Preparing for high school can be an extremely daunting thing for both children and parents. It can be scary for a number of reasons including moving to a new environment, learning new routines and understanding a new environment with larger class and year sizes. Beside these logistical elements is the important factor of the need to meet new teachers and friends. For many, the idea of being surrounded by a new group of peers can be extremely daunting!
But a little preparation can make a big difference in reducing first day nerves for everyone involved. Try the following activities and strategies prior to day 1 of high school to ensure the smoothest transition possible.
1. Study Environment
- Get your child’s homework environment right before they start high school. This means making sure your child has enough desk space, appropriate lighting and limited distractions. This will help your child to feel more ready for the increased workload they may be about to receive.
- Being organised is the key to success in high school. This includes both organisation of scheduling and time as well as organisation of homework sheets and other resources.
- In order to prepare for organisation of time, discuss with your child how they feel they go managing their current homework – what are their strengths and weaknesses? Do they procrastinate? Do they get their assignments done straight away? Understanding what is and isn’t working is the first step for more success early on in high school.
- Make a plan for homework sheets and resources, things may change but discussing organisation systems with your child will help them to understand the importance of this from the beginning.
- Begin to promote increased independence in your child including with self-care, transport (e.g., catching the bus or train), cooking, and responsibility for completion of tasks and chores. Although it may seem scary as a parent, it’s essential that your child can build confidence through awareness of this new trust.
4. Know where to go to get help
- Make sure your child knows where to get help, including understanding the support network at school such as tutors or home room teachers.
5. Acknowledge that it’s scary
- Getting to know new people is scary for most people and that’s ok. Acknowledging your child’s fears and reminding them that you will be there for them is key for increased confidence on day 1.
Good luck! High school is such an exciting time filled with so many opportunities for your child to learn and grow!