Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's not a race but a marathon - suriving highschool - 9th grade

Since this is the third time I have had a senior in high school and this time I get a two for the price of one, I wish. More like double the stress. I feel like I can give some advice for those whose children are heading into their senior year of high school, and by writing it down I might remember some of this year when the next one is a senior in 2 years, and the youngest is in high school in 7 years. Note I do not know it all, this is just what I have learned from my kids, every family is different.

First of all it really all starts in 9th grade, and it's not all that easy for them to remember what they did way way back then when they are seniors. So after the first one I learned to start a box, I use a small clear tote one for each kid. In there goes all awards, and an activity list of sports, leadership , community, clubs and school honor rolls.

Also in 9th grade I back off of being involved in school work learned this after child number one, it's time for them to own it. I use middle school as the time to bug them, teach them good habits, and be a pest. Yes I am that mom that went into school and had my child empty their locker out into boxes and sort it all, since I knew homework was being done but for some reason it never got to the teachers.

 Starting in 9th grade I still check there grades on-line, talk to them about school, remind them that everything they do starting this year counts for their senior year, and  college. I'll ask how the project is coming, but I don't ask what they need they need to say to me mom I need poster board or a trip to the store for supplies. I have had more then one learn in 9th grade that you need to give mom notice, you can't say I need to go to the store the night before the project is due, mom goes shopping 2x a month, so figure out something that we already have that  might work. This is usually when I get called a mean mom. I'll read your papers or better yet have Dad read them but that once again is something you have to say to us, here please read the paper I wrote.

If I had a child with an IEP my level of involvement would be different and it was when I helped my brother get through high school.

The choice to do their homework, study, pass that test is  theirs, and they suffer the natural consequence if they don't. Yes I have had children get zero's, go to summer school, lose computer time, and they learn from it. It's my job to make sure they have time to do homework, a place to study, and the supplies they ask me for. I would rather they learn this in high school when I am still there to be a sounding board, then the first year of college when it's costing me money which I  also learned from sending the first child to college. That being said there is a time I do nag in the senior year but it's about something that is important to me as a parent, and really doesn't have a natural consequence for the child , but it does for me.

Building that resume of activities starting in 9th grade, my girls were naturals at it, I think mostly from girl scouts they had that go to sprit of helping others. It is once again something I guide in depending on the child. Since we live in a rural area and don't have a lot of jobs for teens I do require them to be in at least one sport a year.

The girls have done scouting, and the boys did Civil Air Patrol, we provide them with church and youth group, chances to do music. We have one child whom we had to give more guidance for as far as social activities, they do not come to him naturally while academics do. But if you take him to an audition for a play, he will do it and enjoy it, same with Jazz Band or a summer enrichment program. He has come a long way since 9th grade and I think he will be able to find his own social activities in college. We also do community  things as a family, if your children see you helping at church, or a food give away program, starting when they are little they are more likely to still want to tag along when they are teenagers.

Also ninth grade is when we start taking about what do they see themselves doing as adults, what are their abilities , strengths, weaknesses, do they have a passion. We talk about and plan what can we do to help you, is there a summer program, a music program, a trip to save for, an internship. And the plans they have in ninth grade can be very different then the ones they have in 12th, or even after that first year of college.

Next up 10th grade.

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