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Last week, we looked at four foundational values to help set up your student for success. Assuring them of their identity, empowering them to serve, helping them to manage the digital landscape, and providing appropriate levels of support and accountability can all go a long way to assist your student in their development in the high school years.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out part one, I’d encourage you to start there and then move on to these next four tips.

While the first four tips focused more on foundational principles such as identity and selflessness, these four get into practical suggestions as you navigate high school.


1) Encourage Face to Face Relationships

A new paradigm in education, parenting, and life has emerged due to having the internet at our fingertips 24/7. Students have access to a wealth of information they previously had to ask adults. The tendency with this kind of power is for students to rely on themselves and Google instead of seeking the guidance of trusted adults. Students can find opinions they might accept as fact and differing views they might find confusing. This in itself isn't a problem - but it can be if they don't have an opportunity to talk through their confusion.

As much as students may fight it, nothing can replace the value of face-to-face relationships. The mentoring and influence that can come from the positive impact of an adult role model are essential to the healthy growth of high schoolers. Google can give knowledge, but a Godly parent, teacher, coach, or mentor can give wisdom.

We're here to partner with parents to help students seek wisdom and train them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Encouraging growth in Christ is part of our mission.

2) Honor both short and long-term commitments

Instead of FOMO (fear of missing out), high schoolers suffer from FOBO (fear of better options). Hence, they often struggle with commitments - making them and keeping them. Ask a student if they want to participate in an activity, and they'll likely say some variation of, "I'll get back to you." Meaning, "Let me see if a better option comes along."

Honoring commitments is a character builder. It teaches scheduling, responsibility, and valuing others for who they are, not just being the “best option” for someone’s plans. Making a commitment to a team, club, or ensemble is something that should be honored for the duration of the commitment. This teaches students grit, perseverance, and the importance of sticking to something even when it doesn't go their way.

Extreme situations can arise, but if we can help students understand the importance of seeing a commitment through to the end, it will pay dividends for life.

3) Provide structure and assistance with studying

High school students often need help with homework. Sometimes they need help understanding the content of the work, and sometimes they need help managing their time to get it done. LuHi teachers are always happy to help. But, when parents partner with us, students really thrive.

Students don't need parents (or peers or anyone else for that matter) to do their homework for them. They do need someone to give them the structure and tools to complete it well. Provide your student with a well-lit environment, free from distractions to work. Imagine the difference in productivity between sitting on a couch in front of a TV with the cell phone in hand versus a distraction-free area. Not only will their focus improve, but they will likely get done quicker, leaving them to move on to other things they have going on.

You can help your student be successful in homework by giving them goals, boundaries, and structure.

4) Take attendance seriously

In the last post, we talked about holding students accountable. Taking attendance seriously is part of accountability. We want students to want to be at school, and we're grateful that, in large part, our student body is happy to show up every day.

There are plenty of tempting reasons students come up with to miss school. Help your students understand the value of being in class every day. It will help not only in their high school experience, college, and careers.

It can be hard to get out of bed and show up day after day. Any adult who has ever had a job can attest to this. Attitude can make a huge difference in this area. Partner with us to encourage good attendance habits and a positive attitude.

Investing in your student, even in the seemingly small things, will help them thrive now and be ready for life after high school. We are here to help; it takes a village! As your student begins their high school journey, lean on LuHi teachers and staff for the support you need.

Originally published in 2016, updated for accuracy.

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