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How to Help Your Teen Prepare for the GED

“My 17 year old son wants me to sign him out of school so he can try and get his GED. He is supposed to be a senior this year but is actually only a second semester freshman in high school. He only passed the first semester of school last year and failed everything the second one. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He refuses to do anything unless he wants to. He refuses to go to school and has been reported to the court system. At this point, I’m beginning to think that a GED would be the best route to go. So my question is how can I help him prepare for the GED?”

Passing the GED test requires knowing basic information such as math, English, and reading along with a few others subjects. If you feel strongly that it would be in your son's best interest to withdraw from high school and pursue a GED, then by all means, go with your gut instinct. There's no shame in going that route!

Here are ten tips for helping your son prepare for the GED test:

1. Have your son prepare for the tests by studying and/or taking a GED study course. Only 30% of all first time takers pass the tests and earn a GED. So, preparing for the exams is very important. There are many services and books that can help – encourage your son to use them.

2. Check the cost of the test. Your local testing center will know the price as it can vary by state and local area.

3. Make a special effort to help your son know fractions, addition, subtraction, and division. Math is the most important part of all the tests since it is quite difficult. So take a few weeks to help your son have a good review of basic math (flash cards are a great way to make learning fun).

4. Let your son know a few tips before taking the test. It will help him get a better score on the test when he answers the questions that he knows the answers to right away without taking a few minutes to figure out the answer, and then save the hardest questions for last.

5. If your son gets overwhelmed or upset during the preparation stage, explain to him that everyone gets anxious before a big test. It is a good idea to study for a while and then do something relaxing, reviewing the study materials every once in a while a few times each day.

6. You can find the location of your local testing center by calling your local high school’s guidance office, even if your son is no longer attending school.

7. Check your local jurisdiction’s requirements for registering for the tests. They will determine what identification your son will need. Also, some testing centers require a pretest or practice tests.

8. Believe in your son and encourage him throughout the preparation stage. Tell him that you know he can pass the GED test, even though it takes a lot of hard work and determination. Help him stay motivated!

9. A good option is to have your son study for the GED at home while watching TV. Many local public television stations offer free GED courses that you can watch on TV. Check your local listings.

10. Check your state’s requirements to see if your son is eligible to take the test. There are age and other restrictions that are different in each state.

11. Consider taking an online GED course. There are several courses available on the Internet that can help your son prepare for the GED. You usually have to pay to take one of these courses, but there are also some free courses online. One of the better GED course sites can be found at www.GEDOnline.org ($65 for a 4-month membership).

12. Be super supportive. Tell your son how much better he will feel about himself after he passes the GED test. Let him know that when he passes the test, it will help him get a decent job and also enable him to go on college if he so desires. Also, let him know that passing the GED test is something to be proud of afterwards since it takes hard work to accomplish it.

13. On the day of the test, help your son review some of the study material a few hours beforehand. It is always a good idea to study notes a few hours before taking the test since the information will be easier to remember.

14. The GED test requires the individual to be able to write an essay as part of the English test. Make sure that your son can write without many spelling or grammar errors. It is important to not get stressed-out over the essay part of the English. The topic of the essay is usually something that is rather interesting.

15. Make sure that your son gets enough sleep and eats healthy the day before taking the GED test. Help him feel less anxious since he is probably going to be nervous about the entire thing. Let him know that he doesn't need to be worry about the GED test, because he can take it again if need be. Simply encourage him to do his best – and forget the rest.

16. Some colleges offer a basic class to help participants be more prepared to pass the GED. So, having your son attend one of these classes at your nearest college might be a good idea. The classes are usually only a few weeks long or so, and are only a few hours long about twice a week. Check out your local college for more information.

Can your son get a job with a GED or attend college just as he would with a high school diploma? The answer is ‘yes’. A GED is the equivalent of a high school diploma. So if you are feeling like a failure as a parent because your son is dropping out of high school – think again!

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

Parenting Rebellious Teens

One day you wake up and find that life has changed forever. Instead of greeting you with a hug, your little boy rolls his eyes when you say "good morning" and shouts, "You're ruining my life!" You may think you've stepped into the Twilight Zone, but you've actually been thrust into your son's teen years.

During adolescence, teens start to break away from parents and become "their own person." Some talk back, ignore rules and slack off at school. Others may sneak out or break curfew. Still others experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs. So how can you tell the difference between normal teen rebellion versus dangerous behavior? And what's the best way for a parent to respond?

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Many families of defiant children live in a home that has become a battleground. In the beginning, the daily struggles can be expected. After all, we knew that problems would occur. Initially, stress can be so subtle that we lose sight of a war, which others do not realize is occurring. We honestly believe that we can work through the problems.

Outbursts, rages, and strife become a way of life (an emotionally unhealthy way of life). We set aside our own needs and focus on the needs of our children. But what does it cost us?

The majority of the population does not understand the dynamics of parenting an ODD child. Family and friends may think that you - the parent - are the one with the problem. Families are frequently turned in on false abuse allegations. Support is non-existent, because outsiders can't even begin to imagine that children can be so destructive. Where does that leave a parent?

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