We are all facing uncertainties regarding the beginning of the new school year. Some of you will be managing your students’ online education, others a hybrid model, and others are weighing the risks of having your teen return to school. Your role this year will be the same as any year.  Help your freshman or sophomore student develop good learning habits and become the best student they can be. Pay attention to the school portal that lets you know whether or not your student is completing their assignments on time. Work with your student to establish a consistent time and place for schoolwork. Emphasize the benefits of working without distraction. Help your student find a balance that includes exploring non-school interests, communication with friends, managing screen time and getting enough sleep. Now is the time to encourage them to learn something new. Can they cook, fix simple things around the house and do their own laundry? Have they always wanted to learn to code, compose music or understand the history of space exploration? The list of new, free, online learning opportunities is endless.

We have found that with online classes, many students simply say yes, they are getting the work done, when in reality they have not had the maturity to do it on their own. Respect how they must feel at a time when creating bonds with peers is a primary developmental task and acknowledge this is a challenging time. Stay calm and help with the organizational tasks they are not ready for so they can stay on track with school.
By the time your student begins exploring colleges, this will all be behind us. Colleges will consider this cohort of students in the context of the challenges they faced and Athens Advisors will be well informed of any changes in the college admissions process.  What will not change is the value of your teen finding out where their genuine interests lie and developing their strengths as a student.