Top 5 tips for Parents (early on)

Parenting Your Kids With an Eye Toward College

As I’ve discussed before, parents continually question me about how to support and guide their children without being overbearing or controlling.  The goal is to engender in your children a love of learning and a quest for knowledge. This way, kids will logically strive for the next step in their education – college!  I’ve outlined some of the points I often cover with parents seeking counsel about how to guide their children, from an early age, toward the path to college:

Top 5 tips for parents (early on)

  1. Expose your kids to a variety of interests and opportunities that will help them find their passions. This can include museum visits, exhibitions, theater performances, nature walks, summer camps, travel, etc. Expose them to as much as you can.
  2. Help your children pursue their academic interests in new and different ways.  For instance, if your child is an artist, help them build a portfolio, create a store on Etsy, organize an art auction or secure a job in an art supply store or gallery.
  3. Create a college-going culture in your family.  Begin talking about college early on. Take them to local campus activities such as football games or theater productions.  Have them imagine what their college experience will be like.
  4. Help them address academic challenges early on.  If they are struggling in a subject, see to it they get support to understand the subject’s fundamentals before they take more complex levels later on. Classroom instruction moves quickly, so early intervention when they are struggling can make a significant impact on their lifelong learning.
  5. Plan your college financial strategy.  Are you planning to pay for college or do you expect your child to pay for his or her own education?  Insure everyone is on board and has clear understanding of expectations and limitations.
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