Education

How to Get Kids Ready for College & Other Career Paths

Parents often ponder how to best prepare their youngsters for college, careers, and responsible adult life. It’s part of the human parent DNA to want the best for kids and to try every trick in the book to encourage them to be successful. While there is no guaranteed technique or set of tactics for instilling ambition in young minds, there are several effective ways to prepare them for the post-high school phase of their lives. Step one is to have serious talks about what their goals are, why they wish to follow a particular path, and how they plan to achieve it.

Be clear that you are willing to help as much as possible without getting in the way of paying for everything. Depending on your financial situation, you may or may not be able to supply funding for school. The point is to discuss all the details so kids, and you, are not in the dart about what they plan to do after high school is over. After several in-depth talks, make a detailed financial plan, keep an eye on their grades, let them know about alternatives to college, teach them how to build solid study habits, encourage children to take test-prep courses, and guide them into summer jobs that are career-related. Here are some of the specific actions moms and dads can take to prepare children for life after high school.

Make a Financial Plan

Borrowing for higher education is the more effective way to gain access to financial resources to cover college and vocational training costs. Fortunately, parents can save a lot of time and money by working with a one-stop website platform on which they can scour the market for personalized loan rates, scan for suitable scholarship opportunities, and apply for FAFSA loans. Make realistic estimates about tuition, fees, books, and other college-related expenses. The goal is to come up with a four-year financial plan that accounts for all the costs your daughter or son is likely to face. By finding personalized rates for loans and exploring the scholarship market thoroughly, families can more easily navigate the challenging landscape of paying for higher education.

Have Detailed Discussions

Don’t assume you can resolve all college and career-related issues in a single talk with your child. Instead, have several in-depth chats about what their goals are, why they want to pursue certain paths, and what the family’s financial situation is as far as helping them cover school expenses in preparation for adult life and careers.

Monitor Grades Closely

It’s easy for younger high school kids to underestimate the importance of grades. The best way to encourage good grades without putting undue pressure on students is to monitor their progress and offer assistance with subjects they find challenging. Especially if your child gets bad grades if your own skills are not up to advanced geometry, chemistry, or life sciences, hire an experienced tutor to assist your child with homework and study strategies.

Offer Alternatives

One of the worst things parents can do is give children the impression that there are no alternatives to college. In fact, there are many, and some kids are best suited for paths that include vocational study, a year or two off between high school and college, or a specific kind of training for careers as paramedics, massage therapists, or nurses. Keep in mind that millions of high school grads join the military and don’t attend college until after discharge or during their time in the service.

Encourage Test Prep Courses

For most high school pupils, test prep courses like the SAT and ACT can be game-changers for getting accepted to the college or trade school of their choice. For that reason and many others, test prep courses are usually a good value. Shop around before committing to a program, most of which are online. Stick with reputable companies that have been in business for many years and offer free retakes for test takers who want to improve scores by taking the test a second time.

Use Summer Jobs to Explore Career Desires

Few youngsters view summer employment as a way to do anything other than earn money. But savvy dads and moms know better. Carefully chosen summer jobs can be an ideal way to explore career paths. Work with your child to find summertime positions in industries that could whet their appetites for long-term career paths. Some of the better choices are hospital work for future med students, banking jobs for those who are geared toward a financial industry focus, and construction work for teens who want a taste of that sector. Consider letting entrepreneurial-minded teenagers start their own small companies, preferably online. Many youths excel at offering basic computer help and website design.

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