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Joe Bruzzese
417 Pitzer Court
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

email: Joe@MiddleSchoolYears.com
phone: 805.889.2142

Download a Media Kit (Joe's biography, testimonials, book press release, workshop and speaking event offerings)

Biography
Press Release - A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years
Presentation Reviews
Headshot (color) web use | print use
Headshot (b/w) web use | print use



Dr Laura Book Review

Dr. Laura Recommends, A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years

Because today's children seem to grow up so fast, middle school has become the new high school. Concerns about homework, social issues, sexuality, technology, and emotional health confront parents earlier than they would like or expect, leaving many of them feeling lost and overwhelmed. Yet middle school can (and should) be a time of positive transformation-an exciting opportunity where children gain independence, parents become supportive coaches, and a rewarding new bond is formed.

Listen to Dr. Laura's review



Radio interview with Armin Brott, America's Most Trusted Dad
www.MrDad.com

Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years.
Topic: Guiding your child’s transition into adolescence.
Issues: How will you handle the inevitable adolescent crises? Balancing a child’s growing need for independence with genuine concern for his or her physical or emotional safety; the many challenges faced by today’s middle schoolers (that we never faced when we were their age).

Listen to the interview


For many kids, middle school represents the beginning of a transition from childhood to young adulthood. For the first time, kids are learning from more than one classroom over the course of a school day. They also begin to confront new social issues. During this time, many kids can feel lost. They are experiencing new issues that are sometimes uncomfortable to discuss with their parents and can leave them feeling alone. The middle school phase can leave the parents feeling uncomfortable as well.

On Good Morning Maryland @ 9, author, teacher, coach, and parent Joe Bruzzese, discussed how parents can prove to be a positive resource for their children during these years. Bruzzese says, his new book, A Parents Guide to The Middle School Years serves not only as a tool but a compass for a successful transition into this new and exciting new phase of learning.

Bruzzese explains that the year's between 6th grade and 8th grade are critical. This is when kids gain some independence and parents assume the new role of supportive coach. His tips help kids stay organized and on track while helping parents stay connected with their growing children.

His core topics Bruzzese discusses in the book are:
-Making Friends and Facing Foes
-Building Solid Relationships with Teachers
-Getting Ahead in Class and Staying There
-Achieving Balance Between School and Activities
-Keeping Kids Safe Online
-Thriving as a Family during Middle School


parent guide

Envisioning a Smart Start

What is your vision for the school year? Is academic achievement at the top of the list, or will this be the year your child breaks out of his social shell? Will your family grow closer or more distant while facing the challenges of another school year? Who will guide your child’s development?

A vision defines a direction toward a goal. Realizing a vision requires support from a motivated group of individuals - a team of people who band together through adversity, inspire motivation and acknowledge achievement.

Read the complete article



Parent education speaker and staff development trainer, Joe Bruzzese speaks to middle school parents at Las Vegas area schools: Johnson Junior High, Leavitt Middle School and Becker Middle School.

September, 2010

Do you ever wonder what happened to the child you knew in elementary school? What's up with the new attitude your child has after coming home from school? And why isn't it cool to hold your child's hand when you are at school together? Joe Bruzzese shares strategies for effectively navigating the middle school years.


South Allegheny Middle School

South Allegheny Middle School uses Title 1 funds to buy books for all incoming 7th grade parents
Book Discussion Group for Middle School Parents

In an effort to increase parental involvement, South Allegheny Middle School Principal Mrs. LisaDuval will be hosting a year-long book discussion group with the parents of middle school students.

Last spring, parents of 7th grade students received a copy of the book A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years by Joe Bruzzese as part of the middle school’s transition program. The books were purchased with Title I funds.

Find out more about the book discussion program


My 4 TV News


When it comes to the issue of bullying parents often feel helpless. We can't be there every moment to protect our child in every situation.

So how can you bully proof your child or at least cut down on their chances of becoming a victim?
News Four's Shelby Sheehan did an interview via Skype with an author and parent education speaker who has some practical ideas on how to do just that.

