Helping Your Student Prepare For College

High school is a busy but fun time for students. They are working hard to do well in school, keep up with their social lives, continue their extracurricular activities, and begin planning for the future. While high school may seem like a busy and stressful time in your kids lives, it is important that they begin to think about college and making plans.

Many students don’t think about college until junior year of high school, and don’t start making plans until senior year. This puts a lot of pressure on them during their last and most important year of high school. Planning their entire future in the span of a few months is stressful and can cause them to rush to a decision.

Preparing for college is a matter of preference, some students may begin the minute they get into high school and other may wait until the last second. There are students who have had their future college picked out for years, before even reaching high school. While planning for college has no right or wrong answer, at Resurrection Christian School we believe that preparation can help students be more successful and hopefully save them some stress. We offer college prep to our students—covering everything from writing resumes or college essays to building a portfolio, ensuring your student if as prepared as possible.

While we offer a college prep class that will help your students in many different areas, there are things you can do at home to help your students get ready for the next chapter of their lives. Whether you start planning early or wait until their senior year is up to you, but we believe that an early start can help your student make the right decision. Forbes features an article stating that children should start preparing for college in sixth grade. While this would help your child be more prepared than just about any other student, it would also not allow your child to be a kid while they have the chance. But again, it is about preference.

A previous blog described how to prepare your recent graduate for college, in this blog, we will go over some of the things you and your child can do to start preparing for college, starting in ninth grade.

Freshman Year

Many students don’t begin thinking about college in ninth grade, but those who do are ahead of the game and will be more prepared when the time comes to make decisions. Your kids aren’t going to start applying for colleges, writing essays, or anything else like that in ninth grade, but there are things they can do to get a headstart on their future.

Colleges like to see student’s involvement in the school and in extracurricular activities. Many students think that their grades and the level of the classes they took are the only things that colleges care about, but they want to see that they had a healthy social life as well. Being involved in clubs, sports, and other groups will be fun for your kid and helps them when the time comes to apply to college. Even getting involved in the community and volunteering can look good on a college resume, plus it can make your student feel fulfilled.

Exploring different classes is another great way to prepare. Not only can students take classes that may help them find their passion and future career options, but it can also look good for colleges. They should try out different technology classes, art classes, foreign languages, and whatever seems to interest them. Although colleges are looking at a student’s life as a whole, grade as still an important factor, so the better your student does in school the better chance they have at getting into the college that they want. Help your student work hard in their classes and ensure they get good grades.  

Even though your child still has a few years before they have to make any major college decision, this is a great time for them to start planning. Begin talking with your child about which colleges they want to go to, if they want to stay in the state or go to an out-of-state college. Get your child thinking about scholarships and maybe even help them begin to build a resume. If you student has a job, maybe suggest that they start putting some money aside and begin saving for college.

Sophomore Year

As your student heads into their sophomore year, they should be focused on their grades. Staying on top of their classes is important, especially as their classes begin to get more difficult. But they should also begin to think more about their college options. Remind your high schooler that some colleges they may be interested in require students to take the SAT and some require the ACT, a list can be found here from PrepScholar. If they are only looking at colleges that require the ACT, they may not have to take the SAT, saving money, stress, and time. If they have no idea which college they want to attend, their best option is to take both tests.

Beginning to prepare for these tests early can help them feel more confident and ready when the time does come to take them. RCS has college prep classes that help your student prepare for these tests, allowing them to head into their senior year feeling fully prepped.

Your student should begin thinking more about what they want to study in college, what careers they may be interested in, and what they are looking for in a college. Many students choose a college based on the specialized programs they offer. Other students choose a college that offers many different areas of study, giving them options to choose from. Whichever way your child leans, make sure they begin to consider their options throughout the year.

Your student will want to stay involved and continue doing extracurricular activities. Encourage them to join clubs, try out for different sports, and perhaps even get a job. A summer job or a weekend job could help them learn responsibility and allow them to save some money. Try to encourage them to save a majority of the money they make, since they are living at home, this is a good time to get their savings account looking good before heading out on their own.

Junior Year

This is a good time to sit down with your teen and talk to them about their college options. Ask them if they have done any research on colleges and if not, encourage them to do so. Ask them if they have begun to consider what they want to study and where they may want to go, and be sure to encourage them to make the decision they think is best for their future. Have them make a list of colleges and slowly find out more about each school, this will help them narrow it down and get a better idea of what they are looking for.

