5 Tips to Support Your Child During Back-to-School Season
Back-to-school season is in full swing. When it comes to preparing your high schooler for the new school year, you might find yourself facing a much different season than when your child was entering elementary or middle school grades. Supporting your high schooler takes a different level of patience and thoughtfulness.
As your teens work through their first-day jitters, consider these tips from our team of teachers and advisors here at Lakeside Christian School, a Clearwater, FL Christian school, to help prepare your family for a successful school year.
Tip 1: Get Your Teen Involved in Volunteering Opportunities
As you enter the new school year, it’s possible that your teen is already planning their extra-curricular activities. While they may be thinking about picking up where they left off the prior school year, you should also consider using back-to-school season to start the conversation about which volunteer opportunities they might be interested in participating in.
Volunteering has a number of benefits. To start, volunteering can help center your teen and teach them about life outside of school and family. It can help them learn about the needs of others and how they can help.
Beyond those benefits, volunteering can help your teen figure out what they enjoy doing in life, and can help them on their road to a future career. Plus, if your student is considering applying for college scholarships, volunteering can help them meet criteria and requirements for these types of financial aid. Volunteering can also boost your child’s college applications. But, you want to make sure you don’t wait too long to begin thinking about these volunteer opportunities, instead using back-to-school season to help your teen plot their course and budget their after school schedule.
Tip 2: Encourage Planning for College and Beyond
Just as you can use the back-to-school season to encourage your teen to start volunteering, high school is an important time to start thinking about college, trade schools, or other educational or career paths. As a student of a private high school in Clearwater, FL, your teen will have access to guidance counselors who can discuss all of their options, starting during back-to-school season.
For parents of incoming freshman or sophomores, this might seem a little premature. After all, how can a student just entering high school plan their future? However, it is never too early to encourage your child to think forward, considering electives they may want to take and extra curriculars they may want to participate in during the coming school year to help them figure out what path to take, be it college, a trade school, or going straight into the workforce.
Tip 3: Teach and Practice Mindfulness
Entering high school can be stressful. Especially if your child is an incoming freshman, you might find back-to-school season to be an especially anxiety-inducing time. To help combat the rise in stress levels, teach your child how to practice mindfulness. You may find this helpful for yourself as well, as parenting a high schooler can become stressful.
To practice mindfulness, simply do your everyday activities but focus on the five senses. For example, encourage your child to practice mindfulness while brushing their teeth. To practice mindfulness while teeth brushing, focus on only the task at hand — as thoughts enter your mind, let them go. Think about the taste of the toothpaste, the feeling of the brush against each tooth, and even the smell of the toothpaste. The goal is to remain in the moment as much as possible. Of course, getting your teen to take your advice might be difficult, but it can help them prepare and focus on their day as they go back to school while minimizing their stress levels.
Tip 4: Review Class Schedules Together
As the school year begins, take time to review your child’s class schedule with them. This is an important step, especially if your child is an incoming freshman, as the course load may be slightly different and more challenging.
You’ll notice a major difference in this step when attending a private school vs. a public school. Your child will not need to change schools between elementary and middle, or middle and high school, as they would in a public school setting. Therefore their stress level may be lower and their course load more tailored to their needs and the way that they learn.
If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s class schedule, make sure to speak with an advisor as soon as possible to make sure that you can make necessary adjustments or changes.
Tip 5: Think Beyond Back-to-School Season and Get Involved at School
Preparing for back-to-school season requires thinking beyond the back-to-school season. This means that you should take some time to think beyond the clothes and backpack needed, or even the school schedule, volunteer activities, extra curriculars, and college plans. Instead, think about how you, as a parent, can get involved during the school year and help your child’s year go well. For example, you can join parents’ committees and give your input to the school.
If your high schooler is preparing for back-o-school season or you’re considering switching to Christian high schools in Clearwater, FL, the most important way to support your child is to give them a voice in the process. Help them understand the best way they learn and whether a private education will be a more supportive environment for them.
With over 40 years of experience and a diverse student body of children from families of all socioeconomic backgrounds and income levels, Lakeside Christian School is built on the biblical principles of loving God and loving others. This care is demonstrated through the warm, respectful relationships among staff and between staff and students, and uses a tailored approach to your child’s education. If you’re interested in learning more about how we challenge all of our students to achieve their academic and personal goals, give us a call.