Where Did The Time Go?
Gloria Calhoun, M.Ed.
Article Pubished in June 2014 edition of Extra Ink Magazine by Daily Tribune News
Why does it seem that children grow so fast? You find yourself asking, "Where did the time go"? You’ve been busy packing diaper bags, transporting them to sporting events, attending school concerts. Before you know it, those precious childhood years have flown by. One moment, they are being enrolled into Pre-K and what seems to be in the blink of an eye, they are in high school, and college recruiters are knocking at your door.
During the teenage years, college majors and future careers are undecided and is likely the last thing on your child’s mind. At this stage, their concern is getting a driver’s license, being accepted by their friends and who their prom date will be. However, it is vital that parents begin to guide their children in thinking of the important decision of what they will do after high school. The earlier you begin the conversation, the better. Is a four-year college, technical school, or the military the next step? In order to make this determination there are few things that should be considered.
First determine your child’s interest area; what do they want to be when they grow up? Many schools host career fairs showcasing the careers of real men and women within the local community. Encourage your child to attend to have a glimpse of the various options out in the real world. Assist your child in locating various volunteer opportunities. Oftentimes, agencies and places of business will allow high school students to gain handson experience.
How are your child’s grades? Once a possible career has been discussed, consider their grade point average. They can’t get into a good school if their grades are not up to par.
Begin researching the pre-requisites needed for different schools to determine if they offer the courses for the major your child is considering. It is wise to meet with your child’s school counselor to be sure they are enrolled in the right classes while in high school. Be sure that all the classes in which your child is enrolled, meets the entry level requirements for the school of your choice. Do your research to make sure your son or daughter is on track.
Consider how you will fund your son or daughter’s college experience. There are various scholarships that may be available locally through private foundations and civic groups. Other financial aid options such as the Pell grant, state specific scholarships and grants such as Hope, college specific scholarships and also student loans should be researched. If you have an athlete aspiring to play college sports, they may not only qualify for academic aid, but may also be considered for an athletic scholarship. Begin the discussion with your child’s coach as early as their sophomore year about athletic recruitment options. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to get your child noticed by college coaches.
Preparing a child for college can be a very emotional and stressful time for parents. Take a deep breath and relax. Be sure you continue to give them the love and support they need to be successful. They may be in adult bodies, but they still need your help to navigate through this next phase of life.