The End is So Close…
The senior year of high school can be filled with a conglomeration of emotions due to all the activities, responsibilities and changes that are forthcoming. From the perspective of a student, they may feel that their responsibility is complete upon getting a college acceptance letter (or email!). For your child, they may feel like it’s time for the fun to begin. Not surprisingly, the parental perspective is far different. As parents, we need to be sure the academic follow-through is there, as well as the various responsibilities that come along with being a high school senior.
Many seniors develop “Senioritis” in their second semester. Senioritis can best be described as a student’s lack of motivation toward academic responsibilities
once they’ve figured out their college path and received an acceptance letter. Seniors that catch the Senioritis bug, feel that they deserve a break and can slack for the rest of their senior year and enjoy all the fun—in other words, their job is done.
There are 4 steps a parent can take to keep their child motivated:
1. Be sure to approach conversations about college, senior year academics, and responsibilities in a positive way and at a time that is stress free. The more relaxed the environment is during these conversations, the more receptive your child is going to be to understanding the importance of not only getting into school, but also keeping their grades up. A weekly calendar of activities can be useful so that they can strategically plan for homework hours, while still enjoying all the extra-curricular activities going on (and maybe even get some time to relax and hang out with friends!)
2. Make sure that your child is aware that even after being accepted to college, their college will look at the final academic records and have the option to rescind their offer of acceptance or lower the amount of financial aid if grades aren’t being maintained. It’s best to get this information directly from the college’s website so that your child doesn’t feel as though you are making idle threats or giving them inaccurate information. If you have questions, you can always talk to your senior’s school counselor as well.
3. Mapping out the classes that should be taken during the senior year should begin during their junior year, if not sooner. Mapping out the courses that will be taken during senior year can reduce some of the stress; students can plan to take courses that are more challenging during their junior year or first semester of their senior year. This leaves the second half of their senior year a little more stress-free, possibly a little less homework and more time to enjoy the year-end activities.
4. If needed, look for outside help. There are plenty of online tutoring services that your student can work with if he or she gets stuck with tough problems in second semester Calculus. Encourage him or her to also work with friends when school gets tough; it’s more fun and so it won’t feel like such a drag.
Planning and talking to your child about what to expect gives everyone the understanding about what is to come. Almost every senior gets some form of senioritis, but if you plan ahead and are realistic about your expectations — it’s OK to get a B, but probably not OK to fail three out of four classes — you and your senior shouldn’t have a problem making it to graduation with sanity and college acceptance in tact.
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