Graduation may feel a long way away at the beginning of Year 11, but now is the time for your teen to set themselves up to achieve the final school results they want. These six tips will give them a great head start.
Begin with the end in mind
Your teen probably did some career planning in Year 10 in order to select their courses for Year 11. If not, now is the time to do so – knowing what you what to do out of school, and what you need to achieve in order to get there, is a great study motivator! Encourage them to what they might like to do after school, and map out the different ways to get to the jobs they are interested in. School career advisers and online career sites such as Job Outlook, myfuture and Job Jumpstart are a great resource.
Check the starting point
At the beginning of Year 11, it’s important to make sure that your teen is doing the courses that will lead them to where they want to go. If there are any doubts, see the course adviser as soon as possible.
Learn from the past
Successful people spend time reflecting on their past performance in order to find ways to improve. Before Year 11 gets into full swing, encourage your teen to do this, using these questions as a guide:
- How well did I work in Year 10?
- How do I think Year 11 will differ from earlier years?
- What things helped me do well before? How can I keep doing those?
- What things didn’t help me? Are there things I could do differently this year?
Encourage help seeking
The most successful people recognise when they need help and go find it, so encourage your teen to see asking for help as a sign of strength, not weakness. Many schools offer weekly study sessions where tutors and teachers can provide one-on-one assistance – make sure your teen knows what is available at their school, and uses it if they need to.
There are also free and confidential telephone and web services for young people, such as eheadspace (1800 650 890). You can also contact eheadspace as a parent if you are ever concerned about the mental health of your teen (or any young person aged 12-25).
Your teen is transitioning into adulthood, but they still need you to stay actively involved in their education. Ideally your teen will see you as a coach or mentor, and be comfortable testing ideas with you, talking honestly about how they are going, and coming to you for advice. To be effective you’ll need to stay across what is required at school, so make sure you go to parent/teacher interviews and other key meetings with the school. Check that the school has your current contact details, read all the notes, emails and newsletters they send, and make sure your teen does the same.
Keep things in balance
If your teen spends too much time studying, socialising or working and not enough sleeping, exercising or eating healthily, their learning and health are likely to suffer. Help your teen to work out how they will maintain a balance in their life, starting with a realistic schedule. Encourage them to stay connected with friends and family, and maintain interests outside school.