When considering college prep programs for your child, high school is when the rubber hits the road. If you expect your child to get into a great college, you need to start taking practical steps to achieve that goal yesterday. While it’s ideal to begin preparing for college in middle school, high school is not too late. You and your student need a solid game plan in place. Here are some simple ways to start prepping your high schooler for college right now:
Foster a love of reading.
The absolute best way to prepare your child for the SAT, ACT, and college in general is to make sure they are reading every single day. Hopefully, your home already provides a nurturing culture of literacy for your child every day. It’s never too late to read aloud as a family. It doesn’t matter the genre; as long as your student is reading every day, they will be expanding their vocabulary and their comprehension skills. Join them by also reading the books they’re assigned at school, and use them as a springboard for discussion. Playing games together like Scrabble or Words With Friends, (the smartphone app equivalent), is also a great way to expand their vocabulary.
Consider sending your student to a pre-college summer program.
If your student has Ivy League aspirations, consider a pre-college summer program to give them a competitive edge. Prepscholar.com says, “Many selective private colleges, including Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia, offer pre-college summer programs for high school students. Some pre-college summer programs are open enrollment (anyone can attend) and others require admission through an application process. The selective programs typically require teacher recommendations, application essays, and standardized test scores.” While some programs are free or offer financial aid, many require a significant investment to attend.
The absolute best college prep program for your high schooler -help them cultivate great study skills.
If your teen hasn’t mastered great study skills already, now is the time to start. Help your child be successful over the long term by allowing them to learn and study independently, without a parent holding their hand or nagging them every step of the way. Help them learn to study a little bit every day, rather than cramming at the last minute. And teach them how to use proven tactics to learn information, such as handmade flashcards, the Cornell method of reading notes, interactive notebooks, and Quizlet. If they don’t master these skills during high school, college will prove to be a very rude awakening.
What college prep programs do you recommend for high schoolers?