Joe Bruzzese lectures soon to be teachers at UC Santa Barbara and parents nationwide on bullying.

Read the complete article


A+ Advice

Middle school achievement now more on the student

Question of the Week: Monday, Aug. 30, 2010    United Feature Syndicate
I've always been involved in our kids' elementary classrooms. My older daughter, Anya, started middle school, and it's hard to communicate with five teachers! Plus, Anya says it's not "cool" for me to volunteer anymore. Shouldn't middle-school parents be involved more than ever?

Read the complete article


Radio interview with Susan Swanson, Director of the Stepfamily Center

August 23 , 2010

What to expect when you are expecting a middle school child. The transition to middle school brings with it, a series of changes not unlike when your child is first born. At times you may wonder, "Whose child is this?" Joe shares answers to top questions like, "Where did my child's attitude come from?" and "How do I stay connected with my child when he doesn't want anything to do with me?"

Listen to the show recording here


Planning With Kids
Current Issues with Schools and Education

Parenting – iPods, sibling fighting, responsibility and more!
May, 2010

For those of you new to Planning With Kids, once a month I feature my highlights from the web. Often they are based around a theme, like today’s collection which features resources posts that have either helped me with a particular parenting issue or given me information to extend my thinking on parenting. I hope you enjoy them as well!




Wake Family Day Conference “Helping your child transition”

WAKE COUNTY, N.C.
May 1, 2010

Wake County Family Day will be held on May 1 (Sat) from 8-12 at Millbrook High School. Free childcare is available. Registration is free, open to all WCPSS parents, and is mandatory. Register by April 25 at www.wcpss.net/news/2010_march15_family_day

The event offers parents practical tips on successfully guiding their children through the extra challenges posed by big transition points in their school career, such as starting kindergarten, moving from elementary school to middle school, and moving from middle school to high school. Sessions will also focus on how transitions involve the community and the relationships among and between children, families, and educators.The program opens with simultaneous keynotes delivered by nationally-recognized experts. Harriett Stonehill (pre-kindergarten through elementary school), and Joe Bruzzese (middle and high school) will teach parents how to effectively work with their students at home to make each school year a success.

Read the complete article.


Eufaula City Schools hosts Joe Bruzzese to speak on Cyberbullying and Thriving in Middle School

Eufaula, Alabama
April 29, 2010

The Title 1 Department in conjunction with Admiral Moorer Middle School hosted Joe Bruzzese to present two parent education events. In response to recent media interest in the topic of cyberbullying and social networking Joe spoke about strategies that are focused on raising awareness among parents and specific action that can be taken to keep kids safe online. In addition to the presentation on Cyberbullying Joe spoke on the topics of Confidence, Connection and Challenge as critical themes for thriving during the middle school years.

 




Centerville area middle schools host transition night for incoming middle school students

Centerville, Ohio
April 28, 2010

Parents from each of the three Centerville middle schools were invited to an evening parent education event with guest, Joe Bruzzese. Joe shared strategies with soon-to-be middle schoolers and their parents for thriving in the years ahead. In support of their parents the school district purchased 400 copies of Joe's book A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, which they were able to offer parents at the event.



Las Vegas area middle schools host Joe Bruzzese at their Middle School Transition Nights

April, 2010

Welcoming new families to middle school is a critical part of the transition process. In addition to presentations by school administrators Joe Bruzzese spoke to parents at Leavitt, Becker and Bob Miller Middle School about how to thrive during the middle school years.


Bullies on a Virtual Playground – Sticks and Stones No Longer Needed

March 25, 2010

Hi Moms – have you been hearing more about cyberbullying – are you wondering just what it is and how you can protect your kids from it? Well GirlMogulMom.com has enlisted parenting expert Joe Bruzzese, M.A., author of the essential guide A Parent’s Guide to the Middle School Years to decode this troubling practice for us.

Check out the first in our series on cyberbullying by Joe.


