That 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 Tutor.com 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, Tutor.com 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!