As summer begins to wind down, we say goodbye to lazy days at the beach and hello to hectic mornings, full schedules, homework, stressful and forced conversations about “the future”… eesh, makes you hyperventilate just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
Luckily, summer is not quite over yet, which means there’s still time to prepare to go back to school and to do it right.
1. Get Organized
Over the course of the summer, you may find that your student has completely forgotten all of those good habits that you painstakingly taught them. It’s going to take some time for your student to dust off those productive study habits, but you’ll want that to happen sooner rather than later.
To ease the transition back to school, help your student get organized before the school year starts – literally (with school schedules and supplies) and just as important, MENTALLY. Take a moment, sit down, and have a chat with your student about the upcoming school year. What did your student struggle with last year? What didn’t work? How will it be better this year? Help them understand the expectations for the next year and prioritize their goals. Students who invest time in clarifying their goals and anticipating potential obstacles are more aware and better equipped to deal with challenges, making them more successful in the long run.
2. Think Ahead
Whether your student is a freshman or a senior, they’ve got a busy year ahead of them. In high school (as in life), EVERY year counts. It counts towards college, and it counts towards “the future.” The best way to get ahead is to think ahead before your student goes back to school – know what’s coming up in the next year and plan accordingly.
What classes is your student taking this year? Are they challenging enough? Are they too challenging? How many extracurriculars? Will your student be able to balance their academics and their activities? When will your student start test prep? College planning? It sounds daunting, but don’t worry. We’ve laid it all out for you in our high school guidelines.
3. Try Something New
It’s never good to get “too comfortable” because that’s when people get complacent and lazy. When you’re planning for the next year, encourage your student to try something new this school year. Whether it’s a new language, skill, or sport; any new challenge can push your students to explore new passions and interests and discover their own potential.
Moreover, facing new challenges comes with inherent risk, which will test students’ abilities to problem-solve, ask questions, face failure, accept criticism, and evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses. The more they know about themselves (and the sooner they start figuring it out), the easier it’ll be for them to make smart decisions in the future. From “Should I take this AP class?” to “What should I major in?” to “Is this job the right step for me?”, the answers to these questions come from how well a student knows their potential and their limitations.
So how are we feeling? Better? Breathing normal?
These three things will prepare your student for a less stressful and more successful start to the school year… but they’re not just best practices for fall. These are lifelong skills and continuing to do these things throughout the school year will help your student develop these good habits for the future.