Chosing which subjects you want to take is a great lesson in future planning for your child. Starting in Grade 7 the choices are going to guide their future studies, and even careers. Every successful concept in life requires a proper framework and strategic planning. See this as an exercise to talk about your child's future, dreams and plans. Developmental psycologist Dr Tracey Stewart of Headwise shows us how to plan together.
Whenever you start on any new plan or procedure you need to make sure that you have all your plans drawn up and in place before you begin. Ask yourself this: What is on offer, the resources you have and what steps you need to take to reach your objective. These are just some elements that need to be considered.
This relates to all processes in life with a similar framework – a curriculum - being applied in education.
A curriculum is a set of subjects including their content, and the elements for learning them and is, quite simply, a process of applied and practical experiences through which children grow into adults and get going for success in society.
In primary school the curriculum is primarily drawn up to develop all aspects of a child by providing a fairly structured platform to give every learner an equal opportunity to succeed.
In Grade 7 it becomes necessary to sit a pre-teen/tweenie down and have them list their goals for the future as well as their accomplishments thus far.
These same lists should be kept for future use and reviewed and adjusted in grades 9 and 12. Make lists of …
- Academic strengths and weaknesses
- Personal strengths and weaknesses
- Extracurricular activities
- Grade point average to current level; any other relevant scores
- Class rank
- Dreams and aspirations
- Desirable lifestyle as an adult
Although complete autonomy does not rest with a learner or his or her parents in Grade 7, there is a degree of choice in subjects to take them through Grades 8 and 9 and these choices should be based on the most positive results from the lists compiled.
The relevance of a specific set of subjects becomes particularly important in Grades 9 and 12 when consideration has to be given to the progressive development of a learner. It should consist of more than just putting together a set of academically-required subjects for progression into a chosen career. It is at this point that all aspects of an individual learner and his or her life need specific consideration and extra parental guidance; their inherent and developed abilities; their learning needs; the level of their social skills; the level of their motivation and their own goals for their life are added to the list of attributes drawn up in Grade 7 and can provide a solid foundation to make informed choices in subjects which hold the most interest for them and where they will have the opportunity to develop into the most successful they can be.
Empowering your teenager to become self-aware and make appropriate choices for themselves beginning with subject choices based on their inherent and developed skills, is life-enduring and will ensure their successful transition from dependent children into independent successful adults.