You thought you had gotten over monsters under the bed and the boogie monster – after all, these were fears of unknown foes who were vanquished years ago. However, now, your child may be facing a new fear: high school. How can anyone prepare for something unknown? Like with the monsters in the closet or under the best, the first step is to identify the alleged fear. Can you shine a light on the unknown and send the monsters packing? This is what you must do to prepare a child for high school.
Depending on where they’ve gone for middle school or junior high, the child should already know how to ‘handle’ lockers and finding different classrooms, but since the high school is often in a different, larger building, parent should walk through the school with their child. Make sure to go through the child’s schedule, find each class, and find out how long it should take to get from class to locker and back within the time they would have. Students should not have to deal with the anxiety of finding their classrooms and teachers for the first day of school, and they should know before the first day of school if their locker door is more like a book-eating mouth that won’t spit them out than an actual door. Students should practice their combinations several times before school starts.
After that, then all parents can do is prepare the student for the new challenges they should expect with being associated with an ‘older’ crowd. As freshmen, students are moving from a position at the top of the middle school social ladder back to the bottom of the high school ladder. This change in social dynamic need not be too stressful: if a new freshman student has a friend or sibling in a higher grade, then that means that he has another person who can lead him around and show him the ropes.
Academically, students need to realize that teachers are going to start handling things differently. Although every teacher has his or her own philosophy, students simply need to learn to become more accountable for their studies. There probably won’t be any more redos or handholding, so if a student needs help, they will have to be proactive in talking with the teacher about their questions. Many high school teachers are conscious that their primary goal is to prepare students for the college environment, so they might begin to teach in that manner. Students then need to learn to manage their own time according to their teachers’ syllabuses, since the teachers won’t remind students of all due dates or obligations after every class.
The best thing a parent can do to prepare his or her child for high school is nothing as specific as any of these tips. The worst problems are often the ones that cannot be planned for, so a parent has to establish that no matter what happens, he or she is always there for the child. That way, when something bad does happen, the child will feel that his parents are approachable.