Ask Your Teen's Opinion
Encourage discussion as much as possible in your house. Ask your 8th grader for their opinion about political and social issues, or about books, movies, and TV shows. Listen carefully and prompt him to express their ideas thoughtfully, backing up their claims with evidence. Having dinner together as a family may be harder to do as they get older and there are more demands on their time, but this is one of the best ways to stimulate these kinds of conversations.
Encourage Keeping a Diary
Give your 8th grader a journal or diary and encourage them to update it regularly. Assure them that their privacy will be respected and that you will not read their journal.
Suggest Writing Projects
Suggest some writing projects for your them that would be of interest to the entire family. Perhaps they could research and write about some aspect of your family’s history, using personal interviews, books, and online information. They could share what they write with other family members.
Encourage Reading Aloud
Encourage your 8th grader to read aloud to and tell stories to younger siblings.
There is strong evidence that, despite the popularity of highlighters, highlighting or underlining text as we read is not an effective way of learning information. Instead, encourage your child to take notes of key ideas, perhaps on Post-its or colored index cards, as they read. When they have finished a reading assignment your child can compile all the notes and he’ll have a ready-made study guide.
8th Grade English Language Arts Skills
In 8th grade, students read and understand a variety of informational texts including essays, speeches, biographies, and other types of historical, scientific, and technical material.
Discuss The News
Encourage your 8th grader to become a more discerning consumer of news and information. Have an ongoing discussion with them about how you get your news and how you decide which sources to trust. Point out examples of misleading information you see, such as in ads, so that they learn to be skeptical of some sources. Bookmark some Internet sites that you consider to be reliable and that your child can use as reference or information sources.
Help Develop a Homework Routine
Help your child develop a consistent homework routine. Make sure that they not only reviews what was covered in school that day, but also help them learn how to keep track of long-term assignments and plan ahead. By this age they should have a system for managing their workload, but continue to help them by asking what they're working on, how they're progressing with long-term assignments, and whether they need any help.