By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff

We’re keeping this one simple. You’ve been through a lot. You got the last glue stick, the right calculator (or maybe the wrong one), the pencils, the graph paper, and the new backpack. You’ve convinced everyone that getting up before 7am is the new normal, and lunch is a meal, not the time by which to change out of PJ’s.

Or, if you’re like me, they don’t start until Tuesday and you’re looking forward to 8:01 am.

Either way, I hope this roundup of some helpful posts takes a little labor out of your Labor Day. I’m focusing on the transitions in the tween years: starting middle school, supporting the emotional life of preteens, a fresh look at “pluralistic ignorance”, aka, the misperception of peer pressure, and the fight over clothes (not the one you’d expect, either). I’m also including two posts on the hidden hurdles of having a gifted child. Take a read, forward to a friend and just know that I’ll be spending the long weekend reading the rest of the middle school handbook.

1. Pep Talk before Middle School: One of our favorites, this advice from a teacher and mom is important at any age, but especially when tweens are growing into more independent, self-aware, and technologically connected individuals.

2.  Tweens: What to expect when you have no idea what to expect. Helpful reflections from a group of moms who’ve been there, including how to maintain your teen’s trust.

3. Pluralistic Ignorance: What is that? Glad you asked. It’s the perfect way to handle those times when your young person tells you “everyone else” is doing something. This is an extremely valuable concept to know about for older teens and college students, as well.

4. Gender, body image, and dress: If your daughter is now measuring the length of her skirt, this might be for you. My new mantra for the clothing discussion with other parents: never assume.

5. It Ain’t Easy Being Gifted: From being misunderstood by their peers to having their programs underfunded within public schools, gifted students don’t always have it easy, and neither do their parents. Also see Nancy’s post, Curse of the Gifted Class, stating her strategy to lessen the burnout and anxiety gifted students face.


Let me know how your back to school experience has been. Leave a comment or ask a question. I’d love to hear from you.


Thank you for reading The Educated Mom, the official blog of Mindprint Learning.  Now is the time to set the tone for a great, less stressful school year with a full report of your child’s learning strengths and weaknesses– take our at-home cognitive assessment. Want more info? Watch our video.
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Did you know? Sarah (aka The Educated Mom) and Nancy (aka, founder of Mindprint) are contributors to a new book on parenting and education?
Smart Parenting, Parenting for Powerful Learning.  It’s getting great reviews!





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