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Preparing For High School Education In Usa

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by WINMEENA, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. WINMEENA

    WINMEENA New IL'ite

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    Hi,

    My daughter is studying in 7th Grade. I heard few parents saying that if we know the High School system here earlier we might have made our kid prepared for it. But no one is willing to share details about high school preparations. I need to know what extra curricular activities will help kids in selecting high school papers. What skills and knowledge in subjects reduce their stress? For eg. This year I made my kid to play Basket Ball to know the game. Otherwise I am scared that the kids will choose lot of new papers and forced to learn lot of new stuffs in High School which leads to stress. I heard the kids will not have time to read because of other activities and study throughout the night. So please shed some light on this. Thanks.

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  2. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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  3. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the tag @Gauri03
    I will do my best to share what I have learnt so far.
    Each child is unique. Even for the same set of parents what works for one child will not work for the other one. All my boys are so very different…its like going through the process fresh each time. Be patient and don’t let what others say or do get to you. It will frustrate u and ur child. The 4 years in high school are pretty intense and they are also the last few years ur child will probably be with u at home full time. Enjoy that time with him /her. I cannot stress that enough. Having said this ..let me see if I can address ur specific questions.
    Most high school courses(academic) are available to all those who wish to take it .Of course its based on availability. There are no conditions placed on ur having pursued any activities outside school as far as I know . To do well in some of these courses its not a bad idea however to have had some exposure to them. For eg…Java is a popular course offered in schools . They go through a lot of material in a very short time . It helped that my son had help and exposure at home prior to this. Most high schools also have a variety of clubs math/science/biz/robotics/debates/dance/music. As far as I know there are no prerequisites to join any of them. They are all run by parents and kids themselves. Encourage ur child to try out a few early on. If ur child is really into building things..then prior exposure to things like robotics will help ur child enjoy and get more out of programs like these. Thats the general rule ...now there are exceptions . If ur child loves sports then most high schools have very good opportunities . If u have a boy and if the kid wants to get into popular sports like basket ball /volley ball/tennis to make it into the school team is tough . The competition is intense. Its almost a given that unless ur child is already a part of a league outside and pretty serious about the sport and is already competing at some level outside he/she might not make it into the school team.
    Sure ..u should expose ur child to many things before they can narrow down on things they are most passionate about.
    That is what high school is all about…they will try out many things..explore... experiment . Don’t narrow down the choices too much . If anything I wish mine would come out of their comfort zones and try out more…this is the age for them to try ..to make mistakes ….they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to zoom in and specialize.
    Sometimes…they might want to do things..really really want to….but they cannot because they are not cut out for it …its something they have to come to terms with. Its a painful process so be there for them . Dont push them too hard. Eg. My youngest (in middle school) loves basket ball..he lives and breathes the game...he is very good at it… but u see skill alone is not enough..he also happens to be very small..for basket ball that is. There is nothing we can do to change that. He has no interest in other sports..we gently tried to steer him but his heart wants what it wants… and he plays quite a bit for fun and he now understands and accepts it and enjoys the game without worrying about making it into the school league .
    This is something I can come right out and tell u is not true. If u choose the courses that u genuinely like (not because someone told u that its a straight ticket to MIT /caltech/Harvard/princeton) then the course load is actually pretty reasonable. The key is to do things u like ...the ones that u are naturally good at. My oldest who is a high schooler has a decent load…pursues his passion ...spends several hours a week on it and still has his 7-8 hrs of sleep each weekday and more on weekends. Same with his friends. We are close group and no one is exactly struggling. Note that all of them take diff classes based on their interests.
    There will be times when u and ur spouse will not be on the same page. Pick the option that is closest to ur childs comfort zone..yes even when u dont agree with it. This is by far the hardest thing I have had to do. But my house is a happier place because of it.
    Here is something my ex -boss told me couple of years ago over lunch If u want ur child to go only to the IVY leagues then yes the high school is very stressful …if u realize that there are hundreds of very good schools in the US and ur child can get a reasonably high quality of education in any one of them then high school times with ur child will be memorable.

