How You Can Help Your Child Transition To High School

It’s an exciting time in our family. Jake is going into grade eight this year. One more year of middle school before he takes the giant leap into the big leagues.

Thousands of Canadian teenagers enter high school each year. With a new school year coming up soon, I’ve done a lot of thinking on how I can help my child transition to high school. Something that can be difficult depending on the child.

I remember my first day of high school. I was a nervous wreck. Walking the halls with grade twelve kids that were so much smarter, bigger and scarier than the kids I was used to going to school with. I felt alone, despite having friends in my own grade whom I knew would be in at least some of my classes. I faced many challenges that included depression and anxiety.

Boys can face depression just as much as girls can when adolescence arrives. Be aware of the signs and symptoms along with the changes that can happen as you handle your child becoming a teen.

Wouldn’t it be nice if High School Musical was a reality? It would make life so much easier. Unfortunately, this is reality and when your child is starting a new school year anxieties can arise.

A new year at a new school means making new friends, sharing new experiences, new classes and teachers. Not to mention new challenges which can be nerve-wracking.

How can you help your teen make the transition go more smoothly?

Set Goals together – Helping your child set goals for the year, not just academically but socially and creatively can go a long way to helping your child feel more in control and confident about their new year.  Talk about what sports they want to play, what courses they wish to explore and friends they want to make.

Having goals can lead to less anxiety and better organization, so your teen won’t feel so out of place, left out or on their own when dealing with their new environment.

Explore the school website together – You can learn a lot from your child’s school website (if they have one). Familiarize yourself with school policies and rules and help your child to do the same. That way they won’t feel so out of the loop when attending their classes and trying to fit in.

Knowing how the school operates and even maybe take a tour of the school layout can go a long way to making your child feel more comfortable when the first day of school arrives.

Help your child get organized – The transition to high school means a much bigger workload. New courses and new teachers and even larger classrooms.

Helping your child find an organization system, one that works for them, can help them have a fighting chance at keeping pace with the increased productivity expected of them.

Teach your child to take Notes – One thing that really helped me in high school was note taking. Having notes on hand helped me prep for my test, and even learn my work. Notes even helped me with my homework.

Teaching your child how to take notes is easy. Grab a book at the library that teaches shorthand. Get your child to practice by helping them. It will save them tons of time.

Keep an open ear – Communication is the key to helping your child succeed. Remember what high school was like. It wasn’t all school work. There are many social situations, emotions, and challenges that come into play. Listen to your child and let them know you are there and they can talk any time you need them to.

High school can be lonely and even cruel at times. If your child knows they can talk to you, they will be one step closer to having an easier transition not only to high school but in life.

What are some other ways you can help make the transition from middle school to high school easier? Share your input below!