Noah will be wrapping up his middle school career in the next couple of months and in preparation for ninth grade next fall, all of the eighth graders in his class were invited to a high school “open house” Monday evening. The event was supposed to make them comfortable about starting their freshman year next fall, acquaint them with the school building, and help them to get a “feel” for high school via a panel consisting of a handful of teachers and counselors and a couple of high school students.

For Noah it was probably pretty exciting. For me it was a mix that bordered on being both mundane and stomach-churning.

I’ve been through the high school thing with a child before. But when Stella finally donned her red cap and robe last year and skipped down the aisle at the auditorium carrying her diploma, I don’t know if I was more excited that she had successfully finished high school or that we were finally walking away from all of the headaches she’d  we’d dealt with during the four years she was at there: jealous girls, tests, dances (don’t even get me started on prom), cyber bullying, tears, two-timing boys, team tryouts, and some backstabbing “friends” (not to mention these kids’ crummy parents). The list goes on. I mean, it wasn’t all bad, but I can’t say that I’d choose to have a kid in high school for eternity. I can do without the extra crop of wrinkles and stress-induced gray hair that these years perpetrate.

But here we are … ready to roll right into having a kid in high school all over again.

I’m hoping that having a boy in high school will be much different than things were with a girl. Boys don’t seem to get involved in the drama that girls do. Or maybe their version of drama is simply called “a fist fight out in the school parking lot after the bell rings at the end of the day.” But for the most part, they seem to be more even-keeled. Even when Stella was at the high school, she gravitated toward hanging out with boys because the girls could be…well…downright evil.

Don’t get me wrong. I do have concerns about Noah and high school. But my worries are sooo much different with him than they were with Stella. I’m not worried about him sobbing into his pillow when he gets dumped by some pimply-faced girl or the pointless drama amongst his friends. I’ guess I’m just plain afraid. Afraid that he’ll get in trouble for pelting a mini corn dog at some other kid in the lunch room, or get caught taping a neon orange “Kick Me HARD” sign to his best friend’s back. But most of all, I’m worried about him finishing his homework — and actually handing it in on time.  These things don’t sound like huge concerns but although Noah is super bright, since the Ice Ages he’s been known to procrastinate, lose homework, and forget about assignments (…and did I mention he  can occasionally act impulsively?).

With that said, the are a few things that I’m glad  (yes, glad!) about as he enters ninth grade:

  • I’m glad he’s over 6 feet tall and that his height will camouflage him in a hallway filled with upperclassmen who enjoy targeting younger victims with their hilarious pranks.
  • I’m proud that he’s well-liked and quick-witted. And even though he’s disorganized, it doesn’t mean he’s not super-duper smart.
  • I’m so glad that he won’t have to don a green and white beanie the first week of school like I did as a ninth grader and be subjected to hazing by the seniors  — like being forced to crawl on hands and knees to classes for an entire day (which, by the way, is really fun with an armload of text books, a spiral notebook, and a pencil).

I guess we’ll see what the high school brings but after having a year of respite from it, I really don’t feel like I’m ready to jump back into the whole scene again.

For those of you who have (or had) kids in high school, was the experience much different for the boys verses the girls? Or even between siblings in general? Do you have any tips for keeping kids on track (ahem…I won’t mention any names) or helping them to stay organized so they can be successful? Please provide survival tips!

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12 Responses to “And High School Returns…”

  • Me says:

    I don’t have any advice – but do understand the stress you are going through. K changed schools with two years left of her schooling career and those were two difficult years for all of us. The school basically targeted the top 5% of students in the state but they found that that wasn’t necessarily the right students for the way they were teaching. K managed OK but I sometimes wonder if she would have got better results if she had stayed at the school that she was at. In the end it didn’t matter she got into uni anyway – now during her third year – she has decided she doesnt’ want to carry on with this degree and wants to change !!!! But, the one she wants to change to only has one intake a year – in Feb next year so waiting for Al to get back from Townsville so we can sit and discuss the best way to move forward so that we are all happy !!!

