High school should come with a manual, right? Then parents could prepare their children in the best way possible for everything that's to come — including the importance and significance of getting good grades, ways to get involved, what to do about cliques or bullying and how to handle crushes and relationships. Unfortunately, there is no such manual, so we did the next best thing. We asked teachers to share with us what high school kids should know.
Tips on being prepared to enter high school
Genola, a high school administrator and mother of a high school student, weighs in on what students should know before entering high school:
- Everything you do will count. All exams, quizzes and tests count towards graduation. Believe this is true before entering the ninth grade. You'll be graduating in four short years and you don't have time to play around with classes.
- Sports are great, but this may be the last time in your life when you'll play sports. Don't let sports prevent you from taking harder classes (such as chemistry or physics) — you will need those classes to get into the college you desire.
- Apply for every scholarship that is available. A lot of money isn't distributed simply because students do not apply.
- Take as many AP courses as you can. Even if they don't count as college credit, the experience will prepare you for college-level coursework.
What kids should know once in high school
Jeanette, an educational director at an online high school, believes it's extremely important to get to know your teachers. Teachers are nicer to kids who are nice to them. Her simple tips for getting to know your teachers including making eye contact, saying "thank you," smiling and asking good questions. She stresses the importance of paying attention during class and always being respectful and courteous to teachers and other students.
How to better prepare your child for high school
There are many things parents can do to help prepare their child for high school. We suggest starting up a conversation on what your high school experience was like. Share with your child the highs and lows of high school, your favorite memories, sports or clubs you were involved in and your biggest struggles during school. By being open with your child about your experience, they'll go in with realistic expectations — and hopefully know that they can come to you with any problems they may have!
Other tips on being prepared to enter high school include:
- Get organized: Ways to be organized include attending orientation, meeting the teachers beforehand, getting on a proper sleep schedule and gathering all the necessary school supplies.
- Set a schedule: A great way to set and get used to a new schedule is with a planner. Have your child write down all their classes, what times they meet and how long they are. Have them set aside a few hours each night for homework or any other activities that require a time commitment.
- Explain and expect independence: High school students are going to be more independent than middle school and elementary students — and that's a good thing! Explain to your child what it means to be independent (making good decisions, being responsible for their actions, etc.) and let them know that they can come to you with questions.
Readers: What are your tips on preparing for high school? Share in the comments below!
More on schooling
Get organized for back to school
How to shop for essential school supplies
12 Must-do rules for back to school