Is your teen prepared for High School?
The last two years have shown us all a very different way of life and education. For many students, virtual learning became the norm. While the world tried to figure out how to live through a pandemic. Due to that, many students have unfortunately lost precious education time. And now parents and students alike are feeling very underprepared for the road ahead. Especially students heading into high school for the first time.
Transitioning from middle school to high school is already a very big change for students. Now throw in the fact that kids going into high school this September haven’t had a normal education experience since March 2020. That likely will make them feel pretty overwhelmed. But don’t worry, that overwhelm is completely normal, and to be expected. Pandemic or not, it’s a big change. Different school, different teachers, different peers, and for some students that are homeschooled and going into high school, it’s a whole new ball park.
You want your teen to be successful.
I have no doubt that you want your child to be super successful with whatever they choose to do with their life. So, it’s normal for parents to feel a twinge of anxiety about how well they do in high school. After-all, it’s the final step before University. So, you might find yourself feeling like there’s a lot of pressure to make sure your teen does the best job possible.
Listen, you don’t have to suddenly become the chill parent, or the super crazy, pushy parent. Finding a balance somewhere in the middle is your best option. You can accomplish that by simply being there for your teen. By offering them the right tools to help them have a successful high school experience despite these beginning hurdles they are facing.
There are two categories that we will focus on to help your teen have a successful experience with their secondary school experience.
Category 1: Emotional Well-Being.
Kids are struggling with all the trauma that they’ve experienced in the last two years. We often like to assume that they’re doing fine. For some, they are. Even so, there has been a lot of damage done to their social and emotional skills. This being due to the ups and downs, and isolation of the pandemic.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to:
- Reassure your teen that we are all trying to figure it out. Life is different now, and unfortunately that means that your teen won’t have the same high school experience as generations before. It will be different. Let them know they aren’t alone in this. Other students, teachers, principals, and even you yourself, are all learning this new chapter of our lives together.
- Make sure that they know it’s OK to be a little freaked out. It’s totally natural to feel this way, and they are safe to talk to you about it.
- Don’t force toxic positivity on your kids. Is your child struggling with the fact that they didn’t get a real ‘Grade 8 graduation’? Could they be upset that they didn’t get to play that final season with the homeschool soccer team? Are they hurting inside because they never got to go to the science fair to show off their amazing experiment? Don’t ignore that. Let them be upset. Let them tell you that it made them sad. Don’t just jump to a silver lining. Teach them that sometimes it’s ok to notice the bad, sit in it and then when they’re ready, get up and move forward.
- Never compare how your teen does to the other teens around them. Every kid is different. If your child is struggling with the big change that is high school. Don’t be like “Well, my friends teen is doing just fine.” That will only cause frustration and a spike right down the middle of your relationship. If you notice that your teen is having a much more difficult time adjusting, continually reassure them that they are going to be OK. That you are always there for them. And that with time, things will work out.
Category 2: Academic success.
As stated above, you obviously want your teen to be super successful on their secondary school journey. However, that doesn’t mean you should put unrealistic goals on their shoulders. Let them go on this journey, encourage them, be there for them. And give them the right tools to be successful.
What does that look like?
- Understand that he/she has their own learning pace. You should know your teen more than anyone else. So, you are the one that knows their learning pace (especially if you’ve homeschooled them). Therefore, you should be able to help them choose the right classes, to be successful on their high school journey.
- Help them build good study habits. Every day you can help your student learn good study habits, organization, and time management.
- Create a space that is just for study, or reading.
- Encourage them to keep a planner, to write down important dates and events.
- Show them how to take notes that are effective.
- Demonstrate to your child that it’s healthy and safe to ask for help. And reassure them of that when they get worried.
- You and your student both need to tone down the distractions. Are you someone that is easily distracted by your phone/T.V.? Limit those distractions when you’re working to help your child also learn to limit distractions when they need to be studying.
- Take an in-person or virtual tour of their new school. Depending on what is available to you, based on COVID guidelines. Letting them see where they are going to school can be really beneficial in that it helps them visualize their new digs.
- Brush up on pre-high school materials. Does that mean summer school? Nope! Instead, encourage them to spend about 15 minutes every day looking through their old material. This will help them remember so that they aren’t totally side-lined when they get to Secondary School.
Still worried about your teen starting high school?
If you are worried that your teen may have lost a lot of precious academic learning throughout the pandemic, there are steps that you can take in order to help them gain knowledge and get back to where they need to be academically.
You can sign up for the Schoolio High School Readiness Assessment. It’s free and simple to use. Your student will go through each question and section. After the assessment is finished, it will identify areas that your student may need a little extra support. And areas where they’re doing extremely well.
Sign up for The High School Readiness Assessment and we will notify you once it’s ready!
Check out these additional resources for helping your teen be prepared:
- Edmentum 7 Tips To Help Your Child Develop Effective Study Skills
- Parents-com How To Prepare Your Teen For The First Day Of High School
- Oxford Learning How To Prepare Your Child For High School