You asked

How can I support my child while he is secondary school?

The beginning and end of the school day
The start of the school day can be a rush for everyone and there is a lot more organisation required now that your child is in secondary school then there was at primary school. It’s important to establish a routine in the morning and evening as this will help start the day with the least amount of stress.
 
Tips ro start the day on a positive note
Encourage your child right from the beginning to pack their schoolbag and lay out their uniform before going to bed each evening.
Try to ensure that your child eats breakfast; this provides them with the required energy to make sure that they perform well at school.
Allow plenty of time in the morning for your child to get to school, always allow yourself a few extra minutes for transport time to ensure you won't be late.
Check each evening for letters that have been sent home or diaries that might need signing as this will help early morning panic or items being completely forgotten.
 
Helping with homework
Your child will have a lot more independence at secondary school than at primary school but it’s important that you still show an active interest and keep up to date with how he is getting on.
Chat to your child about what they are learning at school, children enjoy sharing new information.  Find topics you have a shared interest in so it feels like a causal chat.
Ask your child if he needs any help with a particular aspect of his homework. Help him to organise his workload.
 
The following is a general guide as to how long your child should be spending on homework in secondary school:
 
 
1st and 2nd Year
45 to 90 minutes a day
3rd Year
60 to 120 minutes a day
5th and 6th Year
150 to 180 minutes a day

Other ways to support your child's learning
You might not be reading to your child as you did when he was in primary school but you can encourage a love of reading. Have conversations with your child about the books that you are both reading, what types of books he enjoys and what books he might like for, say a birthday present. Go to the library together and look online at book reviews for new authors and titles.
Encourage an interest in current affairs, watch the evening news together and encourage an interest in reading a newspaper once or twice a week.  News topics can relate to lesson topics and can even help with homework.
 
If you are planning a day trip, consider visiting a museum, exhibition or gallery that will tie in with what subjects your child is doing such as art, English, history, science or geography.
 

More questions

It's common for teens to have questions about their sexuality...
The topic of birth control and protection can be particulary difficult to broach as you don't want your child to feel that you approve of sex at her age.
Firstly, parents should realise that they won’t be able to plan these conversations as conversations with teenagers rarely take place when and how their parents want them to.
As your teenager grows, it's important to be there to listen to your child but allow them to make their own decisions about friendships.
The essentials tend to remain the same each year but as your child gets older they may need extra items.
Your child will have an Individual education plan that outlines exactly what services your child will receive.
Any child who received special education resources or support in primary school will almost certainly be eligible for the same support in secondary schools.
If your child has been receiving extra help in primary school it is important to look for a secondary school that will suit his needs
There are lots of things parents can do to support their child in secondary school.
Transition Year is a one year school based programme between the junior and senior cycle

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