Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

My Son Hates 7th Grade

with 36 comments

no-bake oatmeal cookies
My oldest son is in the 7th grade. That sounds really strange to me when I say it out loud. Because I can remember the 7th grade, and it doesn’t seem far enough away for me to have a kid that’s 12. But anyway.

Andrew, my biggest little boy, is right smack in the center of what I totally remember as being the most awkward, emotional, and unfriendly years of life… Middle School. Errgh. He’s lucky because he’s super-dee-duper cute. I had snaggleteeth. He wears pretty cool clothes (which I think must be easier for boys except for those unfortunate few that are shoved into too-tight Wranglers and velcro sneakers). I’m pretty sure I dressed like a loser… my sisters were too little back then to tell me what on earth to wear. He’s got a sense of humor, and a handful of friends, so in comparison to MY middle school world Andrew is doing pretty doggone good.

But he still hates 7th grade.

Everyday he comes home and tells me so.

It started with our open house/school supply disaster.

making no-bake chocoate peanut butter cookies

We went to the open house. The teachers actually gave us the time of day (which is more than I can say for any of them last year). We were feeling pretty good. I asked each teacher the same question: “Is there anything specific he will need for your class?” The overwhelming response was, “Nah. Not really. Just a binder. Some dividers. Pencils and paper– standard stuff.” We were super prepared for allll a that thanks to my sister, aunt AND elementary school teacher extraordinaire, who went crazy on school supplies and bought every single thing on every single list the schools had provided on their websites.

So Andrew headed off for his first day of 7th grade armed with an awesome 3-inch 3-ring binder, enough dividers for each of his 8 classes, pencils, paper, and a brand new book bag. He returned home with a list of demands from nearly every single teacher, all wanting their OWN binder, 42,000 dividers, pencil pouches, etc. I was so completely overjoyed to have to traipse around Wal-Mart on the first day of school with every other parent in our town trying to find supplies that sold out weeks before. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be?

Let’s not forget the part about the currently unavailable and previously unrequested school supplies being a test grade.

I wrote a very nice email letting the teachers know that we know they wouldn’t make these requests lightly and that we were trying to accomodate, but that I can’t be the only parent running up against this wall, blah, blah, blah. It was super carefully crafted; eggshell-worded. Because Lord knows I do not want my kid to get off on the wrong foot with his teachers. Buuuut my plan backfired. Because the only two teachers that responded were snarky beotches. Also Andrew overheard these same two ladies gossiping about us. Rude.

The principal was nice. She gets a gold star.

making no bake oatmeal cookies

Of course I drove in circles until I found every last school supply listed. Because I want my cutie boy to do well. It took me 3 whole days.

In the meantime Andrew discovered that none of his friends from last year are in any of his classes. He has the worst (and latest) lunch. He isn’t allowed to take his book bag to class and since we now have like 79 small binders instead of just one big one he has to try to go to his locker in between each block (there is no such thing as “1st period” or “5th period” anymore; now they are called “blocks”. lame.).

He has the bottom locker.
The bottom locker sucks.

This whole process has made him tardy 3 times in a week. Three tardies = Silent lunch.

chocolatey no bake cookies

In 6th grade there wasn’t much homework. My little one, who was in 3rd grade last year, always had more homework than Andrew did. I warned him that a light workload wasn’t doing him any favors… not that he could have done anything about it. And now he is paying the price. It’s sort of stressing him out.

So every day Andrew comes home from school and tells me that 7th grade sucks. I hate that. But I just keep reminding him that we are gonna get through it. HE is gonna get through it.

When your kids start to get big there’s really only so much you can do without making it worse. I’m trying so hard to help. And even though it’s sort of considered the un-cool thing to do, my help involves trying to pack Andrew’s lunch.

Late, friendless, silent lunch needs cookies. And if you smash all the good kinds of cookies into one, single, bake-free bar, you get these.

