3 Ways You Can Prepare Your Preschooler for College

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When is the best time to prepare your child for college?

Today.

If you are parenting young children, you have an incredible gift: time. There is still time to read. There is still time to play. There is still time to develop a healthy emotional, social, and diverse learning environment for your little person.

And, perhaps best of all, there is still time to save for college. 

From the halls of higher education, I glean insights daily from those students who successfully made the leap – including what their parents did or didn’t do.

Here are 3 ways you can prepare your preschooler for college:

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3 Ways You Can Prepare Your High School Senior for College

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Is senior year too late to prepare your teen for college? The short answer is no.

But if you want your child to be ready, here are three practical ways you can assist them in the often-challenging leap to college:

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Second Chance Love

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 2

“You saved me from the streets.”

It’s not something I like to discuss – the horrible things my students have encountered in their lives. But my teaching always seems to bring it out.

Drive-bys. Drug rings. Gut-wrenching poverty.

If college is designed to prepare young people for the real world, I think it falls short in doing so for inner-city youth. It takes several class periods before they even feel comfortable removing their backpacks, if it happens at all.

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A Veteran’s Lesson in Courage

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Excited to share my first guest post! Thank you to Grinia at Mirror & Soul for the opportunity and to all the veteran students who have made me a better teacher, mother, and learner.

“A Veteran’s Lesson in Courage”

I could tell he was nervous. There is this dance of eye contact aversion that my quietest students have perfected. But I teach at the college level – composition, to be exact – and public speaking is a rite of passage.

In full disclosure, I had been anticipating this moment for over 24 hours. The student, a veteran in his mid-20s, had a story to tell.

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DeVotion to Education

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Lately, there has been talk of education in a place where few teachers exist: politics. This post isn’t about Mrs. Betsy DeVos (don’t worry, she repulses me as well). Instead, my message comes from the heart.

This is what it means to pour yourself into a profession that is only valued by those on the inside.

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What If I Die Today?

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It’s a question I ponder every time I part with my children. I teach in the college classroom, and I lived through a mass shooting.

But my kids don’t experience these emotions when they hug my neck and wave goodbye. They truly believe I will return.

And all the way to the office, I pray that they are right.

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The Ones I Couldn’t Save

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Several years before I became a mother, I was a high school English teacher…and probably inappropriately maternal.

One particular student comes to mind from my first year in the classroom. He demonstrated a gift for the written word. His passion for music was contagious (think drummer). And his family was in the midst of a financial crisis. He always seemed to end our conversations with the same urgent question: How am I going to survive? 

But I am a teacher, and – every so often – I struggle with a God complex. I want to save every last one of my students.

As an unmarried, 23-year-old I couldn’t offer him money or a safe home. He did, however, mention that his birthday was quickly approaching. And so I did what any loving woman without children would do.

I celebrated him as my own.

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The STEM Needs the Flower

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Oh, Ronald Reagan. In 1983 his administration presented A Nation at Risk, a report that would forever change the game in American education.

In short, it claimed we had everything to fear. We were falling behind. Our teachers weren’t good enough.

And so began our collective sprint to a finish line where all children succeed, where domination in math and science would be as natural as breathing. To achieve these goals, however, we had to shed the excess – the nonessential.

And, just like that, the STEM virus began.

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Finding Hope in Our Homework

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“Homework will make your life better.” It’s a line I shared with my students over and over when I taught high school English. But, the truth is, that was before I was really an adult – and long before I had children.

From my own perspective, homework opened the doors of opportunity. The classroom environment has always produced considerable stress in me, but – on my bed late at night – I found the freedom to work through problems and write papers without the pressure of feeling that everyone else knew more than me. Homework, in many ways, was my safe space.

Just this week a note for parents from a teacher in Texas went viral, as she boldly announced an end to “formally assigned homework” in her class. The Internet may have rejoiced, but the teacher in me has serious questions: What, then, will fill that homework time?

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