The transition to high school from middle school can be an exciting yet daunting experience for parents and teens. 9th grade can feel like a whole new world.
During this transitional time, teenagers may find that their existing systems need an upgrade. Read on to find out how you can help.
Preparing for a successful 9th grade
1) Establish a study and homework time.
You and your teenager should agree to study and homework time prior to the beginning of the school year. Preplanning will help your teen meet the increased academic demands of 9th grade. 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.
You and your teen should discuss ways to improve study skills in order to keep pace with the more challenging curriculum in high school classes. One tip—review class notes from each high school 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.
When you check grades together, you show your teen that you care about education. Also, pay attention to drops in their grades or missing assignments. Catching problems early in 9th grade is an opportunity to find educational solutions before real 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 9th grade student because of the increase in information.
6) Communicate with your teenager’s high school teachers.
You should build a relationship with your teen’s high school teachers and check in with them 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 in any high school class, 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.
Try to help your teen find ways to 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 high school class who has a good idea of the academic material. Reviewing with one or more friends can add interest and fun to studying.
by Barbara Dianis, M.A. E.D., author of Grade Transformer for the Modern Student, who 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.