For me, one of the greatest gifts and responsibilities about being a parent is helping shape my children’s futures. My husband and I take this very seriously. I didn’t have that guidance in my life and it left me to be aimless for many years. I attended college for less than a year when I graduated from high school. I didn’t finish my degree until I was 47 years old. I want my children to learn from me and to take their future seriously. I want them to have a clear path of how to get into college, how to pay for it and what they want to study. When preparing your teen for college, what resources have you tapped into? I have a great relationship with my daughter’s teachers, and they have helped steer us in the right direction. But with a little over a year before she graduates, we need a more solid plan in place.
I have found a fountain of wonderful information from the Parent’s College Checklist, provided by the provided by the Honor Societies. We have paired that with discussion about the 5 key pillars from the Honor Societies; Leadership, Character, Service, Scholarship and Citizenship. We are taking advantage of the upcoming winter break to work on some of these pillars. With the holidays, it is a great time to do some service in our community. Caitlin is in her robotics club at school and is on the Business Leadership team. This is a great role for her to play to prepare her for her future in the business world.
Currently, the National Honor Society (NHS) and the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is promoting their “Honor Your Future Now” campaign. Don’t you love the title of that? Had I honored my future 30 years ago, I bet I would have had a different career path! In this campaign, the NHS and the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are encouraging students in middle and high school to look towards their collegiate future. The program provides these families awesome resources to build their skills within the 5 pillars of NHS and NJHS. Among the advice, I appreciate these the most:
- Start Early: Boy, did this home for me! We have bee talking about college with Caitlin for more than 2 years now. No matter what grade your child is in, it is the perfect time to talk college. Just open the dialog about what they want to be, where they would want to go and what college looks like to them.
- Grades Count: We have had some rough patches with Caitlin’s grades. It isn’t that she cannot do the work, but she chooses to put it off. This has bitten her in the behind more than once! Now that we are in the homestretch, she knows how important those grades are.
- Character Counts: I want Caitlin to be the most authentic person she can be. This should shine in every area of her life. I want her to be kind, courteous, honest and respectful towards others. For the most part, she hits all those points.
- Give Back: I want my kids to know there is more going on in the world than our four walls. We tend to have a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to going about our daily lives. We need to remind our kids, and ourselves, there are others who don’t have food or shelter. We need to give back to them.
To see all of the resources available to you through The Honor Your Future Now campaign, just hop over to their homepage. Sit down with your child, grab some hot chocolate and dig in. There is so much you can glean from this. You will see idea starters for giving back to your community and if you’re a student member, you can visit http://www.nhs.us/students/the-nhs-scholarship.aspx to learn more about the NHS scholarship program. I would love to tap into some of that $500K that was awarded in 2015. That number is expected to double in the upcoming year. You will also get College Admissions and Financial Aid Planning Support, which we are very interested in learning more about. Be sure to follow NHS on Twitter and like them on Facebook
How are you planning to prepare your child for college?