A GAP break may be the perfect answer for many young people who are tired after completing secondary school. The advantages are worth considering. Remember, a GAP experience doesn’t necessarily have to last for a whole year.
First impressions count. You don’t want your child to have a bad first day at school simply because something was overlooked, misunderstood or forgotten. Children hate standing out from their peers when they first walk into a new school. Fitting in is everything so knowing what they need to take or do is very important.
You will soon know when a child isn’t settling into the new secondary school! Sleepless nights rule. Moodiness, tears, anger and uncharacteristic behaviour take hold of your child. Suddenly your precious child is almost unrecognizable. What on earth has possessed her? Identifying what is going wrong needs to happen as quickly and as sensitively as possible.
If your child hasn’t taken to secondary school like a duck to water, don’t stress too much. There will be many others in the same boat (choppy water). And keep in mind that no transition issue is unsolvable.
Starting secondary school is a big step for most children (and their parents) and even super confident young people can stumble in the first few weeks or months and not settle in as well as expected. While many pick themselves up, others can head down a very unhappy pathway. It’s important that parents know the typical signs that a child may be struggling to settle into the new school and know how to help turn things around.
Youth For Understanding Australia (YFU) is another great organisation (www.yfu.com.au) offering overseas exchange options for secondary students. YFU offers programs that run from 2 months to 12 months. Students are given their country of choice and programs are offered in over 40 countries.
World Education Program (WEP) is another organisation well-deserving of consideration. It offers amazing programs for students in Years 9 to 12 in NSW, VIC and QLD. Students are given their country of choice.
A number of organisations offer secondary school exchange programs. Students and parents should begin their research by looking carefully at websites and attending information sessions where possible.
All students should have a Resume right from their first year in secondary school. Students in the primary years can also have a special folder where they keep copies of certificates and awards. Some primary students also have an e-copy of achievements. Once students see that they have little to add to a Resume, this can be a wakeup call. Suddenly they realise that they should consider becoming more involved in sport, school events and activities outside school.
To develop almost all of the skills required to thrive in a world that is rapidly and constantly changing, (resilience, leadership ability, team-work skills, initiative, persistence, emotional intelligence, optimism, determination and courage) young people need to be prepared and eager to step outside their comfort zone. They need to try new activities and seize opportunities. They need to be doing this as early as possible rather than waiting until they complete secondary school or post-secondary studies.
Being familiar with some commonly asked interview questions and thinking about them carefully can make a good interview a great interview. Young people will feel more confident and be able to adapt information and life experience they have thought about to virtually any question.
Have you heard the expression, `Dress for Success’? It’s true. It really is important to make a good visual impression at an interview. It’s generally better to err on the formal side so forget about your favourite pair of jeans even if they are a ‘dressed up’ pair! It’s always better to be a little overdressed than feel uncomfortably underdressed.
If your teenager will soon face an important interview, go through these tips on how to perform well in interviews or give your teenager a copy to read over. The first, second or even third interview can still be a stressful experience and even independent teens can benefit from a little help.
Parents can help young people prepare for interviews by helping them think of possible questions well before an important interview. Even knowing that they have thought about possible questions gives students greater confidence.
If your teenager has had a negative experience at an interview, always offer encouragement as well as empathizing. Give the message that it’s okay not to get the first job or the first leadership position we apply for. Stress that each interview is a learning experience. Which question was unexpected? What would have been a better answer? Which question was difficult to answer?
All young people will need to be able to confidently face interviews well before completing secondary school. Many will have an interview as part of the tertiary selection process for some courses. Fortunately, a growing number of tertiary institutions and employers are recognizing that marks alone are not a reliable indication of the full potential of applicants.
Although the costs are not insignificant, when students spend even a brief time studying in a secondary school in another country, they come back changed for the better in so many ways.
Teenage silences and baffling responses are infamous. We have all heard those annoying grunts and have felt frustrated at not being able to get anywhere close to having a normal conversation with a teenager. Where has that once open and chatty member of the family disappeared to? Never fear. There are some tricks to making your teen do more than merely utter primeval grunts.
Homework does not have to be an ugly topic of conversation. If approached with a positive outlook, homework can actually provide an opportunity for parents to form a closer relationship with their children.
Homework is a contentious issue but it doesn’t have to dominate lives and destroy peace of mind. There are sound reasons why homework is important and practical strategies to keep it under control.
It’s crucial that students get on top of homework as early as possible when they hit the new secondary school. A positive and organised approach will save countless hours of frustration and many headaches down the track. Parents can do so much to help in this important area.