For kids, going to high school for the first time is a big event. Not only is the work itself a lot harder, but most kids worry about whether or not they’ll fit into the new setting. For many, it can be an ordeal and have profound repercussions on family life.
Most of us parents also remember our first day at school. We remember that feeling of trepidation walking up to the school gates – gates which seemed so much larger than those at primary school. And we remember showing up for lessons for the first time and being blown away by the depth and complexity of those lessons, wondering how we’d ever master all the material.
Schools like Leicester High School for Girls, however, are trying to help kids adjust. One of the things that they do is offer their girls additional courses, besides the usual academic subjects, to help them cope with approaching adult life. They’re taught about the importance of things like personal well-being and encouraged to talk through their concerns. In other words, they’re not dumped into an entirely new environment and just expected to adapt, regardless of their personal feelings.
There’s a lot that parents can do too to help their kids prepare for their first day at high school. Here are some ideas.
Take A Trip To The School In Advance
Getting a child acclimated to a new environment is a gradual process. Kids need repeated exposure to a particular school before they begin to feel comfortable with it. That’s why it’s such a good idea to go to school open days to see what the environment is like and whether it’s the sort of place the child would like to learn. The good news is that most schools hold open days in the run up to the Autumn term, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities to look around. Often, just exploring a school is enough to allay a child’s fears.
Fire Their Curiosity
Curiosity if what drives people to learn more about the world. Without curiosity, kids quickly lose interest in the people around them and academic subjects. One worry children might have about going to high school is the change in the difficulty of the work. Thus, getting them curious about advanced concepts that they won’t have covered in elementary school can help them build their confidence. Going into a senior school maths lesson already knowing some basic algebra and Pythagoras is a big bonus.
Get Involved In School Activities
One of the things kids worry about before their first day at high school is not finding any friends. This is why being a member of a club is so important: clubs provide opportunities for children to build their relationships. Top schools usually offer a vast range of clubs for all interests: everything from chess to orchestra. Some schools also have on-site facilities for particular hobbies, like equestrian, swimming and even golf.
The bottom line is that going to high school can be a worry for kids. But there are plenty of ways to make sure that things go smoothly.