Help Your Child Prepare For High School Success
Is your child set up for high school success? Transitioning from middle school to high school is a big change for students. Moving to a new school with new classes, new classmates, and new teachers can all be overwhelming for your teenager (and for you as a parent!) It’s completely normal for students to feel nervous about starting high school. Many students have at least some difficulty adjusting to these changes.
Luckily, starting high school doesn’t have to the scary!
To help, we’ve gathered these tips so you and your child can make their transition to high school easier.
Read on to find out how you can prepare your child (and yourself) for the high school years:
Prepare for High School Success:
The Year Before
- Focus on building good study habits. It’s never too early to start preparing for success in future grades. Help your child practice good study habits such as organization and time management before high school. By starting early, your child will have stronger learning skills that will help as he or she takes on a more challenging workload in high school.
- Understand your child’s learning pace. When choosing high school classes, students must decide whether to sign up for academic-level or applied-level classes. Knowing your child’s learning pace throughout middle school will help you choose the best fit, so they are able to keep up with the material.
- Encourage independent learning. As your child nears the end of his or her middle school years, encourage more self-directed learning. Allow your child to take responsibility for scheduling time for homework and assignments and keeping track of deadlines. In the beginning, have daily check-ins with your child to help keep them on track. As your child gets the hang of the process, transition to weekly check-ins. This will help prepare your child to take on more responsibility in high school.
The Summer Before
- Take a tour of the school. Before school starts in September, take advantage of any chances you have to visit the school for a tour. Many schools have open house days where new students can explore the school and learn where key locations are (like the homeroom, the library, the counselling office, and the cafeteria). This will allow your child to become more familiar with the school, so they are not completely overwhelmed on the first day.
- Attend orientation. Many schools provide orientation days before school actually starts. Attending orientation gives your child a chance to pick up their class schedule, meet teachers, and learn what to expect from high school. It’s also a great way to meet some of your child’s new classmates so they will see a few friendly faces on the first day of class.
- Buy proper school supplies. Make sure your child is prepared to head back to school with the right supplies. As your child moves to high school, the amount and level of work increases—so it’s important they have the tools to take on the challenge! Recommended reading: The Cost of Education in the USA.
- Brush up on last year’s material. Use your child’s time off during the summer break to refresh material learned over the previous year. This will help make sure your child doesn’t lose the skills they have already learned, making the transition back to class in September easier. Taking 30 minutes to read a book each day can help keep students’ brains in learning mode over the summer.
- Set goals for the year. Sit down with your child and set goals to achieve during the year. Set both academic-focused goals as well as social goals. These can be big or small, such as maintaining a certain grade in a subject or finding friends that share his or her interests by joining a club. This will help give your child a clear path to getting the most out of the high school experience.
The First Year
- Talk about classes. Once your child has officially started high school, check in regularly to discuss how classes are going. Ask your child which classes are the favorite and which ones they dislike (and why). This will help give you an idea of areas your child may be struggling or may need some extra help.
- Routinely evaluate progress. Getting your teen to share what’s going on at school can be tough. Don’t wait for report cards: monitor marks on tests and assignments as they are returned to your child. Keep an eye out for slipping grades—it’s normal to see grades fall a bit while students adjust to a more challenging workload. If your child’s grades are quickly and continually falling, they may need extra help to get on track.
- Continue improving your child’s study habits. The transition to high school doesn’t end after the first day, week, or month. A successful first year of high school takes ongoing work and practice. Help your child continue to improve his or her study skills, such as note-taking, organization, and time management. These skills will continue to support your child as they progress through high school and work becomes more challenging.
- Get involved in extracurriculars. High school is when many students learn what they are most interested in. Encourage your child to sign up for extracurricular clubs or teams and explore different interests. This will help your child plan which classes they want to take in upcoming years (and even start thinking about what post-secondary path is most appealing).
Make the Transition to High School Easy with GradePower Learning!
Help your child prepare for success in high school with a customized program at GradePower Learning. Our high school success programs help teens develop strong learning skills they can rely on throughout their time in high school and beyond. Contact a location near you to give your teen an advantage in high school!