3 Top Tips to Prepare Your Middle Schooler for College

Many parents often wonder if they’re doing enough for their children. Academically speaking, parents often feel that there’s more that they could be doing to support their children as they progress through middle school and into high school.

In a survey by publicagenda.org, it was noted that 65% of the parents surveyed said that they wished they could be doing more when it came to being actively involved within their child’s education. It was also noted that the parental involvement within a child’s education seems to drop slightly during the later grades.

It can be a tricky balancing act for parents who want the best for their children but don’t want to pressure or burden them with high expectations for their future. How can parents become more involved in their child’s education, what can be done to help them prepare for college, and is middle school too soon to even think about college?

The answer to the last question is simple, it’s never too soon to think about your child’s future. There are always things to consider and things you can do to help nurture your child’s development. To that end, we have broken down the top three things parents should consider when thinking about their son/daughter’s academic future.

Plan Ahead and Highlight the Benefits of a Good Education

study plan

Image by Nick Youngson (http://www.nyphotographic.com/)

We briefly touched on this in the intro to the article, planning ahead and thinking about college from an early age can be a great tool in structuring your child’s educational development. With clearly defined long term goals, you and your child can map out effective strategies that highlight areas for improvement, incorporate them into their study/revision time.

Effective planning in middle school can help make the transition into high school much more comfortable for your child. Knowing where their passions and strengths lie, will inform them on  what classes to take in high school when it comes time to make that decision.

Understandably, convincing your child to think so far ahead and plan for their future career can be a tricky endeavour, but it’s worth planting those seeds early on so that they can make more informed decisions about their lives. Having said that, it is important that you don’t pressure your child into mapping our their entire future just yet. This is a time for them to think about their lives and to explore every available option. Nurture that process and encourage them to dream big, emphasising that a good education can go a long way.

Afterall, that’s what people go to college for. Beyond the degree, college allows people to expand their horizons, meet new people, and explore their options. Those experiences will better prepare them for adult life and a college degree can by tremendously beneficial for their careers. Regardless of the subject matter, a degree shows employers that they are capable of working independently, completing assignments, meeting deadlines and organising themselves.

 

Build Their Skills in English and Math

math graphs
If you’re a parent thinking about your child’s educational future and what to know how to prepare for college,  you should know that for most colleges, a passing grade in English and math is required. Depending on the subject matter, there may be also be an additional requirement for science.

Students currently in middle school will most likely be studying pre-algebra, as it tends to be taught to students in 7th or 8th grade. The course is often used as an introduction to Basic algebra or Algebra 1, covering topics that will be built upon in grades 9, 10 and 11.

The reason students are exposed to algebra at a young age is that it not only develops their problem solving skills, but it’s also one of the key things that colleges look for in potential students

The school system does a fairly good job at teaching students the basics and exploring more advanced forms of algebra, but we’d strongly recommend looking into  a study guide for pre-algebra to help cement your child’s understanding of the topic. In doing so, they will have a much better grasp of algebra when they’re introduced to it later in their academic life.

We’d offer the same advice for English studies too. Your child will need to have a good grasp of the english language and will be required to demonstrate this in the application process. Take advantage of the study tools available to them.

 

Study, Study, Study

study laptop

 

It cannot be stressed enough, studying outside of school hours can make a dramatic difference to your child’s performance in exams and assignments. Not only that, it will also help them to perform better in their day to day classes.

Getting into good study habits can also help them mentally prepare for college and the demands of the workload and the level of commitment needed to succeed. Setting aside an hour or two each evening to go over the class content or to prep for upcoming exams, can help them to better digest the information and more importantly, to retain it.

As mentioned above, a good grade in mathematics will go a long way in providing opportunities for your child at high school and college level. Many courses require basic math, so it would be wise to spend some time studying areas for improvement outside of school hours.

Sites like StudyPug, offer an extensive collection of revision resources and test prep materials for all aspect of mathematics that are covered in school and college. Their content is delivered in easy to follow video tutorials, not too dissimilar to youtube. These videos are accessible 24/7 and you can pause, rewind, or fast forward the content, allowing your child to learn at their own pace.

The video format is a lot more palatable for students as it’s a platform their much more comfortable with. Doing away with textbooks and the rather complex terminology that can turn students away, each subject is broken down into step-by-step guides that help to  convey the content in a simple and engaging way.

Delivering information in a way that’s appealing is half the battle in getting your child interested in studying, so it’s vital that you find a delivery mechanism that works them. Keep in mind that this is something you’d ideally like them to be doing on a regular basis.

Following the three steps mentioned in this article will ensure that your child is on the right path for academic success.  Planning to study effectively and working together to find revision strategies that work for them could greatly improve their chances of getting into their preferred college.