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By Barbara Dianis, M.A., E.D.
The transition to high school from middle school can be an exciting yet daunting experience for parents and teens. During this transitional time, teenagers may find that their existing systems need an upgrade. As parents, how can we help?
1) Establish a study and homework time with your teenager prior to the beginning of the school year. Preplanning will help your teen meet the increased academic demands of high school. The plan should include additional study time even if the teen has study halls during their school day.
2) Consider ways to upgrade study skills in order to keep pace with the more challenging curriculum. One tip—review class notes from each class for at least five minutes a day. Reviewing class notes will help your teen retain and access the information on tests.
3) Check grades online together to show that you care about education. Also, if there are drops in their grades or missing assignments then educational solutions can be applied before their difficulties become an issue.
4) Suggest that your teenager get involved. Now is the time to build a college resume. Parents may want encourage their teen to join an extracurricular club or sport; or to perform a few hours of community outreach for service hours.
5) Encourage more study time earlier in the process for tests and quizzes. Waiting until the day before a test may not be the best option for new high school student because of the increase in information.
6) Communicate with your teenager’s high school teachers several times a year. According to a 2006 study, teens whose parents communicate with the school are less likely to dropout.
7) Be aware of any academic struggles. As soon as a student begins to slide academically, educational solutions should be applied to help your teen overcome the obstacles. You may feel that the problem will correct itself. But early intervention can reverse the spiral before it is too late.
8) Suggest study techniques that can make learning fun during the homework and study time. Teens can make review and drill time into a game show format using flash cards. They can make the flash cards from their study material.
9) Ask your teenager to share what they learned. You can help your teen develop an interest in learning by asking them three concepts they learned in their classes each day.
10) Suggest that your teen try study groups. For some, group reviews are helpful. Or with just one friend in their class who has a good idea of the academic material. Reviewing with one or more friends can add interest and fun to studying.
Barbara Dianis, M.A. E.D., author of Grade Transformer for the Modern Student, overcame dyslexia in her own life. Dianis founded of Dianis Educational Systems and an educational tutoring business for students with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and learning differences. For more information, go to DianisEducation.com.