Book review: A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years
by Robert J. Russell

March 24, 2010

Raising kids is tough, but one could argue that the middle school years are the most difficult. Author, coach, teacher, and parent, Joe Bruzzese, has chimed in on the subject and it's no surprise that people are listening. Be sure to watch his recent interview on ABC's Good Morning Maryland.

You may be asking yourself, "So, what makes Mr. Bruzzese an expert on the middle school years?"

For starters, Bruzzese has worked for the last 15 years at helping kids with their relationships at school and at home. With a Master's degree in education and a national athletic coaching license, he co-founded Thinking-Forward, a company that provides both coaching services and parent presentations. Joe also holds a position of professorship in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Read the complete review.


5 Ways to Tame the Homework Beast
by Martha Brockenbrough

March, 2010

Mom's Homeroom — Learn ways to help your child succeed in school
The number of minutes kids can really concentrate is about half their age in
years, says Joe Bruzzese, author of "A Parents' Guide to the Middle School
Years

Read the complete article.


Joe Bruzzese to deliver keynote address at the Wake County Parent Day Conference

March 15, 2010

For most kids, the move to middle or high school brings both excitement and fear. Now is the time to help your child begin thinking about a move to a different school.

Check to see if your school or district is planning an event. In Wake County (NC), "Helping Your Child Transition" Family Day will be held on May 1. This event includes the following workshops:

* Middle School: Throughout the past 20 years Joe Bruzzese has successfully guided children, parents and educators through the challenges of the childhood years. As a nationally recognized author and speaker, Joe will bring innovation, energy, recognition and high standards to his keynote and presentation on "Thriving during the Middle School Years". Joe brings years of educational theory and practical experience to his work with families. For more from Joe, watch the video at the end of this article.



Annie Fox Podcasting Episode

March 8, 2010

We all want our kids to succeed and grow up up to be confident, resilient, thoughtful young adults who can competently manage their own lives. But sometimes what we say we want is at odds with our parenting choices. Boy is it ever! Especially when it comes to doing what’s really necessary to help our children develop independence. Like when we say: “Your homework is your responsibility” and then spend the entire afternoon and evening nagging: “Do you have a lot of homework?” “How much do you have?” “I thought you were working on your homework!” “Did you finish your homework?” “Let me check your homework.” Auugggh! Not only will all this micro-managing create loads of tension, it’s also doing nothing to encourage self-confidence in your child.

In this episode of Family Confidential, The Gift of Confidence, I talk with Joe Bruzzese M.A., author of “A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years”. Joe’s book and his ongoing work as a parent coach offer practical advice for building confidence in your child.

Listen to the podcast here


A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years recommended by Youth Worker organization

February, 2010

Have you been searching for a resource that prepares parents for the middle school years? Look no further! A Parents' Guide is a goldmine of practical advice for parents who hope to guide their children through the challenges and opportunities of middle school. The author's proactive approach empowers parents to avoid common pitfalls while also offering strategies to deal with friendships, depression, finding balance and overcoming the breakdown of communication.

Read the complete review


6 Signs Your Middle School Tween Is A Victim of Bullying
by Miss Mona

February, 2010

Do you think you’d be able to tell if your son or daughter were being bullied in middle school?

Would you even know what to look for?

Bullying is a sad reality these days and it’s happening way more than most parents would like to imagine.

That’s why it’s important you know what to look for.

Here are 6 signs that your tween is being bullied in middle school:

1. Rather than choosing to go out with friends your child prefers to stay at home
2. Frequent complaints about going to school or attending school sponsored events

Read the complete article


Radio show with Susan Swanson, Director of the Stepfamily Center

February 9, 2010

Joe talks about parenting middle schoolers in stepfamilies. Making the transition to a new family can be challenging for parents and kids. Listen to Joe's top strategies for effectively navigating the middle school years with your stepchild. What can you expect from your stepchild during the middle school years? How much should your stepchild be responsible for when moving between households?

