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5 Tips for Making the Move: Middle School to High School

High school transition, middle school transition, parentingThat adorable five-year old you snapped pictures of just yesterday is now heading to high school. And both of you may once again have butterflies thinking of what’s to come. New school, new teachers, new schedules—not to mention Algebra and research papers! It’s no wonder that freshman making the high school transition often earn their lowest GPA, before they figure everything out. Not to worry! Our experts here at have tips to help make freshman year a great year.

Become a Time Management Ninja:  High school is all about managing your time. Students need to balance academics, extracurriculars and their social life. Help your child by looking through their schedule and helping them map out the first month or two of school. You can do this online or put an erasable whiteboard in your child’s study area – whatever works for your family. Make sure you add in study/homework time each school night to help your child see when he/she is truly free. Several months in your child may be able to take over the calendar with less help.

Big Projects? Start Small:  Your child may find they have more long-term assignments such as a research paper  or essay assigned in October but due in November. It’s easy to procrastinate and then find your son or daughter in a panic a few days before the due date. Help them map out a plan where they complete a piece of the assignment every few weeks such as going to library for research followed by completing an outline. Having regular due dates will help keep projects on track and reduce last-minute meltdowns.

It All Counts:  If your child is planning on going to college, their freshmen GPA will go on their college transcript.  Make sure your child is taking the right mix of classes and see what support is available at the school. You can make an appointment with your child’s guidance counselor to ensure you are on the right track. And if you find your child needs help, has tutors online 24/7 to support your child’s grades and study skills.

Homework Heaven:  Experts generally agree that students should get about 10 minutes of homework per grade level. That’s 90 minutes of homework for your 9th grader! Research shows students don’t concentrate well for long periods.  Rather than demanding your child finish all his/her homework  in one sitting, encourage him/her to take breaks every 20-30 minutes. That’s a great time to check their phone, get a snack or just get up and stretch. They’ll complain less and be more productive.

Celebrate:  We’re big believers in celebrating your academic successes! A great biology grade, finished essay or a week of completed homework assignments deserves some recognition. Come up with something that works for your family – maybe it’s dessert at your favorite ice cream shop or a new app. Your child will appreciate being celebrated!


3 Responses to 5 Tips for Making the Move: Middle School to High School

  1. Kailynn June 9, 2017 at 9:57 PM #

    I am an incoming freshman and agree with the first three, but not the last two. I have more than 90 minutes of homework as it is and freshman year will include much more. As for the reward system, some type of reward may be good and the end of a semester of hard work but surely not on a regular basis. It will start getting too easy and little effort will be put in to acquiring these rewards.

  2. Laura March 22, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

    I agree with all of these except the last one. The grade itself should be the reward for their work. Especially at this age, don’t teach them that somebody will give them an extrinsic reward for competing homework. It’s time to teach them that the reward for a job well-done, is pride in themselves that they’ve done their best and completed the task.


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