Three Best Practices to Prepare Eighth Graders for Future Success in High School and Beyond
Jan 30, 2017
Eighth grade is a pivotal year in the educational career of students. A student's future academic success hinges upon the foundation laid in 8th grade.
Below, we list three practices that can help lead your eighth-grade student toward academic excellence in high school and beyond.
Encourage Your Student to Engage in Active Reading and Critical Analysis
It is tempting to think of reading skills development as an activity confined to children in the early childhood and lower school levels. However, the development of exceptional reading skills does not end in the fifth grade. In fact, the skills developed by reading in the post-elementary years are less about structure and more about constructing a deeper understanding of the printed word.
Encouraging your student to continue to read books that are appropriate for his or her level will provide them with an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. The more a student reads, providing books are engaging, the more they will learn how to look past words as a combination of letters and delve into meaning.
To make the reading experience more meaningful, be sure to follow up reading sessions with a few questions that will help provoke thought and draw out observations from your student. This simple activity can be accomplished in a few minutes, but the small investment in time will help train your student to read with a critical eye.
Guide Your Student in Pursuing Extracurricular Activities of Interest
There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to selecting an appropriate extracurricular activity. While it may seem logical to guide students toward activities that directly support academics, be careful that you don't hinder your student in choosing something he or she loves.
Extracurricular activities provide a needed mental break from the daily grind of being a student, and they also lay a foundation for future activities that could be of great importance to the student in high school. Participation in music, athletics, debate and other extracurricular activities leads to enhanced relationships with others, and they institute a habit of self-discipline that stems from practice and drill.
Assist Your Student With Curriculum Planning
As your student progresses through school, it is natural to allow him or her to make more decisions concerning his or her child's course selection. However, it is a mistake to back off completely and fail to provide your student with support and guidance as he or she plans his or her curriculum. Your students needs you to help ensure his or her course placements provide the most opportunities.
Of course, you don't need to go it alone when it comes to curriculum planning. Be sure to partner with the professional counselors at your student's school to create a plan that will prepare your child for their high school years.