I have just survived Year 7 with a VERY laidback (read 'disorganised') boy. I also work for the NSW Department of Education on www.schoolatoz.com.au.
- aimed at helping parents of school-aged kids. Usually, what I learn the hard way with my kids, I turn into resources for parents , such as these homework calendars
which proved invaluable in organising my boys.
Also watch Tips to making high school easier
- there are some pearls of wisdom in here!
My top tips for you ( which I am still having to enforce ) would be:
1. DD should use a homeowrk diary religiously and write down every 'to-do' thing she is told in roll-call, class and assemblies. I check ours every night. Kids dont automatically know how to plan and schedule their workload, we need to instruct them.
2. Get aquainted with the Year Advisor for Year 7 this year - a teacher who will probably be their advisor for the entire 6 years. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL THEM if you are concerned about workload, inattention,relationships etc . They volunteer for the job and they genuinely desire input from parents to help the kids adapt.
3. Go to parent-teacher interviews (and P&C meetings if you can). The more you are involved, the greater the opportunities to "close the loop" between home and school.
4. Do some research on the teenage brain. This is a tough year for kids for many reasons: disrupted social groups, hormonal changes, brain development and increased levels of responsibility. There's a lot going on and undertanding whats going on in your child's head will help reduce your frustration and increase your patience.
5.Make a point of doing things one on one with your daughter - even if she doesnt want to. Go for a walk, a milkshake while shopping etc. It helps keep the communication lines open without them feeling interrogated.
6. Have confidence in the fact that you've put in 12 solid years of love and training into your daughter and this is just another stage.