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SunshineMom

Decided to enroll my kids into a public high school...

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A few things that my dd experienced. First, she wasn't used to the sleep schedule. She needed to wake up early and she was very groggy if she didn't get a good night's sleep. That's when she started taking melatonin to help her sleep. Second, she wasn't used to the amount of writing in the classes, especially English. She had to learn to write essays in one class period. She also wasn't used to handwriting so much. Her homeschool work was online and she did a lot of typing. And third, she wasn't used to working all day. She got out of school at 3:30pm and could only take a short break before beginning her homework. She also needed down time between homework and bedtime. She learned to manage her time effectively but unfortunately it was trial and error. And each year was a new challenge as she had to learn new teachers and their expectations. But she did extremely well. Her years in high school did prepare her for college. I was a very relaxed homeschooler. I don't think I would have prepared her as well as school did.

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Soft skills:

 

Dealing with social media

Time management

Organization

Dealing with a voluminous increase in busy work if you haven't done that as part of your homeschool

 

Edited by Snickerdoodle
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Getting Lost.  I mean physically lost.   It took several weeks for one of my kids to get oriented to finding classes - one wrong turn and they were wandering around the building.

 

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help - afterschool tutors, directions to the gym from the janitor or even questions to the kid sitting next to you.  Emails to teachers.

 

Lack of Movement - they had to get used to sitting in one spot for 50 minutes at a time.  This was difficult for the kid who was used to sprawling while he did his schoolwork.  He actually had leg cramps the first week from sitting all the time.

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will your older child have an IEP?  if not, get one.  call now and arrange a meeting with the special ed team at the school.  you want it in writing, and you have a say in what it includes.   some teams are much more supportive of the student than others.

 

it's a constant go pace.   carry snacks & a water bottle.

organization is key - make sure they have a planner and all their assignments are written in it.

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Enroll now or next fall?

 

If next fall really press on developing a good IEP now. Get all testing done and sit down get it done. It takes time. Testing and placement goes on a timeline and can be stretched out.

 

For your younger student, start on organizational skills. Work with your student to find techniques that will work for him and that he will use. Plan on continuing to work through the beginning of high school with him on these habits.

 

Also work with him on writing, increasing amount, speed and frequency.

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What helped my kid:

 

(during the week before school started)

Downloaded a map of the school, numbered the classes on the map, and then walked the route from 1st period to 2nd period, etc.

Practiced opening their locker - combination lock.

Drove the bus route - public transit - to know where the stops are, where to change buses.

Made a plan for when to go to locker if necessary to swap textbooks (during mid-morning break & lunch break) although I think my kid has only one textbook, so just keeps it in their backpack.

 

So far, almost halfway into the first quarter, kid has had no more than a half hour homework per night.  That's total homework, not per class.  No essays, very little in-class writing.  Some classes are still reviewing and haven't started teaching new material yet.  All the assignment & test info is online so I can see kid's scores for everything.

 

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It may sound silly but they need to get used to not being able to go to the bathroom whenever they need to. Some teachers are fairly good about this but my son had teachers where you were allowed to only get a bathroom pass once or twice a semester. My son is a runner and really should have been hydrating all day before a race but couldn't really do this. Also not having very long to eat lunch was an adjustment. I will also echo not being used to having to write so much (taking notes etc). Days definitely were long. A planner is a very good idea. I would recommend joining a club or sport. This is a great way to make friends fast. All that being said my son adjusted very well. He graduated last year and really misses high school.

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Encourage them to ask their teachers for help. Try to get them to use a planner. Adjusting to the schedule was the hardest thing for my kids. Getting up early, long hours, homework in the evenings. Socially they have done just fine. I know this is hard to fit in, but encourage them to join after school clubs. Oldest Child goes to a gaming club where they play board games and card games. She's joining a book club and she volunteers with the Gay/Straight Alliance club. Middle Child joined the art club but had to drop it for Science Olympiad. It's been a great way for them to hang out with people. :)

 

If they don't have a phone, consider getting them one. It's just very helpful to having a social life.

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Try not to worry too much and solve problems when, and if, they arise. My daughter went to high school after 9 1/2 years of homeschooling. I wouldn't have described her as a self-starter, but she really stepped up. She figured everything out and transitioned beautifully. Her only residual homeschool weirdness was her cursive handwriting. I was so worried, but she transitioned beautifully.

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Be organized ! Keep track of those assignments and tests.

 

I have a son who forgets a lot (ADD, lower than average processing skills and memory). If your district uses Skyward system, you (parent) can help by reminding the kids about their assignments and making sure that the kid submits them. Put those assignment in one folder so that s/he won't forget.

 

The skyward system is Godsend because all assignemtns/test dates are there. I didn't know that I had to keep on checking the Skyward system until I after progress report 1 when I realized that my son had several missing assignments . 

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Before you approach the school, put together cum files for your children (one for each child): standardized test scores (even if homeschoolers are not required to take standardized tests, do them), IEP if appropriate, immunization records, photocopies of birth certificates. Those paperwork things can really mess up the enrollment process.

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The noise level was one of the hardest adjustments for both my dc.

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