Many parents struggle with how to help their child make a smooth and easy transition from middle school to high school. There is no one formula for success, as each teenager is unique. However, several strategies can be employed that will help each family ease their teen into high school successfully. Try these suggestions for an easier transition:
- Be interested and enthusiastic about their move to high school.
- Make certain travel arrangements to and from school are organized and your teenager is aware of them. Include back-up arrangements.
- Discuss the changes every student will experience. Emphasize that many students feel apprehensive about changing from a smaller school to a larger school. If the student has a difficult transition, school staff is available to help.
- Learn about school routines and timetables. Check the school website for this information. If unavailable, check with an upper classman in your neighborhood.
- Develop good study habits. Try to provide your teen somewhere private and quiet to study. Set aside a particular time of day to study. Work out a daily timetable that incorporates all your teenager’s needs and interests. Regularly viewed TV programs, club activities and sports should be part of the timetable.
- Practice organizational skills. During the first few weeks of school make certain your teenager has the correct books for school the next day. You will encourage a good habit. Have your teenager use a day planner and develop the habit of using the school’s website to check on short term and long term projects as well as daily assignments. Check the backpack’s organization. Empty it out and have your teenager get it organized, if necessary, on a regular basis.
- Discuss emergency and safety issues. Talk about these issues, simply and without emotion. Allow your child to contribute his or her view. Find out who at the school can help him/her with an issue such as taking essential medication or being threatened.
- Keep communication open about all your teenager’s experiences. Let your teenager know you trust him/her and he/she can trust you. Let your teenager know you are available if things go wrong.
- Help your teen set priorities. The expectations and responsibilities of high school will be quite different than middle school. As more and more responsibility falls upon your teen’s shoulders, help your teen evaluate the levels of importance he/she places upon his/her academic requirements versus social activities. Help create a workable schedule that allows enough time for quality study and affords time for social activities.
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