Chapter OneTHE NEXT STEP
1. What do you think-yes or no? High school will be better than junior high or middle school.
Why or why not?
2. From the list below, check which three are your greatest concerns
about high school.
If anybody will like me
If I'll get good enough grades
If I'll make a sports team
If classes will be hard
If I'll get along with the teachers
If people will make fun of my
If I'll be taking the right classes for
If I be tempted to do drugs
If I'll make new friends
If I'll be harassed by a gang
If I'll be able to find my classes
If the older students be nice to me
If I'll have a slew of homework
If I'll be safe
If I'll have the right clothes
If I'll I get into much trouble
If I'll be pressured to have sex
If there will be lots of fights
If the other kids will pick on me college prep
If I'll fit in
If my stuff will get stolen
If I'll find a boyfriend or girlfriend
3. How do you think your parents or guardians will change when you're in high school? They'll-
be more worried about my grades
expect more out of me
give me more freedom
worry about what kind of friends I have
be more concerned about my church involvement
pressure me more about sports
be less worried about my grades
expect less out of me
give me fewer privileges
worry less about my friends
be less concerned about my church involvement
pressure me less about sports
4. What do you think your relationship with God will be like when you're in high school? It will-
be more important than it is today
be about the same as it is today
be less important than it is today
5. What do you think these Bible verses have to say about growing up?
1 Corinthians 13:11
2 Timothy 2:15
2 Peter 3:18
Junior highers or middle schoolers in transition to
high school are often filled with both anticipation
and dread. Moving up to high school often begins in
a panic. Some teens interpret change as loss-they
lose familiarity with the old school structure, relationships
with teachers and friends, or involvement
in sports and other extracurricular activities.
Christian young people often worry about how others
will respond to their faith. This TalkSheet will
give them a chance to talk about their apprehensions
and cope with the transition.
What are your kids' fears about the first day of high
school? You might be surprised what they're thinking
about! You may want to have your group make up a
"plot by plot" story. Start the plot by saying something
like the following phrases. Then have another
person add the next part of the plot. And then someone
else can add the next part of the plot until the
story is done! Starters include phrases like this-
It was the first day of high school for Luis, who .
Samantha was walking into cafeteria when .
After looking for her best friend, Anna decided to .
As Seth strolled to his first class .
Bryce was nervous because he'd just seen .
Your group may end up with a wild introduction to a
discussion on what high school might be like. But,
be sure they keep it clean and focused on the first
day of high school.
You can play this the same way by using a large
piece of white paper or a white board to write on.
Either you or one of your kids writes the initial sentence
up on the paper or white board and then the
others can take turns adding sentences to the story.
Continue until the story is finished.
The discussion, by numbers
1. Ask for volunteers to some of their responses and
why. You may want to share some of the feelings
you had when you were their age. Listen carefully-you'll
learn a lot about how they're feeling!
2. You may want to give the group members a
chance to identify their top five questions, then
compile a group top 10 list as they place their
votes. When you are finished, you might want to
answer the top 10 questions together as a group.
3. Kids in transition want freedom and security-they
want to move away from their parents, but still
hope their parents will still be there for them. Don't
let this turn into a gripe session about parents, but instead look at what would be reasonable
changes for parents to make and why. This is an
opportunity for you to empathize with kids and
support parental authority.
4. As students share their answers, explore why or
why not their relationship with God might change.
How will the relationship change?
5. Ask the students to relate these passages to the
move to high school. Point out that God is
there for them as they go through the changes
in their lives.
As you summarize the key points that have been
made during the discussion, make it clear that their
fears and apprehensions are normal. They're facing
new challenges, struggles, and adventures-some
they can control and some they can't. You (or
another leader in your group) may want to share a
story about your transition to high school.
Encourage them to look at the changes as new
opportunities to meet others, try new activities, and
learn about themselves.
Finally, you may want to wrap up by reading
Psalm 20 (or another psalm) that deals with trust
and security in God. Take some time to pray for the
group and for those who are feeling nervous about
How does TV portray the move to high school?Ask the group to think of situations in movies or
on TV that show this transition. You may want to
show clips of a few of these TV shows (check out
the prime time line-ups). What happened in the
stories? What were the problems that occurred
and how were they handled? How do these shows
or movies make your kids feel about high school?
What questions about high school do your middle
schoolers have? Try a Q&A session with some of
your older high school students! Ask your junior
highers to (anonymously) write down questions
about high school on 3x5 cards-or have your junior
highers or middle schoolers to write short,anonymous letters to high school students,expressing their concerns about high school. Then
collect them and hand them off to the high school
panel to answer.