Today when Andrew came home he told me he still hates 7th grade. BUT! He got 104 on his spelling test last week. And he’s got a good grip on his math and science classes. And he made a few friends on the school bus.

So maybe it’s not all bad. And as long as there are cookies something is good.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip No-Bake Cookie Bars (from THIS recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)


3 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

To Make

Line a 9 X 13 pan baking dish with parchment paper or foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the old fashioned oats, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stirring peanut butter into oats is a good workout. Set the oat mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot sugary butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until the oats are moistened completely. The chocolate will melt. Dump the whole sticky wonderful mess into the prepared baking dish and press it out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Press in the remaining chocolate chips.

Let it cool completely. It needs to set up for at least an hour before slicing.

I cut these into 1 X 2 bars and wrapped them individually. We stored them in the fridge and had them in lunches and for snack all week!

chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

36 Responses

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  1. Awww, middle schools tough! I remember being sooooo shy! I’m glad things are looking brighter for your Andrew. He’ll get in his groove, and now he has those delicious looking bars to look forward to!!

    Sandra - The Foodie Affair

    September 11, 2012 at 2:54 am

    • I know! Middle school is rough. I’m really feeling for him right now. I think I might be more worried about him than what is actually warranted, but I guess that’s my job 🙂

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

  2. Ugh those teachers do sound mighty… I won’t say it!
    I hope these delicious bars are a way for him to start loving high school (or middle school in America!)

    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    September 11, 2012 at 3:33 am

    • I told him the other day that once you get to middle and high school there are really only just a few teachers that you connect with… he just doesn’t have any of those this year. He’ll get the hang of it soon I think.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

  3. Oh gosh, it’s such a minefield 😦 I know it’s not THAAAT bad, but it can’t be nice for you or him. My school life – all of it – was a misery. I feel for Andrew. Cookies solve or at least salve a lot of situations. Chin up, you have a great kid and he has a seriously kick-ass Mama 🙂

    I hate that about schools, there’s never a proper list of stationary requirements and then when they do get around to it, some of the items are redundant. Money and more importantly, time, wasted. Gets on my nerves.

    Hopefully, it will get better. Slow to start with, but it’ll get there. He’ll have those delicious cookies along the way too.

    The Patterned Plate

    September 11, 2012 at 4:07 am

    • Thanks, Carrie! You know with the school supplies I just wish the teachers had specified that one big binder wasn’t sufficient BEFORE the first day of school. The elementary schools put their lists out waaaay ahead of time and stick to it. Big kid school has been a whole other kind of experience. The verdict? This year I think we will need lotsa cookies.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

  4. Tell Andrew that it WILL get better. If he ever gets too overwhelmed, he can always talk to his awesome mama or he can even call his former sitter (i.e. – ME!). I miss both my boys! Glad it’s getting better for him though.


    September 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

  5. I would really like to make these, but I cannot, because I would eat the whole pan. Andrew is great, and he will adapt after a week or two. Sounds like things are a little better already with good grades, and being on top of it in math and science. And he is sooo very cute! Cookies do make the day better. He will be an old pro in a couple of weeks, looking down his nose at those baby 6th graders! Love you all…

    Peggy Campbell

    September 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

    • The trick to not eating the whole pan is to wrap them individually and put them in the fridge. That’s what I did. problem solved 🙂
      Here’s to hoping things get a little better. We gotta make 7th grade not suck.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

  6. I love no bake bars, they are so super sweet, it’s indulgent. I hope his year improves, but really, I hated school from 6th grade until my junior year. Kids are bitchy.

