Time flies by and before you know it your little one whose uniform was too big for them on the first day in prep – is now getting ready for high school! Children eagerly anticipate this transition with a mix of excitement and anxiety. The demands of high school are a big leap for most children and its only natural that as parents we want to best prepare them for this chapter of their life.
It is often difficult to know where to start and also where to draw the line! Support is needed, but too much is never received well by our pre-teenagers!
Undoubtedly, the biggest difference between primary and highschool is that suddenly you child will have to get used to moving to a different classroom for each subject – and being responsible for all the books and materials needed for each class! For children beginning high school, this can be the cause of anxiety – it is difficult to remember everything you need and where to be at what time, if you have never had to be responsible for such things before.
Supporting your child in learning how to organise themselves and their belongings can ease the transition into the high school environment.
Together, with your child make sure all of their books, resources and materials are clearly labelled with their name.
Assist them in making multiple copies of their timetable and placing them in useful spots – on their desk, on the fridge, in their diary etc
Discuss the best way for them to record upcoming events of assigments that are due. They might like a calendar or a diary they can write in and refer to.
It is important for children at this age to have visual prompts and reminders – we cant rely on them to remember things as they will be overwhelmed with all of the new information they are receiving each day (and probably more interested in making new friends anyway!)
In supporting them by making these resources for themselves we are promoting self efficiency and responsibility. Praise them for taking initiative and support them when they are developing new skills, habits etc associated with their ever growing independence. Just because they are now of high school age – doesn’t mean they will magically have all of the necessary skills to cope with the demands of high school!
Co-founder of The Highly Experienced Teacher, Marie Amaro, suggests how we listen to our kids speaking about school is crucial.
- Avoid jumping in to save them by offering suggestions instead ask them what they could do to help themselves feel better or deal with the problem.
- Listen to their ideas and ask if you can help in any way.
- Give them the opportunity to problem solve, show that you value what they have to say, and demonstrate faith that they can solve their own problems.