adults…just think how impossible and overwhelming these tasks probably seem to an 11 or 12 year old. The best way to relieve yourself and your child of the stress of being disorganized and unprepared is to devise a plan to stay on top of things. Here’s a little help! 🙂

  • Go through your child’s bookbag daily to make sure there is nothing that needs to be signed,  returned or looked over. Also, check your calendar daily to see if there are any pending assignments or projects due for the week.
  • Choose a day every week to sit down with your child and re-organize– get rid of papers that are no longer needed, make sure everything is where it belongs, make sure anything that needs to be labeled is so, make sure anything that needs to be replaced or replenished such as writing paper, dividers, or folders are so.
  • Spend time everyday talking with your child about school. Ask questions and if your child doesn’t know the answers shoot the teacher an email or write them a note so that you know what your child is learning and if there is anything you can do at home to re-enforce their learning.
  • Use a dry erase calendar in your child’s bedroom or homework area so that they can also be reminded of when things are due and what their schedule is for the week.
  • Create a routine study/reading/organizing schedule so that you and your child aren’t cramming and doing rush jobs on assignments or projects.


I hope these tips were a little helpful! Feel free to share your own tips and advice here for organizing middle schoolers. 🙂




Making Sure Your Child Is Prepared To Learn

Now that the first 2 weeks of school are behind them, homework has started coming home, reading and writing projects have been assigned, and the thrill of getting back to school to see friends and talk about summer has worn off…it’s time to get busy.

One of the best ways to help your child reach success in school is to make sure they are prepared and ready to learn each and every day. Here are a few tips to help your child stay prepared!


  • No matter what age they are check over their homework; not only to make sure it is complete but to make sure they also understand what they are learning.
  • Make sure they always have enough supplies and restock as necessary (re: paper, pencils, notebooks, etc…)
  • Set a day and time every week to help them get re-organized; clean out book bags, folders, and binders.
  • Check their agenda books so that you know what and when homework assignments and big projects are due so that you don’t discover incomplete work at the last minute. If your child’s school has a website you can also check for assignments and other info online…just in case you have a child who “forgets” their work.
  • Write in your own planner as well to help remind you when field trips are, money is due for things, picture day, early dismissal, activities, performances…you get my drift J
  • Make sure your child has everything he needs together, the night before…near the door and ready to go! There’s nothing like having to search for instruments or gym uniforms and media books on your way OUT of the door.
  • Know when tests are coming up so that you can set aside time to study WITH your child so that they are prepared.

Those are a few things that should be helpful with keeping your awesome one on track. I also like to pay for lunch ahead of time to prevent that “I left my lunch money home” phone call when he’s not packing lunch. If you stay involved and let your kids know that you take their education serious (beyond just checking their report cards and asking if they did homework), they generally follow suit! J

What Kind Of Example Are You Setting?

We’ve all heard it…or said it before. Do as I say,  not as I do…but let’s be real here. Our children, no matter what age they are, are just like little sponges. They absorb everything we do, everything we say, and how we communicate. They also can sometimes be like little mirrors by emulating our habits (good and bad), communicating the same way we do (or don’t), expressing themselves the same as we do (or don’t) and we have to pay attention to what’s looking back at us through our children because it is a direct result of what they see when they’re looking at us.

We have to be aware of what we allow our children to see us do and the kind of message we send when we punish or scold them for repeating the behaviors they’ve been a witness to. We can sit them down and talk until we or they are blue in the face about drugs, drinking, sex, education, and so on. But, if we’re not “walking the walk” can we really expect for them to get it? If they see us drinking,drugging, and partying everynight; bringing a different man or woman home every week; not working or not trying to work or not going to school to better ourselves; making babies that we can’t or aren’t taking care of…what should we expect from them as young adults? Yes, we always want our children to be better than us and do better for themselves than we have…but we have to give them a positive starting point.

I also understand that you can give a child all the positive examples, support, encouragement, rules, structure, money, education, and family life in the world and they may still go out and do all the wrong things. But I’d rather be able to say and KNOW that I gave them each and every tool I could for them to be successful in life, instead of feeling guilty about the poor example I set as a parent. Our children have a hard enough road in front of them, without us HELPING them fail by not being responsible as their number one role models, or by living up to the stereotypes placed on us as being uneducated, lazy, welfare queens, thugs, and deadbeats. Make sure you give your child a chance to be part of the growth of our culture. 🙂

Mo Moment: Teaching Kids About The Responsibility Of Being Part Of A Team

Lastnight, I taught awesome son a lesson in responsibility and good sportsmanship. During football practice on Monday night he was injured. Nothing major, just a deep bruise in his pelvis which took us to the ER and left him with a golf ball sized knot in his pelvic area (which is going down now)…but serious enough for the doctor to want him to sit out for the rest of the week.

His team had a game lastnight and although he couldn’t play, I told him that he had to still show up and support his team. It was torture for him to sit on the sidelines and watch his team score and make plays without him. It was the first time he’d ever missed a game, but let me be clear…my intention was not to torture him. My reasoning was to teach him that being part of a team comes with a responsibility to be there and support your teammates in any way you can, to show that you are proud to be a part of the team. And although he had a hard time not being a part of the on-field action, I think he got it.

His teammates were excited to see him. Myself and a few other parents explained to him what a great example he was setting for the other players by coming out to support them…even helping out with water and giving his teammates pats on the back, and encouraging words. The best part was that he didn’t go out there with an attitude (can’t say the same for the ride in the car), but instead he supported his team enthusiastically! I’m so proud of him. 🙂

M-powering Moments: Natina Newsome

Natina Newsome (Baltimore,MD)

In 2011 My son Larry was diagnose with having a tumor in his salivary gland; which was removed a month 1/2 later and tested by three labs. Two Labs couldn’t give a diagnoses the 3rd Diagnosed him with having follicular Lymphoma (Cancer). His ear nose and throat Doctor at Good Sam , Dr. Sohn hesitantly gave us the news with disbelief in his voice and with a apologetic body language ( your son has cancer) WOW! I felt at that moment I had to be strong .I didn’t want to breakdown ;with Donnell at my side as always , I turned to him he had an empty deflated look on his face . I asked what do we next? how could this happen ? ( Bad luck )we were told by Dr,Sohn this is a rare form Of cancer ( Damn what are the odds in that). I call his Pediatrician Dr.Beauchermen and she wasted no time, she gave me a diet for him and numbers to an Oncology clinic . We met with Dr Albert and Dr.P they explain exactly what will happen during the Chemo process with great detail. the treatment was suppose to last for 4 month we were done in 3, it was a rough 3 month with a lot of private tears, sleepless nights ,grey hairs and talking to friends at work (your not co- workers your friends); also talking to my family, crying randomly at times when I thought I was ready to be around others.rough and sour times just when you thought tomorrow will never come . Yesterday was the completions of his chemo !!!!! Thank you lord for the strength you gave to My son my family and my friends . 

This type of cancer is 100% curable LYMPHOMA just like any other cancer if detected early . Take time out an pay attention to your kids if they tell you somethings not right with them pay attention get them checked you never know what may be the out come.
Thank you for your story Natina! 🙂