    Erin's DC Kitchen

    September 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    • Yeah… it’s the kids, the teachers, the workload… all of it. 7th grade was rough for me, too.
      I think we will be making loooooots of cookies.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

  7. I hear you. Our mornings start with “Can’t you home school me?” Seventh grade is not great at my house either. I keep telling her it gets better, but I’m not sure she believes me. I will have to make these cookie bars to boost my street cred 🙂

    Year Of Healthier Living

    September 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    • Haha – I’ll tell you, they do seem to have boosted my kids’ confidence a little in the what-I-say-is-true department. I’ll be sure to tell Andrew that 7th grade seems to be rough for everyone! I’m still totally unimpressed with his teachers, though. I know teaching middle school is probably super difficult. I WOULD NOT sign up for that mess. But I think if you don’t want to try to connect with the kids and treat them like people then I think maybe it’s time to do something else, you know?

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

  8. So they are kinda like fudge bars it seems. I would eat them all myself, too, so I won’t make them. What’s up with those teachers? Ugh!


    September 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    • You and my mom seem to have the same eat-all-the-cookie-bar philosophy. They are reeeeally good, though 🙂 I don’t know what’s up with those teachers. I hope they’ll redeem, themselves. BUT! I told Andrew that if they kept being lame that he would only have to deal with them for one year and that we would show them who is boss with bangin grades and projects that put all the rest to shame. Plus I will write mean things about them if they piss me off. It makes him laugh when I do that.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

      • Excellent motivational strategy!


        September 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

  9. 7th grade is a tough year, especially for boys. Once he gets used to it and keeps making friends it’ll be fun! Sucks about his locker though. You should get one of those locker on wheels things he can take it with him!!! idk haha Thank god for cookies though…lunch wouldn’t suck if I had those…those chocolate chips would be my new friends…coco and late (which I would pronouce lot-tea lol) Hang in there Andrew!! You the man dog!!! Congrats on your math test!!!! Woohoo!!!


    September 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

  10. P.S. teachers suck! All I have to say about that is b*tches be hoes!!!


    September 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    • OMG 7th grade was crappy for everyone I think! But I was a really good student and I can remember finding some solace in my teachers when kids were so mean. He isn’t finding that. I hope it gets better. Really really really better.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

      • Yeah that’s true, well if his teachers continue to be b*tches you should meet with them….or take their a$$e$ to the principals office!!!


        September 13, 2012 at 2:03 am

  11. I can not believe that those teachers were childish enough to gossip about you…IDIOTS!….They’re supposed to be the adults!


    September 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    • It’s okay, though. Because I blogged about them. And published it on the internets for all the world to read 🙂

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

      • Just awesome!!


        September 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

      • Just awesome!! The great thing….instead of no reassuring feedback and support like it used to you get to hear from SANE people that the teachers were out of line…


        September 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

  12. What is it about middle school? Boo is in 7th grade this year, too. He liked 6th grade just fine, but something about this year has him down.


    September 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

    • It’s rough. I’m just trying really hard to stay involved. It’s harder when they get bigger but I think he digs it that he can come home and bitch about all of it and feel like maybe I get it a little. I was pretty young when I had Andrew so I think he feels like I’m not totally out of touch (I THINK). The cookies definitely don’t hurt.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

  13. I’m sorry he is feeling that way, school sometimes can be so hard :(. But your treats look amazing and a great pick me up mom! Thank you for another yummy recipe!

    Alexis AKA MOM

    September 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    • Thanks, Alexis! School, particularly middle school, I think is rough for everyone. I know it was for me. Guess we’ll just keep on keepin’ on. We loved loved loved these cookie bars– hope you enjoy them!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 13, 2012 at 7:04 am

