For many teens and their parents, the experience of getting ready for high school is both exciting as well as overwhelming. A whole new world is about to open for your sons and daughters and yet going from a big fish in a little pond to a very little fish in a big pond can and will certainly raise their level of anxiety. Social and emotional as well as academic skills that successfully navigated them through their primary, junior and intermediate years will now require fine tuning for them to be able to enjoy similar success to the ones they enjoyed in previous years. Better study skills, organizational strategies and time management skills are of paramount importance in achieving success at the high school level.

The power of student engagement in setting and monitoring goals is considered to be second only to active participation in impacting student successes. Students need to set realistic short-term and long-term goals in addition to being committed to regular involvement in activities at school.

It is important that our sons and daughters do not just focus on their grade nine year in making course selection decisions, but also each of the four years ahead in looking at course availability at each of the other grade levels both for graduation purposes as well as post-secondary planning. A discussion with your child’s Grade 8 classroom teachers will prove to be time well spent helping your family in the making of informed decisions about course selection. There is most likely no person in your child’s life who knows their learning style better than those teachers. They will help you in deciding whether the essential, applied or academic pathway is best for your child.

In looking further down the road, it is a good idea for families begin investigating post secondary destinations and scholarship opportunities beginning in their grade ten year. It is never too early to know what programs are available at the post secondary level and commence one’s planning.

In addition, choosing a rewarding and viable career takes careful planning and strategy before attending university or college. Students need to be aware that there are specific compulsory & elective courses required to graduate from an Ontario secondary school. In addition, students need to complete community involvement activities and the provincial literacy requirement.

Students in grade 11 need to research post-secondary options by checking out college and university websites, going to the university fairs, and speaking to representatives of the many post-secondary institutions. Some schools, especially those outside of the province of Ontario and especially those outside of Canada will often require supplementary forms and/or admission tests(such as SAT) in order to fully complete a school application.

Grade 12 is an important year for students. University/college applications need to be completed by January/February. It is recommended that students prepare a portfolio of their work and plan effectively in order to complete a Personal Statement of Experience that is now required by many institutions.

Completing scholarship applications takes time and effort; there are a plethora of scholarships available. It is advised that students check the websites listed below to get more information about specific scholarships.

Making decisions about post-secondary pathways is a very important task for students and their parents. This is an exciting and challenging time in your adolescent’s life! It is important as a parent to be supportive, encouraging and aware! Below are some links to some useful websites.

It is often overwhelming and confusing choosing courses for high school. Let an experienced counsellor assist you in making these important decisions and help you through the maze of choices! Call today for a consultation appointment and let Judi Berman help your child make appropriate courses for his/her high school pathway!

Please feel free to contact me by email or phone.