If your high schooler is looking at schools that require or recommend the SAT, help your child prepare and sign them up for the PSAT, allowing them to get practice and have an idea of what the actual test will be like.

Your student should begin having a better idea of the colleges they want to attend, what they may consider studying, and gather college information. Make sure they are staying on top of their academic lives, social lives, and continuing the hard work for the rest of the year.

Senior Year

If you follow all of the tips above, by the time your student makes it to senior year, they will be more prepared than many other students. This can help them feel more confident and stress less as the college decision begins to draw closer. Your teen will be taking the SAT and ACT within the first few months of senior year and hopefully they will be prepared.

Begin visiting colleges on their list to ensure they like the campus, the atmosphere, and the location. Once they have a finalized list, begin applying. Try to encourage your senior to apply for one college each week depending on how many they are applying to. Don’t let them procrastinate and help them whenever possible. Make sure they get letters of recommendations and all the other essentials for applications.

Help your student apply to scholarships and emphasize the fact they even a small scholarship can save them thousands. They should be working on applications for colleges and scholarships regularly and keeping track of everything they have done.

Once your student begins hearing back from colleges, help them decide. Making a decision on a college when they are accepted to many of the ones they were interested in is difficult. Help them by making pros and cons lists, talking about what they liked more about different schools, and have them begin to narrow their choices down. Once they decide on a college, celebrate! Your student worked hard these past few years and they deserve a break. At this point all you will have to worry about is getting them ready to actually attend college.

Peterson’s offers extensive lists outlining everything that can be done to prepare for college, so if you want more information, check it out!

Preparing your student for college can be stressful and hectic, but the early you start preparing the easier it will be! At Resurrection Christian School, we offer a college prep class for our high school students, allowing them to get the knowledge and help they need to take the next step in life. Contact us today to learn more about our school!

 

 


Helping Your Children Grow Into Leaders

There are two types of people in this world—leaders and followers. And while that may seem cliché, it is true and there will always be those who enjoy taking control of different situations. Some leaders may surface during situations that require someone stepping up to the challenge. And a leader can be made. Children have the possibility of turning out in one of two ways, will your child be a leader or a follower?

Every parents wants their child to be a leader—to have the attitude, mentality, and ability to lead a group and themselves. And this is something that you can teach your children. As parents, you can help them learn how to think as a leader would and act as they would act. At Resurrection Christian School, we understand the importance of leadership among different peer groups, and we love seeing our students emerge as leaders. There are many different things you can do to help your children develop and grow into leaders. These lessons and skills may come naturally, but there are ways you can help your child start on the path to leadership.

Start When They Are Young

Your kids learn from watching you and your actions. If you have a positive attitude, face challenges and show them that failure is a learning opportunity. Encourage your children to step outside of their comfort zone whenever possible, push themselves mentally and physically, and take risks. This will allow your children to get comfortable standing up against fears and prepare them to face others.

At a young age, your child will be able to develop different traits and will learn more your actions. Be a good role model for them and show them what a true leader looks like. This will help them begin to adopt their own leadership skills and continue learning new skills into the future.

Teach Them To Work As A Team

A leader works with a team to achieve a goal. Team activities can help encourage your children to take charge and try to motivate everyone to work together. Even if they do not develop leadership skills on the team, it is important for them to see why it is important that an entire team works together and the value in having a team.

If you child does develop leadership skills on their team, be sure to help them best put these skills to use and make the team feel like they can only reach their goals with everyone working together. Teaching your child to be motivating to others may be a challenge but it is something that will help them become a better leader.

Use Motivation

Speaking of the importance of motivation, you should always motivate your children. Make sure they know what they are working towards, as well as the importance of what they’re doing, and that hard work pays off. Keeping your kids motivated can help them feel more confident in their work, feel as though they have significance, and can keep them interested in reaching their goals.

Work On Emotional Intelligence

According to this Forbes article, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a big factor when it comes to developing valuable leadership skills. Emotional intelligence is what helps us manage behavior, make personal decision that achieve positive results, and work through social problems.

EQ is a learned behavior from parents. Children watch how you act in your everyday life, how you respond to strong emotions, and acknowledge how aware of emotions you are.

