Here are a few common sense tips to add to your checklist to cover before your learner flies the nest:
1. Talk about goals and dreams early. (middle school or sooner)
2. Have your student take a personality test to see good career matches.
3. Start saving (really) early and consider competing for scholarships.
4. Encourage your student to join clubs or groups with interest he enjoys.
5. Teach practical life skills. (like cooking, laundry, time management, cleanliness, social etiquette, budgeting, car repair, etc.)
6. Make every semester count. (show your student how a few bad grades on his transcript can affect his college acceptance chances.)
7. Schedule the correct entrance tests.
8. Have fun researching options. (Remember that your job as a parent is to help your student become an independent, successful adult. Let him go and find his own way in the world when the time comes.)
9. Give advice, but sparingly and generally only when asked.
10. Support your student's decisions. (Right or wrong, your student has to learn to make important choices and live with the results.)
Sure, little details should also be on your radar like buying dorm furniture, qualifying for work study, and giving ideas on making new friends. But small things often take care of themselves when you have the basics covered.
Looking forward to college is a natural feeling for your online student to have. Make sure he is equipped with the foundational knowledge for success in secondary education.
What's your best common sense tip for preparing a student for college?