The period when your child transitions from middle school to high school could be overwhelming for a parent just as much as it is for the child as there are so many unknowns and you are not sure what to expect. Here is some info on what you could expect, as a parent, and how you could do your best in helping them with the transition so they excel as high schoolers.
When a student enters high school, they should have some idea of what their career goals are. This will help them select the appropriate courses required to apply to the college programs of their choice.
Here’s the difference between middle school and high school: Your grades in middle school (up to grade 8th) do not count towards your high school diploma except probably for Math (if you are doing double jump) and taking Algebra courses. Middle school is relaxed and students can try out various elective courses to decide which ones they like. High school on the other hand, is serious stuff. Grades in High school count towards high school diploma.
What are AP courses and IB courses ? What are their advantages and how do you evaluate which one is good for your kid?
AP means Advanced Placement and IB stands for International baccalaureate. Both courses are popular. IB is more intensive and students are required to take some courses whereas AP has more flexibility to take advanced courses of your choice. If a child is planning to study abroad, then IB is recommended since kids are learning according to international standards. Several International schools in India offer the IB curriculum which is popular among kids planning to go to United states for attending college. If a child is already in US and wishes to pursue college education here, then IB is not needed. It is really up to the child to decided which course work is more interesting for them. Both AP and IB look good on a college application.
How do you involve them in various activities, which are the good ones?
Robotics, Dance (Indian/Western), Piano, Violin, Sports (Tennis, Soccer, baseball etc.) are really popular among kids. Enquire in your neighborhood, among friends and on Facebook community groups for recommendations for good teachers and their availability. And, depending on what your kid is interested in, you could go for that.
Should the kid cut back on extracurricular activities and keep it to minimum and focus more on academics to be able to end up in a good college of his/her choice?
Not really. Colleges don’t just want studios kids. They want all-rounders or students who excel in other areas besides academics.
Typically, how much time should be spent on course work and what amount of time should be dedicated to activities outside of coursework?
That varies depending upon the student and coursework. Some kids understand concepts easily and do not need to devote as much time to studies leaving more time available for extra-curricular activities .
What are the different kinds for investment we should do as a parent for the kid’s education?
Each state has a 529 plan which varies state to state. Any good financial advisor would be able to guide you.
Author: Shilpi Gupta