    Good luck – thinking of you all. Love, hugs and positive energy !

  • Each kid has their own learning style, that’s for sure. We’ve learned that with Noah. If the teacher is engaging and entertaining, he thrives. If he’s dull or Noah just plain doesn’t like them, he bucks.

    I hope K won’t have to do too many extra courses — for the sake of everyone involved. I’m expecting this from Stella in a year or two, also. They say a person changes their mind about their major 4 times while they’re in college. That means you could be sitting down a few more times with A and K! :)

  • I’m in the same boat as you…my son will be entering high school next year. And like you, I have mixed emotions about it. I think nervous outranks them all though….

    Even though my step-kids have all been thru high school (the youngest is a Junior this year)…I really have no advice. The boys do not have nearly as much drama as the girls.

  • Kim says:

    My daughter will be entering 9th grade in the fall so I’m nervous and anxious and excited for her too. As far as keeping organized, keeping a planner for assignments helps and I’m hoping they also post the assignments and other things on the school blackboard site on the web. Check your school’s web site to see if they do anything like that, it can help.

    I know my daughter could go on that and look up assignments (assuming the teacher updated it regularly) and stay on track with what was coming due.

    It’s a mosh pit of hormones on both sides and boys have their own insecurities and problems to deal with too. They probably fly under the radar more than girls so keep a beat on how he’s responding b/c boys don’t show it as much as girls if something is bugging them. Also have access to facebook account where you can monitor from time to time.

  • No advice as I have littles but these littles have given me some major wrinkles and gray hair..and I will be 59 when my youngest graduates from high school. OMG just think of what I’ll look like by then!!!

    • Diane says:

      I was born when my parents were both 42. My mom died when I was young so I don’t know how she would have fared in the hair color department but my dad was gray first, then EXTREMELY bald by the time I graduated. Pray for gray hairs… Thanks for the commment!

  • I am so not ready for this! I am glad I can learn from you!

  • Oh Boy Diane..I can soooo relate! I have 5 daughters! 3 have long since been out of highschool…but I have a 7th grader going into a MidHigh this coming year. It’s harder these days I think :( I’m happy that your daughter is on to real life stuff now! And I’m sure your son will do well also..of course he will with a wonderful Mom like you!!

  • leslie says:

    hi Diane!
    My son just finished freshman year, and it went great! Not perfect grades, but good, and he sounds exactly like Noah. When the teacher is nice, he tries harder and If they’re not, then he loses motivation. He never kept a planner and is a master procrastinator. The Jr. High had the online assignment posting and frankly it drove me nuts. I don’t want to be responsible for reminding him! Thankfully our H.S. realizes this and doesn’t post anything. They expect the kids to fill out their planners and surprisingly, they do! And you’re right about the drama part, none to speak of so far! But I do hear through the grapevine about the girls and it’s not pretty! Aside from the girl drama, the hormonal shifts, and them realizing that you breathe weirdly and your car smells…..I think the kids, overall, and definitely compared to Jr. High, begin to realize that this is real life and most of their actions count towards their future. (you still might get a few corndog throwing infractions, but they learn pretty quick what to do and not to do while at school). I have to say, so far so good.
    You will have a much easier time than when your daughter went through, you might even enjoy it! granted, this is coming from the mother of a freshman… to me when he starts driving…I think I will be completely grey by then b/c then MY DAUGHTER will have started H.S and I’m sure I will take back everything I just said!

    • Diane says:

      Thank you for the encouragement! That’s Noah EXACTLY. He does best with the teachers he likes. He has respect for them and if they treat him fairly, he tries harder. There is one teacher that he doesn’t care for and they are constatnly butting heads. I think Noah purposely writes poorly and hands in unfinished assignements to annoy this guy.

      I’m sure you’ll be getting an update come September…

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