Back-To-School Success Tips for Parents of High School Students
Another school year is just around the corner and, while that’s certainly exciting for kids and parents, it can also come with some trepidation. Once your child enters high school, academics are more challenging and the pressure to get good grades intensifies. So how can you help set your high schooler up for success as they head back to school this fall? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Help your student get organized
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” Teach your child how to do this by implementing organizational strategies. Encourage your child to choose between a physical or digital calendar and teach them how to map out their study time, homework and projects. Also, make sure your child has an abundance of notebooks and folders on hand that they can color-coordinate by subject.
But it’s not just schoolwork that demands organization. Teach your child how to keep track of their sports practices, work schedule and social life and how to prioritize and manage their time. These are life skills that they will rely on even more in college and career life.
Help your student make critical connections
As soon as you begin to receive communication from your child’s school and the school district, begin a list of important contacts and their contact information. Make sure your child knows who they can contact when questions or needs arise.
One of the most important people your child will have access to throughout their high school years is their school guidance counselor. Start off on the right foot by making an appointment for you and your child to sit down with them, get to know them and learn about all the services they offer and the many ways they can support your child. Not only will this be informational for both of you but it will also help destigmatize “visiting the counselor’s office” so they can reap all the benefits of that great relationship!
Empower your student to make healthy choices
Gone are the days when you can mandate healthy, well-rounded meals every meal because the only place they eat is at your kitchen table. As your teen stretches their wings and gains more freedom, they may not always make the healthiest choices. Teach your child the “why” behind healthy eating and how the way they eat affects their ability to think and succeed in school and perform their best in sports.
Also, ask them what healthy grab-and-go snacks and beverages they’d like you to keep on hand for them and try as much as possible to connect as a family over a few healthy dinners each week. Also, as you prepare them for life outside the walls of your home, take little moments during their high school years to teach them how to prepare easy and healthy meals so they don’t fall prey to the “ramen noodles and frozen pizza” diet in their early-adult years.
But making healthy food choices isn’t the only factor that contributes to academic and athletic success. Encourage your high schooler to prioritize regular bedtimes and allow enough time for sleep. The CDC recommends that kids between the ages of 13-18 get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
It’s easy for high schoolers to bite off more than they can chew and try to do it all. Help them assess in the fall and periodically throughout the school year if they need to spend less time pursuing after-school activities, cut down on hours at work or reign in their social schedule to make sure they get the sleep they need to stay healthy and function at their best.
Keep lines of communication open
The years of raising pre-adults with all of their fierce independence and I-know-best attitude can make parents feel like chopped liver at times. But take heart: your high schooler still needs you!
Instead of asking “yes” and “no” questions that solicit one-word answers or an occasional grunt, try engaging your teen in more meaningful conversations: Tell me a little bit about that advanced English class you’re taking, or What’s surprised you about school this year? or What are some challenges you’re facing with your friendships right now?
They won’t always want to talk but at least they’ll know you care about them and the things that are important to them. Then, when they have something on their mind, that line of communication will be open and they will be more likely to come to you.
Could your student use a boost?
Is your child struggling, would you like to give them a competitive edge over their peers in academics or sports or do you want to help them nail their upcoming ACTs or SATs? Encourage your child to take our free brain quiz and give us a call at 919.328.2307 to schedule a brain skills assessment.
Once your high schooler completes our assessment, we will arrange a time to go over the results with you. At this meeting, we will cast a vision for a customized brain-training program that will maximize your child’s potential for learning and make homework, test-taking and strategy on the field faster and easier.
Set your child up for high school success with brain training at LearningRx!