Some of the best learning moments are unexpected, but profound. It happened in a preschool class where the children and teacher were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Sara, a most helpful child, listened carefully as each child voiced their desire. As soon as they announced “I want to be a cowboy”, she would chime in, “as soon as you have finished college.” No matter what the desire Sara ended them all with, “as soon as you have finished college.” It was abundantly clear that Sara knew that everyone was suppose to go to college.
Clearly, it is never too early to start preparing a child to go to college. Part of preparation is simply talking about the expectations of continuing education. It should not be a question of if a child is going to college, but when the child is going to college.
When a student reaches the seventh grade it is time to get organized and have a more detailed approach to college preparation. Students are typically twelve or thirteen years old and ready for new challenges. Until this point there has been plenty of talk about college and now it is time to put a plan into action.
College cost money. Parents have been setting aside funds since birth. Now it is time for the child to take a portion of their funds and add to a college account. Perhaps when the child does some yard work 10% goes to college savings.
~ Study habits
It is time for parents to focus and find out what type of learner the the student leans toward. Is the student an auditory leaner, a tactile learning, or a visual learner. Is the child focused on using this information so study time is productive and it easier to excel in school? Set up good study habit now and practice them with the child all through high school.
~ Life skills
Parents can teach a child to be prepared in many life skills areas in a natural and easy manner. For example, sit down with the child and plan the weeks menu. Do an inventory of what items need to be purchased and go to the grocery store. Help them see the food budget and how the process works. Have them help with meal preparation.
They can help with laundry and cleaning. These should already be habits before it is time to go off to college.
~ Start building a college resume
It is import that children and parents alike recognize the value of volunteering, extra curricular activities and all sorts of other skills that make a student a more well rounded candidate for scholarships and choosing which college they will attend.
When a child knows it is a life goal and they are very much in control of most of the decisions, they will take ownership. By the time the child reaches high school, the school will help with many choices and parents can step back, a little, and become the support.