Starting high school can be an exciting time for children. But it can also be a roller coaster ride of emotions as they learn to navigate their new life and routines. With all the new demands and expectations of this transition, it makes sense that your child will benefit from your support at this time.

Here are some practical suggestions for how you can help in those important first weeks and months of high school. It will make all the difference for a smooth transition and can help to set your child up for continued success in the years ahead. 

  1. Maintain family routines at home as this offers stability at a time when they are coping with many changes.
  2. When children feel unsure, they benefit from feeling connected with their loved ones. Make time to do things together as a family and keep the lines of communication open so they’re more likely to share what’s going on during their transition.
  3. Make sure your child eats well and gets plenty of sleep as they may be quite tired in the first few weeks as they’re adjusting.
  4.  Watch the balance between family life, homework and activities. If you can reduce some ‘busyness’ for a while, all the better.
  5. Encourage your child’s independence to help them cope with their responsibilities.
  6. Build their time management and organisation skills to help them cope with the amount of homework. These are skills learned over time so you may need to offer ongoing support. Check they’re writing assessments, homework and events in their diary every day.
  7. Set regular times for homework and manage the distractions.
  8. Colour coding their books, diary and timetable (one colour per subject) can help them be more organised.
  9. Remind them to check their timetable each night while packing items they need for the next day.
  10. Encourage them to join a club, sports team or interest group at school; these are great ways to make new friends.
  11. Foster an attitude of ‘ask for help’. As children head into the teen years, some become more reluctant to ask for help and struggle unnecessarily. Explore all the ways they can ask for help at school such as talking or emailing class teachers, speaking to homegroup teachers or contacting our Pastoral Care Team.

Looking for more support?

Our Pastoral Care Team are always available to support students and are available to chat at any time. To schedule a time to discuss any concerns with either our Director of Pastoral Care, College Chaplain or College Counsellor please contact pastoral.care@fcc.qld.edu.au

Written by our Guest Blogger Jenny Atkinson

Jenny Atkinson is a transition to high school advisor and the bestselling author of ‘High School Rocks: Make Starting High School An Awesome Experience’. She has 30 years of teaching experience and is the founder of the ‘Get Set For High School’ Program, a series of workshops and an online membership for students, parents and teachers to ease the transition from primary to high school. For further information please visit her websites  www.highschoolhub.com.au      www.sparkseducation.com.au

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