Join our email list
Join thousands of students and parents getting exclusive high school & college admissions content!
Stay Updated
We'll only send you the most relevant information!

 

As a parent, you play an integral role in helping shape your child’s future. And while it may seem like college is a long way away for your 9th grader, in reality that future will be here before you know it. It’s crucial to figure out how you can work with your teen to stay on track over the next three years in regard to academics, career goals, and extracurriculars.

 

Read on for what you can do to form a successful plan of action at every time during the course of your student’s freshman year of high school, and check out CollegeVine’s Guide to 9th Grade for more advice.

 

 

Early Freshman Year

Encourage your child to challenge herself and explore her options. September and October of freshman year is an ideal time for your teen to start exploring new extracurriculars and clubs. It’s also one of the few times your child can try out something new and decide it’s not for her without many consequences, since she doesn’t need to commit to anything yet. For ideas on groups to join and activities for your 9th grader, check out How to Determine Which Clubs to Join: A Guide for Freshmen.

 

This is also when your child should be developing good study habits. Freshman year is the least important year academically—at least according to most colleges—but the habits your student develops now can follow her throughout high school. For more information on why academics are important now, check out Parents: Why Freshman Year GPAs Matter.

 

 

Mid Freshman Year

Around the middle of freshman year, your child may be experiencing a more challenging workload than she’s had in the past. If she seems stressed or unable to take a break and relax, however occasionally, you may need to intervene, even if she doesn’t ask you to. Check in and insist that she take breaks and take care of herself—or let you take care of her.

Want to join thousands of parents and students receiving exclusive admissions information? Sign up to join our email list. It's free, and we'll only send you the best information!

Build a Profile That Will Impress Admissions Officers

Our mentorship program helps students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade discover their passions, build their resumes, and get guidance throughout high school.

 

 

This is also around the time you should start thinking about summer plans. Colleges will want to see that your child is doing something productive toward her future, even during the summer, so consider different options, such as summer programs, jobs, or other activities. Be a source of motivation for your child. Make sure you discuss goals for the rest of high school, college, and beyond.

 

 

End of the School Year

Around May and June, start thinking about the future. Sit down with your child to determine which classes to take for sophomore year. Discuss honors, AP, and other advanced courses, and develop goals for the summer and next year. Also, look at summer reading lists.

 

 

The Takeaway

Your most important role for this year is being a support system for your child. She should know she can count on you. Offer help preemptively, not just when your child asks, and if it seems like she’s struggling, step in.

 

Make sure you show up to parent/teacher conferences, and stay on top of your child’s accomplishments and challenges. Right now is when you’re setting the tone for the rest of high school, so you should make the roles clear, and demonstrate that you’re there to help.

 

Check out our other resources to help you and your freshman:

 

How Important Is Freshman Year of High School?

50 Clubs and Activities 9th Grades Can Join

 

Looking for support for your student as she navigate the road to college? Check out the CollegeVine Mentorship Program. Our mentors drive significant personal and professional development for their high school mentees.

 

Combining mentorship with engaging content, insider strategies, and personalized analyses, our program provides students with the tools to succeed. As students learn from successful older peers, they develop confidence, autonomy, and critical thinking skills to help maximize their chances of success in college, business, and life.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine