The transition from middle school studies to an early high school curriculum can be an exciting yet daunting experience for countless students. In the transition, teenagers tend to realize that their study habits need an upgrade. However, not all ninth grade students know how to upgrade their scholastic systems and may find themselves falling behind in school for the first time. As an Educational Specialist, I have provided a list of suggestions to help middle school students transition into high school level studies. With a little effort and a little time, new high school students can become academic winners!
1. Preplan a study and homework time prior to the beginning of the school year. Preplanning a homework and study time to begin the school year out helps students meet the scholastic increase of high school level studies. The plan should include additional study time even if the teen has study halls during their school day. The reason for this is some teens do not always effectively utilize their study hall sessions.
2. Teens entering high school typically need to upgrade their study skills to help them keep pace with their current curriculum. Teens benefit from reviewing the notes they take in each of their classes for at least five minutes a day. Reviewing the class notes taken will help them retain more core learning concepts and increase their ability to access the information on tests.
3. Parents and teens benefit from checking the teen’s grades online together several times a week. Parents who check their teen’s grades online show their adolescent they care about education. Also, if there are drops in their grades or missing assignments then educational solutions can be applied before their difficulty become a scholastic issue.
4. Early high school students who are planning to attend collegiate studies need to be working on building their application resume. Teens may want to join an extracurricular club, sport or perform a few hours of community outreach for service hours. These activities are good to include in the college application resume, and can help teens find hobbies that they truly enjoy!
5. Tests and quizzes become an important part of the high school academic experience and teens should add more study and preparation time to the system they used in middle school. Early high school students benefit from studying for tests and quizzes several days before they are given. Waiting until the day before a test may not be the best option for new high school student because of the increase in hard terms and general information.
6. Parents should try and communicate with their teen’s high school teachers several times a year. According to a Bridgeland and Morison study conducted in 2006, one reason teens drop out of school is a “lack of parent engagement.” High school students who have parents communicate with the school are less likely to dropout.
7. As soon as a student begins to slide academically, educational solutions should be applied to help the teen overcome their academic obstacles. All too often grade declines are not addressed early enough because the parent may feel it is a problem that will correct itself. It is generally better to address the problem early on, before the student grades begin to spiral downward.
8. Make learning fun during homework and study time. They can make the flash cards from their study material and make review time into a game show format using flash cards.
9. Parents can help their teen develop an interest in learning by asking their teen to tell them three concepts they learned in their classes each day. This keeps parents involved and kids sharp!
10. Teens typically benefit from reviewing for tests and quizzes with a friend in their class. Reviewing with one or more friends can add interest and fun to study and review time. When a student is asked to teach a core concept to another student they generally have an increase in their own understanding and better retain the core concepts.
In the initial weeks of transition from middle school to high school, teens often benefit from assistance in helping them to adapt to the more complex curriculum. Teens who can learn to enjoy learning and apply educational solutions when they face challenges will always be successful. Students who struggle in school can learn new methods to help them meet the new curriculum expectations, restore their scholastic self-esteem and make the most of their high school years!
Barbara Dianis, MA ED, overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. She is the founder and CEO of Dianis Educational Systems LLC.