Free seminar will teach parents how to help their teens transition to new schools

By Morgan Griffith, Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center

Although it’s summertime and local teens are focused more on their summer activities than impending school changes, there are free resources available as parents plan ahead for their children’s next phase of education.

According to the National Middle School Association, parental involvement often declines when students become tweens and teens — the crucial secondary years. A study conducted by the association found that although 69 percent of parents are highly involved in grades kindergarten through five, and only 39 percent are involved during grades 9 through 12.

To address this academic concern, as part of its ongoing seminar series, the Federal Way Sylvan Learning Center is offering a free summer seminar, “Transitioning into Middle School and High School.” The parent workshop was created to give parents the facts and tips they need to help their tweens and teens develop the academic skills, habits, and attitudes that lead to a successful school transition.

As adolescents transition into middle and high schools, they are often thrown into a much more competitive and grade-oriented environment facing greater academic challenges, higher stress levels, and harder social adjustments. However, this is also where students begin to focus more on the need for friendships and less on the need for good grades. To prevent a potential decline in grades, parents need to show their children that they recognize the importance of higher education by supporting the goals of the school and encouraging school attendance.

The free 90-minute seminar delivers advice and pointers on what parents can do to help their children navigate the academic, social and emotional challenges they will face in the following school year. The seminar includes a video featuring parents, teens and experts discussing their experiences and coping mechanisms, as well as a Q&A session.

The “Transitioning into Middle School and High School” seminar will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the 320th Library, 848 S. 320th St. in Federal Way. No RSVP required.

Morgan Griffith is the Center Director at Sylvan Learning Center in Federal Way, 32717 1st Ave. S. Call (253) 838-0507.

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