Moving into a new grade level, especially the middle school to high school transition, has always been a potentially stressful experience both for kids and their parents. To reduce worries as much as possible during this time, it is important to be prepared for the transition to high school not only academically, but also emotionally.
In this article, we are going to share 10 tips that may help you with your kids’ preparation for high school. Follow this guide closely and they’ll be set up for success at the next level without any hiccups.
High School Preparation Tips
1. Visit The Future High School
While preparing for high school, plan a visit to the high school where your kid is going to study. Most schools arrange so-called orientation days for newcomers before the academic year starts, but it can be very helpful to have a tour scheduled prior to orientation day.
Your kid will be able to study the building and get a feel for where the classrooms are as well as other important facilities, such as the guidance office and restrooms. Besides, you may be able to talk to teachers or staff of the school and ask them any questions that may be on your mind. Such communication will help to release tension of uncertainty and give you some cues on how you and your kids should approach the upcoming school year.
2. Communicate with Other Parents and Kids
Communication has always been the key. During your orientation day and at activities beforehand, try to meet other parents and families that will be attending your high school. Encourage your kids to chat and get to know each other, even if they possible weren’t close friends in a prior school, a new school is a clean slate. Relating to others who are going through the same high school preparation will help you and your children to relieve any existing stress or anxiety. And, what’s more important is that over the course of time these connections can turn into close friends for your kids.
3. Research Extracurricular Activities
If your child is interested in sports, then it’s a good idea for them to join the local sports team or club. If they like music, it would be great if they could join the local band or take part in a musical staging, and so on.
Participation in such extracurricular activities can be one of the most important steps within the high school preparation process. Gaining that experience may help your kid kickstart his or her high school life by having the confidence and ability to participate in sports or activities at the high school level. For example, if you have a young boy that has interest in competing in soccer, trying out a boys soccer camp over the summer might be a great idea. The same goes for basketball camp, golf camp, tennis camp, and programs for other sports or activities.
4. Consider A Summer Enrichment Camp
When preparing for high school, it is also important to think about what to do the summer before high school to improve academically. A good option is to send your kid to a summer camp with activities that will help them to prepare for high school.
One example of this is Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs in the Philadelphia area. JKCP offers a wide range of summer camps and courses for middle school students, students transitioning to high school, and current high school students. We already discussed sports camps, but a great example of an academic experience is the Xploration Day Program or Xploration Residential Program at Haverford College.
These programs allow students to choose from courses in a variety of different fields, so they are perfect for curious students who want to try a lot of different things. You can combine things like digital art and cooking or fashion and robotics, whereas most other programs are focused on a single subject. These camps give your kids options for learning what they want to learn so they know what to focus on in high school. JKCP does have more specific camps like the esports summer camp, which can help them learn how to get into esports.
5. Prepare A Convenient Study Place
During the high school transition, your kid will need to study a lot and thus will require a comfortable place at home to do their homework. The best option is to buy a dedicated “home office” desk and a chair if you do not have these yet.
Besides, the working space should be arranged in such a way that your child has all necessary items to complete their homework. These items may include a table lamp, a set of stationery and a plastic drawer to keep books, notebooks, and similar stuff.
6. Show Your Support
During the high school years, children experience considerable emotional and physical growth, which may result in growing pains both for kids and their parents. Some children become rebellious because of their awkward age and want to spend more time hanging out with their friends rather than studying.
It is important to be prepared for such changes and understand that high school is establishing the foundation for your child’s future. Therefore, your task is to help your child develop a positive attitude towards high school. When preparing for high school with your kid, try to remember your own high school years and the tremendous load that you were experiencing during that period.
Never forget that your kid is under the same pressure right now, showing some empathy won’t hurt at all. Let your child know that high school helped you become who you are now, and share with them some fun and inspiring stories from your high school life. It helps for them to know others, including their own parents, have had to go through a rocky road just like them to get where they are now.
7. Allow Your Kid To Maintain A Social Life
Some strict parents want their kids to concentrate entirely on school work, but that is a bad practice, which can lead to them having trouble making friends or exploring their own creativity.
Interactions with other people are very important for personal growth, so encourage your child to network with other kids. Set up your house to be the home where the kids want to hang out or offer to drive them around. Remember that communication is extremely important when it comes to preparing for high school.
8. Pay Attention To Health
Educate your child on the importance of having enough sleep and a healthy diet in order to keep up with his or her high school program. It is not always possible to control, but at least try to ensure that your kid avoids junk food as much as possible and sleeps at least eight hours every night. Health problems will lead to missed classes and thus can affect your child’s productivity as well as their school grades.
9. Do Not Ignore Any Problems
If your child wants to talk to you, postpone all of your chores and listen to them. Never underestimate the problems that your kid may have during high school preparation, as they may affect not only their education but also their future happiness. Lending an ear now will help keep the lines of communication open throughout their high school career.
10. Help Your Child with Logistics
Take some time to think about how your kid’s day may differ from what they have been used to in middle school. For example, they may need to use public transportation to get to school, so you can arrange some “practice trips” for them.
They are getting older, but they will still need help with basic things like making sure they have the right supplies for class and that their extracurriculars are all scoped out. Be there for them to set a structure in place, but let them have a little independence to manage the daily struggles on their own. It can be a tough balance to find, but it’s important that you try to find it. High school is the time they start to experience this on their own and allowing them to work through these challenges, while supporting them versus swooping in to ‘fix everything” will help them to grow tremendously.
Use These High School Tips for Success
We hope that now you have a better understanding of how to prepare for high school together with your childk. These tips are a great starting point, but remember, everybody’s different. What’s good for one kid might not be so great for the next. Stay flexible to what your child needs.
And do not forget that JKCP summer camps and courses can contribute to success of your children in high school. If you want to see a full outline of programs, visit JKCP’s programs page.