How to Prepare Your Child (And Yourself!) for Their First Year of High School

High school is a lot different than middle school and elementary school. The amount of work is going to increase, and the amount of responsibility will as well. Since high school is so different, there are a lot of adjustments you and your child will need to make. Here's what you need to know.

Workload Will Increase
As stated, the workload is going to be a lot heavier than what your child was previously used to. Your child will start to get longer assignments, multiple pieces of homework for one class, and major projects. This is great preparation for a college workload, but it can be very overwhelming to someone coming right out of middle school. But considering that about 95% of non-parochial private high school grads go on to four-year post-secondary institutions compared with 49% of public school graduates, preparing for that workload is important. 

Organization Will Come in Handy
Help your child stay organized so they don't feel like they're drowning in work. For instance, purchase a planner and sit down with them every Sunday night to help them plan out their week. They can also bring the planner to school with them to write down everything that comes up during the day. Make them create specific binders and folders for each individual class so that papers and notes don't get lost along the way. Keeping it simple will help your child understand exactly what needs to be done and keep them from going crazy.

Balance Is Key
If your child is heavily involved in after-school sports or babysits on the weekends, it's important that they learn very quickly how to balance everything. Learning to strike the balance between what needs to be done and what can be put on the back-burner is key when going to high school. Before their first day, talk to them and see if there are any extracurricular activities that they would be willing to give up. If they do after school theater, try to enroll them in an art high school or fine arts classes within the school day. The performing arts school will ensure that they are able to do exactly what they want but won't have to spend time after school doing their fun things and skip homework.

Teamwork Will Help Everyone
If you find that you and your child are both extremely nervous for the first day, that's totally normal! It's expected that both of you will be kind of anxious about the whole 'moving to high school' situation. It's a brand new experience that you haven't been through with your child before. Sure, you went to high school as a child, but times are very different. Plus, you weren't the parent back then! Have your child talk to you about their feelings and let them know that everything will be okay. If they ever have concerns, make it known to them that they can always come and talk to you about how they're feeling.

Going to high school for the first time can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you haven't been through it with a child before. Take a look at the steps listed above before sending your child off to prepare both of you for the big move.

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