Keep it Simple

A few weeks ago we hosted our Food, Folks and Fun BBQ. It is one of my favorite events of the year. Though it is one of the few Crystal traditions that is entirely a middle school event, that is not the reason that I love it so much. I love Food, Folks and Fun because […]

Getting Him to Talk

With a nourvocited–a family word for feeling both nervous and excited–expression on his face, Harrison entered preschool for the first time on Tuesday. After texting photos to Robin, I walked home reflecting on how we have just taken another important step in our lives as parents. Later, driving to school, I realized that starting Tuesday […]

Get There Early

The start of the school year is so exciting for students. For most it is not the new novel to read in English or the new formula to learn in math that brings them flying in the door the first day. The real draw is the other students. After a summer away everyone wants to […]

Surviving Summer–A Preview

As I work on a longer piece titled “Five Ways to Survive Summer with a Middle Schooler,” for the Project EMSE newsletter, I thought I would share one of the tips now as we head closer to summer. I have often said that it is important for students to have down time during the summer; […]

Making it Work…For You

“Your family is headed to a cousin’s Bat-Mitzvah in LA for the weekend. Wanting some uninterrupted family time, you ask your 7th grade daughter to leave her cell phone at home. She complains bitterly saying she will miss out on “everything” after the school dance on Friday night. Do you: A) Empathize with how hard […]

All Joy and No Fun

Reviewing an early draft of my still work in progress book on middle school children, a friend commented that parenting middle schoolers sounds like no fun. I write about “getting fired” by your middle schooler, pushing against boundaries, and slammed doors. I am not the only one who recognizes that parenting is no fun. In […]

The Sport to Talk About

The sport to talk about right now seems to be football. With the Super Bowl this weekend, middle schoolers at Crystal and around the country are weighing in on the game. Actually, they are weighing in on deflate-gate, video recordings from the sidelines, crotch grabbing and a player who refuses to speak at a press […]