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secondary school

tips for parents of middle and high school students

The secondary school years are much different for you and your children than those years spent in elementary school. Here are some helpful hints to maintain a successful school experience during these transitional years.

  • Stay involved with your children's school. Students need their parents involved. If your presence embarrasses your children, talk with them and let them know that your involvement is beneficial to them.
  • Know your children's teachers. Make sure they are able to contact you at home or at work. If there is a problem of any kind at home, let the teachers know. Sometimes family illnesses, deaths, or other problems can affect how your children perform in school.
  • Encourage your children to choose their friends wisely. Peer pressure is very strong during the teenage years. Get to know your children's friends. Make opportunities for close friends to be in your home in order for you to get to know them better.
  • Talk with your children about their school day. Ask to see their work or any notices that were sent home from school.
  • Listen carefully to what your children say about school. A conflict with a teacher or another student can distract the most dedicated student.
  • Monitor homework, but make it your children's responsibility. Have a set time each night to do homework. Many assignments become long range in scope. Make sure your children work on these projects and do not leave everything to the last minute. Provide the supplies needed to successfully complete all homework and projects. Encourage your children to keep a written log of homework assignments to help them remember all assignments and to give you a quick reference point of what they need to be doing. Remember it is their homework.Help with concepts, but do not do the work for them.
  • Encourage your children to:
    • Raise their hands and participate in classes so that teachers can get to know them.
    • Ask for help when needed.
    • Accept extra credit opportunities. Set goals high.
    • Always do their best.
    • Behave in class and follow the rules.
  • Model the importance of reading and expect your children to read.
  • Limit television use.
  • Keep plenty of books and magazines available for all family members. Have library cards for all family members and use them.
  • Make sure your children get plenty of sleep, eat breakfast, and arrive at school on time each morning.
  • Set limits for your children. Most teenagers will tell you all their friends get to stay up late, watch whatever they want on television, go out with friends until late at night, and get many other privileges. Let them know that it is because you love and care for them that you set limits.
  • Encourage your children to be involved in extracurricular activities. These activities either at school or in the community, when used, can shape a well-balanced child. Keep in mind though that their number one priority is schoolwork.
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