Forbes mentions a study done by TalentSmart, which found that EQ is responsible for 58 percent of a leader’s performance in their job and 90 percent of top-performing leaders have higher EQs. Being attuned with our emotions may be difficult, but that is because we do not work on developing our EQs. Help your child develop their EQ and they will have a better chance at becoming an effective leader. Emotional intelligence is learned, and these behaviors can easily become habits. Learn more about EQ from the TalentSmart article.

Teach Your Child To Grow From Failure

Every single person, at some point in their life, will experience failure. Whether it is a test, a job interview, or working toward their dream, everyone will face this challenge and have to learn how to deal with it. Teaching your child that failure is okay, will allow them to understand that they can take risks. A leader must learn to take risks and understand the consequences that could come from them.

After your child has faced failure a few times, they will be able to better understand what risks are worth taking. This will help them in many different areas of their life—decision making, comparing risk versus reward, and perseverance.

Teach Perseverance

This is an important part of being a leader and it goes hand-in-hand with failure. Teaching your kids to keep trying and push their challenges and mistakes can help them work until they get it right, and when they finally achieve their goal, they will feel more accomplished and proud of themselves. Failing is only a chance to try something again in a different way, teach them that failure means nothing more than that and have them continue to push themselves and work until they figure it out.

Communication Is Key

Remember that all good leaders are great at communicating. Teach your children how to communicate with everyone, from adults to their peers. Emphasize what good communication looks like compared to bad. Don’t talk for them, allow your children to order their own food, ask adults questions, and communicate with you effectively rather than yelling or throwing a tantrum.

Good communication is not only a good leadership skill, but a life skill that your kids will carry with them throughout their entire lives. Teaching good communication can help them in more ways than one, which is why it is so important to teach them from a young age.

Work On Decision Making

Dealing with failure, working towards a goal, and learning how to act in response to our emotion, all go along with learning how to make good decision. Teaching your child to make good decisions and how to do so can help them greatly in life. They will learn to think about the outcome, why this decision is important, and how it will affect their lives. This is an important quality for a leader to have, and the sooner your child learns the value of good decision making, the easier their life will be.

Let Them Do Their Own Thing

If your child is working on a project, attempting to learn something, or working on an activity, let them work alone. If they struggle, take a step back and let them work their the problem by themselves. Allow them to do things on their own, make their own decisions, and work through their failures. This will teach them not to always rely on receiving help. They will learn to work through their own issues and get the satisfaction of figuring it out on their own. This is a great way to help your children build more confidence, become more independent, and realize the importance of hard work and perseverance.

There are many things you can do to help your children develop leadership skills, this list in only highlighting a few of the most important things that make up a leader. Even if your child does end up being more of a follower, they will benefit greatly from these lessons you taught them.

These lessons, along with an education at Resurrection Christian School, can put your children on a path to success and help them become an effective leader. At RCS, we value leadership and teach our students how to be leaders and what it takes. The lessons you teach your children, along with what we teach at our school, have the potential to make leaders out of more children than most people would expect.

Learn more about the RCS today and work with your children to a learn and understand the importance of these different leadership skill. Feel free to contact us with any questions.


Beginning Preparation For College

Although it is still early in the summer, it is never too early to think about how to prepare your teen to go to college. If your kid recently graduated from high school, they are soon to be heading off to the college of their choosing, ready to start the next chapter in their lives. This part of the process should not be difficult—applications have been filled out, decisions have been made, and your student has begun to mentally prepare.

But this is still a hard time. Especially if your kid is going to an out of state school, they will have to learn how to be on their own for the first time. They will have to figure things out on their own, make decisions without parental guidance, and discover their place in this world. Even if your students still have a few years of high school left, this blog will help when the time comes.

At Resurrection Christian School, we work hard to prepare our high school students for college. We work with students to help them get the best ACT and SAT scores they can to help them get into the colleges they want. We use technology courses and different programs to help them learn about the world and prepare them for the future.

But now the preparation is in your hands. Your teen is ready to take that next giant step in their life, and you need to be there for support. Your kid may take a while picking the college that will best suite their future dreams, their personality, and their academic pursuit, but once they make that important decision, you must help them get everything together and be mentally ready for the challenge ahead.

