We know how important your involvement is in your child's education - we also know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the important steps in planning and preparing for college.  

Below you'll find this month's content - LEARN (info to know), DO (action to take), and TIPS (insights for success)


JANUARY

Learn 

The Junior Year is Pivotal

Sometimes the 10th and 11th grade years might seem like the “middle child” – getting lost between the excitement that was freshman year and the enchantment of senior year, but where your student’s future is concerned, 11th grade is a big deal!  

Junior year courses, and the grades earned in those courses, are the last ones that colleges will see before deciding if they are accepted.  Take a second to consider that statement – these experiences and outcomes are like the final impression is left by your student – the grand finale, the closing remarks, the exclamation point…

This is the year for them to show academic bravado: even if previous grades have been lackluster, now is a time to show colleges that your son or daughter can do well and that they understand the importance of their education now and into their future. 

This is also the year where teacher relationships matter most: when your student need those ever-important letters of recommendation for college, it will be these teachers that they will most likely come back to for assistance and support. 

To compound the importance of the Junior Year, this is also the year of the “standardized test.”  The ACT and SAT are important pieces of the college application.  That being said, it is important to keep them in perspective:

  • Neither the ACT or SAT can predict future success.
  • These tests do not measure intelligence.
  • Standardized tests cannot prove self-worth.

Now, these tests do have an important place in college admissions, so they must be taken seriously.  If they aren’t feeling confident, a tutor can help them feel more ready for these tests.  Remember, we want them to feel confident enough to do their very best and the right college for your student will appreciate their grades, scores, and all of the other involvements that make them a great candidate. 

Finally, junior year is when your family will do the bulk of the college research.  Looking into schools, doing research, meeting with college reps, and going on visits will help your student better understand what they want and need in a school and which ones can give them the best of all worlds without breaking the bank.  While this process can be daunting, it can also be exciting – help your student remember that.

Are you stressed about the Junior Year?  Don’t be.  Take your time to understand what is in store, help your son or daughter find balance in their life (academics, relationships, and activities), and take each step one at a time.  You’ll get through this…together!


DO

Help Them Choose Wisely

They are most likely finalizing their junior course selections during this time of year.  As those classes will make up the vast majority of their daily lives (in school and regarding homework), help them pick the right courses for them and their future plans.

This means balancing their academic load so that they can be successful with their grades.  This also means balancing their emotional and relational load so that they can avoid the added stress of the junior year.

They may seem like they’re growing up fast – they are still kids and need sleep, downtime, and even fun time in order to maintain physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  


TIP #1

A fresh start - The new semester is a time to start again!  In most classes, students start fresh with their grades and can even be re-energized in their motivation and effort.  Encourage your student to wipe away any doubt that lingers from before and to begin anew with renewed vigor! 

TIP #2 

Renewed Energy – With the start of a new semester comes the opportunity for renewed energy and effort in academics, activities, and even relationships.  New semesters often mean slight changes in schedules (during and after school).  Help your son or daughter see this new semester as a great way to learn from past and make positive improvements for success this coming spring.


Know of a school that could use additional support with college readiness?

We also offer Student Curriculum to schools and provide Parent Education on College Planning.  Additionally, we work with schools and districts to increase the college readiness of their students.  Learn more by clicking here.