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Parent's Guide: Helping Your Child with College Preparation and Plan Your Education

Parent's Guide: Helping Your Child with College Preparation and Plan Your Education

Recently a completely new concept took over the entire nation by surprise - a totally new way of thinking and enough food for thought for those who really care about the American education system; as published on CNN Student News. The initiative named "Don&'t fail me" is an online video documentary - an educator and parents guide which is free to download for those who abide to use it for educational purpose. Organizations like PTA play a major role to pave success path for parents and teachers in harmony with each other.

Parent's along with the schools - state and country administrators have started taking child education very seriously and hence parents guide to school - college and careers are easily available. They all have started portraying active involvement to promote and turn each child's talent and capabilities in a dream come true - through involvement and empowering children - across families and communities. brings; the C-H-A-M-P-S concept for reader's benefit prepared with careful planning and dedication - helping the parents to make real time champions of their precious children. Irrespective of the pros and cons of a parent guide - this so called SIX Sigma parent's guide - would ensure that all parents sail through successfully; the high and low tides of ever evolving huge ocean of education.

Cherish your possessions - Value what you have got in form of children - parents - teachers - associates and many more. This will bring in a lot of help and optimism in your thought process.

Hold on to your promises - Hold on to the promise that you made to yourself - your family about your child’s Health - well being and providing best of the education leading them to a successful life - no matter what ups and downs you may encounter in your life time. Enhance your level of commitment.

Answerability - Be answerable and take accountability of actions which lead your family and child’s education towards success or a set back at times. This hones family member’s confidence in their parent’s.

Make group efforts - Teamwork, unity and many more words to describe the easiest concept of group efforts. Make all efforts with consensus of your child and family to achieve the unachievable. Set performance goals - for yourself and your kids as well.

Persevere honesty - You are the role model for your kid - child - children and family members. As a parent they will all look up to you and follow your footsteps to a great extent. They feel and believe that whatever you do is correct and hence your being an honest individual will make your child grow up as honest individual.

Stay updated - A parent or a single parent leading the team called a family with team mates called Children; is supposed to stay abreast the latest updates and information about anything and everything. This helps the parent and the children to make correct decisions which help them attain the desired goal.

There are different types of learners including; visual learners - kinesthetic learners - auditory learners. We have tried to present here a parent guide which might prove to be a jack of all.

To sum up and also to give our readers a fair and in-depth idea about some of the tried and tested tips making it one of the perfect parents’s guide:

Show and practice concern - it is one of the most successful strategies for motivating students. It really helps in motivating learning in young children, to develop their skills and to perform. No matter however busy you are - take out some time - get involved with them - they would really love it.

  • Seek College admissions tips for parents are the stepping stones.
  • Is the school striving for educational leadership - where you want your child to study?
  • To start with; ensure you accompany your child to his/her school on the first day for sure.
  • Keep a habit of sharing your views about importance of school and education while you discuss the studies with them. Make it a habit for them to do their homework in a regular - dedicated and quite place.
  • Report cards - homework assignments - school lunch plans - vacation and bus schedules are for your kids to execute and follow; but to be read thoroughly for you - as a parent. Make your child believe that you are well informed about the proceedings.
  • Parent teacher meets and school meets are for you to attend - this will help you know the school - teachers and principals who are mentoring your kid towards success.
  • Read and understand thoroughly all the policies and procedures of the school; enabling you to strike the chord wherever required.
  • Volunteer for sports events - charity functions - school events. This will help your children to be in the good books of school staff and at the same time will motivate your children to follow your footsteps when they grow up.
  • Visiting your child's class once in a while; of course with a pre confirmed schedule and not only during parent teacher meets - will surely give you a real picture of the progress and day today activities.
  • Parent organizations are real time updaters for everyone. Join one in your kid's school and if none exists - initiate one. Talking with other parents will give you a better insight of the aspects.
  • Reading at home apart from the school work/homework is a good habit to inculcate. Visiting local libraries - reading used books - visiting book fairs and so on are good starters for this journey.
  • It should not be only you who should be and show involvement in the child's education - instead all the family members including grandparents should show interest.
  • Remember - Actions speak louder than words and hence just you telling your kids that you are concerned about his/her studies will not have the impact that would last for a life time.

Raise Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug free kids - one of the biggest challenges for parents of 21st century. You will have to sight it to fight it. Talk to your kids about these subjects and you can save them. A recent survey reveals that children who were been talked to by their parents about these vices had huge influence over their decision of not doing drugs and alcohol.

