A large part of childhood is often defined by education. The school, teachers, and classes a child takes part in have profound effects on their overall development and trajectory. It starts in elementary school with accelerated learning programs which ultimately lead to honors and AP courses. These curriculums affect what (if any) college a student attends and what career path they ultimately take.
But even if your child earns straight As and follows the highest curriculum, is it enough? College is certainly a big adjustment for anyone, despite all the prep-work high school students commit to. Just as parents are recommended to start making financial plans well in advance, it’s never too early to start thinking about plans to make the academic transition as smooth as possible.
A recent survey by Grand Canyon University found that 79.2% said they felt adequately prepared for college by their high school. That means more than 2 out of every 10 struggled with the adjustment. When looking at preparedness by specific categories, 53.5% felt their high school failed them in ‘developing skills/knowledge to live on my own in the future’.
Luckily, as parents, there are many things we can do to circumvent these struggles. If college is a goal for your child, it’s best to start preparing early to make the transition as seamless as possible. Few parents want to think of the idea of dropping off their child at university while they’re still in their early stages of life, but it’s best to be proactive years before you’re actually faced with the situation.
From an academic perspective, this may mean enrolling your child in additional tutoring beyond what may be offered in school. It’s a common misconception that tutoring should be used when a child is not meeting expectations. In reality, tutoring can be used to build on skills being taught in the classroom and cultivate a customized learning experience for your child’s needs. No matter where your child is in their classroom, one-on-one attention can go a long way.
What’s perhaps more important than building on what they are being taught is considering what they aren’t. Things like personal finance, time management, and relationship building are important components of living on your own that often aren’t emphasized in traditional schools. Sure, you don’t need to teach your toddler how to balance a budget, but you can start introducing smart money habits at a young age to build a routine.
No matter what methods you take to prepare your student for a seamless post-high school transition, be sure to provide support and care for your child along the way. This way, even if they face battles when they finally get to the college stage, they’ll know they aren’t fighting them alone.
About Lizzie Stewart
Mom. Wife. Espresso Lover. Braves Fanatic.