How to Prepare for High School while Embracing Big Changes

Are you a parent gearing up for your child’s transition from middle school to high school? While this is an exciting time for your family, it can be a challenging one as well. After all, this is a significant milestone for your 8th grader! 

In this guide, we’ll help you learn how to prepare for high school. We’ll also give you tips so your child can navigate the next chapter of their academic journey with confidence.

What Should I Know Before High School?

how to prepare for high school

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s discuss what high school readiness entails. Besides buying new school supplies and clothes, your child should feel mentally, emotionally, and academically prepared.

Academic Readiness

To excel in high school, your child should have a solid foundation in core subjects, including math, science, history, and English. Moreover, your child should be learning effective test-taking strategies

If your child struggled in any of these areas during middle school, consider seeking additional support or tutoring.

Time Management and Organization

High school comes with increased responsibilities and homework. Help your child develop effective time management and organizational skills to stay on top of assignments and extracurricular activities.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Talk to your child about the academic expectations in high school. Children should understand that while they may face challenges, with effort and determination, they can overcome obstacles.

As a parent, it’s crucial that you remember that your child will know more at the end of the year than they did at the beginning. Look for progress, not perfection.

Exploring Interests

High school is a great time for your child to explore their interests and passions. Encourage them to join clubs or sports teams to meet like-minded peers.

How Should I Get Ready for High School?

high school readiness

We’ve discussed academic and social readiness. Still, your child may be wondering, “How should I get ready for high school? What should I do next?” Let’s explore a few practical steps your child can take to start high school with confidence.

Build Strong Study Habits

High school coursework can be demanding. Accordingly, help your child establish effective study habits early. Encourage your child to find a quiet place to study. 

For instance, help them eliminate distractions and stick to a study schedule. Additionally, you should keep snacks handy and encourage your child to take a break when they need to.

Teach your child how to use a planner to record assignments and deadlines so they avoid late penalties. Furthermore, urge your child to tackle the hardest tasks first while praising them when they complete the task.

Finally, remind your child to list outside activities, such as soccer practice, music lessons, church, and family events. This practice can help students develop a realistic view of time so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

Communication is Key

Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Ask if they have concerns or fears regarding high school What goals have they set for themselves? According to the Akron Children’s Hospital, parents should address any anxieties their child may have and offer support.

Enlist the guidance of a counselor if your 8th grader struggles with anxiety, loneliness, or depression. Hearing from a trained professional can make all the difference in the world.

Attend Orientation

Many high schools offer orientation programs for incoming freshmen. Typically, these sessions include tours so that incoming students can familiarize themselves with the school layout.

Additionally, your child may receive their schedule during orientation. If this is the case, take a moment to locate classes and meet the teachers. Feel free to ask questions and encourage your child to do the same.

Research Extracurriculars

High school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities. Research clubs, sports, and organizations that align with your child’s interests. 

For instance, your child might enjoy photography, 3-D art, modern dance, or music theater. They may want to try robotics, build a solar car, or play chess. Your child might decide to try out for the soccer, basketball, or volleyball team.

Many schools offer a wide range of electives because they want students to have a well-rounded education. These experiences make learning enjoyable and help students develop essential life skills. As a bonus, high school students often uncover hidden talents after taking an elective course.

Stay Informed

Be aware of important dates, such as registration deadlines and back-to-school nights. Staying informed can help busy families manage their time effectively.


Here are a few frequently asked questions about high school readiness:

If the students attend orientation, they’ll likely receive a class schedule on the first day of school. They will also meet their teachers and tour the school. Teachers may provide a syllabus, explain the grading scale, and discuss classroom rules. Overall, this is a day for introductions and getting acclimated.

Encourage your child to develop solid time management skills. Create a study-friendly environment with healthy snacks. Offer assistance with organizing assignments.

Most high schools offer tutoring services, and teachers are usually willing to provide extra help during office hours. In addition, you might want to speak with the school’s guidance counselor. This individual can help you determine the source of the struggle and suggest a plan of action.

Joining clubs or sports teams is a great opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests. High school can feel overwhelming, especially for introverts. 

Encourage your child to invite a friend to your home or go to the park to study. Remind your child that friendships take time. The four keys to friendship include kindness, curiosity, respect, and patience.

Regularly check your child’s grades online, attend parent-teacher conferences, and communicate with their teachers. If you have a concern, address it early. Work with the teacher to solve problems. Remember that struggle is part of the learning process and often yields sweet rewards.

Get Ready for High School with Bethany School!

As you prepare your 8th grader for high school, consider enrolling them at Bethany School. We offer an engaging and supportive environment with nurturing, experienced educators. Our comprehensive curriculum can help your child thrive in high school and beyond. 

Contact us today to learn more. Bethany School can be the perfect choice for your child’s educational journey.