  • Try and talk to them - boost up their low self-esteem - they surely will listen to you.
  • Talk to them about the real time risks of drugs - alcohol and tobacco. Seek professional help from National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information 1-800-729-6686.
  • Be a real time role model for your child - let's not forget what they learn is what they see.
  • Parenting has to be on priority; always. Make and implement rules for your kids which will make them believe that you really care about whatever happens to them. This is to be followed with adaptability as your child is growing daily.
  • Do some role plays with your child about how to say “NO” when someone offers alcohol - tobacco products or drugs. It is a very easy thing to be a victim to peer pressure in such things. They need to be firm with their decision while saying “NO”.
  • Knowing your kid's parents - guardians - care takers and so on may be of help to take a deeper dive in the process of saving your child from such vices.
  • Mostly stress and depression are the two major contributors for teenagers to start with alcohol and drugs. Be observant about these signs in your child. Help them learn to use stress busters and stay away from depression.
  • Self educating yourself about college drinking - drugs - and tobacco products available and sold in market with jargons - signs of usage - pros and cons; will help you confront and stay to the mark with details; as and when required.
  • School teacher - counselor - principals; are of great help in educating you child in the school about these vices - as your kid spends equal time in the school as in the house.

Practicing and review school work - preparing students for next chapters - make students self disciplined and dependent - using dictionaries - encyclopedias - libraries - Internet; how does all this is done through HOMEWORK - one of the most essential part of education which improves study habits of your kid.

  • Deciding and following with a regular homework schedule for your child is very important. The place where studies/homework is done should be quite enough - away from Television, radio and loud noises.
  • The apparatus pens - pencils - erasers - calculator - paper - books - highlighters and much more is needed for doing homework/studying. Ensure your kids have all this at one place instead of a situation where they start searching for it at the time of studies.
  • Parents to children facing challenged with homework should speak to all the teachers assigned to your kid in the school and sort a way out - may be with extra help or tutorials; if needed. Try to find out what are the hurdles and you will see the difference.
  • Look out for comments and teacher's remarks for the previous day's homework. This will help you assess the current stand of your child with regards to his pace with studies.
  • First of all make sure your kid does not miss out on school; it at all he/she misses a school make necessary arrangements to get him/her the homework from their friends/classmates.
  • Eat while you eat and study while you study...this will help your kid concentration one thing at a time and also will bring in neatness in the homework leading to appreciation from teachers.
  • Schedule the study time in a manner where once your child is done with the homework - can go out to play - have some snacks - watch TV for some time and then revise the work done. This will help them with a fresh view to the homework and identifying mistakes and rectifying it; if needed.
  • Become your child's homework helper - by their choice and not as a necessity.

Your rights as a Parent - Guardian - Care taker are prime and prominent. At times you would want to advocate your child’s education for results ascertained. For this it is mandatory for you to know what rights you have as a parent and hence what is it that you can and cannot do for your child’s education and betterment.

  • To start with keep a regular tab on your child's school records - test results - teacher's comments and teaching strategies.
  • Things you are not clear about are to be asked to the concerned stake holders at the school.
  • Parents with their kids in special education should look forward for guidance from Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • As a parent you also have the right to submit a written request to not to punish your child physically in case of non adherence to school's rules and regulations.
  • Religious - moral or any other reasonable reasons can be considered valid objections for you; not allowing your child to attend any of the school activities - it is your right.
  • Review of the suspension decision for your kid is your right.
  • Educate your child that he/she has the right to be skipped from unjustified searches on the school/college grounds or activity areas - it is your right.
  • Parents can surely challenge the policies of the school with regards to sex based biasness in activities and sports.
  • Parents to kids studying in schools eligible to receive federal funds - the law needs you to be involved in the assessment of activities and programs which directly or indirectly affect your child's education and growth.
  • Does the teacher reward positive behavior outside the classroom also?

As the name specifies Teacher Parent meetings are really meant for a healthy and active participation by both; the parents and the teachers. Pay due respect and take privilege of this educational facility. Parents who keep a tab on their child’s progress in terms of class work - homework and all such aspects should and would preplan with a set of queries and questions that they would want to ask the teachers or the principal on THE day....Speaking to your child’s teacher and school staff is mandatory as it is for the betterment of your child....

  • Is my child's performance up to the mark - at grade level?
  • Hopefully my kids are not been given extreme pressure of study?
  • Which are the forthcoming essential high school classes for my kid?
  • My child's Assignments - are they timely - complete and accurate?
  • What is it that the school is catering to meet the special needs of my child?
  • Which are the special learning needs of my child; if any?
  • I would request a joint review of my child's folder maintained by the school
  • Share contact details apart from the formal details shared in the school records; if required.
  • Strengths and weaknesses - reading - writing - science - mathematics - English language arts/literacy - does school work support your child's learning style?
  • Request details about close friends of your child - and also does he go along good with other kids in the classroom and school campus.
  • What are the efforts as parents - that the school would want us to put in for supporting the learning at school?