Listen to the show recording here


Radio show with Susan Swanson, Director of the Stepfamily Center

February 9, 2010

Joe talks about parenting middle schoolers in stepfamilies. Making the transition to a new family can be challenging for parents and kids. Listen to Joe's top strategies for effectively navigating the middle school years with your stepchild. What can you expect from your stepchild during the middle school years? How much should your stepchild be responsible for when moving between households?

Listen to the show recording here


Planning With Kids
Current Issues with Schools and Education

February, 2010

Middle Schooler Forgets Homework – Parents what do you do?

This video comes from a post on Joe Bruzzese’s blog - thinking forward, Middle School Tools . This blog is an excellent resource for parents who have children in the upper years of primary school.

This video discusses how as a parent we can support our children taking responsibility for their homework. Joe gives advice on how to cope with the phone call “mum I’ve left my homework at home” and how you can set up systems with your child to prevent this from happening.

Visit PlanningWithKids.com


You Magazine

February, 2010

Raising kids is tough, but one could argue that the middle school years are the most difficult. Author, coach, teacher, and parent, Joe Bruzzese, has chimed in on the subject and it's no surprise that people are listening. Be sure to watch his recent interview on ABC's Good Morning Maryland.

You may be asking yourself, "So, what makes Mr. Bruzzese an expert on the middle school years?"

For starters, Bruzzese has worked for the last 15 years at helping kids with their relationships at school and at home. With a Master's degree in education and a national athletic coaching license, he co-founded Thinking-Forward, a company that provides both coaching services and parent presentations. Joe also holds a position of professorship in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara.

For many reasons, Bruzzese says that the middle school years pose the biggest challenge for both kids and parents. Acting as a bridge between childhood and adulthood, everything in their world seems to change during middle school. Adding to this challenge is that the world itself has changed tremendously since most of us were teenagers. From the Internet to cell phones, technology has added a whole new wrinkle to the process.

Read the complete article


Book Review: A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years
By Kim Childress

February, 2010

This book ranks as one of the best I’ve seen on helping your child transition out of the elementary years into a future of academic success. For many kids, middle school is the beginning of a radically different learning environment. For the first time, they travel from classroom to classroom to learn from a variety of teachers who each cover a specific subject. They also confront social issues at an age that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago. This book includes ideas galore–mind-mapping and goal-setting projects, coaching tips on ways to stay involved in your kids’ lives without making them crazy, and study and organizational ideas. (I’ve put the “milk crate filing system” into practice successfully.) The 6th-8th grade years have proven to be critical time in the student’s academic career, both rewarding and challenging, when kids gain independence and parents assume the role of supportive coach. I highly recommend this book for everyone who has or will have a middle schooler.

Visit Girlmogulmom.com


Woodward Academy - Atlanta, Georgia

January 28, 2010

Woodward Academy hosted Joe Bruzzese at a morning presentation to speak with parents of the Lower School about fostering independence during the elementary school years. Later that evening, parents from the Middle and Upper School attended a catered dinner event followed by Joe's "Helicopters and Hummingbirds" presentation.


Parents and Teachers use A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years for a six-week book study.

January 23, 2010
Glen Burnie, Maryland

Corkran Middle School's Parent Teacher Book Club will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 212 at the school at 7600 Quarterfield Road. Participants should use the rear entrance to the building.

A light supper and soda will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by a discussion from 6 to 7 p.m. This month, participants will discuss the final chapter "Thriving as a Family During Middle School" of the book "A Parent's Guide to the Middle School Years."

Parents are welcome even if they haven't read the book.

A new book will be selected for the second half of the school year. Books are selected that provide advice and information about middle school aged children and are provided by the Parent-Teacher-Student Organization.

For details, e-mail mzipay@aacps.org.


A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years

A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, now available in Japan.

January 22, 2010

Released in April of 2009, Joe Bruzzese's book found its way to booksellers across the United States. The beginning of the New Year brought with it an expanded community of readers in Japan.

The Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years online at the Japanese version of Amazon.com


Ellwood Elementary PTA invites Joe Bruzzese to speak with 5th and 6th grade parents about the transition to junior high

January 21, 2010

Returning to Ellwood Elementary for the fourth straight year, Joe Bruzzese spoke to parents about the changes and challenges of transitioning to junior high. Peer pressure, drugs and alcohol and organization were among the parent concerns shared during the 90 minute presentation.


Isla Vista Elementary PTA Sponsors an evening book talk with Joe Bruzzese

January 12, 2010

Joe shared his book, A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, with parents of graduating 6th grade students who will be headed to Junior High this coming Fall. Peer pressure, academic achievement and making the connection between choices and consequences were among the topics Joe discussed with parents during the 90-minute presentation.


Islander Middle School, Mercer Island Washington
Rosemont Ridge Middle School, West Lynn Oregon

December 8-9, 2009

As part of a trip to the Pacific Northwest Joe Bruzzese spoke to a group of eighty parents at Rosemont Ridge about the challenges of social media in his presentation, "Facebook Facts and MySpace Myths". The following evening at Islander Middle School, Joe shared his presentation entitled, "Confident, Connected and Challenged - The 3Cs to Thriving During the Middle School Years".


Anne Arundel County Parenting Conference - Annapolis, Maryland

November 14, 2009

Joe Bruzzese delivers the keynote address, "Bridges and Balance Beams - Building a Child's Road to Success". Featured here with Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Maxwell and Vice President of the Board of Education, Patricia Nalley.


Chesapeake Academy - Arnold, Maryland

November 13, 2009

Joe Bruzzese presents, "Helicopters to Hummingbirds - Building skills for independence" for parents of children ages 5 - 11 at the Chesapeake Academy.


Sudbrook Magnet Middle School - Towson, Maryland

November 11, 2009

The PTSA of Sudbrook Magnet Middle School welcome Joe Bruzzese for an evening parent presentation. Parents express concern over peer pressure, academic achievement and organization.


Becker Middle School sponsors an afternoon book talk with Joe Bruzzese
Las Vegas, Nevada

November 5, 2009

Joe discussed top strategies from his book, A Parent's Guide to the Middle School Years with parents at the school's monthly Parent Advisory Committee meeting. Teaching children to assume increasing responsibility for their academic achievement, overcoming peer pressure and staying connected at home were among the topics Joe shared at the meeting.


Getting through the middle school years, a time of change and opportunity
Work & Family Life Magazine

November, 2009

"One of the big frustrations of pre-teens and young adolescents is the feeling of being misunderstood. So a good starting point for any discussion of the middle-school years is to think about what kids this age wish their parents knew and really understood about them.

Read the complete article


Back-to-school Advice
By Peg Rosen

While somewhere, somehow, there are families happily waltzing back into their school-year routine, most face these first few weeks with a healthy dose of anxiety. “The start of school means the return to a more rigid schedule … the return of homework. In essence, it’s about change, and change is something that is hard for most people,” says Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parent’s Guide to the Middle School Years.

Read the complete article


Family Confidential is a current guest format podcast that run for approximately an hour. The episodes are aimed at parents who have older children entering and in their teens. Recent guests have been Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parents Guide to the Middle School Years and Mike Robbins, author of Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.

Listen to the podcast


Ease those first-day blues
By Andrea Anastasiou, Feature Writer
Published: August 26, 2009, 17:48

"Finding and maintaining friendships tops the list of worries among kids today, particularly when moving
from one academic level to the next," says Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years.

Read the complete article


Online Exclusive: Why Family Meetings Don’t Work: How to
Stay Connected to Your Middle School Child

September, 2009

School, sports and a variety of other extracurricular interests challenge a family’s ability to stay connected during the school year. Try the weekly check-in instead of a long and drawnout family meeting.

Staying connected with teens continues to be one of the greatest challenges that middle school parents face. One routine that keeps families communicating is the Weekly Check-in. Different from the traditional family meeting, the weekly check-in focuses on positive comments, goal setting and acknowledgment of effort and achievement.

