Starting high school is a magical time in one’s educational journey. The time of independence, new friendships and adjusting to new school peers. There are some steps that you can do as a parent to stay involved and help your child find success.
Last Summer Before High School Starts
Help develop interest and excitement about college by visiting a college campus together over the summer. Even your local campus can be a breath of fresh air and information. Make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch to soak in campus life or make an appointment with the counselors there to discuss potential tuition and options. Doing as many classes as possible close to home and within a commutable distance will save tons on room and board and out-of-state fees.
Explore different career options with your child. Have them make a list of their favorite activities, skills and what they are interested in. Help them match these with various occupations and brainstorm about future possibilities.
Delve into the costs associated with post-secondary education. Discovering all of the various payment options can help you realize that education can be affordable with appropriate planning.
Expand your reading list with fun and informative ideas. Use newspapers and magazines and favorite books that you enjoyed when you were your child’s age. Try to make reading a daily habit as it will help greatly with future assignments and homework.
Help your child feel more engaged with their school by encouraging them to join sports, groups, and clubs. Extracurricular activities can help them identify different interests and meet lots of new friends.
Have your child meet with their school counselor to discuss career options and colleges. Ensure they are enrolled in the best courses to pursue their interests.
Decide on a schoolwork check-in plan at the start of the year to ensure assignments are handled on time. Keeping in the loop regarding assignments and upcoming class projects and school trips can help them stay on top of their studies and budget for school events in advance.
Work on goal-setting strategies to incorporate for the year. This is a great way to help your child stay focused and motivated.
Talk about next year’s courses now. Ensure your child is not bored and feels challenged. Check that they are enrolled in the classes that college admission officers are looking for.
It is never too early to think about financial aid. Research the different options available and gauge how many years of post-secondary your child may take. Finding out ways to help cover college costs in advance will take a great deal of stress out of the situation and give you ample time to develop a plan.
Have your child brainstorm a college list and help them if necessary.
Make useful summer plans that include learning new skills and exploring interests. Colleges take note of kids that participate in meaningful summer activities. Explore employment options with them to start saving now.
Get Involved and Be Available
Helping your child plan for college well in advance is essentially empowering them to succeed. Having a few years to save up money, take the right classes, explore volunteer or work options and expand their interests will help them be more successful during college.
Let your child know that you are there for them and if you don’t have the resources or all the answers, you will help them find the help they need. Putting these opportunities and discussions off until they graduate is a sure-fire way to cause you both stress and possible financial hardship.