Tips in Preparing Your Child for Secondary School

Every individual moves up the steps towards maturity at a certain point. For academics, these steps are determined by the grade levels one is in. And while change can be scary as human tend to fear what is unknown, the transition from primary to secondary is a necessary step towards one’s improvement and maturity.

As a parent, you may feel like there is nothing much you can do to help your child towards these transitional periods. However, there are more ways than you would expect where you can help your child transition from primary to secondary school. And if you want to learn how, then continue reading the article to know more.

The differences of primary and secondary

Before we discuss how one can guide their children towards transitioning from primary to secondary school, we must first discuss what are the differences of the two. If you are a parent, chances are that your memory of your days at primary may be hazy and you will find it hard to differentiate primary from secondary. So here are a few key changes between primary and secondary school that your child has to go through.

• More workload

As a student progresses upwards in the academic ladder, he will inevitably need to handle more workload. These refer to the number of subjects he must take every day, an increased number of homework, and more projects to submit as compared to when he was still in primary.

This can be a shocking revelation to the student’s mind and body. They will need to adjust to these changes both mentally and physically. So, it is a common sight to see your child get tired while they are still transitioning from primary or secondary as their bodies cannot yet physically keep up with the increased workload secondary school offers.

• New environment

Aside from the workload, the environment in which your child will study will change as well. The physical environment, such as the buildings and facilities, will be much larger and will include a lot of new facilities which are not present in primary school. This is to accommodate the academic needs of secondary students.

The social and psychological environment in which your child will experience will greatly change as well. In primary school, everyone belongs to the same big group of friends. However, this big circle gets broken down into smaller pieces once students enter secondary as they choose to stay with a limited number of peers.

• New classmates

If an individual transfers to a secondary school where there is no one he knows or only a limited number of classmates from his previous school goes to the same secondary school as him, then he will have to cope with finding new friends and getting to know his new classmates.

This can be a nightmare for introverts who have trouble socializing with others. And if your child is one, then you should encourage him to make friends as the camaraderie between classmates can go a long way to helping your child get used to secondary school.

• More complicated topics

Along with the increase in workload, secondary school also offers a whole new array of complex and mind-boggling topics. This will be a very challenging change your child will experience as they will be introduced to abstract ideas and imaginary numbers which they have rarely or even never come across in primary school.

The good news is that these topics will be taught to your child in a controlled and gradual manner. Where as they progress through secondary school, the level of difficulties of the topics will also ascend higher.

• Puberty

Puberty is a change brought upon by the human body’s natural way of maturity. While some females may tend to start puberty in the later parts of primary school, they will complete the process a few years into secondary school. Males on the other hand, will most likely enter puberty at the same time they enter secondary school.

Puberty can be a huge factor that will greatly change the experience your child will have in secondary school. While they might have prioritized play and were all around you when they were still in primary school, they might be a little bit distant and be more inclined to hanging out with friends in secondary school.

How to help you child transition from primary to secondary

Now that we know the changes that make the transition from primary to secondary school difficult, we can now formulate how you can help your child through the process. It may only be through the sidelines, but at least you will be able to help your child’s transition towards secondary a little bit smoother.

1. Always be available to talk

The first thing you should establish between you and your child is good communication. You will never know the problems or difficulties an individual is facing unless you ask them directly. Always be available to have a chat with your child and be ready to give advice whenever he/she needs it.

Communication between parent and child will be the key that will lead your operation to success. Even small talk about how the day went will greatly improve your child’s transition as they can talk to you about the things that bother him/her and you will be able to give your personally verified and effective advice to help them get through their daily secondary life.

2. Research and prepare

A child will have no idea what kind of school they are getting into except for the fact that they were drawn to that school for some particular reason. Be it a promisingly high acceptance rate for state colleges, close proximity to your residence, or even a cute uniform. However, they will not be aware of the whole environment in which they will throw themselves into.

It is a parent’s job to research ahead as to what kind of secondary school your child wants to go to and make proper preparations for it. Try to determine what your child will need once he/she start studying there to prepare ahead and make your child’s first few weeks of secondary school go smoother.

3. Listen to your child’s problems

As individuals reach puberty, it will be psychologically harder for them to open up their problems to anyone except a select few. And if you have not established good communication with your child, you may even be excluded from that select few.

Try to listen to your child’s worries and not interrupt them when they are speaking to finish the whole story. Never cut them off to make a comment correcting them as to what they should have done and instead wait for them to finish talking and try to give adept advice to let them not be worried by the same issue again.

4. Let them explore

An individual will discover ways to deal with a certain issue on their own given enough time. This can also be true for a child’s transition from primary to secondary as well. A parent can loosen their reigns on their child a little and let their child explore the new surrounding they are in.

This will show that you trust your child and that they are responsible enough to gain your trust. And once an individual feels a sense of responsibility, they will do their best to not let that responsibility go to waste. This can help speed up your child’s transition from a playful and carefree primary school student into a responsible and trustworthy secondary student.

5. Remember to set boundaries

This may seem contradictory to the previous tip, but do bear in mind that peer pressure in this age is as intense as it gets. Even when you are letting your child explore his/her new surroundings, you should still take time to explain that there will be boundaries with which they should not cross.

They are free to wander and discover things for themselves. However, they must still act and abide by what is morally and lawfully correct. Illegal substances, going out late at night, underage drinking, and smoking are still out of the question for the list of things which they can explore.

6. Encourage them

Every individual requires encouragement from time to time. And your transitioning child needs it more than ever. Encourage them to make friends, work harder, and do their best in their new environment to boost their confidence and willingness to try and adapt to their new environment.

Encouraging your child will supply them with new vigor and boost their morale. This also shows that you fully support your child every step of the way and lets him/her know that there is always someone behind their back when they take their first few steps in secondary school.

7. Talk to them about how you transitioned

There exists a quote which go along the lines of “experience is the best teacher”. This is most probably true as only through experience can you really grasp the weight and relevance of a situation.

Your child has not yet experienced transitioning from primary to secondary school, but you have. It will help them greatly by telling them of the process you went through to transition from primary to secondary school. It may not be first-hand experience, but at least they will have something similar to a guideline of how their parent did it before.

8. Hire a tutor

Addressing one of the major changes between primary and secondary school can also help your child’s transition go smoother. Not everything has to be physiologically and socially related. Oftentimes, your child will also have difficulties transitioning between their lessons from primary to secondary.

If that is the case, then you can always hire a tutor to provide your child with the private tuition he/she needs. Luckily, FamilyTutor is just the right place for you. FamilyTutor offers private tuition for secondary school and different subjects which your child will encounter once they take a step towards higher education to make sure all of your child’s academic needs are met.

Need more Secondary School-related articles? Be inspired by reading them at our Secondary School Tuition blog section!



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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