Starting Secondary School - Guide For Parents

August 26, 2015

Your child is starting secondary school – A guide for parents

starting secondary school

1. Allow them their independence
While your child is still very young, they may relish their newfound independence. Whether or not this is the case, let them know you will always be there for them. They are moving on to a new level, and you will be as visible as they want you to be on their first day.

If they want you to come into the school with them on the first day, respect their wishes. If they want you to wave them off at the door, then agree to, assuming that is in line with school policy.  

2. Manage your time
It is likely that you will be a little anxious about your child on the first day.  If you work full-time, pencil in a few hours off (if you can) and come home a little earlier than usual so that you can hear all about your child’s first day.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, line up some activities or meetings that will keep your mind off events and keep you occupied until they come home from day one.

3. How much homework?

Starting secondary school - how much work

Your child’s homework situation will change considerably when they move to secondary school. As a result, they will need to start to work much more independently.  

In the early months, to ensure they develop a suitable routine, monitor the amount of time your child spends on homework. A good idea is to review this with them regularly – every evening at first, then weekly, fortnightly etc. – to see how they are managing the workload.  

Give them responsibility for completing their work. Get them to time themselves and encourage them by talking about how they will reward themselves once they finish their work, e.g. by watching TV or meeting friends.

4. Money matters
If possible, seek advice from the school in advance about money, i.e. how much, if any, your child will need for school life. Some schools have cash or credit points that store students’ lunch money and students use cards, but in others, students will need to carry cash

In these cases, students should have a purse or wallet that they can keep safely in their bag to carry what they need. It’s also a good idea for students to have a small emergency fund with them.

5. Go mobile?
Again, each school will have a policy on mobile phones but the age that children usually get their own phone is around the time they move into secondary education.  

If you are planning on buying a phone for them, make sure it’s not a really expensive, high-end phone. Students are better off with a standard model for school use, so that it will not be a major problem if it gets lost, damaged or stolen. It’s also possible to cover mobile phones via house insurance, so set this up in advance of the school year.

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