Elementary-school-age children have big dreams. Their future is wide open and it’s the perfect time to develop a plan to meet those dreams. Preparing for college and career should not wait until high school. It is important the we expose students not only to career options, but also help them develop an academic plan that will allow them to turn their dreams into reality. The elementary school level is the first place where we can build students’ foundation toward this end. There are several ways to get involved early and support students’ progress and skills for success toward graduation and beyond.
- Help your student get to school on time every day. Attendance matters!
- Support your child academically, help them engage in school, chart their knowledge and skill development, and encourage social interactions that lay the foundation for college and career readiness.
- Create a positive learning environment at home, including showing interest in what your child is learning and having a quiet space for homework.
- Encourage early academic and workforce readiness skills by creating consistent routines that reinforce character and skill building.
- Maintain a constant vigil over your child’s academics
A POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
- There is a direct link between behavior and academic performance. Even at a young age, students can start working on developing their 21st-century skills. By focusing, getting along with others, and growing academically, socially, and emotionally, students are able to positively contribute to the learning environment.
- Reinforce good behavior at home and encourage positive habits.
HIGH BAR / HIGH EXPECTATIONS
- Help your child build aspirations.
- Skills and understanding are built upon previous learning. At each grade level, it is critical that your child meets or exceeds grade level expectations – especially in the core areas of reading, writing, and doing math.
- Have regular conversations with your child’s teacher(s) regarding assessment results, levels of mastery, and progress toward their goals.
COLLEGE AND CAREER INTERESTS
- Support your child’s participation in enrichment and extracurricular activities.
- Participate in and support school-sponsored enrichment and extracurricular activities, like field trips to museums, colleges, competitions, exhibits, plays and concerts.
- Introduce your child to the world around them and connect their likes and interests to their community. Help your child delineate their career interests through continuous conversations related to their interests and skills.
- Provide opportunities at home for your child to problem solve, use trail-and-error methods, and create strategies for finding possible solutions.
- Practice collaboration and critical-thinking strategies as well as using technology as an opportunity to help find solutions.
College and career readiness can be an overwhelming topic for any parent. With early preparation, open lines of communication, and student involvement, preparing for life outside of school can be seen as an adventure rather than a chore.