We know how important your involvement is in your child's education - we also know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the important steps in planning and preparing for college.
Below you'll find this month's content - LEARN (info to know), DO (action to take), and TIPS (insights for success)
Transitioning to High School - Your role as Parent
Making the move to high school is a big deal – for your student and for you. And while you are trying to get a handle on how you feel, your teen is feeling it 10x more. Helping your student get ready for the switch will also help you feel more relaxed about their inevitable success.
First, moving into high school means a lot of changes logistically. New start times. New buildings. Lockers. Passing periods. Help your student feel prepared by encouraging them to take part in any freshman orientation programs that are offered. This may include going in and trying out their schedule and learning how to navigate new hallways and crowds, as well as getting more comfortable knowing that they aren’t the only new kid in the building.
If your student will need to wake up earlier, help them get ready for this adjustment by slowly acclimating them to the new wake up time by shortening their sleep a little each night for the week prior. Teenagers need a lot of sleep, and waking up early after a late practice and homework can be tough. Encourage them to find a good balance and to make sleep a priority.
Encourage your student to get involved. Being on a team, in a club or group, or part of a cast promotes belonging. This involvement will encourage new friendships and a sense of ownership and teamwork. Being a part of something larger than themselves is important.
Becoming a high school student is a huge transition, not just logistically, but emotionally.
During this time, don’t forget to love your student unconditionally. They are in the midst of crossing into adulthood, navigating new freedoms and pressures, and there are going to be bumps and dips along the way. What may seem “silly” or “trivial” to us is a big deal to them; their fears are real. Students today are more stressed out than they have ever been. There is so much pressure socially, academically, and emotionally that it can break their spirit.
Work with your student’s counselor and teachers to understand the whole picture, especially if you see major changes in your student’s sleep or eating habits or anxiety level. This is one job no one can do alone.
Make a contract about shared responsibility
Remember when we talked about helicopter parenting? Transition points are often when parents and students struggle with boundaries and shared responsibilities.
Now is the time to make a contract with your student (and yourself) about who takes responsibility for what, especially in high school.
As a general guideline, make sure that your student is lifting about 80% of their load.
If a chore/homework schedule would help, make it your student's responsibility to fill in their part: project date, tests, sports schedules. You can keep track of the rest. The lifelong skill of personal responsibility is best learned now when the stakes are lower rather than in college or (gasp!) when they become an adult.
Did you know that some of their HS classes may have required summer work? Check with their HS guidance counselor to see. (It may also be posted on the HS website too.)
Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is a perfect time to help them get reacquainted with the outdoors. Physical activity and even chores around the yard are great ways for your teenager to get some much-needed fresh air. (They’ll sleep better and be more refreshed to finish the school year strong!)
myOWNEDU for Schools!
We work with schools to bring college planning courses to students and offer free College Planning Presentations for parents. Learn more by clicking here.