The set of questions or queries would be a bit different for those parents with kids in high schools and middle school...

  • How may we help our kid for the next level?
  • Peer Pressure - Alcohol - drugs - tobacco; what is it that the school would be helpful to us on these fronts?
  • Which courses would you suggest as a teacher to my kid as a preparation towards graduation?
  • What is it that we should do as parent's to help our kid to make optimum use of their time and reducing their dependency on adults?

Also at the same time the parents are also requested to be prepared with some of the questions - details and updates the teachers and the school staff would want to know about the environment your kid lives in - the family background - habits in the house and many such things that we might take lightly as a routine of life; but which affect the way our kid performs and behaves in the lifetime.

We all know the fact that Books are the best friends and you have to cultivate the Habit to READ and keep reading whatever imparts knowledge and skills; but to gain the best friends for a life time. Reading and the habit to read is early the it then would enhance and decrease in very rare scenarios.

  • Allows your kids to touch and feel books and newspapers to make them familiar to these objects.
  • As small kids - start this practice while they are infants. Sit with them with books - newspapers, let them hear your voice, look at your fingers pointing at pictures, identify things familiar to them from pictures and so on.
  • Be precise while reading to your child - but do it more often.
  • Pointed fingers at the words you are reading would help your child identify them very fast.
  • Reading - reciting and repeating rhymes for your kid in early age is the best way to cultivate this interest.
  • Encourage your child to spend free time - reading books - and keep adequate books in the house on various subjects appropriate to the age bucket.
  • Speak - Read - Listen and Write are the four legs of the stool called Language - which can take your child to the seventh sky of success. Talk and listen adequately to your kid - no matter what the age - this will keep his skills evolving forever.
  • Be a role model - ensure your child sees you reading more often and that too for fun and getting adequate information. This will encourage them to follow your footsteps. Remember... They learn what they see.....FAST.
  • Keeping a watch on your child's learning at school and homework would give you a better insight on what is it that your child should read which would support your child's learning
  • Seek further assistance from or call 1-800-USA-LEARN.

School violence has become a truth which is criticized - expected but accepted. Year on year approx 3 million young people fall prey to crimes at school of which 2 million suffer due to violence at school. School violence overruling school discipline and efforts of school improvements can be of any from the enlisted:

Violent behaviors:
  • Bullying
  • Electronic aggression
  • Fighting (e.g., punching, slapping, kicking)
  • Gang violence
  • Weapon use
Events of School violence:
  • During a school-sponsored event
  • On school property
  • On the way to or from a school-sponsored event
  • On the way to or from school

A lot of efforts are being made constantly to curb such episodes. A lot of attempts are being made to spread the awareness about its existence - prevention and the cure. CDCP and Constitutional rights foundation have worked rigorously to identify The challenge of school violence and Causes of School Violence. The issue is serious and hence even UNICEF has shown its involvement finding a cure to the issue along with some NGOs as well.

All said and done - all the actions and precautions though taken by the authorities - it is our responsibility as parents - to ensure we keep our child and the community safe from School Violence.

  • Request a handbook of the rules and regulations from the school - college - institution your child attends.
  • Get a crystal clear understanding of the behavioral rules of the institute your child is a part of.
  • Understand the type and severity of the punishments in a given scenario and ensure you make your child understand the same.
  • For example, if required make your child understand the punishment and effects of a event when someone is caught with a weapon in the school campus.
  • Try and seek details about the track records being maintained by the school for :

    • Students missing and skipping schools more often without prior information
    • Names of students who have ever misbehaved with their teachers or school staff.
    • Increasing number of incidents where school property is stolen or damaged - intentionally.
    • Seek details about those students who always stay aloof from the rest of the students and are always angry and high at temper.
    • List of complaints made by students/parents about kids being harassed - thrashed - bullied - tortured on school grounds - bathrooms - sports events - on the way to or from the school and so on.
  • Just in case you come across any of the concerning events - do not be the only one to worry. Speak to other parents - principal - teachers - school staff - parent teacher organization and work in harmony with them to make a safe and violence free school.
  • Talking to your children will value add to the aspect like nothing else can do. Speak to them regularly about things concerning them when it comes to safety. They will provide enough food to your thoughts that you would be in a position to discuss with aforesaid stake holders.
  • Try and find out the supervision patterns and about the supervisors who are in charge before and after regular school hours. This would be of great help in scenarios where you or any of the parents may drop their kid early or late at school - high school.
  • Check on security systems including surveillance cameras - visitors - entrance gates and other things.
  • Educate your child to stay alert when it comes to strangers on school campus.
  • Making a committee of parents worried about the safety of their kids in the school is a good idea.
  • Anger - problem with others - distress and how to handle them or manage situations filled with them - are some of the aspects which as a parent you would have to educate your child about.

