Preparing for High School

Preparing for High School
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The move to high school is a big one and most students (and parents) may be feeling a little anxious about the change. One way to help alleviate your child’s nervousness and prepare them for their new life as a high school student is to be prepared. Knowing what to expect will help to bolster their confidence and makes for a smooth and easy transition to their new environment.

Doing Research

Start by browsing the school website with your student. You can look at the news sections to read more about events at the school. You can also learn more about the teachers, councilors and other staff members. Read the school newspaper or magazine and the yearbook to give you and your student an idea of what to expect and how you can get involved.

Orientation

Attend the high school orientation to learn about school rules and to see what facilities the school has. If possible, take this opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and introduce them to your child. Let your child explore the school so that they won’t get lost on their first day. One good practice is to find all of the classrooms your child will be attending and navigating to them from different parts of the school so that they always feel like they know where they are going.

After School Activities

Encourage your student to investigate clubs and sports that they can get involved in. This is a great way to meet new friends and to make your child feel like they are part of the school community. If they are trying something new, they have the summer to practice which will boost their confidence too.

Routines

One of the biggest changes when moving to high school is the amount of work your child has to do in a week. You can help them transition by teaching effective organizational, time-management and task prioritization skills. You can also encourage them to do some of the requisite reading, or provide in-home tutoring over the summer months.

If your child struggles academically, you can really give them a jump start by filling in the missing building blocks in their academic knowledge over the summer. Just one or two sessions a week is all they need to catch up and even move ahead so that they can start the new academic year without adding academic woes to their list of challenges.

Start getting your child up at the right time for school a week prior to the start of the school year so that they get accustomed to a morning routine. If they have to get themselves to school, you may need a practice run or two to ensure that they have the route and timing under control.

Ensure that your child has ‘emergency’ fare for a taxi or bus should they lose their transport pass or miss the school bus. Discuss emergency plans for worst case scenarios, put all relevant numbers onto their phones and make sure they have your number memorized in case their phone isn’t working.

pic by Library and Archives Canada
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