Transitioning to higher grades can be daunting for some kids. Every year brings harder classes and more difficult subjects, and it can prove to be overwhelming for them. One of the most abrupt transitions tends to be moving from middle school to high school. This is the final frontier before your child either goes off to college or becomes a working contribution to society. They might ask you questions, like, “what kind of classes will I have to take? Can I switch to online middle school in the middle of the semester to prepare for online college-level courses while in high school? How high does my GPA need to be to get into my dream college?” Reassure them that high school, while challenging, is not the warzone that it has been made out to be, and that you’ll help prepare them. Here’s how you can do so.
Your child is going to be in the big leagues soon, so it’s important to sit down with them and explain that things are going to be a bit different than what they’ve experienced so far. As they continue to get older, more responsibilities will be thrust upon them, and that is especially true when it comes to entering high school. There is no need to berate them, but stress the importance of getting their homework done on time, ensuring that they take notes during class, sticking to a routine, and taking the initiative to seek out additional knowledge that they might need. They’ll be handling multiple assignments and projects from different teachers in several classrooms, so it will be a step up from their current middle school lifestyle. Don’t just command them to do these things, but help them to understand why it’s important and in their best interest.
Answer Their Questions
Kids will inevitably have questions about entering high school, either academically, socially, or even due to changes they are going through, but they might not feel like they can talk about it. Reassure them that they always come to you with any questions they might have, regardless of the topic or how embarrassing it could be. However, do not pressure them into spilling their guts about every little thing that might be on their mind. You can also share your own personal experiences with them in order to relate to them on a more personal level.
Inform Them of Opportunities
High school isn’t just about academic excellence. There are countless opportunities to explore, such as clubs, after-school programs, band, sports, art, and much more! On top of that, there are also opportunities for academic success outside of the classroom, like shooting for valedictorian, achieving a 4.0 GPA, or applying for scholarships during your senior year. This is a time in a teenager’s life when they build relationships that potentially last a lifetime and they continue to figure out who they are as individuals.
Big changes can be scary, awkward, and stressful, but if you stay active in your child’s life and education, you can make the transition much easier for them. Listen to their concerns and walk through the process together. Let them know that high school is nothing to be afraid of, and if they work hard and stay dedicated, they’ll be just fine.