Wednesday’s Parent: Valuing academics

Photo: Studying by ~Thiago082

This post is about how parents can convey the importance of academics to prepare their child for college. It begins with a question:

Was your home “library” filled with baby book toys? The feel me textures, the waterproof ones for the bath, and the fun pop-up books? If your student is college-bound, those book shelves will soon be filled with college brochures.

From the first time parents hold their newborn to the good-bye hug at the college dorm, parents want their child to succeed. Books are often the first formal learning tool parents share with their offspring. Babies may chew on them but children’s minds savor the knowledge contained on the pages.

Children are real learning machines and parents are natural teachers. Parents can show the importance of academics to their children and ignite a life-long love of learning:

Preschool Many parents create a bedtime ritual centered on reading a bedtime story. That’s a great quiet time activity but reading can be also be an exciting adventure. Go to the library and let your child choose some new books and stay at home and search for e-books. Take a lesson from book clubs and discuss the book after reading it. Exercise your child’s imagination and create your own story. Parents can write the words down and children can be the illustrators. Take it a step further and stretch your child’s performance skills. Let him act out the plot in a play or with puppets. Family and friends can be other participants and/or the audience.

Elementary school Schools can supplement classroom learning with field trips, so why not plan some family excursions? Visit air and space, art, cultural, history, science and wax museums. There are children’s and adult theater, concerts, and museums. There are aquariums, botanical gardens, planetariums and zoos. From the local attraction to the large scale exhibits, parents and children can explore together. It’s a great time to find new interests, develop hobbies and have some family fun with learning.

Middle school Check out what local colleges have to offer in cultural activities, classes and camps. It’s a great way for students to get accustomed to being on a college campus and see the variety of fields of study. Libraries, schools, local businesses and organizations can sponsor courses. Show your teen there is always something new and interesting for everyone to learn and take a class together. If homework or a project is involved, enjoy your studies together.

High school Parents and students can form a team to tackle the challenges of college prep. They can work together to find a list of schools for students to continue on to higher education. Next they can tour the choices with a collegecation (college visit+ family vacay). Students can help their parent plot the route, find activities and attractions (see #2) and brainstorm questions to ask college staff.

These things won’t make your children jump for joy every time they have to study rather than play. But they will show them their parents value academics, are ready to partner in the learning process, and support their college dreams.

Read on for Suzanne’s great take on this issue!


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

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