Learning from past can ease graduate's transition

Any transition from the past to the future is difficult, no matter whether it's a graduation from kindergarten or middle school.
Dr. Yvonne Fournier
Dr. Yvonne Fournier
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June 14, 2011 - PRLog -- Dear Dr. Fournier:

My daughter just graduated from high school this year. While she is still celebrating the fact she is a senior, very soon she will be a freshman again.
I know high school has been the time for her to learn to be independent and get a new ''fresh'' start on her own. But I can't help but wonder if there is anything else I should do to help her get ready for what is ahead.

Molly F.
Savannah, GA

Dear Molly:


Graduation is a time to Celebrate. It’s a time for congratulations, parties, festivities and gifts as students put closure on the preparatory phase that serves as a foundation for their adult education.
But as the celebrations fade, we’re left with the fact that while our children may be headed for adulthood, they still look and act like the children they are.
Any transition from the past to the future is difficult, no matter whether it's a graduation from kindergarten or middle school. But high school graduation is a major life transition, and parents can help their college-bound student learn from the hassles of the past to help overcome potential hurdles that lie ahead
How do you identify these hurdles and build a bridge from the past to the future? Parents and graduates need to take time to reflect on what was a struggle in high school, what strategies helped with that struggle, and what obstacles may lay ahead.
Schools may hand out diplomas, but it's parents who can hand out loving help to complete the transition from high school to college.


Purchase an empty bound book and have your child number the pages. Every 10 pages in the book will become a separate chapter.
Develop a list of potential hurdles that your child may face in college. Allow yourself plenty of time to reflect on the past and create a well-rounded list of potential hurdles. No two children will ever have the same book because no two children will have the identical hurdles or solutions.
Here are just a few potential examples:
• Students who have little experience with a checkbook, ATM card or basic finance may need a chapter on "Money Management" to avoid falling into debt.
• Students with health problems, such as diabetes or allergies, may need a "Healthy Me" chapter containing insurance information, names of nearby doctors, pharmacies or clinics, and even "Doctor Mom" suggestions on how to cope with illness. Other students may benefit from names of counselors or nearby clergy who could help them cope with a stressful transition
• Students who have rarely - if ever- been responsible for cooking a complete meal may need a "Recipes" chapter, with dishes that are as nutritious as they are easy to prepare. Special recipes may deal with "Budget Meals" or ''Party TIme."
• All students could benefit from a "Calendar and Connections" chapter, containing important dates, birthdays, anniversaries and other important information to stay in touch with family and friends. (You might even include a book of postage stamps as a reminder to plan ahead and send cards.)
 Students who have trouble meeting new people may need a chapter on "Networking,"~ with names of clubs and other organizations that could provide contacts in a new city .
Use this transition time to create a unique reference book that will let your child know that leaving home does not mean leaving behind the support systems needed to face the hurdles ahead.


Have a question about education, education-related issues or your child’s schoolwork or homework? Ask Dr. Fournier and look for her answer in this column. E-mail your question or comment to Dr. Yvonne Fournier at drfournier@hfhw.net.

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For 30 years, Dr. Yvonne Fournier has been helping children become more successful in school. Her column, "Hassle-Free Homework," was published by Scripps Howard News Service for 20 years. She holds her doctorate in education.
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