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Teen Matters

Junior High Survival Tips

June 26th, 2013

Submitted By: Edmonton Public Schools

Moving from elementary to junior high is an exciting step in your child’s educational journey.While they may experience more independence and opportunities to explore new challenges, other factors—like combination trick-ups and juggling multiple classes—can leave your child feeling worried and anxious.

We’ve gathered tips and advice from school leaders and from experienced students who have gone through this transition. These tips will help give you and your child a good idea of what to expect.

Get involved.
Check out the school’s newsletters to learn about important news or events happening at the school. Most schools also offer web-based portals where you can log in to review classroom assignments and exam marks. Find out what communication tools your school uses so you can stay informed about what’s happening.

Stay technology-literate.
Knowing about technology trends, devices and social media can help you better understand how it can be used to benefit learning in the classroom and the timely issues affecting students, like online bullying.

Be aware of changes in routine.
Junior high means having optional courses to choose from, but also fewer breaks and no recess. Instead of staying in one classroom, students will have to move from classroom to classroom. Often transportation options and routes may change depending on the school’s location and if your child is enrolled in a special program.

Practice using a combination lock.
For most, this is the first time they will use a locker and a combination. And, believe it or not, this is one of the biggest stressors for Grade 7 students. The best solution is to have your child practice using a combination lock during the summer months. This will prevent frustration and save time once school starts.

Help teach time management. Sit down with your child before the start of the school year to review their schedule. Talk about any concerns they might have and show your child how to use their school agenda to stay on track. With multiple courses and extra-curricular activities on the go, balancing priorities and managing time effectively will be an
important part of the junior high experience.

Ask the school how they welcome new students.
Some schools host orientation days and invite students to tour the school in August. Some schools have a buddy system where a Grade 9 student will pair with a Grade 7 student and teach them about the school. Encourage your child to take part in these activities—it’s a great way for your child to make friends and feel comfortable being in a new school.

Ultimately, the best advice for parents helping their child through this transition is to be supportive during this important time. By following these preparation tips, you can help your child feel confident and ready to start junior high.

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