    Feel free to chime in with specific questions and I or other moms will try our best to answer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  4. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl IL Hall of Fame

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    Tagging @kkrish who has been through the entire process and lives to tell the tale so to speak. Her insight will be helpful.
    tagging @sokanasanah (just cos i can :p )as well for his perspective.
     
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  5. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    Ha, ha, ha. I do not have kids, so no US HS-teen parenting experience.

    As a mentor (of sorts :oops:) I have only dealt with kids 16 and over.

    I am happy to toss in my 2¢ if OP returns.

    OP - if you are serious about this, then keep in mind that you will get better responses if you engage in a dialogue about your concerns. The exchange will also help you refine your questions, so that you can frame them more concretely, in an action-oriented fashion. In your post above, I sense more anxiety than method. Come back and try to clarify your thoughts. There are many people here who can help you in the course of a conversation.
    :beer-toast1:
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  6. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    Thanks @justanothergirl .

    As @sokanasanah mentioned, I too read anxiety in the opening post.

    Will provide a few insights that I remember. My last child left high school more than five years ago, so there is a risk that some information might be obsolete if curricula have changed.
     
  7. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    Here goes..
    Even if OP does not come back, hopefully this will help other parents who have children in middle school.

    When my children were in middle school they were given the Math Aptitude test at 6th grade which sort of determined their colleges and even career.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are six Math courses that start from Middle School and go through High School. They are: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. (not necessarily in this order, but for our discussion we will keep it like that)

    This is what happens:
    Let's take 3 students A, B, and C who are in 6th grade and take the aptitude test.
    • A does extremely well and is therefore placed in Algebra I when she goes to 7th grade.
    • B is moderate and he will be in Pre-Algebra/a.k.a Advanced Math in the 7th grade.
    • C does poorly and she will continue at the same grade level in the 7th grade.
    When all three move to 8th grade this is what each will take:
    • A-Geometry
    • B-Algebra I
    • C-Advanced math
    So three groups (in some schools there are four) of same grade level children will be in different math level classes.

    Here is a chart I made to show how they will be dispersed.

    20170303_113842-800x240.jpg

    Starting from 7th grade "A" will have Algebra I grades added to her cumulative GPA. When she graduates from high school this will keep her GPA high. College admission board will also give consideration to course intensity (calculus) that she has taken in 12th grade.

    "A" therefore has the advantage of higher chances getting admitted to IVY league/ Top Universities.
    She has more chances of getting scholarships.
    ---
    1. Many colleges require a minimum of four math classes for admissions starting from Algebra I. So "C" still has opportunities to go to college. Some colleges require Pre-Calculus and Calculus for admissions.

    2. If your child has an aptitude towards any STEM subjects trying to be with group "A" is ideal.

    Will child "C" not be able to take up a career in STEM? No. She will be able to.
    She will have to take Pre-calculus and Calculus in college which are prerequisites to Engineering courses. It means two more semesters and extra fees for the courses.

    This is the first and most important thing parents of middle school children must understand.
    Please talk to school counselors and math teachers.
    ....
    Later... Magnet schools, Governor's schools, and IB programs and about children working too hard.
    (Note: my children attended public schools. I know nothing about private schools or charter schools)
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  8. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you so much JAG and Kkrish!! I've saved these posts in a OneNote notebook under 'Mommy must know'. They are immensely helpful, not just to OP but to mothers like me who will have to navigate these waters in the not so distant future.
     
  9. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    You are welcome @Gauri03. Anything to help out. As parents we are on the same league.

    In my opinion, middle school is the toughest.
    Teenage rebellion: "you -know-nothing-dad(mom)", "don't come to my room", refusing to cut hair with justification that "Einstein did not cut his!" ... mmm... :).

    Parents have to put in extra effort at this age to step away from the kids yet know everything that is happening in their lives.

    Wishing your child and you the best.
     
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  10. momsky

    momsky Gold IL'ite

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    Great advice and perfect timing for my case... had to hold my anger this morning when ds1 said "i don't really care on whatever you're saying" in a very rude way outside the school:mad:
     
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