The High School Years
Preparing for the next steps of their future.
The high school years represent a time of dramatic changes for both students and their parents. The hand holding days are long gone by, parent-teacher conferences become a rare commodity and the burden of responsibility for success or failure is placed squarely on your teens shoulders. If there is ever a time where a watchful eye in a child's academic activity is truly needed it is now, even though your opinions and involvement may be met with considerably less than grateful appreciation from your teen or his or her teachers. Remember that it is during the high school years that drop out rates soar, frustration is at a maximum level and this young man or woman that was once your baby is really more in control than you are. This is their time to begin taking responsibility for their futures and as parents, we simply hope and pray that our many lectures and words of wisdom were heard.
As academic advisors lead your child in the direction they think best suits his or her academic abilities, course loads and classes are selected that will ultimately determine you child's course for the future. Because of tremendous demands on the faculty and staff of most public high schools due to the large number of students they must advise and the short span of time they have to work within, in many districts teachers stand in as academic advisors.
Unfortunately, in many advisory sessions, parents feel that their opinions are either dismissed and sometimes even totally ignored.
NSW Public Schools
Going to High School
Time to start year 7 – A parent's guide to starting high school (Fact Sheets)
Ten Tips to Help Prepare Students for High School
Entering high school is an exciting time for students. They are moving into what is often a larger school environment. This can lead to anxiety or periods of unease. Here are some steps parents and caregivers can take to help students start high school on a positive note.
Be interested and enthusiastic about their move to high school. Your encouragement will help your child to make a successful transition to High School. Listen to their experiences and expectations. Don't dwell on your own experiences of school.
Attend the High School Orientation Day If your child will be entering high school in 2004 then keep a look out for the orientation days which high schools hold in Term 3 and 4. These days are designed to help parents and their children prepare for starting high school. Some children, because of pressure from their peers, will try to discourage their parents from attending orientation days. Being there will help you understand your child's experiences better.
Also keep a look out for other events at your child's prospective school which may help him/her learn about what high school is like.
Make sure travel arrangements to and from school are organized. Organize travel passes. This will help settle some of the concern about independent travel. Talk about back-up travel arrangements, for example, what to do if a bus or train doesn't come.
Discuss the changes every student will experience. Emphasize that many people feel apprehensive about changing from a small primary school to a larger high school, and that there will be people to help them adjust.
Learn about school routines and timetables. Talking to student already enrolled at the school can be useful in finding out information about things such as sporting venues used by the school and school finishing times. The school will provide information before it's needed.
Help your child to develop good study habits. Try to provide them with somewhere private and quiet to study. Help your child to set aside a particular time to study. Work out a daily timetable that incorporates all your child's needs and interests. Regularly viewed TV programs, club activities and sport should all be part of the timetable. Ultimately they will need to manage their own study and they can guide you in what is helpful for them.
Practice organizational skills. In the first few weeks of high school you might want to check with your child that they have the right books for the following day. You will quickly encourage a good habit.
Discuss emergency and safety issues. Talk about these issues - including crossing roads or taking essential medication - simply and without emotion. Allow your child to contribute their views. Find out who the staff are at the school who can help them if they need it on issues such as medication.
Let your child know that you trust them and that they can trust you. Keep communication open about all your child's experiences, and make sure they know you're available if things go wrong.
Help your child set priorities. The expectations and responsibilities of high school will be quite different than what your child experienced in middle school. As more and more responsibility falls upon their shoulders, help your child evaluate the levels of importance they place upon their academic requirements versus social activities.
NSW Department of Education