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I have a confession! I have a high school senior in my house and I am terrified! When Caitlin transitioned from middle to high school, it was a huge change for us. Freshman year was all about trial and error for us. Caitlin went from being a straight A student to one with a C average. By the end of the year, Caitlin was barely passing and we were shocked. By Sophomore year, we had a better handle on what to expect and Caitlin did much better. Junior year had a few bumps, which was caused by a heavier and more difficult work load. For her senior year, I Caitlin and I are working on a plan to make her senior year the best year yet! Here are my top tips to make you child’s high school experience a positive one:
Set Your High School Student For Success
- Get Involved: My husband and I found we all feel better if we are involved in Caitlin’s school life. We are in regular contact with her teachers, we attend school meetings and functions, and we volunteer. As a high school freshman, many of Caitlin’s classes were mandatory. We all sat down to discuss which elective classes worked best for Caitlin. Our motto was if Caitlin asked us to ‘stay out of her school stuff”, we knew we were on the right track!
- Get A Tutor: High school is hard people! There is a huge difference between middle and high school. It is like going from a heated indoor pool to jumping in a river in the middle of winter. That first year, Caitlin almost failed four classes. Yes, four classes. This is where we learned we needed to be more involved and that we should have gotten her help. Caitlin’s school offered peer tutors as well as referrals for paid tutors. If we could have a do-over, we would have gotten her a math and Latin tutor. For junior year, we should have gotten her a tutor for the ACT.
- Plan Ahead: When your child enters high school, you should already be thinking of college. If your child wants to go to college, talk to them about their preferred major. Next, meet with your child’s counselor and choose the classes that fit in with her major. By senior year, start filling out applications for colleges, scholarships and financial aid. To lower anxiety, have your child prepare their college essay ahead of time.
- Look For Balance: One of Caitlin’s biggest stressors was juggling her classes and several after school activities. By the time her activities began to be more time consuming than her classes, the year was more than half over. By junior year, we allowed Caitlin to choose only two clubs. We encouraged her to choose the clubs that would look best on her college applications. This made a huge difference in her (and our) stress level.
- Time Management: When I reflect on the tips above, they seem to have a common theme. I struggle with time management, so it was no surprise to see Caitlin do so as well. We ran late for school, Caitlin forget homework assignments and she wasn’t eating well. I found by making and printing a schedule, Caitlin was more focused. This had a huge impact on her time management skills. This year, Caitlin sleeps better, gets up on time, eats well and stays on top of her school assignments. Now life runs better for us!
- The Right Tools: Whew, this was a big one for us! We thought giving Caitlin the right tools meant highlighters and plenty of notebooks. Boy were we wrong! We found many of the issues Caitlin had with school could be overcome with the proper computer. This year her textbooks are online and she turns in her notes and assignments via an online portal. With a good laptop, we knew she could study, do research, print her schedule and study guides and more. We decided on the Gold Manhatten HP Pavillion Notebook 15-au020wm from Walmart. This affordable laptop was exactly what Caitlin needed for a successful senior year!
De-Stress Going Back To School
For my kids, they function well in school with the proper tools and information. But, then again, isn’t that true for everyone? Without my computer, to-do list, camera and phone, I could not run a successful blog. I realized Caitlin’s school load was much like my work load. She could have a successful school year with a solid computer. Because we are a one income family, an affordable laptop is key. For Caitlin, she needed a laptop with a long battery life, was easy to carry and had plenty of memory. We found the HP Pavillion Notebook 15-au020wm from Walmart gave us all that a more.
Finding The Perfect Computer
Our HP Pavillion Notebook 15-au020wm is among the ALL NEW computers found at Walmart. The HP line of laptops are perfect for families with high school students. The HP computers are also great for college students, gamers, and small business owners. Our HP Pavillion Notebook 15 retails for a budget friendly price of less than $600.
With over 7 hours of battery life, Caitlin can use it for the entire school day. It is lightweight, so she can carry it from class to class without straining her back. It also has dual HP speakers and audio boost to give Caitlin the audio experience she wants. Like me, Caitlin loves to listen to music while she studies and does her homework. With her HP Pavillion Notebook , she gets great sound . With an Energy STAR certification, I know I am being socially responsible with my HP.
Getting The Most From Your HP Computer
For me, I use my computer to write blog posts, edit photos and interact on social media. I would consider myself a part-time laptop user. Caitlin however, is a full-time user. She is on her computer for about 10 or more hours a day. She has used her HP Pavillion Notebook to access her textbooks, take notes in class, communicate with her teachers, and retrieve, complete and turn in her assignments.
But that is the tip of the iceberg! Caitlin has also used her HP Pavillion Notebook to create and edit a video for her theater class, record herself singing for her chorus class audition and create a beta robot for her after school club. To help with her time management issues, she even created and printed her own schedule! You can use this template to make your own schedule! To see the entire line of HP computers available at Walmart, be sure to check online or visit your nearest store.
If you like your HP computer like I do, be sure to visit Walmart to share your thoughts! Encourage other parents to shop smart this back to school season with your online review.