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Your first child is no longer little, and time has flown by. You have suddenly realised that the next scholastic year will be their last compulsory year at school. What to do…what to do?! Here are a few tips to help prepare for the interesting year ahead.

  • Start early

This year is going to be a hectic one, for you and them, so it is best to start preparing early, even during the summer months. I do not mean to suggest a studying frenzy as from now, but some revision of last year’s work does no harm. Furthermore, summer is the ideal time to organise one’s notes as one will be calmer and can set a good system, which will come in very handy when it’s time for the hard work. In addition, if one notices that there are some important things missing, there will still be ample time to gather what is needed.

– Support in homework and studying

You obviously cannot do their work or study for them, but it is essential to be of support in any way which works. Some teenagers like having you as their study buddy, while others prefer that you just keep them in check. Help may be provided in different ways. It is essential to take care of the basics like making sure your teen has a quiet, well-lit, distraction-free place to work in. Furthermore, regularly have a look at what is being done and what needs to be done, to make sure that they are sticking to some kind of schedule.  You may also help your teen with reviewing the material studied.  Finally, always encourage your son/daughter to speak up when they need any sort of help and ask them how they feel you can best help them.



–     Encourage Organisational Skills

Understanding the value of organisational skills is essential in just about everything we do in life, but these skills are greatly put to the test during a teenagers’ final year at school. Although such skills are highly encouraged by educators at school, parental guidance with how to organise oneself is vital.

You can help your teen keep homework and notes in folders that are organised by subject. In addition, creating a calendar will assist your teen to stick to deadlines and remember important dates. In such a way, they can plan their time well. It is important to include their non-academic commitments too. This will help them make daily to-do lists according to their priorities.

–     Make things more doable

Since there will most probably be lots to study, it might be overwhelming for your son/daughter. It is therefore advisable to help your teen break down the tasks into more doable chunks of work. Again, keeping a calendar with the different daily tasks helps a lot in this.

The points above have aimed to explore a few practical ways of supporting your teen in their final year of secondary school. The second part of this blog will continue to provide useful tips for parents.

References:

Career Coaching Your Teens: A Guide for Parents (2008), Government of Alberta.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on annjulene@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.