High school is just around the corner. One more summer, and 8th graders will see a big transition in their educational journey, becoming freshmen as they graduate from middle school. Are your 8th-grade students excited for this change? Nervous? Apathetic?
As with any advancement in schooling, the more prepared your students are, the better they’re able to handle it and make the most out of the transition time. Summer is the optimal period to prep for high school, as the pressures of final testing and class demands in 8th grade are over and there’s a bit of breathing room before the new school year--and a whole new school--begins.
So how can 8th graders make the most of their summer so they feel more prepared to enter high school? Here are 6 big ways to achieve this.
6 High School Prep Activities for 8th Graders
1. Get involved over the summer
It’s far easier to feel comfortable with where you’re going if you have an idea of what it will be like when you get there. A great way to meet future teachers, coaches and classmates is to plug into high school over summer vacation. For example, if you are interested in Robotics, join the team in their summer meetings and building sessions. Most sports teams workout together over the summer and that is a great time to build relationships on the team while getting stronger. Volunteering with clubs and classmates over the summer is also a great way to knock out some service hours for your freshmen year!
2. Take a Summer Course or Program
Keeping busy in an area of study, athletic program, or extracurricular interests is a great way to spend the summer, building up your unique skills and passions. This can help you clarify what you want to focus on more as you go through high school and into college, or at least narrow down your options and reveal the areas you really don’t have a big heart or head for. Doing this may also help you cross paths with future classmates or stay in touch with old 8th-grade friends.
3. Revisit Weak Study Areas
Don’t check your brain out for summer vacation! Keeping mentally engaged throughout the whole year is a big step toward succeeding in high school and beyond. You likely know which areas of study you struggle in; using summer break as a way to shore up on those topics can help prepare you for tackling high school curriculum without feeling like you’re constantly lagging behind.
4. Volunteer in the Community
A high school is a big part of the local community, involving faculty, students, and families on an integral level. One way to feel better connected to a high school is to get to know the community surrounding it via volunteer work. See what charities or nonprofit organizations the school is already involved with or supporting and find time to donate a few hours or days during your summer break to help them out as well. You might find a cause you’re passionate about that you can champion during your high school years, or at least feel more grounded in the values and philosophies your high school embodies.
5. Get Used to the New Routine
After you’ve toured the high school, take a few days to map out the best routes to it and figure out your new morning and afternoon routine coming to and from it. Taking the bus? Check out the nearest stops and time yourself going to and from them on different days. This will help ease some of the mental tension of getting used to a new schedule and logistical pattern and make the routine more comfortable on Day 1.
6. Preview the High School Curriculum
Most high schools make their curriculum previews readily available to incoming students. Check out the textbooks you’ll be using in class and maybe do a little advance reading to get a sense of your upcoming studies. If there are areas that you know you’ll have a harder time grasping the concepts, a bit of pre-class studying can give you an advantage (see the previous suggestion of focusing on weaker topics).
What are your students planning to do with their final summer before high school begins? Where will they invest their time and find ways to grow even while on vacation?
If you’ve already enrolled to be a freshman next year at LuHi, you’ll receive details about summer happenings and other important information in mid-April. We can’t wait to have you be a LuHi Lion!