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Ready for high school? Tips to get you and your child there


Preparing your child for high school

The term high school brings back a slew of memories for parents—some good, some not so good. High school means exposure to even more social pressures than existed in middle school, plus a whole lot more academic pressure as children with plans for college start incorporating terms like “transcript” and “cumulative GPA” and “SAT” into their vocabulary. It’s enough to give any parent and their teen a good case of the nerves. 

 Below are some expert suggestions on helping to navigate this new phase:
Get a check on your child’s skills
The following excerpted from  is worth reviewing to help assess how academically ready your child is for middle school. If your hunch is that your child might struggle in any of the areas below, consider taking the next few weeks to get up to speed by getting the help of a tutor or even enrolling in an online study course.
High school offers advanced math classes that depend on your child's understanding of the basics learned during earlier grades—middle school in particular.  Science courses like biology, chemistry and physics all incorporate basic arithmetic and more advanced lab-related calculations.
Reading and writing
Reading comprehension impacts literally everything at the high school level. Whether history, foreign language, or art, students at this level are expected to read and understand new ideas and large amounts of information in short periods of time, in addition to expressing this understanding on paper.  Those that can’t keep up will struggle and their grades will reflect this.
Develop a roadmap for coursework
The two most important considerations in high school, according to Seattle Public Education Examiner Wilda Heard, are taking the appropriate classes to be eligible for entry into a college or vocational school and preparation to finance the education.  To get started, review the U.S. Department of Education’s high school preparation checklists . This comprehensive list details year-by-year suggestions to help you through your child’s high school years.
Secondly, begin discussions with your child’s guidance or college counselor to sketch a rough road map plan.
America’s Career Resource Network article on high school readiness recommends educating your child about the nuts and bolts of cumulative GPA. Essentially, they need to understand that grades earned in 9th grade are just as important as those earned in 12th.
Offer guidance and support
Communicating your expectations and providing guidance with regards to academic performance, extra- curricular activities, and social behaviors, continue to be critical through the high school years. Stay on top of your game by keeping the lines of communication open between you, your child, teachers and counselors so you are aware of any problems with as much heads up as possible.