Here is a really interesting article on the importance of alone time for kids. The Power of Lonely by Leon Neyfakh pulls together research indicating that we are kinder, more confident, develop a stronger sense of identity, and better memory skills, in addition to the long-established creative, intellectual, and spiritual advantages. Abridged version: you and your children need alone time to process, regroup, and grow. Check out the article though, the research and explanations are fascinating.
The Washington Post published an article on preparing middle schoolers for college last week, “8 Subtle Ways to Ready Middle Schoolers for College” and I thought it was actually a solid piece for parenting students of any age (other than the Algebra I bit). The article is actually very practical and very brief and provides some good general principles for college, as well as for life. It makes complete sense that our children will do better on their own if they have been doing household chores for years, if they are people of strong character, if they fill their transcripts with hobbies they love, rather than empty tasks to please admissions offices. Read it and let it guide you where it will.