This is it. It’s time to help your child prepare for college. They’ll be moving away in just a couple of short years. What steps can you take to help them succeed without you?
Is there ever too early of a time to start preparing your child for college? It seems from an early age, each topic, lesson, and class attended intends to teach how to learn in all the different areas of their life. Your child begins school early in their life by enrolling in Kindergarten and then continues attending school for the next 12 years of their life, up until their high school graduation. And then what? What is the next step that your child will be taking after high school?
There are many paths to choose from. Some choose to start their career path immediately after graduating high school, while others make the choice to continue on with their educational journey and enroll in college. The choice is up to them, but more than likely they will want a little parental guidance along the way. If you and your child think the best choice for them would be to continue their education after high school, take these steps to help them prepare for college.
Simple Steps to Help Your Child Prepare for College
Diversify Their Class Choices
Encourage your teen to take classes that challenge them. Education should not only be fun and engaging, but also challenging. If your child doesn’t want to extend themselves and their knowledge, encourage them. Taking a class in high school that may be a bit out of their comfort zone is a great way to help them prepare for some of those challenging college courses as well.
In college, there are a TON of classes to choose from. There may even be competition to get into those classes from other students. If your child has their mind set on only getting into certain classes, they will be discouraged if they are unable to get into the classes of their choice. Help them out by teaching them this lesson in their high school years. There isn’t a “one and only” class that they HAVE to take!
Let Go Of Their Schedule
Let your child start handling more of their schedule as they get older. Do you plan everything for them, schedule everything for them, and make certain that they get to where they are supposed to each and every day? While you are doing a great job parenting, it can cause your child to feel a bit overwhelmed when they enter college without your guidance.
You won’t be there to hold their hand and make certain that they follow their schedule each and every day. No one but their alarm wakes them up to get them to class on time. There is nobody to ensure they are attending their classes like they are supposed to day in and day out. Nobody will hold them accountable if they miss class. It is hard to take a step back as a parent, but it’s important to allow them to take control of their schedule. They’ll thank you later for it in college when they are able to balance everything on their own without relying on anyone else.
Focus On Studies
Sit with them at night and go over their homework and assignments for the day. Let’s be real… college can be overwhelming. If your child is from a small town, a big college campus will feel awkward for them. The one constant that they can have to hold on to when entering a strange campus? Their ability to focus in and study on the homework at hand.
If you’ve always taken the time to sit with them at night and go over their lessons, their readings and their homework, great! You’ve done an awesome job at instilling superb study habits in them that will carry over to college naturally. When they feel stressed, they can find comfort in the fact that they know they have a handle on their classes because of the studying they’ve practiced.
Preparing your child for college is important. While you can never be 100% prepared for such a big change, you can ensure some of the steps you take now will help them transition nicely into their college life. Remember to be supportive, but step back at times to let them have control over the outcome. Give them the tips to succeed, then let them take control of the course!