Children are more successful when parents are involved in their education.(StatePoint) College no longer is just a rich learning ground, but a prerequisite to many of today’s jobs.
With this in mind, parents increasingly are looking to send their children to college or go back to school themselves. And there’s no better time than the present to talk to your family about your or your children’s college dreams.
“The transition to postsecondary education can be difficult for even the most prepared families,” said Sharon Darling, president & founder of the National Council of Family Literacy (NCFL). “We need to ensure that more nontraditional adults are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education and that parents are well prepared to inform and nurture the educational aspirations of their children.”
Explore Your Options
It’s never too early for children to start thinking about a future career -- or too late for grown-ups to consider a different career.
Make a list of what you or your child likes to do and brainstorm potential careers that match those skills and interests. Then explore books about careers, preferably with your children. Preschoolers may like “Career Day” by Anne Rockwell or “Caring for Your Pets: A Book About Veterinarians” by Ann Owen.
For elementary kids, try reading “Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Science” by Diane Lindsey and Lindsey Clasen and other books in this series. And you can engage your teen in exploring careers with “If You Could Be Anything, What Would You Be? A Teen’s Guide to Mapping Out the Future” by Jeanne Webster.
Make it a Family Goal
One way to ensure that dreams come true is to set goals and implement the steps to achieve them. But some long-term goals, like buying a house or getting a college degree, take many smaller steps before you can accomplish them. Feeling supported by family while achieving smaller goals can help build confidence so that eventually, the larger goal is reached.
Families should also take advantage of free resources. For example, NCFL has released multi-media resources to help people unfamiliar with navigating the U.S. college system gain access to the information necessary for preparing and succeeding in college. The resource, produced with support from MetLife Foundation, is available free of charge in English and Spanish at www.famlit.org.
When parents are involved with their children’s school and in their educational experiences, their kids are more successful -- not only in school, but in life. Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher, ask questions when you don’t understand what is expected of your child, and talk to your child every day about school.
By being involved, having frequent conversations about education and pursuing your own higher education dreams, you can positively impact your child’s future. And isn’t that what every parent wants?