It is also important for your teenager to learn to study effectively in different environments. It will not always be possible for your student to find a comfortable bed and quiet room in which to study. Having your student study from time to time in a loud, distracting environment will give him or her a crash course in learning how to focus. 

4. Life Preparedness 

Sadly, life requires more than a detailed knowledge of the Bible, philosophy, and mathematics. There are mundane but important parts of being an adult that every high schooler should be confident in. Learning how to balance a checkbook and handle money, effectively keep house, and oversee routine car maintenance are all adult survival skills that every teenager should acquire before he or she graduates high school. Make your teen’s “life preparedness” a priority. Summers can be a great time for high schoolers to work on these areas before they go off into the world. 

5. Test Prep 

It is a fact of life that it’s becoming more and more difficult to attend college these days. One of the first hurdles any college-bound student must overcome is the standardized test. The big mistake many parents make is putting off preparing their students for these tests until the last minute. The longer one waits, the less time there is to improve. 

Some students are natural test takers, while others need more practice, but either way it is a good idea to carve out SAT and ACT preparation time early and often. This is especially true for homeschool students, who frequently need to prove to colleges and even employers that the education they received at least equals that of public school students. Finding a good college prep course does not have to be expensive, and it can provide amazing benefits such as college opportunities and scholarships. 

6. Record Keeping

Keeping a high school portfolio eliminates the fear of having to document your student’s education without any records. When making a portfolio, be sure to include information about curriculum used, extracurricular activities, awards received, volunteer work, test records, and samples of the student’s work. These detailed records will assist you when it comes time to create your student’s transcript, as well as when it’s time to fill out college applications. 

The four years of high school give your student a chance to establish and solidify a strong foundation that will secure a bright future in the service of God’s kingdom. Charting your student’s success begins and ends with preparation. Planning out the next four years gives you the power to prosper. 

Judah Burk is the daughter of test prep guru Jean Burk of College Prep Genius. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Texas A & M. She graduated summa cum laude at Ouachita Baptist University with a B.A. in mass communications. During her studies, she spent six months studying abroad in Europe. She is one of the VocabCafé book series authors, co-author of High School Prep Genius, and teacher of the Master the SAT course.

Publication date: August 8, 2012