Staying Connected

As students get older their need for guidance doesn’t disappear, it simply changes. It’s easy to stay involved in a student’s academic life early on, but it is important show your child you’re here for them at every grade level. Did you know that statistically, middle school students and high school freshmen who aren’t engaged in the classroom are more likely to drop out than their peers? Read on to see how to stay connected to your child’s education during this period of growth:

  • Expose your child to the culture and expectations of middle and high school. Whether there’s a cousin or older sibling who has gone through middle or high school successfully, connecting to someone with experience helps manage expectations. If there isn’t someone around their age around, don’t be afraid to plug in your own experiences in school. Your child may laugh, but it can start the conversation.
  • Contact your child’s school and ask to take a tour. Take your child with you! It will give your child a chance to meet their potential teachers, principal and get a sense of familiarity.
  • Meet with the school principal and ask questions about the curriculum, extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, music groups, etc.) and after school transportation. These are good to know for you and your child.
  • Contact other parents and children in your community to ask about their experiences at the school – the teachers, the academics, extracurricular, etc.
  • Encourage your child to write down their assignments, check when they get home and help them manage their time by:
    • Creating a Task and Responsibilities List. With all the responsibilities and activities students have the idea of getting everything done in the few hours before bedtime can be overwhelming, but you can do it! 
    • Building a Routine. Developing a regular routine helps you both to remember each step that needs to be taken to reach your goals, and helps to model the importance of organization, time management and priorities. Additionally, encouraging your child to re-read passages in his or her books, recopy notes from class, or do extra study on the computer or in the library helps them retain more information.
    • Being realistic. Don’t under or overestimate the time needed. Overestimating time makes it difficult to fit all your tasks into your daily schedule, while underestimating “cuts your day short” and makes it impossible to complete your schedule. It’s much easier to fit a small task into “extra” time than it is to try to make up for “lost” time.
    • Starting tomorrow tonight. Get in the habit of preparing for the next day at the end of today. By laying out school clothes and shoes, packing your backpack and making a lunch if necessary all can help you get a good night’s sleep.
    • Encouraging breaks. Make sure short breaks are part of your day. Small breaks give you time to reflect, wind down and focus on what’s next.
    • Creating a “study zone” in your home – an area where your child can focus.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and abilities.  You are your child’s best advocate! Let them know you’re in their corner!

Back-to-School Resources

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