The move to high school is the biggest shift your child will go through in their school career and requires new academic and social skill sets. You can ensure a seamless transition by taking some time over the summer to prepare your child for what lies ahead.
The biggest changes in education are critical thinking and application. Your child must be able to understand, analyze and think critically about the texts they read and apply this understanding to their own lives.
The same goes for math skills where learning formulas by rote isn’t enough. Students must be able to see how formulas relate to each other and to the real world.
Being able to write legibly, communicate ideas effectively and express ideas comprehensively are necessary skills for high-school academic success.
These are a set of skills that create successful, independent learners. Things like task initiation, organization, the ability to stay focused, time management, goal setting and memory are learned abilities. Without these executive skills, your student will not be able to keep up with the volume and pace of high-school learning.
Students need to be more independent in high school which means taking responsibility for their actions, thinking of consequences and having the ability to modify their behavior accordingly. They must have respect for diversity and an acceptance of those who are different from themselves.
They must understand the school’s policy on bullying and know what to do if they are bullied or if someone else is bullied.
Have a social media and internet security policy in place so your child knows how to explore the internet safely and what to do if they are bullied or intimidated.
Students must have the ability to deal with stress. The social and academic stress of high school can be overwhelming and they need to have effective coping mechanisms in place.
Motivation and attitude are central to every student’s success and this may be a good time to discuss the enormous impact that these two aspect have on a student’s life.
Preparing your Child for High School
If your child has been struggling academically, use this summer to help them catch up with a private in-home tutor. The one-to-one tutoring model will mean that just a couple of hours a week can really make a difference.
Find a tutor who also specializes in executive skills so that your student is a successful, independent learner throughout their high-school career.
Talk about the social challenges of high school and discuss ways in which to deal with various scenarios. Keep the channels of communication open so that your child is able to talk to you as challenges arise.
Discuss stress indicators and ways of dealing with anxiety so that your child can recognize when they are stressed and take steps to relax or ask for help in extreme cases.
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