Read the complete article


Online Exclusive: Quick Book Reviews for Busy Parents

September, 2009

Today’s kids seem to grow up faster than ever, and middle school is quickly becoming the new high school. Homework, social issues, sexuality and technology are just some of the major themes that our children deal with on a daily basis, and parents might not yet feel equipped to deal with the issues with kids this young. A handy reference for parents to turn to when life with teens and tweens seems overwhelming.

Read the complete article


Have a Vision, Create a Game Plan

September, 2009

Connect. During the first few weeks of school take two minutes to communicate with each person on your roster. Send a written note, e-mail message or share a quick conversation in person. The message to convey is short yet sincere, “Hi, I just wanted you to know how excited I am to have you in my child’s life this year.” This quick introduction sends a powerful message to everyone on your team about the importance of their role on your child’s life.

Read the complete article


A+ Study Habits
by Andrea Atkins

Posted online August 15, 2009 (from the September 1, 2009 print edition)

Create a Mobile Desktop
Since kids are always on the go, fill a lidded container with pencils, pens, paper and other supplies so your child can do homework in the car, on the couch, at his sister’s basketball game. He can use the lid as a desk, and whatever he needs is right at his fingertips, says Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years.

Read the complete article.


examiner.com

Back to School: Parenting books, books and more books

August 13, 2009

A Parent’s Guide to Middle School Years by Joe Bruzzese was so “on” I passed the book to my sister who will have a middle schooler. Joe covers everything from school supplies to bullying to your child’s locker! Yes, this book is full of valuable information for parents with kids entering or in middle school.

Read the complete article.


Parents Express names, A Parent's Guide to the Middle School Years in their Back to School sampler

August 5, 2009

"This guide provides parents, children and educators with valuable advice for facing the critical years from sixth through eigth grade. Some helpful hints include rules for cell phone use, enhancing communication and strategies for academic achievement."


Read the complete article.


Independent School Magazine: Five Steps to Building Your Support Team

August 4, 2009

Create a roster. Who will impact your child’s life this year? Begin by creating a list of the adults who will connect with your child during the first month of school. Teachers, school administrators, coaches, mentors, and extended family members are common additions to most team rosters.

Read the complete article.


Envisioning the School Year: how a team approach can make the difference
by Joe Bruzzese

August 3, 2009

What is your vision for the school year? Is academic achievement at the top of the list or will this be the year your child breaks out of his social shell?


Read the complete article.


The Middle School Years: what parents need to know

August 2, 2009

Question: What should parents know about middle school students?
Answer: Independence trumps logic and reason. The drive to establish and identity and separate from their parents drives middle schoolers to make decisions that often contradict years of parenting guidance.


Reviews Read Section

August 1, 2009

A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years - Because today's children seem to grow up so fast, middle school has become the new high school. Concerns about homework, social issues, technology, and emotional health confront parents earlier than they would like or expect.

 


Book Reviews

August 1, 2009

In A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, educator and parent Joe Bruzzese offers parents and their children empowering support to face the critical years from sixth to eighth grade with confidence.


Editor's Picks

August 1, 2009

Back to school is the perfect time for learning more about this critical time in your child's life. Author Joe Bruzzese offers parents and the children support to face this time with confidence.


ABC Morning Show Sacramento & Co.

July 20, 2009

Co-hosts Melissa Crowley and Guy Farris host Joe for spot on making a successful back to school transition. Creating a vision, maintaining a connection and building confidence were among the top ideas shared. The five minute show recording is featured below.


Joe Bruzzese of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School
publishes the book A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years

July 14, 2009

Joe Bruzzese of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has published the book A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years (Celestial Arts, 2009). This comprehensive handbook for parents navigating the challenges and opportunities that arise when children attend middle school discusses timely topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, social networking, and sexuality.

Read the complete article.


The Parent Report with Doug Cope

June 17, 2009

Listen to the audio interview in mp3 format.


 

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