Saturday, January 2, 2016

Planet Middle School

9780800723057Planet Middle School
Written by Dr. Kevin Leman
Published at Revell

About the book

You are about to embark on a fantastic journey.

If you've ever watched one of those movies where regular people are walking around minding their own business, until without warning their chests burst open and alien life-forms come slithering out, then you know what it's like to suddenly find yourself with a middle-schooler. Your once-peaceful home full of silliness and laughter morphs into the twisted landscape of a forbidding alien world, where moody adolescents drag their claws and moan about . . . well, just about everything.

Welcome to Planet Middle School. Better get comfortable. You'll be here awhile.

Lucky for you, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman successfully navigated Planet Middle School with five children. With his expert guidance, you'll see how you can help your child not only survive but thrive during these turbulent years. Leman shows you how to
· understand your child's rapidly expanding world
· respond rather than react to mood swings
· tell your child about sex (before someone else tells their version)
· create opportunities for your child to practice selflessness and gratitude
· ensure that your kid is one who loves home and family
· and much more

Middle-schoolers can be a strange, unpredictable species. But with a little help from Dr. Leman, you can ride out the interstellar storm with humor and confidence.

Houston, we have a problem.

It happens to every parent. One day, you have a sweet son or daughter who loves to snuggle on the couch and who puts a smile on your face just by walking into the room. The next day, it's as if someone left the door open and let in an alien with a smart mouth and an attitude that, frankly, you could do without. Entering middle school is like stepping onto a different planet--for parent and child alike.

But these years don't have to create chaos in your family. In fact, they can be some of the best, most fruitful years of all, a time when you can grow closer rather than drift apart. From the internal storms of hormonal changes to the external challenges of peer pressure and our technology-saturated culture, your child is under constant bombardment. Learn how to come alongside your middle-schooler with the love, understanding, and values that will see you both safely back home to earth when your time on Planet Middle School is over.

My Thoughts

This book was specifically written for parents of children who are in Middle School which means grades 7 and 8.   The main reason I jumped on this opportunity to review this book was because of the author.  We love Kevin Leman’s wisdom on how to parents our kids.   But I also was realistic about this book because I suspected that it was mainly written for parents whose middle schoolers go to a school.

And as I suspected the book is more geared for parents of kids in the school system.  But as a homeschooler, I find there are gems in this book as well.   An homeschool 7th or 8th grade kid will also go through some of these challenges like fitting in the crowd, going through changes physically and emotionally, and many more covered in this book.    Even if you are an homeschooler, I think you can glean some precious information on how to raise a middle schooler and encourage him/her through the changes he/she can experience in her life.  It isn’t easy to grow up.  I remember going through some  difficult days during that period of time in my life.   I wish my parents would have been christians and got that kind of information from an author like Kevin Leman.

The table of contents will give you an idea of what the author covers in his book.

  • Introduction contains information about how to determine that you have arrive to Planet Middle School.
  • 1. Creatures fromt he Black Lagoon:  our kids change when they hit the ages for grades 7 and 8.   Discover how your home and relationship with them can feels like a sci-fi  and what you can do to ease the transition.
  • 2. Their Expanding Universe:  What you need to know, and why you need to be along for the ride.
  • 3. All Flared up!: emotions and everyday drama for the middle schoolers and what you can do to weather the sudden flashes of brightness. 
  • 4. Survival of the Fittest: why your child will do anything to fit in, and what you can do to combat the intensity of peer pressure.
  • 5. Walking on Polar Ice:  all middle schoolers are at risk, but some more than others.  How to identify and help the ones who need it.
  • 6. Confronting the Black Hole – Technology at Warp Speed: what you need to know and safeguard your child.
  • 7. Growing Up Way Too Fast: acceptance, belonging, and competence are critical to keep you and your child in the same stratosphere.
  • 8. Becoming a man/woman: all you need to know about hormones and the changes of the body.
  • 9. Blue Chip or Penny Stocks: talking about sex and respecting themselves and others.
  • 10. Understanding Who your kid really is: and how he or she got to be that way.
  • 11. How to talk so they’ll listen: and how to know when to shut up.
  • 12. Expect the best, get the best:  training your kids, believe in them, and having positive expectations are power plays in the game of parenting.
  • 13. Raising a “Home” boy/girl: Make your home the place where your kids want to be.
  • 14. Life-Mapping:  It is never too late to plan your child’s future, but you shouldn’t be the one in the driver’s seat.
  • 15. Creating an attitude of gratitude: Modeling and teaching gratitude within the home.
  • 15. Raising a giver in a gimme generation: how giving without receiving can transform your child’s world and his/her life.
  • Word of Encouragement
  • Conclusion – how we will miss these days of middle school eventually
  • A middle schooler’s 10 Commandments to parents.

As I mentioned above, not all the information found in this book would apply for homeschoolers but the more I read through the book, the more I realize that there are precious wisdom that any parents of a middle schooler could use in their parenting.   As I write this, I have a teenager and a child who is starting to show emotional issues of growing up.  This child is currently in grade 6 level but you can see him having more emotions and learning to deal with them.   As I said these days are though for any kid – wether boy or girl – and having the skills to help them go through this is essential for any parent.   I am thankful to have this book handy and will continue to read it to better prepare for the transition.  I consider myself fortunate to have two kids following each other quite closely.  But I suspect that I will return to this book when my daughter approaches grade 7 in a few years.   It will be a different ball game than our three boys too!

Planet Middle School is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


The book is also available for Kindle and Kindle app.


Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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