Welcome to the 9th Grade. Your child has entered this brave new world and you are excited and terrified. You want the best for your child; an easy transition, friends, success in class.
But your child's chance of success is slim – 80% of children entering the 9th grade don’t have the knowledge or skills they need to graduate.
If, in middle school, your child's experience included failing math or English, an unsatisfactory behavior grade in a core class or missed about 30 days of school; odds are against him or her at graduating on time, if at all.
But they can beat the odds. And, surprise, surprise, the adults In their life can help.
Here are six tips to share with your child to increase their chance at success:
1. Learn your way around the school campus
Know the lay of the land, where your classes are, where clubs meet, where teachers’ offices are. Be aware of your surroundings.
2. Be open to learning new things
Work to understand what is being taught and ask around if you have questions. Teachers will usually gladly help you with information that is confusing. Ask why a topic is useful to know.
3. Put in the time for homework
Get through it every night so you know what to ask about the next day, check with a friend if you get stuck, chase it down through the internet or even an adult nearby.
4. Look for practical, real life opportunities to use what you learn
Shadowing a professional at work, volunteering to work on a project either in or out of school, part time jobs; they can bring home the value of education and what you are learning
5. Pick your friends wisely
Choose to hang out with kids who will be a positive influence on you and your success in school and life; kids who have ambition to be good at something useful. And you may not find them in your classes. They may be in a club, team, church, or after-school program.
6. Find the connections between your interests and your classes
Music, art, the written word, a sport, science experiments, family history – if you look closely they are all creative efforts that require knowledge in math and language.
This is one of your first opportunities to control your world. Be willing to ask for help. Take advantage of school to learn as much as you can. Successful graduation from high school leads to a chance to train in a field of work that you choose. The odds are in your favor when you finish school. Statistically your chances are better to make more money, and be healthy. And you can make it fun, interesting and rewarding – it’s up to you.