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Middle School Is Often Difficult. Try Experiencing it Under Quarantine.

Leah Hampton, an eighth-grader at Falling Creek Middle School in Virginia, jokes that without her friends she’d sleep through school. Seeing them was “the best part of the day,” she said. “They woke me up before my classes.”

Her mother, Leomia Hampton, says after classes went online in mid-March, that wasn’t far from the truth. “It’s very difficult to keep her motivated, very difficult to even keep her awake,” she said of working with her daughter at home.

Early adolescence is a time of rapid cognitive changes, when kids assert their independence from parents, form their own identities and become hyper-dependent on (and sensitive to) interactions with peers. Their “social brains” are developing quickly, and they are Hoovering up information from the world around them to figure out who they are and how they fit in.

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