Oradell, NJ 10/15/17 Parents hear often how important it is to start saving early for their child’s college education, but what about nurturing a lifelong college mindset? “Parents shouldn’t assume that just because their child attends school each day that he or she is thinking about and planning for college,” says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. Huntington suggests that parents start the college conversation early. Here are a few additional tips to positively influence your child’s feelings about the importance of college:
Set the expectation. Rather than making college sound like a possibility, talk about college as a definite plan. By doing so, you’ll ingrain in your child’s mind that it will happen—with your support. This is also a good opportunity to impress upon your child the importance of working hard in school in preparation for college-level academics.
Share the reasons that college is important. Starting as early as elementary school, talk candidly with your child about the fact that earning a college education will help him or her get a good job, make more money and have a better life overall. As your child grows older, discuss some of the other benefits of college, such as the ability to explore subjects, grow as a person, try new activities and much more.
Go see colleges. If there is a college in your town, take your child there sometimes—even if just for picnics or walks on the weekends. Many colleges offer events for the community as well as camps and other programs for children of all ages. Seek out opportunities to expose your child to the college environment. Take your child to visit your alma mater if you have the chance. Point out the places where you lived and took classes and share some of the positive experiences from your time at college.
Talk about the future. Your nine-year-old might not yet have a firm career ambition, but you can still ponder the possibilities and discuss how a college education will help your child make them happen. Ask your child what he or she wants to become. Give your child opportunities to explore careers through classes, camps, and later, internships and volunteer experiences.
Parents have a tremendous influence on their child’s college aspirations. “You are your child’s greatest influence, so everything you say and do shapes how your child feels about college and its value,” says Huntington. “Make college sound exciting, worthwhile and achievable. Promise that you’ll help your child realize his or her academic aspirations. Then, by the time your child reaches high school, the question won’t be whether or not to attend college, but where to apply.”
Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at www.huntingtonhelps.com. For franchise opportunities please visit www.huntingtonfranchise.com.