Guiding your child during the early years
Four simple steps to ensure your preteen is on the right track.
1. Start early!
Most parents want to delay talking about college because they don’t want their child to sacrifice childhood and grow up too fast.
Fortunately, the best college prep effectively prepares you to be competitive for a great college while ensuring you enjoy middle and high school more than you otherwise would.
Be intentional, and start preparing early. Just prepare the right way– the healthy way.
2. Don't sacrifice childhood!
One of the fastest ways a child loses confidence is when they confront a knowledge gap– usually in math or reading– which makes it difficult to feel like they are “good at school.”
So even though you don’t need to be anxious or stressed over your elementary-aged child’s learning, it is helpful to watch out for gaps in foundational building blocks like math and reading.
3. Make it fun!
The other thing to remember is to make college fun– something to look forward to. Get a college pennant (any college will do) and hang it up in their room.
Talk with fondness about what you enjoyed about college, and feel free to visit or join camps at local campuses. This is often a great way to expose young children to the idea of college and create some healthy excitement.
By middle school, some (but not all) children will begin to be curious about college or talk about their life goals– like becoming a lawyer or a doctor, for example.
When they start to show interest in that way, I recommend introducing them to my podcast. If they enjoy the podcast, many families listen to episodes while in the car and discuss ideas over dinner.
This can be a very healthy way to prepare for college effectively.
4. Avoid the most common mistakes
Among the 5 fatal pitfalls, middle school students should avoid if they want to be admitted into their dream universities is the failure to appropriately manage relationships.
Peer groups will have a significant influence on your motivations and actions. Additionally, teachers and college counselors will write your recommendation letters, and relationships with those key teachers will also be critical.
In 10 minutes, identify how to surround yourself with the right peer group, how to build trust with key teachers, and how to take this all to the next level by reaching out to college professors and even admissions officers. These strategies can change everything for you.