Parenting Advice

5 Tips for Successfully Guiding Your Child Through High School

Transitioning from middle to high school is a tremendous step for kids. For starters, they are no longer the big kids on campus and there is no more handling holding. This is where the real evolution begins. They are given team-building projects; needing to juggle heavy workloads, homework and possibly jobs; and expected to make mature decisions. At this stage, they are learning to become adults.
 
When my son graduated from eighth grade two years ago we had conversations about how high school would basically develop certain levels of maturity and train him for the real world. But, it will be so exciting that it will be the most memorable school years of his adolescent life. These are some tips of wisdom to share with your child from one stage to the next:
 
Tip One:       Having discussions with your child early is a great strategy towards success, especially what to expect in their third year. In my opinion, junior year is the most significant level of school from kindergarten to senior year. They take the two national college entrance exams – ACT and/or SAT, research which colleges they want to attend and craft scholarship essays. Limit distractions during this stage. They are one step away from being adults.
Tip Two:       Every grade they’ve earned up to eighth grade was to prepare them for high school. Now’s the time to be aware of missing assignments, projects, and exam grades. If your child is not doing well one quarter, then he or she has to compensate the next quarter to ensure the highest possible semester grade, which counts towards his or her GPA. Even if struggling in a class, the faculty expects students to be proactive. I told my son it’s easier to maintain a high grade then work to bring it up.
Tip Three:    Establish key relationships early. Teachers and coaches have no problem with writing recommendations (colleges or employment) for students they admire. Even the company your child keeps demonstrates the direction they will go and the personal brand they are creating for themselves.
Tip Four:       Mid-way through school, kids are talking about finding jobs. When my son was in that in-between phase, I took him to volunteer and his dad paid him to work with him over the summer. These experiences look good on any application.
Tip Five:       While processing these stages, be cognizant of your child’s strengths. Some children don’t know what interests to explore when they graduate. Simple awareness strategies can help them guide their decisions – whether it’s college, learning a trade or certification, taking classes to build their entrepreneur skills or going off to the reserves.
 
In August, my son will be a junior. While we plan to have fun this summer, the library will be part of the agenda to get him prepared. I’m quite sure his senior year will be a blast!
 
Aria Craig – Empowerment & Leadership Strategist
www.AriaCraig.com



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