Now is the Time
Returning to school is more complicated during the teen years. In some way it means as a parent you need to be more involved in talking to your teen about school issues. You don’t want to scare your teen, but for the first time grades matter more than they ever had before and impact your child’s future dreams and plans. It is hard for most teens to think or life after high school, Help your teen understand the bigger picture and how it school performance will impact their future hopes and dreams. Many teens have an idea what college they want to attend.The minute you know , find out what the admissions standards are. This way you will not be accused of being a kill joy when it comes to harping on grades. Teens need to understand that not all expectations of them are the result of a parents desire for them to excell . The world has expectations too and part of growing up is taking on those expectations as our own goals.
Things Change Faster Now
When kids are reach the teen years there are concerns other than clothes and school supplies we should address. Starting middle school and high school can be a very anxious time in a teen’s life. Teens change very quickly. We need to help them deal with the emotional and physical changes that have occurred in our teens as they have grown over the summer. Teens need to be able to talk about the hormonal changes that for some make their bodies seem alien to them. Younger teen girls or boy may be distressed about the sudden appearance of larger breasts or hair where there was none before. Be sensitive to how your teen feels about their changing body.
Talk to your teen about how they real feel about going back to school. There may have been issues that you missed last year. Make sure you know if they were having issues with bullies or struggling in a certain class to keep up. Talk about these issues and try to come up with practical solutions. If the problem seems too complicated; don’t be afraid to get the school involved. Serious bullying should be addressed by the school administration. Many teachers are willing to provide a little extra help after class for a student struggling with a certain subject. The school administration is there to support you in making school the most positive experience for your teen as possible school’s help in solving the problem.
Older teens might do a lot of preparation for back to school themselves. However, they still need mom to take care of certain things. If you have not already schedule your teen for a check up do so now. If your teen is participating in sport, save yourself the drama and have the proper forms. Make sure you get or the releases or notes your child may need on this doctors visit. This will save you last minute panic to get forms in order. Make sure you get any notes abut medication your teen will be taking at school. This may include a note allowing them to take over the counter medications for minor problems like headaches. Most schools now have a zero tolerance for teens taking medication on their own. You don’t want you teen suspended for taking a Midol in gym, so be aware.
Make sure you know about all the instructional and sport activities your teen is planning to participate in long before the day of participation arises. You may need to figure out if you have the financial resources for lesson fees and equipment. Budget cuts mean that schools are expecting more and more for parents to come up with the money for equipment and uniforms for even activities like band. If you wait to the last minute to spring the fact that your teen will not be able to participate in an activity they are looking forward too, your teen will start the school year with a chip on their shoulder. Be honest about your financial limitations in this time of recession. Look for alternative activities at your local parks and church. If your child is a regular particpants in band ask them to baby sit or mow lawns over the summer to cover some of those expenses. Thinking ahead can save everyone a lot of heartache.
Schedule an appointment with the eye doctor and dentist about this time of year as well. Teens do change over the summer months and getting new glasses can help your teen avoid academic problems related to not seeing the chalk board. Teens who are about to take drivers education need to see well. Don’t promise your teen contacts or invisible braces if you can not afford them. Talk to younger teens about the prospect of being called metal mouth or four eyes at school. This kind of teasing has been around forever, and your teen needs to develop a thick skin about it. Remind them that having straight teeth, but the time they hit college is worth all the bother now. Glasses have made a come back in some circles, and if you can not afford the contacts spending a little on more stylish frames goes a long way.
Going Beyond Don’t Sleep In Class!
The teen years are a time that parents need to talk to their kids about how they behave and interact with the teacher in the classroom. The advice we give younger kids about not clawing around in class or sleeping still apply, but the expectations of the higher grades means your child must gain skills that will follow them on to college or trade school. Higher grades also evaluate your child’s ability to show their comprehension of a subject by means of classroom participation. This means your child will not be called on to give pat or rote to the teacher’s questions, but form reasonable opinions and conclusions based on the information they have learned. They are showing the teacher that they have intellectually internalized the information. This means that when asked they can come up their own questions, ideas, and summary about the material they have learned.
Teachers look for students to develop the skills of critical thinking in the higher grades. Your teen can not fake this kind of academic interaction. In the younger grades your child might have asked questions in class as a result natural curiosity. The desire to appear, “cool “in the upper grades may have caused your teen to not want to pay attention. It is important that you tie their classroom academic experience with their career goals. Try to make them see that giving into peer pressure to appear not to care about a certain learning situation only hurts them in the long run. Teens need to develop a way of interacting in the classroom that shows their instructors they have listened in class. It is also important that they learn to communicate effectively about the part of the material they are struggling to understand.
Adults need to talk to their kids about classroom behavior beyond the usual don’t sleep in class and clown around. When children reach higher grades they will also be graded on classroom participation. This is more than students responding rote to the teacher’s questions. It is the process of them showing the teacher they have to some degree intellectually internalized the subject matter they are using and come up with their own questions, ideas, and conclusions based on their learning experience.
Teachers look for students as they progress through to higher grade to demonstrate their ability to think critically. Your student can not fake it. They need to have listened in class and asked questions through out the school year. Older students sometimes put aside their natural curiosity that they normally have in younger grades; to social pressure in higher grades to appear “cool: If your teen has serious career goals beyond high school they need to develop a way of interacting in the class room that shows the instructor they really comprehend and have dealt intellectually with the material. If they do not understand the material they must develop the communication skills needed to convey specifically what they do not understand in the material covered.
The skills of active participation and critical thinking are the one needed for every kind of higher learning. Professors teach topics in a manner to get the student to interact with the topic on an adult level. This is why students must show their own unique understanding of the subject matter in essays tests and graded class projects. If your teen develops a tendency not to want to appear,”nerdy’ by keeping a low profile they are only hurting themselves.
This is not to say your teen should strive to be the teachers pet. They should not feign a lack of understanding in order to get the teachers attentions. Teachers do know the difference of a sincere effort to understand the subject matter and the Eddie Haskell approach. Even students who do sincerely struggle in a subject are more likely to get effective intervention from the teacher if they are sincere in their effort to understand the subject. Teachers are experts at knowing which students are just going through the motions or learning and those who are really engaged in the learning process.