by Jennie Smith
Secondary Principal and Mom to a 7th Grader
In one week, my oldest child will be a junior higher. I spent this past weekend getting him ready. We had long talks about what he might encounter. We bought school supplies. We packed things away and I tried to cram every bit of wisdom I have into two days. How does a secondary principal get her child ready to enter the land of the secondary student? Here are some of the ideas I felt it was important to cover with my son this weekend.
Being organized is a key to success in junior high and high school. The best way to organize is with a three ring binder, but with the limited time to put things away at the end of class, a child needs a stuffing place. There are binders now with a built in pocket where a student can stuff papers quickly. In the first few weeks, sit with your child each night and show him/her where to put the papers. He will quickly pick up on the concept and hopefully continue on his own.
Learning to live out of a locker and backpack rather than a desk can be a big transition. On the first day, access to the locker may be limited (due to time) and slow (due to the learning curve). Send your child to school with his/her binder, a few notebooks, and some writing utensils. Pack the rest of the
supplies in a bag that can be brought before school the next day. Then, your child can leisurely set up his locker without the pressure of getting to class.
Without a desk, the supplies a student needs can weigh down a backpack. Have your child store extra pens and pencils in pencil box and keep it in his locker. Extra paper and notebooks can be kept there as well. That way, when they are in need, they can make a quick stop and be refueled for their next class.
Where to Go
Moving from class to class can be intimidating. Be sure to attend any open house available and allow your child to take his/her schedule and move from class to class. Having the path already in mind can assist in alleviating a child’s first day jitters.
The topic of conversations begin to change as children enter junior high. The topics and temptations become more serious and sometimes life-changing. My husband, son, and I enjoyed breakfast and a “date” to discuss these topics. We encouraged him to honor God above everything – in conversation and action. It was important to us to equip him with the tools he needed to grow up from boy to young man. What topics do you need to cover with your adolescent that will ready him or her to stand firm in the faith?
I thought sending him to Kindergarten was tough, but here we stand, at the brink of manhood. There is only so much preparing we can do. Commit in these days to fervently pray for your son or daughter. Pray that God will strengthen them, encourage them, provide for them, and meet them in the time of need. I’m excited to watch what God will do as Levi enters the new world of junior high.