If you want your child to be successful in college, you have to start preparing them when they are young. That means putting them in schools that will give them the tools they need to build a strong foundation that they can expand upon once they’re pursuing their degree. With so many options for your child’s education, this can be a difficult choice. To help your child excel, here are a few things you should look for in schools to prepare your child for college.

Rigorous Course Material

For a school to properly prepare your child for college, the course material they offer must be rigorous. It does your child no good to fly through their coursework without being challenged, as they will be in for a rude awakening when they get to college. If they are challenged now, then college will be easier for them, and they will be able to better digest what they learn.

Low Student-to-Teacher Ratios

It’s well-known that no two students are alike. In schools with too few teachers, though, the high student-to-teacher ratio requires all students to be taught similarly, regardless of their learning style. In a smaller setting, though, such as in a private school, unique learners can thrive because teachers can customize their teaching to meet the needs of their students. This means that your child will receive the instruction they need to thrive both now and in the future.

Built-in Margins

While it’s important to maintain a rigorous schedule, it’s also important for a school to have built-in margins throughout a child’s day. If the schedule is unrelenting, it could cause a child to experience burn-out, which will put a bad taste in their mouth for education by the time they reach college. If you find a school that can take its foot off the gas at appropriate times, though, your child will still be able to be a kid even as they’re receiving excellent college preparation.

Extracurricular Activities

While extracurricular activities shouldn’t be a focus of your child’s education, they are still important to help maintain balance in your child’s life. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is one key to a successful college career, especially if your child goes away for school. To avoid overloading your child, try to choose only one or two activities that they can excel in, and then allow them to choose different activities every year.

Ultimately, preparing your child for college is all about giving them the best chance at future success. That’s why, as important as your leading is, it’s also a good idea to follow your child’s lead when appropriate. Your child will let you know when they’re overwhelmed, frustrated, or when things are going just right. Therefore, to help your child flourish in their educational endeavors, it’s important to look for these signs to see if changes need to be made.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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