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Les Potter is currently the Assistant to the Superintendent (Educational Services Overseas Limited) in Egypt. He received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Les has over 45 years...
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7 Tips for Helping Your Teen Transition to High School

For Parents---Here Are 7 Tips That You Might Find Useful To Help Your Child Prepare For This Exciting High School Year!

1) Come to school and be on time. You can't learn if you are not present or you are late to school or class. You do not want to fall behind in your lessons. Give yourself plenty of time to get dressed, eat and be ready for school every morning. Get plenty of sleep each night.

2) Establish a consistent, organized homework routine. To help your child build good study habits, create a calm, organized homework environment together. Students need to do their homework on time, no excuses!  Teens need a quiet spot without any electronic distractions. Find a quiet and consistent time and place to study and do homework. Your child should set up a homework agenda and use it daily. Assignments may be available online, have your child look ahead to better prepare for tests and assignments. Go over your child's work and check their progress. Be in contact with your child's teachers so there are no surprises at the end of the term.

3) Help your teen think ahead and understand the benefits of early preparation. Go over any future schoolwork so your child can do their best work with plenty of time to spare. Teens do not like to be rushed and this includes late assignments. Waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment or to study for a test will not set you up for success.

4) Focus on ultimate goals. Listen to the career goals of your teen. Encourage them to dream and then help them on their road to college and a career. Most dreams are attainable but you must be realistic with your teen. If they don't like and don't do well in science, then maybe medicine is not a good career choice. See what they are good at and like and explore that career path. Teens are always exploring ideas and future possibilities, as a parent you should work with your child to assist them in attaining their dreams.

5) Introduce your teen to college and careers early. It is never too early to visit colleges in person, attend local college fairs, and to view virtually to see how colleges look and feel like. What activities do they have, what majors do they offer, what is the student population, location, etc.? Explore colleges early! The same message for careers. Don't wait till the last semester of your senior year to start planning. Do it now!

6) High school course selection. Make sure your teen is taking the right courses and receiving the grades needed to attend the college of their choice. High school is an obviously critical time to prepare for college. Colleges want to see students take the best courses possible and for students to receive good grades. All four years of high school are important for the college selection process. You can certainly contact the college admissions office of your choice to see what their entrance requirements are. If you are not college bound, then start investigating vocational and other career paths. Meet with your high school counselor. Your counselor can help you explore non-college options. Do take courses that will help you achieve your goals. Look at volunteering at that work place or a part-time job there. Talk with pople in that field for career advice.

7) Choose long-term extracurricular activities. Colleges and employers like students to develop passion and pursue them with determination. This applies to school work and to extracurriculars as well. Students should try different interests for size; it's both fun and valuable during this time of exploration.

Dr. Les Potter
Assistant to the Superintendent
The American  International School West
Cairo Egypt