If your child is currently in year 6, then no doubt they are excited about beginning their first year of high school in 2014. Beginning year 7 is an exciting time in every student’s life, but it can also be a stressful experience. There are many reasons why your child may be anxious about next year: having to make new friends, having to find your way around an unfamiliar school, learning difficult and unfamiliar topics and managing a larger workload. Today, I will provide 4 tips that you can use to ensure that your child’s first year of high school is as happy and productive as possible.
1. Get On Top Of Organisation
One of the biggest differences between primary school and high school is that, in high school, students are much more responsible for their own organisations. Teachers will not explicitly tell students what materials to bring to class, what to take home each day, and how to store their notes; it’s up to each student to figure out their own way of keeping organised.
Before your child starts year 7, it is important that you make sure they have all the material they need to stay organised. They should have a folder and a notebook for each subject, a pencil case with all the materials that they will need, and a student diary to keep track of assignments. You should also talk to your child about how they will store their notes, what information they need to write in their diary, and how they will decide what material to take home and what to leave at school.
2. Become A Homework Master
Year 7 is the time that homework starts to pile up like never before. Your child will most likely be expected to complete homework for each of their classes each week, as well as keeping up with long-term assignments. If you want your child to excel in high school, then now is a good idea to start setting good study habits for them.
Each week, ask them to think about what tasks they have to complete by the end of the week and construct a study timetable. When year 7 starts, they should be doing a bit of homework at least 4 nights a week, so it’s important that they have a clear idea of what needs to be done and when. Make sure your child is using their diary effectively to write in all of their homework.
Extra: Have a look at our blog post on setting up a productive study space for more tips on how to make sure homework time is as productive as possible.
3. Don’t Get Caught By Maths
In year 7, one of the most terrifying things that students have to face is algebra. Some students find it easy, but for some students, the idea of introducing letters as pronumerals into maths is very intimidating. Unfortunately, students who struggle with algebra are likely to fall behind in mathematics. The best thing you can do as a parent is to make sure your child is on top of their maths. If you are concerned that they may not be ready for the challenges of year 7 maths, it is a good idea to talk to their teacher or a tutor about what you can do to get them up to the right level. There’s still plenty of time to get the basics under control.
4. Start Reading Now!
In year 7, your child will be expected to do more independent reading than ever before. This can sometimes come as a shock for students, who may have never read a novel on their own before. It is a good idea to get your child used to reading before then. Throughout the year, and in the summer holidays, try to find books that your child might enjoy. There are an excellent range of Young Adult novels out there. It’s just a matter of finding something that will engage your child.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to read any texts that the school sets before starting year 7. In their English classes, they may be expected to respond and interpret these texts in ways that your child may be unfamiliar with. The sooner they become familiar with the novel or text that they will be studying, the more comfortable they will be with the new ideas that they will learn. It might also be a good idea to read their texts yourself, so that you are able to discuss ideas with your child.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to ensure that your child views the transition from primary school to high school as a positive thing. It is a fantastic opportunity to make new friends, learn interesting new ideas, and challenge themselves. I will you and your child the best of luck in the coming year!