The choice of secondary school falls within adolescence and marks a turning point in each student’s further educational career. As a child grows up, it is normal for them not to know what they want, where they are going, or what they need to be. I need time to find my way and what I want to do in my adult life. Therefore, you cannot expect a child to make a decision about who they want to be in the future and in which direction they will go. However, one cannot impose on him an educational path that is more in line with the preferences of the parent than the child. Help your child choose high school.
How to support your child in choosing a school
There are children, although it is a rarity, who know what they want to do and where to continue their education at the stage of leaving primary school. Most often, at this stage, the child does not yet have fully developed brain structures responsible for prioritization, reflection and rational decision-making supported by arguments for and against, self-reflection and in-depth inference.
Although a teenager can surprise with perceptiveness and ingenuity, he does not yet have the mechanisms of thinking that are as well developed as adults. That is why a teenager needs the support of parents and other adults in making such an important decision for his future. Remember that statements such as: “Go to this high school, it is the best in town”, ” I chose this profession myself and I do not regret it”, “Do not go to high school, it will not give you any specific profession” or “Trade? You can do better! No trade school! ” they will not help neither the baby nor your relationship now and in the future. By saying this, you are making a decision for your child without giving him or her a choice. Perhaps you yourself were prompted to choose a school or profession in this way, therefore you will avoid directing your child by saying: “It is your decision, not mine, you will go to this school, not me. – I do not interfere “,” I do not want you to blame me, as I do to my parents, so I do not want to give you advice “,” It’s your life, your future, I will not interfere with it. Anyway, as far as I know, so much has changed since I went to high school by myself. Look for opinions about schools on the Internet ”.
It also happens that the decision of friends to choose a specific school translates into the decision of the child. This is because the child is afraid of making new acquaintances, afraid of separation from friends. It is worth talking to your child about the fact that changing schools does not mean breaking ties with loved ones.
The task of the parent is not to make decisions for the child, even if it is the right choice, but also the child should not be left alone – with fear, in loneliness, with a sense of helplessness. The parent’s task, based on the knowledge about the child, is to show him several possible directions and guide him through the difficult moment of making the first independent and important life decision.
When to choose high school
The process of choosing a secondary school takes time. So do not leave discussions on this topic until the last minute. Don’t start them in 8th grade right before the exam. It is worth thinking about it in advance and talking to your child preferably from the 6th grade. Learn how to do this below.
What to consider when choosing a child’s future
Watch the baby first. From time to time, analyze his achievements in terms of: readiness for educational effort, intellectual abilities, grades in individual subjects, abilities, interests and hobbies, temperament (calm – active, group work – independent task performance), health condition. Check the strengths and predispositions of the child.
Secondly, encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities, allow them to experience participation in various activities, be a model for a child in this area, show how to spend their free time in an interesting way.
Third, introduce your child to the process of choosing and making decisions. Train these competences together with the child, allow the child to initiate the selection process and make independent decisions within reason, talk to him in a matter-of-fact way if the decision made turns out to be wrong. Together, think about how it can be done differently.
Fourth, believe in your child, help him discover his powers, strengthen his self-esteem – this helps in difficult times and makes it easier to make good decisions.
Strengths and weaknesses of the child
Have conversations with the child… about himself. Discuss his strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of education – what are his skills, knowledge, characteristics, goals and values. Make a list of subjects in which the child feels best and which he does not like to learn, which has always been in his circle of interests and has been passionate and boring. Analyze the extracurricular activities that the child attended: which absorbed him and which were quickly abandoned. Below is a list of questions that should be answered together with your child.
Questions about your interests:
- What I like to do?
- What is interesting to me?
- How do I spend my free time?
- What activity do I choose for myself?
- Do I have any talents or talents?
- What can I do, do?
- What am I dealing with?
- What I know?
- What subjects am I good at?
- What am I like? (psychological features, e.g. intelligence, character, temperament and physical features, e.g. strength, physical condition, appearance, height, health)
Questions about goals and values:
- What is important to me?
- What am I striving for?
- What do I care about?
- What is the level of my aspirations, ambitions?
Ideas for choosing a school
Information on institutions, professions and the labor market is very useful in choosing a school.
Analyze the map (location) and the structure of secondary education with your child (currently: general secondary school, technical secondary school, first and second degree industry school). Familiarize yourself with the school’s offer (fields of study, additional qualifications), recruitment rules. Get information on the pass rate of exams that testify to the level of education at school. There are travel and learning costs associated with the location of the school – also take these into account. Useful information can be found on the schools’ websites.
Your attention should also focus on questions related to the profession itself, and more precisely, professional activities and tasks, health requirements, education and working conditions. Such information will be useful when considering the proposal of a technical school or a trade school
Get the help of a career counselor in determining your child’s professional predispositions.
Parent, remember that your child’s life choices should be discussed, verified and confronted. A choice means being in touch with all the options available at the moment.