In a Daze About High School Days? Help is Here.
High school students cope with many pressures. In addition to
academics, high school students struggle with personal identity,
fitting into a social group, and peer pressure. They are also
concerned with dating, driving, and planning for life after high
You can help your child navigate these challenging years by
being prepared. There are many educational options in high
school. With preparation, you and your child can create a plan
that fits your child's needs, learning styles and post-high
- Visit the high school your child plans to attend before you
select classes or programs for your child.
- Find out about the academic programs your child's high school
offers, such as advanced placement, vocational, honors, and
- Discuss all the options with your child, and find out what his
or her interests are.
- Help your child select electives that match his or her
interests and career goals.
Help your child through high school
Your child needs guidance and support from you as he or she goes
through high school.
- Communicate that education is important and that you expect
him or her to continue to do well in school.
- Provide guidance as he or she makes important decisions about
classes to take and activities in which to be involved.
- Be knowledgeable about graduation requirements and college
entrance requirements so you can help your child take
appropriate classes in high school.
- Keep the lines of communication open so you will be aware of
problems with schoolwork and friends.
- Stay in touch with your child's teachers and counselors to
help him or her stay on track.
Make sure your child knows that a grade point average is
cumulative in high school and the grades earned in 9th grade are
just as important as those earned in 12th grade. The better your
child's high school grades, the more options he or she will have
after high school.
What academic skills should my child have?
By the end of middle school your child should have a solid
foundation of academic knowledge that he or she can now build on
with more challenging high school courses.
At a minimum, your child should be able to:
- Read at or near grade level. If your child still struggles
with reading by the time he or she enters high school, it will
be difficult to catch up. Continue to encourage reading at home
throughout the high school years.
- Perform basic math skills. Your child should be able to do
basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and
use a protractor, ruler and calculator. Math skills are
important for success in both math and science classes.
- Demonstrate basic English skills. Your child should be able to
write a simple paragraph that includes a topic sentence and a
supporting sentence, using correct punctuation. He or she should
also be able to write legibly.
Throughout high school your child should take courses that
challenge and interest him or her, to prepare for college-level
How can I help my child move into education and training after
In today's job market, education and training beyond high school
is increasingly important. Even if your child doesn't want to
attend college, he or she should take college-level courses in
By doing so, your child keeps post-high school options open, and
can more easily attend community college, vocational school or a
Basic college preparatory classes include:
4 years of English
3-4 years of Mathematics
2-3 years of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
2-3 years of a Foreign Language
2-3 years of History and Geography
1 year of Visual and Performing Arts