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Old 05-31-2007, 06:58 AM
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hints for helping High Schoolers prepare for college

As #4 finishes her freshman year of high school I have begun to think about some of the thing we have learned about preparing for life after high school. I know it is still 3 years away, but from past expereince there are things you can start doing now to help prepare for college.

The first thing that comes to mind is keep a log of your childs activities, awards & achievements. When it comes time to apply for colleges and scholarships it might be hard to recall the activities and responsibilities your child had as a freshman. We keep a paper for each school year noting the activity involved in and a short note about the responsibilities involved. Some activities such as Band we write down all extra events the child participated in like--Honor bands, workshops & contests. We also include any Community or church activities as these all are important when appling for scholarships.
This is just one aspect of preparing for college. I am sure there are many more helpful hints that can be share. So please let us know what you have done to help your child be ready for college.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:10 AM
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Joy, I don't know what the laws are in your state. But, in NM a high schooler can start taking college classes at the age of 15 and the state is required to pay for them! So, here, we see many high school students taking afternoon or evening classes so that they can get a jump on their college degrees at the expense of the state.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:04 AM
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Joy, I had just told my Big DS that he is going to have to keep a journal of his activities. It'll make things so much easier later when he fills out applications
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:32 AM
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DeBora-- Our high schools offer many college classes that kids can take at the high school. These are usually through the local Community college (IA has state wide community college system with 18 regional centers) and can sometimes be good for dual credit for both high school and college. The State doesn't pay for all of the classes, but if you take a class that you have to pay for the cost is much less than regular college tuition
DD#1 entered college this fall with 14 credit hrs that she took while attending high school. My 2 DS both took career related classes in high school that saved them almost a full year of Community college.
Barb--the journal will be very helpful. Make sure to keep track of community service projects, church volunteering and such, as these can lead to some great scholarships too. Character and leadership qualities count as much as academics for some scholarships. DD#1 got a 4 yr renewable local scholarship based solely on character and leadership. DD1 is a very good student, but academics were not considered at all to recieve this one.
It is also a good way to encourage our kids to become involved in their community by doing service projects.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:21 PM
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Joy, that is a good deal. I know several college students who got a jump on college that way and it looked good on their resume for school.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:40 PM
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Another advantage to have taken some college credit course during high school is many college students take a semester off to do internships. This can prolong their college stay, but if they have college credit from their high school years it may help to keep them on track for a year graduation from college.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:24 AM
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Joy, that is a great idea about keeping records of all high school activities for the college applications. My ds1 is a junior in high school and is already visiting colleges and keeping track of his activities.

Other things I have done to prep my dks for college is to teach them how to do laundry and how to budget money, both of which is important if dks are going to live in a dorm. It also helps if they know how to make a bed and budget their time as well.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:46 AM
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Sammi--Good advice about learning some everyday living skills. I did teach all of my dks how to do laundry as I needed them to help me out around the house. Knowing how to do laundry, balance your checkbook, make a simple meal, etc. are good skills for all kids to have whether they go to college or not.
Something that really hit me this week was personal safety. There was an 18 yr old girl abducted from a Target parking lot in the Kansas City area this past week. She was later found dead a few miles away. Her abducter was caught on surveillance camera, caught and arrested. This girl had merely gone to the mall and not even that late in the evening. The girl had just graduated from High School a few weeks earlier.
I know we tell our little kids about strangers from early on, but I think we need to remind our older children about going places alone and being aware of people around them. My DD attend a Business and Professional Womens Senior Breakfast her final year of High School. The speaker was a woman attorney that addressed the subject of Personal Safety. She had some good advice about situtations that can arise when away from home for the first time. One of her most important rules was don't go places alone if at all possible and Always let someone know where you are going to be and when you will be back.
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Old 06-09-2007, 01:09 AM
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Yep, doing laundry and managing money is what the orientation told us too. At PSU they have a required 1 credit freshman seminar, personal safety etc is included.

The rule for studying is 1 hour of class means 2 hours of prep and review. 15 credits means 45 hours of schooling.

I told my dd1 to not go back to her dorm room between classes but use the time for review, homework, and study instead.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:26 AM
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Joy, that is so sad about the girl in Kansas. It was all over the news here and I am so glad they caught her killer. I think personal safety is a topic we need to teach our dks from an early age. That poor girl was just running an errand at Target and look what happened. We need to tell our college kids to never go places alone, to always let someone know where they are going and when they will be back, to never go places alone at night, to watch their drinks (even if it just soda) and never leave them unattended at a party and so many other things. I know I was so scared when my dd left for college because I wasn't sure I had prepared her enough for the things that could happen. Now ds1 will be leaving in a year. being away at school can be a heady experiencs, first time away from parental control, but they need to realize the world is not always a safe place.

Ellen, glad that is a required seminar at your dd's college. I think something like that should be required at every college. I also like when colleges have safety personnel who will escort students at night so they do not have to walk alone.
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