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The transition from middle school to high school is an exciting milestone for teens. High school brings new challenges and opportunities, but it can also be overwhelming. Teens are expected to navigate a new building, new teachers and new expectations. As a parent, you can help your new ninth-grade student to thrive academically and socially by following these tips.
High school provides many opportunities for students to learn about goal-setting. Help your child set short-term goals like getting an A in a difficult subject and long-term goals such as preparing for their preferred college. These blueprints provide direction and — once achieved — a sense of accomplishment.
Revisit Time Management Skills
High school comes with a heavier workload and more extracurricular activities. At the end of their first week, sit down with your teen to go over each class syllabus. Help them create a realistic study schedule, prioritize tasks and build in time for socializing and extracurricular activities.
Help Them Take Ownership
Face it. Once they are off to college, you will no longer be able to help. Foster a sense of independence by encouraging them to take ownership of their studies, assignments and projects. That means letting them deal with the consequences of their actions. Offer support but allow them to problem-solve and advocate for themselves.
Organization is Key
Everyone has a preferred method of organizing their work. Talk to your teen about what works best for them and then help them establish a system for keeping track of assignments, deadlines and study materials. Provide tools like binders, planners and digital apps to streamline their organizational efforts.
Support Their Study Skills
The study skills that served your child well in middle school might not be enough for high school. Teach your ninth grader effective note-taking, reading comprehension and test preparation techniques.
Talk to Teachers
If your child is having trouble with a subject, encourage them to talk to their teacher. Don’t do it for them. You should attend parent-teacher conferences to keep updated on their progress and find out if your child needs tutoring or support in the subject but other than that, let them take the lead.
Encourage Extracurricular Activities
High school is a great time for students to explore their interests. Encourage them to join clubs, try out for sports and participate in activities. This is especially important in the ninth grade when students are looking to make friends. Also, extracurricular activities look great on college applications.
Establish Digital Boundaries
Your teen’s smartphone is their greatest advantage and their worse distraction. Used properly, devices can help your child do research and hone skills. Too much screen time can be detrimental to your child’s academic success. Ensure that your teen’s electronic devices don’t interfere with sleep, study or physical activity by making them put their screens away.
Encourage a Balanced Lifestyle
Emphasize the importance of regular exercise, a nutritious diet and sufficient sleep to support their academic and personal growth. Be on the lookout for signs of unhealthy behavior such as not eating, spending too much time on social media or withdrawing from family life.
Address Social and Emotional Needs
High school can bring social pressures and emotional challenges. Keep the lines of communication open and create a safe space for your child to discuss their feelings. Be proactive in seeking resources if needed, such as school counselors or therapists.
Riverstone Students Thrive
Riverstone ninth-grade students have an advantage — they attend highly regarded Elkins High School. We congratulate all our young scholars and can’t wait to follow their academic careers.