There are two critical keys for college success, and neither involves the core subjects of reading, writing, and math.
#1 How to Study
After they’d had a few years of college experience, I asked my sons what I should say to people who are preparing their kids for college, and they told me that parents should teach their students how to study. Your goal in high school is not to “teach” your children. The goal is for them to learn how to learn on their own. That’s what studying is all about; learning independently. Check in with your student to see how studying is going, and to offer any suggestions or encouragement. Explain that learning independently, by reading and understanding material on their own, is what studying is all about.
#2 Why to Sleep
The first quarter or semester of college finds most new students deep in social and academic overload. Sleep is often the first thing that goes out the window! To be successful in college, though, your student must learn the importance of sleep. When kids don’t get enough sleep, their brains won’t function and their bodies will fall apart. Spend time explaining the importance of sleep while our children are still at home. In fact, I encourage parents to have their students write a yearly report on why sleep in important, just to be sure the message sinks in. When they go to college, they may not be able to sleep in like they do at home, so they need to truly understand why going to bed is critical. Encourage your student to understand the importance of good sleep to their health and their learning.
Teach your children how to study and why to sleep. Those two skills alone can make a huge difference in their ability to thrive in college.
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