The Family Table

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5 Tips for Adjusting to College Life

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In August comes the time not only for young children and youth to get back to studying, but also those young adults who are attending college. Whether your student is going to college locally or away from home, there are always concerns that parents have. Here are some suggestions to help both you and your student adjust:

  1. Talk WITH them not just at them. Listen to what they have to say and ask open ended questions to get at what they are thinking. “What are you excited about?” “What are you anxious about?”
  2. Share stories of what was good about your school experience. Share stories about what was bad about your school experience – as well as what you would have done differently. Look for stories of other people’s experiences and share those stories – both good and bad. Our kids can learn from the experience of other people and our experiences without actually needing to go through it. Use the news to explain how great and how negative choices impact not only the person making the choice, but their family members, workplace and school.
  3. Remember your job as a parent is to get them ready to go out to be adults. Your actions and words have been the blue print for them to follow. If you feel you have done a great job then try to relax and let them know you will be available with suggestions if they need it. If you feel you have not done a great job, then be honest and help them to find resources in other adults or other services that can fill in the gaps of where you have left off.
  4. Encourage them to find resources on campus – tutoring, career centers, social groups that will help them to navigate the every changing world in which they will function.
  5. Be prepared to see them grow up into the cool adults they will be… Check out the site of the college where they are heading so that you know what resources you can send them to. Become educated yourself.

Take a big breath and try to relax and adjust. This is a big step for you as well as your student.

Linda Hathaway
Director of Curriculum & Education and Mother of Six

Tip of the Week: Talking About School

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What topic is most discussed at your family table?

At my house, dinner almost always opens with school-related conversation. Complaints about homework are the most common! These comments are usually quickly rebuffed with, “this is your responsibility.” Depending on the day, this may or may not end the conversation, or it may prolong it! As a family, we have discussed the social studies assignment that is due right after Thanksgiving break, the daily math homework, and we frequently discuss how important it is to get these items turned in on time. Valuable partners in this conversation are our daughters’ teachers.

Since this week is American Education Week we encourage you to honor your children’s teachers. If you do not have kids at home, we suggest talking about education to nieces, nephews, neighbors, grandchildren or the kids down the street, as this message is very important. A coworker shared that her son, who attends Forrest Park Elementary in Fort Wayne, is especially pleased with how the educators have worked with her son this year. “I look forward to the rest of this school year and the exciting things ahead for my son’s education,” said Jodie Godfrey, Marketing & Development Assistant.  “I am grateful for the educators who have played an important role in his education this school year.”

As my daughters are now half way done with their school careers, the topic of college comes up more and more often. A friend recently shared that there are some great resources that your family might benefit from – paying for college can certainly be a difficult conversation for many families. There are even apps that will encourage elementary students to take these important steps! Sitting down as a family and talking through your child’s plans never happens at too young of an age.  It’s important for our children to know what our expectations are for them attending college and how it will be paid for. Trip to College and Big Future have planning tips and suggestions.  If your family is feeling like college is not possible, view other’s stories about how they made it work.

Tonight at your family table ask your children to tell you about their favorite teacher and why they are their favorite.  You may be surprised at the answer!

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Frances Brooks

Director of Operations
& Business Development

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