Further information from National Resource Center for Safe Schools at 1-800-268-2275 or online assistance from might prove to be handy.

The so called "Idiot Box" which actually turns out to be one at times - but not all the times - if handled in a rational manner. A survey suggests that American kids have the habit of watching television for up to 5-6 hours in a day. It can be an educating experience still as a parent it becomes your prime responsibility to check what exactly your kid has access to. Too much of it might be as good as inviting problems to hamper your kids - educations - physical and mental growth.

  • Keep track of how much time does your kid watch television.
  • Keep track of channels your kid has the access to and try and find out some time to watch those programs with your kids for a better insight.
  • Picking up a television show to watch with your kids and discussing out the events as portrayed in the show is an idea that would be of great help - while watching a program you can initiate a discussion about how an athlete didn't let go off the race though he was injured and finished last. This would help you maintain a healthy relationship with your child.
  • Every week come up with some or the other activity which can work as a proxy for time consumed in watching television programs. Arts - crafts - drawings - scrabbles; all this would deviate your child's mind and motivate them to spend more time with the family.
  • Using television as a babysitter is the worst thing you can do to your kid and their childhood.
  • Try and find out the areas of interests of your child and try and divert them to television programs portraying these aspects - this might require rescheduling the family activities in order to adjust to show timings.
  • Never ever use watching television as a reward or recognition - it will hone the importance of television watching.
  • Always insist on having a television in the common area in the house instead of having one or various in the bedrooms.
  • Meals and study time should be on priority over television. If possible ensuring that the television is not turned on unless these vital and daily tasks are addressed to - in appropriate manner.
  • Once your kid starts watching television with interest - it will be a new task for you to educate them about the difference in the real world and the world that is being shown in the television program.
  • Last but not the least - is to review your own television watching not forget...they learn what they see....

Further assistance on the issue from Go to www.ed.govor call 1-800-USA-LEARN.

Checks and balances for activities done are mandatory. This will gauge and give a clear status about the progress for which the activity was been conducted. Same is the case with Tests being conducted by schools and colleges. Tests are a good way to measure the progress of your child and at the same time it also helps you to prepare the teachers and parents for specific requirements to boost up the progress; if any. Things to be kept in mind about tests at schools....

  • Who all are in the school or college academic advisor committee?
  • Various types of test your kid will appear in the school
  • What is the difference between the regular test and the one being conducted by the teacher; if any?
  • I would like to understand the test results of my kid - who will explain me?
  • What is it that I need to help my child with for preparations of tests?
  • I need help of old test papers and test materials for my kid's guidance - where can I get them?
  • Which all test scores will have impact on my kid's grades?
  • Do you share the scores in presence of the child and the parent - will he/she get the chance to understand the positives and negatives to improve the performance in future test?
  • Do not forget to celebrate achievements - small or big.
  • Is my child eligible for testing exemption?

This is 21st century and the one thing that has inevitable is the Computers. A man can live without moving from the chair - roam the world even without moving out of the house and can get educated to the top most degrees without attending any school or college - they have become pole stars guiding teens toward satisfying careers - that is the miracle that computers have done and are capable of. But as well know - all the good things have a dark side as well...It helps in motivating the unmotivated student as well through its user friendly approach. You surely would like your kids to be up to the mark when it comes to computers as it is the need of the hour...but in a positive way - while avoiding its nuisances.

  • Find out the details about computer education at your child's school
  • What is the time and how many times does your kid use the computer at home and at the school as well.
  • How much time does your child spend using the internet?
  • What are the filters and preventive measures implemented - as World Wide Web is capable of delivering information almost on any given topic?
  • Find out from school authorities and teachers about the various programs being used to teach your child and how does that do a value addition to your child's progress?
  • Are the computer teachers in your school's kid well equipped to become role model for student interest?
  • Talk to your kid about how do they find working on and with computers - interesting - challenging, all these would add up to your efforts for their well being.
  • Usually anyone and every one of us are not well versed with computers - still if be needed take up some easily available computer coaching to help you assist your kids with computer based projects from school.