Once your child feels settled in high school, it is the perfect time for them to explore more career goals, skills and course challenges. Help ensure that grade ten is a positive and transformational year by considering the following.
What careers is your sophomore drawn to? Make a list, diagram, or vision board of different talents, interests, and skills. Matching your child’s favorite pastimes with potential careers is a great place to start.
Plan a road trip to a college campus or even visit your local post-secondary institutions. Help your student get excited about all the possibilities and potential that college offers.
Try to read each day. Encourage your child to find different websites, magazines, classic books and discover new authors. Check into best-selling lists or short story anthologies for inspiration. Ask your librarian what is popular these days. Discuss what you used to like reading when you were their age. Being engaged and finding a writing style you enjoy will make it feel less like “work.”
Get information regarding college costs. Look at tuition, living allowance, grocery shopping and transportation. Figure out if your child will be commuting if they have a car or if they will be taking public transit.
Make a weekly plan to check in on homework and school assignments. Set specific goals to create motivation and help your child stay focused. Simplifying tasks into small goals will lessen stress and the potential to feel overwhelmed.
Discuss extracurricular activities, sports, music and school clubs. Is there a school newspaper? A debate club? A chess club? Is there a public announcement board showcasing local jobs and volunteer activities? Think outside the box to help your child develop new skills and meet new people.
Encourage your child to meet with the school counselor or book an appointment. Your sophomore needs to discuss their career choices and college options now to ensure they are enrolled in the proper classes for success.
Help your child prepare to take the NMSQT/PSAT if their school makes it available for sophomores. Taking it now can help your child feel prepared for their SAT and know what to expect. This is a great opportunity for sophomores to use their score information to determine which areas they need more help in academically. Any kind of pre-SAT practice will help your child get familiar with time restraints, the test format and how to stay organized and calm before an exam.
Discuss future college costs and whether your child will be living at home or moving away. Speak with your bank about how to cash in their college fund when the time comes if you have one. Don’t stress if there is no college fund. Most students and their families explore a variety of financial aid options.
Note, if your child was not offered in grade ten the NMSQT/PSAT, they may be eligible to take the PSAT in February or March. This is the same exam; however, it is available at different times of the year. Speak with your school counselor to find out the specifics if it is not advertised.
Talk about next years’ college classes with your child to ensure they will be challenging enough for them and will yield the best results.
Speak with your child about encouraging them to take SAT subject tests. These tests are recommended by many colleges to understand specific academic skills that your child has in a certain area. It is best to take each subject test after completing the corresponding coursework.
Go over the NMSQT/PSAT or PSAT 10 results with your child. Note their areas of strength and places that may require additional study.
Discuss summer plans with your child. This is the perfect time to learn a variety of skills and explore interests. Exploring unique summer activities looks great on a college application.
Determine how much money will be required for college. Start brainstorming on ways to save up.
Create a college wish list with your child. Discuss which majors they want to pursue, location information, campus size and the pros and cons of attending different places.