The leap from middle school to high school is a significant transition in your son's life. With his summer drawing to a close, he's probably expressed elation and enthusiasm to you on more than one occasion. You can also sense some uncertainty, reservation, and nervousness. This is completely normal.
Help your son experience a smooth transition into the next four years of his life with these five tips:
Tip #1: Take a tour of the high school, and meet teachers, staff, and administrators.
Is your son's high school hosting summer orientations? Take advantage of these events, as they typically include a wealth of information and insights that will help students get a feel for freshman year ahead of time.
Make sure you and your son tour the entire school, and meet teachers, support staff, guidance counselors, and administrative staff – like the principal and the secretaries.
This first step will help ease most anxieties your son has about his new environment.
Tip #2: Help your son sign up for high school sports, clubs, and organizations.
What are your son's passions and interests? A bigger school means more opportunity to explore and try new things. Research athletic teams, after school clubs, and student organizations, and work with your son to pick one or two things to sign up for and get involved in before the school year starts.
Conveying the importance of involvement to your son will go a long way. The more activities he engages with, the more:
- Like-minded students and friends he will meet
- Well-rounded his character will become
- His leadership skills will grow
- His resume and college application will stand out
Tip #3: Take the time to navigate required high school credits and classes with your son.
What classes does you son need to take each year in high school? How many credits does he need to graduate? What classes will set him up for college success?
Now is the time to get all of these questions answered. Set up a meeting with a high school guidance counselor to understand this new way of academics. You can even set up a tentative four-year plan with your son to ensure he stays on track and maximizes his time in high school.
Tip #4: Be mindful of who your son's friends are.
Who is your son hanging out with? How does he describe each friend? Does your son act appropriately when he's around each friend?
Your son will be exposed to a lot of new people and circumstances in high school. Keep track of your son's friends and make sure each relationship he's establishing is healthy. The relationships he fosters during these years could promote or hinder his growth and maturity.
Discuss what a healthy relationship is versus a harmful one to jump start a prosperous high school journey for your son.
Tip #5: Empower your son with increased independence.
What are your son's current responsibilities? What would you like to see him take initiative with?
The summer before high school is the perfect time to start bestowing additional responsibilities and independence on your son. For example, you can explain to your son that it's time for him to start doing more chores around the house and keeping track of his sports or activity schedule. When school starts, let him know he is now responsible for making sure he completes assignments on time.
When your son is confronted with a sense of ownership, he will learn to take responsibility for his actions and choices. In turn, he will start to realize his true potential and the impact he can make in the world.
Do you feel your son needs a more structured, personalized high school environment? Young men just like your son are rediscovering success and activating their true potential in an environment that empowers them to be their best. Learn more about Grand River Academy's all-boys boarding school in Ohio.