Wednesday’s Parent: 3 ways to prep middle schoolers for college prep

3 ways to prep middle schoolers for college. Photo by Wendy-David-Gaines

3 ways to prep middle schoolers for college. Photo by Wendy-David-Gaines

If your teeny bopper is anything like mine were, college is an unformed dream without tangible reality. It may be taken for granted as a future educational goal, but high school has more allure and meaning to a middle schooler. Parents can grab this as an opportunity to prep for college prep.

Work load increases and studies go more in depth as students switch from one classroom with a sole teacher to many classes taught by experts in each subject. How young teens handle the transition can lay the groundwork for higher education.

It’s human nature to do one’s best when vested in the process. Failure to do this can be extremely costly in time and money during the college process. So here are three ways parents can prep their middle schoolers for college prep:

Establish a work ethic: All the business attributes apply to the job of “student” including being conscientious, meeting deadlines, and having pride in doing quality work. Families can agree on and set reasonable expectations, rewards and consequences so everyone is on the same page.

Use intrinsic self-motivators: Sleep is a huge motivator for thinking clearly and creatively. Electronic media, caffeine consumption, and early wake-up disrupt natural sleep patterns of adolescents putting them at risk for depression, obesity, delinquent behaviors, depression, impaired judgment, and psychological stress according to a report released in August by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Adequate sleep and rest must be a family priority.

Form a parent/student team: Parents and students can form an organized and routine way to communicate, work toward and accomplish what is needed. The object is to formally focus on students achieving their educational and career goals. Creating regular meeting times and ground rules like listening and respecting everyone’s opinion goes a long way to reducing emotion and nagging. Don’t forget to make celebrating accomplishments part of the deal!

The next step is planning academics. Read Suzanne’s post for important details:  College Prep in Middle School


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer 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!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

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.


READ more: 

Wednesday’s Parent: Using irony and a proverb as self-motivation for your teen

Wednesday’s Parent: Emotion management 101 

Wednesday’s Parent: 5 rule-breaking ways to encourage 

When tech helps/hurts college prep

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