Making the College Decision

Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to help those parents dealing with an indecisive teen. If your kid has yet to decide on the college they want to attend, have a chat with them. Find out what colleges your student is considering and why. If they are considering a school because of a friend, a significant other, or because it has a fun reputation, try to talk to them about why these are not good reasons to be basing their college decision off of.

Teens will be teens, and if you tell them they cannot make decision based on these reasons, they may go against what you say simply to rebel. So, keep it calm, don’t make accusations, and be reasonable. Find out what their interests are and what they may want to study, then look into each school and find out what their best programs are. Finding a school with a great nursing programs may persuade your student to select that school instead of their less desirable choice.

Once the decision is made, it is time to start preparing your student mentally for college. According to Healthline, the sad fact is the one out of four college students suffer from some form of mental illness, 44 percent report signs of depression. So helping your student through this time in their lives could truly make a difference.

Picking a Major Isn’t Major

Of course selecting the right major is important, but it is not something that needs to be done the first semester or even the first year of their college careers. According to the University of La Verne, about 50 to 70 percent of students will change their major at least once, and most change it at least three times.

Stress this point to your child. They may have dreamed about being a historian since their were young, but once they start classes they may find their math classes much more interesting. Remind them that it is okay to be undecided for a while and test the waters, try out classes that they never imagined liking.

Do research on the majors they may seem interested on, declaring could help them out. For example, at Colorado State University, new freshmen can declare a business major right away. But it they hold off only to later decide they want to give business a shot, they will have to get their GPA up to a 3.0 before their can declare. Keep that in mind while researching colleges.

Don’t Force The Major

This is just a small reminder to let your kids live their own lives. If you push your child to be an engineer because your family comes from a long line of engineers, it may end badly. If they don’t like the major or the industry but feel pressured to follow the family, they will end up hating college all together, and may not even have the desire to finish.

Take Time, Save Money

Your teens will want to spend one last summer with their high school friends, but they could be using that valuable time to save another valuable asset: money. Depending on who is paying for college, you will soon learn that it is way more expensive than anything should be, but that is the way it is.

By having your student apply for scholarships, even if they only get a few, they can save a lot of money. The more scholarships, the more money they can save. Although it takes a ton of time, it could truly help their, or your, financial situation in the future and allow them to not take out as many loans.

Have your kid spend a few hours a day applying to scholarships. While they may hate you for it now, they are sure to thank you in the future.

Instill Independence

Most likely, your student will be living in the dorms their freshmen year. This means they will have a certain level of independence they did not have before. They will take care of all their laundry, cleaning, feeding themselves, and whatever else they generally rely on you to take care of.

Many students will get their first job, or a work study, during their first year in college. They will be in charge of their money, and have to decide whether they will save it or not. Teaching them to save at least a portion of their money could help them start building up their account before having to find a place to rent the follow year.

During the summer, start giving your teen a little more independence so they can begin to figure it out. If you keep a close eye on everything your student does and force them to follow your rules until they move out, the transition may be more challenging for them.

Get Ready For Move-In Day

Obviously move-in day won’t be for quite a while, but it is never too early to start preparing. Tell your teen to start planning on what they will bring, what they will need to buy, and what they can buy there. This may also be a good time to have them clean out and throw away old junk they no longer need or want.

When planning on what to pack, remember they will be home for Christmas break, hopefully earlier, and they can swap out summer clothes for winter items during this time. There is no need to bring everything the first time around.

Plan on what they will need once they are in the dorms. Do they have the proper size of sheets? Do they have a laundry basket? Will they need their own cleaning supplies or a shower caddy? Do they need a bike? Will there be room in their dorm for extra seating? Find out the layout of their dorm room and start planning from there. Let them figure out what they will need besides the basics. Decorating a dorm room is half the fun of living in the dorms. Let them enjoy it.

Obviously these are not the only tips that can help prepare your teen for college, and we will go over more as the time draws closer. For now remember these tips and be there for your students. Let them ask questions and answer them the best you can. This is generally a point where teens begin to push away from their parents because they are preparing for a difficult sendoff. Don’t get upset with them for this, help them prepare, and mentally prepare for yourself.

Resurrection Christian School can help get your kids prepared to apply and get into the colleges they want with ACT and SAT prep. If your student is not yet heading to college, make sure they are getting an education that can help them get there. Learn more about Resurrection Christian School today!