10th Grade: What to Expect

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10th grader, sophomore year, what to expect, high school

Photo by lauriebash

As we count down the days to back to school, the Daily Buzz talks with moms and public school teachers about what you and your child can expect in the coming year.

Today high school teacher RyBugsMommy and post-10th grade moms lauriebash and millerranch2003 give us the inside scoop about what to expect in 10th grade.



RyBugsMommy: The main goals in 10th grade would include fluency in writing due to the writing proficiency. Therefore, they need to be able to write all different types of essays. They need fluency in reading literature and everyday items, from job applications and rental agreements to Shakespeare. Main subjects taught in my classroom include writing, reading, and grammar. Grades are based on the simple A-F scale. In our district, pluses and minuses are not given.

lauriebash: Subjects include geometry, biology, history, English, consumer sciences, a foreign language, personal finances, art, music, phys-ed.

Geometry was really hard for our son, as was English. He had a difficult English teacher. About 60 percent of this teacher's class had to attend summer school, including our son. The teacher is being investigated for grading on a college level. Don't always blame the child!

School supplies

RyBugsMommy: They'll need a blue or black ink pen, a red correction pen, a highlighter, and a notebook with dividers.

lauriebash: The school provided everything needed, including a homework agenda. During the year, I did supply extra pencils and pens. He frequently lost them. I also needed to supply some poster board for a couple projects, as well as some index cards for studying. It was optional to have a special kind of calculator, costing about $70. We opted out of that one and let him use one of the ones in the classroom. Most was spent on shoes, clothes, and a backpack.

millerranch2003: Our school issued each child (7th-12th) a computer, so they just needed some spiral notebooks and writing utensils.


RyBugsMommy: With my 10th graders, there is a lot of writing and critical thinking behind the stories read and the material presented. It does not require a lot of parent help since there is a lot of in-class discussion about the stories and the meaning behind them. Students MUST pay attention and take notes if they expect to succeed on their homework.

lauriebash: Honestly, I don't know how much homework was assigned. Our son would work on assignments in his room. He didn't seem to spend a lot of time on homework. Of course, his grades weren't the greatest either! I often asked if he needed help with homework and was always turned down.

millerranch2003: There was homework 2-3 days a week, nothing real hard for my son that he needed help with. Mainly, he just needed help with his Spanish. 

Social scene

RyBugsMommy: We are a small school, so pretty much everyone is friends or knows who everyone is even if they do not like them. Of course, there is peer pressure to fit in for all students, especially those who are not as well off or well liked as others. Cliques are present among the girls mostly and those who play sports. Boyfriends or girlfriends can be an issue, especially if they are in the same class and, depending on the child, can be a distraction.

lauriebash: Girls, girls, girls, and more girls! Most of my son's best friends are girls! He has maybe 4-5 friends who are boys! Plus the girlfriend! ALWAYS a girlfriend. And it lasts for MONTHS, not weeks. We have teens here almost all the time. He has no interest in getting his driver's license because his girlfriend drives. Skate park, movies, mall, gf's house. 

Behavioral issues

RyBugsMommy: Issues include talking in class, not being prepared for class, general defiance, rumors, texting in class (especially since cell phones are not allowed in classrooms; they try to be sneaky).

lauriebash: Texting is a big problem. Teachers often complained of my son speaking out in class and not paying attention. He had his phone taken off of him several times during the school year. He wanted to be treated as an adult in 10th grade, yet he still acted as if he were 12! Tough age, being stuck between boyhood and manhood. He tested us quite often about curfews and house rules. Local concerts were attended often. Bigger concerts occasionally with big groups.

millerranch2003: My son started dipping snuff this year. I think that got stopped, but I will probably never know for sure. He got in trouble in classes for never shutting up, had to talk all the time.


RyBugsMommy: Our principal feels minor issues should be addressed by the teacher within the class that the behavior happened. A lot of major issues are handled through ISS (in-school suspension). Major issues receive 3-10 days out of school, based on the violation and previous behavior.


lauriebash: My son rode the bus to school. We are in the country, so it's just a small one. No problems. Usually got a ride home with a friend.

millerranch2003: My son had to ride the bus, which he absolutely hated. He got his driver's license when he turned 16 in November, but I still made him ride the bus because I didn't feel comfortable enough for him to drive 15 miles to school with his brother.

Sports/After-School Activities/Clubs

RyBugsMommy: Fall--Volleyball and Football (Varsity and JV), aviation club, drama club, FBLA, Gear Up, National Honor Society, Leadership. Winter--Basketball (Girl and Boy/ Varsity and JV) and wrestling. All clubs listed above. Spring--Softball, Baseball, and Track. All clubs listed above.

lauriebash: Lots of activities are available! Football, track, soccer, swim team, band, stage productions. Our son is not a sportsperson, however. He did try track for one season. That was enough! He also helped build a stage set for a play. He would rather go to the skate park or walk around with friends.

millerranch2003: My son ran cross country, stock show, and Future Farmers of America (FFA). He is Top 'O Texas district President in FFA.


RyBugsMommy: Parents are asked to participate in any way they can devote time to our school. Parents are allowed, if agreed upon by the teacher and the principal, to help in classrooms as well. Parents can also get involved through booster club or with any of the other on campus clubs.

lauriebash: You are not asked to do anything, but there is a parent advisory team that meets monthly that anyone can be involved in.

millerranch2003: We didn't have that much to do in school. That will all start his junior year.

Biggest concern

RyBugsMommy: Will my child be ready for the state proficiency exams (in Nevada, if you do not pass them by the end of your senior year, you do not graduate)?

Biggest challenge

lauriebash: The attitude that just won't stop! Passing English and geometry. He is starting to think of what he wants to do after school, so he is stressed sometimes about grades.

millerranch2003: My son didn't really have problems with anything. He's a very good natured, easy-going guy.


Thanks so much to CafeMoms RyBugsMommy, lauriebash, and millerranch2003 who helped us present this valuable Back to School information for 10th graders. Schools and activities vary depending on the district and where you live, of course.

What was the 10th grade experience like for you and your child?

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