Heading to high school is a big step. It’s a new chapter in your teen’s life with new teachers, new classes, new hallways, new expectations… and that can be intimidating. Too many kids are totally unprepared for what awaits them at their new school in the fall and so their first experiences can be stressful.
We suggest that you help your recent elementary grads by sprinkling in some hidden skill-building fun while basking in the summer sun! It’ll ease the stress of September and build confidence!
Letters might be a lost art, but I’m calling for a revival. There is nothing better than the joy of finding a letter in the mailbox. Encourage your teen to write postcards and letters while on trips or when visiting Grandma and Grandpa. Note: Texting doesn’t count as a letter.
Daily writing can be therapeutic. Suggest writing in a journal nightly. Learning to express yourself clearly through writing is a valuable life skill, so the content doesn’t really matter, it’s all about the effort. Sometimes kids need a little encouragement, so here are some summer journaling ideas from Simple as That.
Get an agenda
At the beginning of the school year, most schools will either provide each student with an agenda or one will be available to purchase. However, many kids don’t know how to use it. Getting into a routine of using a calendar or an agenda is incredibly helpful for people of all ages, and summer is the perfect time to start. Encourage your teen to begin by adding all of the fun stuff — camp, sleepovers, birthdays, trips — and then add tasks or chores they are responsible for. Check in once a week to see how they’re doing!
Visit the school
If your teen is expressing some anxiety about not knowing where things are in a new school, take a tour! Most schools are still open a week after the last day of school, and a week before the first day of school. Squelch worry by brainstorming ways to make new friends, and how to ask for help from teachers!
This just in: reading books in the summer doesn’t cause allergic reactions! Not a single hive or rash to be found. Incredible news, right? Reading is a great way to relax, and a fantastically fun way to exercise those brain muscles. It doesn’t matter if your teen is reading Shakespeare’s folio or a favourite sci-fi author — just keep reading. Lead by example by bringing a book to the beach or have dedicated reading time at night.
Need some book suggestions? Check out our blog, Throwback Summer Reads — Tween Edition for some great titles.
Hone Those Skills
If your teen had trouble last year academically in any area or lacks confidence, find a program this summer that will help build the skills needed boost confidence. Don’t wait until the middle of the school year! There are so many wonderful programs and academic summer camps that foster and develop foundational skills. Of course it is hard to hit the books while on summer vacation, but spending a week learning how to organize an essay will save your teen (and you!), from a lot of unnecessary stress during the year.
Don’t forget to get outside this summer and explore. Some of the best learning comes from exploring the world around you. Remember to enjoy your vacation — it doesn’t last forever, so make every second count.
There are a plethora of fantastic programs and one-on-one classes offered by Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space to help your teen hone skills before high school. This summer we are offering two essay coach camps where teens can build the necessary essay-writing skills to help them confidently tackle any essay a teacher throws their way! Happy learning!