Summer break is here but before you know it, it will be time for back to school. If your kid will be going into 9th grade this is a huge milestone. High school is so different from middle school. Are they ready? Are you ready?
Consider how you can teach your kids to make smart decisions. How to help them have the best high school experience – to succeed, get involved, make friends, and enjoy the last 4 years before they become adults. It’s a time to focus on teaching life skills but also giving them space to spread their wings and develop independence.
Don’t miss our round-up of The Best Books to Prepare Kids for High School to get your kids started on their road to a successful high school experience.
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9 Things to do to get ready for High School
one: Update their room. Is their room high school ready? Their room is a place they spend a lot of time studying and just hanging out. Sometimes it seems like they never come out. Is it a room that makes them feel happy? Conducive for a good night’s sleep? Is there a dedicated space for studying?
If they’ve outgrown their little kid bed and desk, it may be time for an upgrade.
How’s the room decor? Does it fit with their current tastes or is it still trains or Disney from their toddler years?
two: Set rules, boundaries, and expectations around the following:
- video games
three: Have you talked about important topics?
- Internet safety
Some of these topics may not be the easiest to talk about but they are so important at this age. Talk, talk, and talk again. Work on creating a relationship so they will come to you with questions and for advice.
A great resource for opening communication about sex is 30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 12+
four: Note-taking and study skills. Are they ready for high school-level coursework? Could they use some tips for taking notes and studying? Look into local classes or books to help set them up for a successful academic high school experience. So often schools focus on teaching material at an accelerated pace but forget to teach kids how to study, taking notes and tests.
Here are a few resources to help teach your kids important study skills:
- Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying, a Guide for Kids and Teens
- Help Your Kids with Study Skills
five: Have they started thinking about what they want to do after high school? It’s important to start thinking about this when choosing their courses. Start talking about options after high school – college, trade school, military, or starting work directly out of high school. Ask them about their interests and how they see themselves 5 years after graduation.
six: Clothes. Have they gone through a growth spurt recently? If they haven’t yet, it’s probably time to transition to the Juniors or Men’s sized clothing.
Summer before high school is a great time to go through their closet. Remove all the clothes they no longer fit or will not wear. This includes the underwear and sock drawers. It’s best to do a thorough closet clean-out, pull everything out, and only put back what fits. Donate or sell the clothes they no longer fit.
seven: Have they updated their skincare routines for their changing bodies? The teen years mean oilier skin, breakouts, greasy hair, and new odors. They may need to switch to shampoo for oily hair, add acne treatments, and use a stronger deodorant.
eight: Computer access. Do they have a computer or access to a computer to use for schoolwork? Some schools provide tablets whereas other schools do not but much of their school work is online. Make sure it’s up to date and add parental controls if necessary. Consider the ergonomics of their desk and make changes if needed.
nine: Familiarize them with the high school campus. High Schools can be much larger than Middle and Elementary Schools making them intimidating especially since kids move from classroom to classroom more often. Sign them up for a tour or orientation if it’s available. Look up the layout online. Once they get their class schedule, locate the classrooms on the map.