Your kids might be a little freaked out about high school. But we know…so are you.
They’re embarking on a defining chapter, and everyone’s busy ensuring they’re settled, thriving, and future-focused.
We see you back there, sweat beading on your brow as you put on a brave, proud face.
We get it.
As a parent, it’s not just their world that’s shifting. Yours is spinning, too.
Sure, it’s their high school journey, but you’re right there in the passenger seat, map in hand, sometimes feeling just as overwhelmed.
The good news is, you’re not the first one down this road, and you’re not alone.
Here are some insights and resources for wherever you are along the high school parenting journey.
Freshman Year: Steering Through New Waters
Ah, the first year of high school. Your child’s taking their first steps in this new world, and you’re right there with them, just as nervous. As they’re figuring out the lay of the land, you’re juggling school orientations, deciphering course catalogs, and perhaps experiencing your first parent-teacher conference.
It’s not just about them adapting; it’s also you recalibrating your parenting style. How much freedom versus supervision? It’s all about balance.
➡️ Freshman Thread: If you’re a parent of a freshman and you’ve got questions, our freshman thread is your compass. Join the conversation!
✅ On Your To Do List:
- Orientation: Get your student familiar with the school layout, and make sure they know where to find important resources.
- Study Habits: Encourage the development of strong study habits and time management skills.
- Extracurriculars: Help your student explore and join clubs or teams that align with their interests.
- Course Survey: Look ahead together at the classes their school offers to start thinking about their ideal course progression in the later years of high school.
- Academic Support: If your student is struggling, help them get their feet underneath them as quickly as possible by utilizing school resources, joining a study group, or seeking a tutor.
- Social Transition: Check in frequently to gauge their emotional well-being in this transition.
- Summer Planning (eventually): Encourage a summer activity, whether it’s a hobby, camp, community service or a part-time job.
Sophomore Year: Laying Foundations for the Future
By sophomore year, you’re diving into early college preparations. The mere whisper of words like “SAT” and “ACT” could send a chill down your spine. And it’s not just academics – it’s extracurriculars, too. You’re helping your child build a robust portfolio, while also ensuring they have time to be, well, kids.
And let’s not forget about driving lessons. Seat belts everyone!
➡️ Sophomore Thread: Feeling that sophomore year squeeze? Our thread dedicated to the sophomore year is here to ease the pressure. Let’s navigate this together.
✅ On Your To Do List:
- Course Rigor: Encourage your kids to take classes that challenge and interest them (rather than looking for an easy A).
- Extracurricular Depth: Encourage leadership through deeper commitment in chosen activities and continue exploring interests.
- Preliminary College Exploration: Visit a local college or attend a college fair.
- Guidance Counseling: Start building a relationship with the school’s guidance office.
- Summer Opportunities: Look for meaningful summer programs, community service, or internships aligned with potential college majors or career interests.
- Pre-Standardized Testing Plan – Take some time in the summer to assess your child’s standardized testing levels and start strategizing accordingly.
Junior Year: The Hustle and Bustle of College Prep
This is it. The big one. College visits, application timelines, financial aid considerations. If sophomore year was about laying the foundation, junior year is building the house. Every grade, every activity seems to count just a little bit more.
➡️ Junior Thread: Overwhelmed by the whirlwind of junior year? Dive into our dedicated thread. We’re in the trenches together.
✅ On Your To Do List:
- SAT/ACT: Make final decisions on which test to take (if either) and start test prep.
- College List: Begin crafting a list of safety, match, and reach schools.
- College Visits: Plan visits to potential colleges.
- Advanced Courses: Consider more AP or other advanced courses if appropriate.
- Recommendations: Identify teachers or mentors for college recommendation letters.
- Financial Planning: Start researching scholarships and understanding the FAFSA.
- Experience List: Maintain a detailed record of extracurricular activities, community service, and work for college applications.
- Summer Before Senior Year: Plan for meaningful activities, whether work, community service, or internships.
Senior Year: Celebrations and Transition Preparations
Emotionally, this year can be a roller coaster. Between the euphoria of college acceptance letters and the inevitable nostalgia of their last high school moments, you’re balancing practical tasks. Financial planning, dorm shopping, and having those “big talks” about adulthood.
And yes, while you’re prepping them for the leap, it’s also about prepping yourself for an empty nest.
➡️ Senior Thread: From coping with emotions to college transition tips, our senior thread is your sanctuary. Let’s savor and support during these bittersweet times.
✅ On Your To Do List:
- College Applications: Ensure timely submission, proofreading essays, and completing all parts.
- Financial Aid: Complete the FAFSA as early as possible.
- Scholarships: Apply for local, state, and national scholarships.
- Decision Time: Help your student evaluate college acceptances and financial aid offers.
- Senior Activities: Encourage participation in senior activities, but also monitor for ‘senioritis.’
- Transition Talks: Discuss life skills they’ll need for college (budgeting, laundry, etc.).
- Thank and Notify: Ensure your student sends thank-you notes to those who wrote recommendation letters and informs them of the final college choice.
Parenting through high school isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.
It’s filled with moments of pride, anxiety, joy, and reflection. Each year presents its unique challenges, but with the right support, you can steer with confidence. Our Signet community is here to back you up every step of the way.
Maybe one day they’ll know how much you do. Until then, you know that we know–and we think you’re amazing.