As parents, we all have a lot on our plates. Now that the school year is starting, we’re juggling more than we were 60 days ago. While routine is good, we cannot allow the schools that we send our kids to dictate their futures. We must step in, be present, ask questions and be clear of what we want as the end goal of the high school experience for our children. Yes, health and happiness trump all, but we also want to make sure our children have college options and in order to do that we must do the three things below.
#1 Review the classes and understand the sequence of courses for upcoming years
Too many parents are frustrated at the beginning of their child’s senior year when they learn that not enough art or gym or social studies classes have been taken to graduate. It only gets worse when they discover that not having certain courses -- Honors, AP, IB - makes it very difficult for their child to apply to certain colleges. Please review the sequence of courses your child is taking and what they will take or be eligible for in later years.
#2 Know what clubs and activities are available
We need to encourage kids to get off devices -- phones, iPads, computers - and get involved in extracurricular activities. Arts, athletics, clubs and community service are still at the heart of high school but sometimes they are unaware or seemingly don’t care. We have to help them to see the value in participating in activities as a way to do good and build a resume.
#3 Meet with the school counselor
The most important. School counselors are often overwhelmed but that does not give them an excuse to not know your child and know what you’re expecting of them. In a kind and gracious way, discussing courses, clubs, and colleges needs to happen early on in the high school experience. School counselors respond to parents with whom they have built a rapport. Let that parent be you.
If any of this is confusing or you need more guidance on how to navigate high school years in preparation for college, let’s connect for a 60-minute Strategy Session.