Student Planning and Organizing Is Vital for Making Smooth Transitions
Transitions can be exciting, stimulating, and energizing! But anything new can also provoke anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.
Students facing transitions to new schools often find their executive functioning resources in high demand. They experience new types of assignments, added homework, different teaching styles, more rules, etc. All of this requires a heightened ability to pay attention and store a high volume of information in memory.
Whether they are heading into middle school, high school, or college, students will want to be sure their executive brain is ready for the changes ahead.
Tips for Making Smooth Transitions
- Help students identify the skills they will need to make the shift. Note the skills they currently have and those they will need to learn.
- Determine where you, as the parent, can shift responsibilities to your student as they make the transition. (For example, college students can make their own appointments and find where resources for support are on campus.)
- Suggest your student make a to-do list of actions to take a month before the transition. Encourage being proactive.
Transition Prep Specifics
- Pick out a planner and practice using it. Color coding might help for different subjects.
- Walk through the school, if possible, to learn the layout. This can ease anxiety related to not making class on time.
- Use a clock and set an alarm for when to get up.
- Make a lunch plan for the week.
- Before school starts, tee up a regular, weekly planning meeting.
- Post after-school activities to student planner and somewhere parents can access.
- Use summer to refine student writing and note taking skills.
- Make choices about after school time. How much time will the student devote to activities (sports, clubs, friends)? How much will the student devote to homework and studying?
- Connect with the school learning specialist, if needed, close to the start of school. Have your student set up the meeting.
- Create a daily routine and schedule to ease the transition to school. Be sure to factor in time for the unpredictable.
- Ensure student shares and parents can access weekly plans and appointments.
- If your student does not feel comfortable talking to teachers, offer ways to make self-advocacy easier (SOS4Students has a booklet of templates for students and parents and we’re happy to share – just call or email!)
- Have students make to-do lists for Housing, Disabilities Resource Center, Class Registration, Finances, and other items. They should note where parental assistance is needed and how.
- Students should identify strategies and tools they need to brush up on for the first semester (and don’t forget lecture notes!).
- Work with an SOS4Students coach to choose classes, build a schedule, and create a routine. Factor in best and worst times of day to take courses and study.
- Students should learn where to go for help and these resources to their contacts.
- Get in the habit of checking email daily before leaving for class. Teachers tend to communicate through email while students mainly text.
SOS4Students Can Help
To boost student confidence to start the new school year, register for one of our “transition” programs this summer:
- Mastering Middle School (for rising 6th graders)
- Nailing Ninth Grade (for rising 9th graders)
- Summer Coaching (for rising college students).
Executive Function Workshops
Do you have a student making the big shift from middle school or high school?
Could your student benefit from essential study skills strategies?
Did your student not get enough writing instruction this past year?
Does your student struggle with effective note taking?
Do you have a 4th or 5th grader who needs study strategies and a fun, interactive way to learn about the executive brain?
- NEW! Junior Executive Brain Boot Camp (rising 4th and 5th graders)
Interested in multiple workshops for your student -or- do you have multiple children who could benefit from a workshop? Fill out our Bundle Workshop Form today and we’ll follow up with information on ways you can save on tuition. Build Your Bundle Now ›
With 30-days’ notice. SOS4Students can create a private workshop for small groups of students who are friends/classmates (minimum group size is four). This is ideal if your students can’t attend one of our scheduled workshops on the dates scheduled. Private summer workshops are help Monday through Friday. Contact us for more information and pricing.
Work With an SOS4Students Coach This Summer
Book now for summer coaching with SOS4Students. We can help with time management, tracking work and planning, and ways to jumpstart reading, note taking, test prep, and writing papers.