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This is a year to discover interest you never knew you had or that an activity undertaken since childhood is better left behind.

Ninth grade is the time and chance for new friendships to grow.

My network of mothers gives me insight into the high school party scene, dating, driving concerns (a big one), drinking, drugs, and which parents monitored all these things at their houses and which do not!

2) Don’t talk to your child about college, but as a parent, start learning about the process, costs, and financing.

Freshman year is high school, but not all high schoolers are the same.

The social order of high school means that kids largely stay in their grade groups.

But in clubs, sports and other activities the grades mix fluidly.

In ninth grade, teachers will not mind a bit of input from parents if there are hiccups along the way. Students, by now, should be able to speak up for themselves, but sometimes teachers or counselors need a bit of background and helping a 14-year old. Many high school classes have prerequisites and freshman need to be aware of these and the order in which classes should be taken.

In an ideal world, each student would have a counselor who guides them through the process of course selection and planning their four years. Freshman need to imagine where they would like to end up academically senior year and draw a path of classes that will get them there.

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