  14. My favourite part of this? NO BAKE!!!!!! YAY!!!! But, to sound slightly less excited and joyous… we don’t have middle school, but that age group is hell for everyone! – what a nightmare that timetabling, locker fiascos, supply lists (or lack of) and teachers are making it all the more difficult! It’s really different here, we don’t have lists of supplies to get – the schools are supposed to provide it all (of course, the older ones brign pencil cases and a bag, but that’s pretty much it!) – so much easier I think! You’re definitely right that as you get older you connect well with less teachers – I remember in Yr 8 (similar to your 7th grade I think) my maths teacher telling my friend’s mum she should move and sit somewhere away from me, because I was arrogant and distracting (which, she may have had a point with if she’d used an ounce of tact and if either of us had poor work because of it, as it was we were always finished first and passing time being stupid since we had to wait!) – needless to say, my friend’s mum put her in her pace and went straight to my mum to tell her how unprofessional she’d been! But, then there were other teachers like my art, re and drama teachers who I got on with like a house on fire! I hope he finds someone he gets on better with as they get to know each other – if not – a tonne of cookies til next year (we all know the school years fly by!) Here’s hoping it all gets better – and I think he’s mega lucky to have a mum he can talk to and get yummy cookies from 🙂


    September 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    • I am thrilled that my recipe was finally able to accomodate your ovenless status! Yesssss! Score.
      The 12-14 age group is so awkward. I know it’s hard on the teachers, but from the outside looking in it seems like they are a bit jaded. Like they’ve decided who my kid is gonna be and put him in a box to that effect. Why is it that all things European seem more functional? School supplies, education, speaking multiple languages…
      What the hell was that teacher thinking bad-mouthing a little girl?! To your friends mom no less? Glad she was sassy enough to set it straight! See? That teacher tried to decide who you were going to be. If only she coulds see you wrangling your own students now!!!
      I had a few amazing teachers in high school… people I’ll never ever forget. I hope those teachers know how many lives they’ve influenced for the better. And more than that I hope my kid finds one of those teachers soon! Until then, we have cookies.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

      • The plan is to attempt the recipe one week (and taste test of course) then when I know I can do it , I’0m going to make it to take into work for our ‘Friday Treats’ – we all take turns to bring in cakes, crisps, biscuits etc. I’m certain this will go down well! Not so sure that we’re more organised at school supplies (I still have no new pencils or whiteboard pens for my classroom coming up to 2 weeks in!) but at least it’s us that make do, share, borrow and wait til we get them rather than parents having to chase round after them! Hope the cookies are helping and it’s settling down a bit for Andrew.


        September 14, 2012 at 2:47 am

  15. Being a 7th grader must be hard. Being the mom of a 7th grader who hates 7th grade? Even harder. I’m so sorry the teachers are so unhelpful! I’m glad that your son has such an awesome mom who listens, sympathizes, and then makes amazing desserts. Andrew is one lucky kid.


    September 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    • This middle school mess has been hard on me because I loved all of his teachers in elementary school. I had good relationships with the staff and that makes it nine zillion times easier to stay involved and WANT to help out in the classroom. Every single person I’ve dealt with at the middle school (with the exception of the principal) has been off-putting, snarky and unimpressive. Last week Andrew’s Language Arts teacher had him put the table of contents in the BACK of the notebook for class. So what do I do? Correct the teacher and make life that much harder for my kid? Soooo frustrating. Andrew and I have just taken to cracking jokes about it, and at least I know that when MY kid graduates, he will go on to college with the undrstanding that the INDEX goes in the back of the book. Not the table of contents.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

  16. Wow, they are giving you hard time about not immediately being able to furnish school supplies at the drop of a hat? And the ladies were gossiping about families on work grounds? Bold in a very stupid way, and completely unprofessional! Clearly these women are grown up, spoiled brats! Ugh. That kind of thing makes me furious!
    (You should have seen me feud with a snooty woman at the airport who was making snarky comments to the single mom with two children in front of her. I have no shame when it comes to schooling the general public on manners!!)


    September 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    • I LOVE that you spoke up and said something! I always say something and I get a bad rap for it lol. I have been so unimpressed with the staff at this school as a whole, except the administration has been pleasant at every turn. The teachers are unsympathetic and rude. I’m also dealing with a language arts teacher that thinks “alot” is a word. Then she had the class put the Table of Contents in the back of the book they made. Whaaaaaaat the hell.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

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