3 Ways to Help Your Teen Own Their Education

3 Ways to Help Your Teen Own Their Education

When I started college, I was shocked by what my fellow freshmen were unable to do – laundry, making their beds, making a simple meal, and the list went on. Some of them were having a LOT of problems handling the adult portion of their lives.

As a teacher, I ran into high school seniors who weren’t able to do basic things regarding their own education. And almost all of these students were going off to some sort of higher education the next year. If he can’t ask his high school teacher for clarification, how will he fare in an Intro to Whatever course with 300 other students? How will she manage all those assigned readings, papers, and assignments?

As parents, we want our children to become functioning adults. And that means we need to hand off responsibility to our kids BEFORE they leave high school. Let’s talk about ways to help your teen own their education and prepare our kiddos for the rest of their educational lives.

This blog post is meant for parents of middle and high schoolers. If your child is in elementary school, you can certainly start to do some of these things with your child!

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3 Ways to Help Your Teen Own Their Education

teen own education

Teen Initiates Contact with Teacher

By the time your child finishes high school, he or she should be comfortable reaching out to their teachers and making appointments, asking for help, and requesting clarification.

As early as middle school, your child should start sending e-mails or texts to their teachers. If your child has no clue how to do so, head over to this post. Common requests might include

  • Requesting missed work
  • Scheduling make-ups
  • Asking for an appointment before or after school
  • Asking for clarification on an assignment
  • Requesting an extension on an assignment

However, there are still times that parents need to step in and communicate with the teacher themselves. If the teacher is not responding to the child’s e-mails, try sending one yourself. If your child is really struggling in the course, homelife is affecting your child, or your child is being bullied by another student in the class, please contact the teacher!

Ask This One Little Question

When your child comes home with a laundry list of homework and projects, ask them this question: “What is your plan for that?

The onus is now on your child (not you) to figure out how to spend her time to complete all the assignments and/ or commitments. Certainly, you can help your child brainstorm ideas, but ultimately this is your child’s plan.

Get Your Teen a Planner

student planner
Academic Planner from Order Out Of Chaos

Nothing says, “Handle your own schedule”, like an academic planner. If your child isn’t using one yet, check out my favorite one and why I love it.

Be sure to show your teen how to use the planner and model good planner use yourself. Once your teen can see and manage their own schedule and commitments, they start taking much more control of their time.

In my experience, students who own their education and take responsibility for their own learning study for tests, complete work, and get higher grades. The earlier you can help your teen own their education, the better!

How do you help your teens own their education? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: What to Expect When Your Teen Starts High School, What NOT to Say When Your Child is Failing, 10 Powerful TED Talks for Parents of Teen

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