Friday, May 21, 2010

Freshman Year Danger Signs

As those of us with high school freshmen are about to see our teens go through the last sprint of projects and finals, we're probably feeling relief they survived this first phase. Or maybe we are worried to death about poor performance this year -- and what it bodes.

Family Circle does a really good job on dealing with teen issues and school. I didn't realize 1.2 million drop out every year, or about 7,000 a day. A particularly vulnerable time is between ninth and tenth grades.

So we all need to pay attention. Let's never be smug. Make sure the right classes are being taken that will enable students to reach their goal and that they are going to class. If there was a problem with a particular class, or overall academic performance in freshman year, don't dismiss it as a natural part of the adjustment period. Look into tutors or online classes as a way to strengthen any weaknesses.

And most important, as the article says, maintain high expectations. Discuss them frequently. But don't turn those high hopes into commandmants. Instead, make those expectations as much a part of life as breathing, eating and sleeping: those things we need to do for ourselves for a decent, quality life.

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