Unit 1 - Weekly family communications for lessons 1–7

September 30: Lesson 1a: Starting Middle School

  • Summary - This week’s lesson will introduce your child to the Second Step Middle School Program. Your child will identify challenges they might face when starting middle school and identify resources in their school where they can get help.
  • Question - Tell your child about something that made you nervous when you started middle school. Ask what makes them nervous and who they can go to for help at school.

October 7 - Lesson 2: How to Grow Your Brain

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will learn about the brain’s ability to grow and change when they practice challenging things. Having a growth mindset supports your child’s success in school and in life.
  • Question - Tell your child about a time you had to learn something new. Explain whether it was hard to learn and how you learned it. Ask your child if there’s anything they would like to learn to do this year.

October 14 - Lesson 3: Trying New Strategies

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will brainstorm different strategies they can try when they’re having trouble learning something new.
  • Question - Tell your child about a time you needed to change your approach in order to learn something new. Ask your child to tell you about something they’re working hard to learn and how you can help.

October 28 - Lesson 4: Making Goals Specific

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will learn how to identify and set achievable goals by making them specific.
  • Question - Ask your child to tell you about a specific goal they’re interested in working toward and what makes it specific.

November 4 - Lesson 5: Breaking Down Your Goals

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will practice breaking big goals down into smaller, short-term goals.
  • Question - Think of a time you achieved a big goal, such as learning to drive or graduating from school. Tell your child about your goal and the series of smaller steps you needed to take to achieve it. Ask your child to tell you about a goal they have.

November 11 - Lesson 6: Monitoring Your Progress

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will learn strategies for how to stay on track toward their goals. They’ll learn how to monitor their own progress, decide if they need to try new strategies, and determine when their goal is complete.
  • Question - Ask your child about a goal they’re actively working toward. Ask them if they are encountering any roadblocks and how you can help them determine the next steps forward.

November 18 - Lesson 7: Bringing It All Together

  • Summary - In this week’s lesson, your child will bring it all together and create an action plan to help them accomplish one of the goals they chose at the beginning of the unit.
  • Question - Ask your child what their goal is, how they broke it down into smaller goals, and their plans for achieving it. Discuss how you can support them if things at home or in school slow them down or stand in their way and about how you can celebrate when they achieve their goal.