Help Your Kids To Prepare For College
As a good parent, you want to give your children the best possible start in life, and so you provide them with a nurturing environment as they grow up, encourage them to pursue their interests, and do everything you can to help them to develop as a person. An important part of this is giving them the opportunity to go to college – you’ve made sacrifices to put money away in your kids’ college funds, and emphasized the importance of a good education to them as they have grown up.
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However, if you really want to give your child the best chance of succeeding in college, there are a number of other things that you can do aside from providing financial support. Getting into a good college isn’t easy – and it can be stressful for kids once they get there if they are not prepared. Let’s look at some of the most important aspects of helping your kids to get ready for college.
First of all, you need to start well before your child is in their final year of high school. While it may be tempting to try to set your child on a course to become a doctor or lawyer, there is no better way of turning kids off college than pressuring them to do something that they don’t want. Of course, you need to make sure that they take a disciplined approach to their studies, but you also need to help them find the things that they enjoy and are good at. For example, they may not have a strong grasp of the sciences, but have real potential at foreign languages. If this is the case, encourage them rather than trying to divert them back to something else – and give them opportunities to further their interests. For example, if they do have language skills, then why not send them on an exchange trip to another country?
It’s also important to get involved in their education. You may not understand everything that they are studying, but you can always lend a sympathetic ear when they are struggling and praise them when they succeed. Take time to talk to their teachers and guidance counselors to find out how they are doing and where they need help. Talk to your child about this as well – ultimately, they need to be the ones who decide what they want to do, so they have to be part of the conversation.
Keep in mind that as college approaches, studying can put huge pressure on kids – and the more pressure there is, the worse they are going to perform. With some teenagers, this becomes a vicious cycle and they need help to break out of it. For example, if they become fixated on studying because they are worried, take their mind off it by encouraging them to get involved in sports and other extracurricular activities. Not only will these reduce their stress levels, they will also help them to become a more rounded person – which is exactly what colleges are looking for. It is also a good idea to get them extra tuition from somewhere such as Huntington Learning Centers – not only will tuition help them in specific academic areas, it will give them the confidence they need to do well on standardized tests such as SATs. SAT tuition may be an investment, but it is one that is well worth making.
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Of course, the actual process of applying for college can be stressful in itself, so work with your kids to help them through this. For example, help them to decide exactly what they are looking for in a college, and even go with them on college trips to find out more together – in fact, this is a great way of getting them enthusiastic about the prospect of college. Lend them a hand with the applications as well – these can be confusing, and so adult help is often welcome.
Finally, remember that if your kids are going to be successful in college, they will need to survive on their own. Teach them about basics such as personal finance, cooking simple meals and staying safe while they are away. They are going to need to organise a living space, furniture, and even look at student wifi deals to ensure they have everything they need. Take them through setting up a basic budget, and even ask them to cook a meal for the family once a week so that they get used to fending for themselves. Not only will this give them the knowledge that they need, it will also make them feel much more comfortable with the thought of moving away from home.