Before you think I’m advocating “heads to the grindstone” this summer, rest assured these activities will not consume your or your student’s summer months. What this summer college prep will do is prepare your student for the upcoming school year and help him enter the next phase of his education thinking and planning for college.
The summer before middle school
Entering middle school is a huge transition for students. They go from one classroom to multiple classrooms, lockers, multiple teachers, and more homework. The summer before your student begins middle school is the perfect time to begin preparation for the future. Although it might seem premature to start thinking about college, it’s never too early. Your child needs a strong middle school foundation in order to take the high school courses that colleges expect of a college-bound student. For a list of 10 tips for soon-to-be middle school parents, click here.
The summer before freshman year
The summer is a good time for you to have a conversation with your future high school student. Sit down and have a discussion about the value of an education, how you see your role as a parent, some basic expectations, courses your student will take, the value of a good reputation, good citizenship and work ethic. This conversation will make the next four years easier because your teen will understand your expectations and start the year off with a good plan. For a list of 10 tips for soon-to-be freshman parents, click here.
The summer before sophomore year
Not much advice is given for the sophomore year of high school. It’s almost as if it’s not an important year in high school. But it is. Every year in high school is important if your child wants to move on to higher education. It’s during the 10th grade that your teen will begin to take some baby steps toward realizing their goal of a college education. The focus for this year should be: preliminary testing, looking at careers, delving deeper into the college search, and getting heavily involved in a few activities. For a list of 10 tips for soon-to-be sophomore parents, click here.
The summer before junior year
Your student’s junior year will begin in the fall. It’s time for you and your teen to sit down and evaluate goals to make sure you are on-track for the college application process. As you go back through all the grades, papers, awards and accomplishments you will be able to see your teen’s progress and that progress will encourage them to keep focused and keep their eye on the prize: graduation and college acceptance. For a list of 10 tips for soon-to-be junior parents, click here.
The summer before senior year
If your life isn’t crazy enough right now, it’s about to get even crazier. Once your child becomes a high school senior, your time is not your own. Anything and everything is focused on college. Your family (not just your teen) will eat, drink and sleep all things college. Before the year ends you will wonder how you will survive mentally, physically and emotionally. It will be a rollercoaster of highs and lows for both you and your college-bound teen. For a list of 10 tips for soon-to-be senior parents, click here.
Check out my guide for parents: Parents College Crash Course