10 Skills to Teach before High School

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It’s hard for me to believe it, but in just over a month I will officially have a high school student!

I miss my little pig-tailed tooth-loser, but I have to admit that I am enjoying the young lady she is quickly becoming. I have been telling her that high school will be different.

Before we started school last year I thought through some ways to make it easier for her to transition into high school course work. Here are some of the things we did:

1. Time management. We regularly met to discuss questions and make sure she was on track, but I also gave her a list of assignments with due dates that were days to weeks out. I taught her how to divide assignments and projects into smaller sections, and to make sure she was done on time.

2. Scheduling. Along with teaching her how to manage her time, I also worked on allowing her more freedom in setting her own schedule. Except for our meeting time (which had to be scheduled around her little brother’s school schedule and my work schedule) she was allowed to decide which subject and activities to do when.

3. Writing. Over the past two years my daughter has worked through two different writing programs, learning how to write an essay and a short research paper. I also taught her how to write several types of speeches. These are skills we will continue to improve upon in high school.

4. Relationship with the Lord. During these middle school years, we have been guiding her into developing a relationship with God that is independent of ours. It has been delightful to see her grow in this area, including asking to go to the adult Bible study.

5. Making choices. We have always believed in allowing children to make choices when appropriate, but as our daughter has gotten older, we have been allowing her choices in more important areas. (Tweet this!) For one example, we allowed her the choice of homeschooling full time or going to our local high school part time so she could participate in sports (something that is required in our state). For this year, our daughter chose to stay at home full time.

6. Grading. Not everyone chooses to use traditional grades in high school, but to make completing a transcript easier, we will. So, I started grading some subjects this year to get her used to how it worked.

7. Keyboarding and word processing. As she heads into high school, our daughter will need to be able to type her own reports and papers. This year she worked on how to use a word processing program and spent some time using keyboarding software.

8. Taking notes. Because we used less traditional methods in our homeschool for the elementary years, listening to lectures and taking notes was a skill my daughter didn’t really need. Last year I taught note-taking procedures so she will be prepared for outside high school or college courses. She was able to practice these skills by taking notes during our pastor’s sermons and at Bible study.

9. Tests. The style of homeschooling we used in elementary school did not include taking traditional tests. I assessed my daughter’s learning on the go and kept lists of what she needed to work on. Last year, along with the grading, I occasionally started giving tests. While I am still not convinced that traditional tests give us the best information about what a student knows, she will have to take them eventually. Tests made her nervous, so I was glad we started working on test-taking skills early.

10. Library skills. Finding a book, using dictionaries and encyclopedias, internet safety and use, research skills. All of these are important for a successful high school student to know. Several of my daughter’s assignments over the past year included a library skills component.

While it would be impossible to cover every single skill that my daughter might need, the previous skills will help her be more successful in during her high school years.

How are you prepping for high school? Share your questions or advice in the comments below!

Originally posted at Hedua.com.

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