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The Do’s (And Don’ts) Of Choosing High School Classes


Mother and teen daughter sitting together while daughter writes in notebook

Choosing high school classes can be tough.

The courses your teen chooses in high school help set the path for his or her future, from school performance to the college he or she attends. That’s a lot of pressure for young students to handle!

To help take the pressure off, we’re sharing our top tips to help students decide which classes they should take in high school, including what you and your teen should consider when picking next year’s classes.

Keep reading to learn the do’s and don’ts of choosing high school classes so your teen can prepare for his or her future.

How To Choose High School Classes: The Do’s And The Don’ts

    Don’t: Overload yourself

    Working hard in high school is important for helping your teen pave his or her path to college or a career. However, it’s important for your teen to avoid taking on so much that he or she is too overwhelmed or stressed to perform to his or her potential.

    Do: Balance your schedule

    Help your teen balance his or her classes across both semesters. If he or she is taking any advanced classes or subjects that have been a challenge in the past, try to pair them with electives to balance the workload.


    Don’t: Procrastinate choosing classes

    Leaving anything to the last minute is never good, and choosing classes isn’t any different. By procrastinating choosing next year’s classes, your teen may not have enough time to properly plan which classes he or she should choose.

    Do: Plan ahead

    Find out when your teen’s class selections are due and schedule time to sit down and create a plan. This plan should include looking at which classes your teen needs to stay on track to graduate. It should also ensure your teen is taking any prerequisites he or she needs to take certain classes in later grades.


    Don’t: Limit your thinking to high school

    Today, your teen is “just” picking high school classes—but these choices can have a big impact on his or her future after high school.

    Do: Think about college or career plans

    As your teen progresses through high school, he or she should have an idea of the classes needed to reach his or her goals. This is especially important as students start thinking about what they want to study in college. College courses may have have different admissions prerequisites depending on the area of study.


    Don’t: Be afraid to take a new subject

    Not all students know what they want to study at college or what career they want—and that’s ok! High school is a chance to explore subjects and find what students are interested in, so don’t be afraid to try something a little different.

    Do: Take classes your teen is interested in

    Help your teen decide what he or she is interested in and choose classes related to that area. For example, if your teen is interested in computers, sign up for a computer science class. If he or she likes being creative, choose an art or drama class. Elective classes are a great opportunity for your teen to explore his or her interests in high school and create a path for him or herself.


    Don’t: Choose classes without a plan

    Picking high school classes shouldn’t be a case of “eeny, meeny, miney, moe”. Each year of high school, your teen should have a plan for choosing classes based on future class requirements and his or her post-secondary plans.

    Do: Know admission requirements for college

    For students planning on attending college, knowing the admission requirements is important. If your teen has an idea which programs he or she wants to take in college, make note of the admission requirements and choose classes that meet them.


    Don’t: Forget to reach out for help

    Choosing classes can be overwhelming. If your teen is having a tough time deciding on which classes to take, don’t delay in finding resources to help.

    Do: Talk to a guidance counsellor

    Your teen’s teacher or guidance counsellor can help narrow down his or her strengths and interests to make choosing classes easier. Many guidance counsellors can also help students create long-term plans to ensure they take the classes needed to reach their future goals.

    It’s never too early to start planning!

    Oxford Learning can help your teen prepare for the future and build a path to success. Contact a location near you today!






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