Thursday, July 17, 2014

Radical Ways Parents to Spark K12 Student's College Interest

The best way to prepare a student for college is starting at the beginning of their education.  Too many school systems wait until high school to start a college conversation. During the early years students are like sponges that are waiting to absorb knowledge. Students who inspired to read and compute math in a fun way while they are in elementary school thrive as they move from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school.  Parents should be included in the college conversation.  Schools can help parents to understand what they can be doing in their homes for example no television in the students room.  The parent can set a limited television viewing time during the week.  Instead parents should encourage their child to read and read with them.  The school that is preparing students for college must have a parent partnership.
Students not only need to memorize words at their K12 schools they need to have conversations where words are used at a higher volume. This is beneficial especially during the early years when students are learning math and science terms and words.  Teachers and parents should talk about college regularly to raise the student’s expectation that they can attend college. A teacher spends the majority of time with the students during the day.  Every teacher who is teaching at an elementary school, middle school and high school should have the banner of the college they attended outside of their room.  You will be amazed how many student conversations can result from having a banner outside of your door.  The students may not even be in the teacher’s class the banner is creating a college going culture.  The catalyst for a student to attend college is the teacher’s inspiration. It is the fact that everyone that comes in contact with them talks about college.  Tell your students that they are special and that you are expecting great things from them.  Here are a few tips:

1.  Measure and calculate everything so that your student develops good math skills
2. Read for an hour and a half every day
3.  Respond to questions that your students ask to help them to develop a vocabulary
4.  Take your student on cultural trips on the weekend
5.  Find reasons to be on a college campus for a play, sporting event or presentation
6. Plan a college visit every K12 year
7.  Get a college mentor for your student’s class
8.  Use the common application to apply to college
9. Teach you students to manage their time early. It has great benefits
10.  There are over 6000 colleges there is one for your student

Helping children to believe in themselves is half of the battle in terms of encouraging them to attend college.  They may be the first person I their family to attend college and they feel overwhelmed.  You should reassure them of what they can accomplish.  Teachers can talk about people who are living today who’ve graduated from college too.  A lot of students need to see living examples of college graduates.  You can invite them to your classroom to talk about their career experiences.  You can work with your students to create questions that they can ask to your speaker.  Sometimes that quite student who never makes a noise will have a question.  You never know the profession that I child will pursue.  The television and other media should not be the only way that students are able to identify a career. Every student has great potential.  Find creative ways to involve them in the learning process and they will have a thirst for knowledge and college. Dr Stephen Jones is a college preparation expert, author, consultant and educator.  He recently released the Ultimate College Preparation Kit at . You can reach him at or 610-842-3843.

Parent Tips: Back to School on a Shoe String Budget

According to Dr. Stephen Jones, parents can save thousands of dollars by mapping out a back to school shoe string budget.   Annually the cost of going back to school continues to rise.  Supplying one child for a k12 school or college can cost between $300 and $1000.  In fact one student recently said a book he purchased cost $200.  While this may not be the norm it is cause for alarm for parents who have several children. Parents must make difficult choices regarding the quality of materials their children will use to present term papers and projects that are due during the school year.  Often parents get so busy during the summer that they fail to plan a school supply budget and they end up running around from store to store trying to reduce the cost of book bags, calculators, text books, computers and etc. 

It is clear that the retail stores are doing their research and they know that parents will flood the stores around the third week of August.  Most parents would prefer to go to one store to get all of their supplies but they look in the papers and discover that the prices vary from store to store.  Dr. Jones says that parents can save hundreds of dollars by making wise purchases.  Here’s how parents can save hundreds of dollars:

1.         Don’t shop at the last minute right before school is about to start.

2.         Identify a discount school supply store so that you don’t end up shopping at the local corner store.

3.         Check the internet for sales at websites such as  Get together with friends and buy some things in bulk.

4.         Don’t be afraid to buy some clothing at a thrift store. You can save hundreds of dollars.

5.         Check your supplies from last year before you go out to buy new supplies.  You will reduce the chances that you are purchasing items that you have stored from last year.

6.         Ask your local school where they order their supplies from and contact the store for a catalogue or website.

7.         Consider purchasing certain items at the Dollar Store near you.

8.         Purchase books at discount websites that are on the internet

It’s amazing that some parents are willing to spend more money because they are unwilling to invest time to uncover savings.  The hundreds of dollars that are saved can help with the purchase of a new computer and printer. Don’t cave in to the temptation to putting your purchases on a credit card.  The credit card debts that parents obtain at the beginning of the school year can last until the next summer if a parent is not cautious.  Parents who are shopping on a shoe string budget recognize that credit cards are potholes that will take you thousands of dollars off track. 

Mobilize family and friends who can keep an eye out for special school supply sales.  Parents can use a number of methods to stay in touch.  First consider using the cell phone to create a list of people who will be looking out for certain supplies that you have identified.  Also, friends and family can contact you immediately when they discover a good sale.  Parents can give friends and family money in advance or ask them to pay for it and agree to pay them back.   Using e-mail can also be a good method to share websites that offer the products at prices that are not available at the stores.  The links to website can be put right within the text of the e-mail, which makes it easy fro a parent to make a purchase right away.

You can save thousands of dollars by shopping on shoe string budget.  Get started right away and you will not regret it.   Dr Stephen Jones is education consultant author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide available at


10 Tips for Parents of College Freshman

Dr. Stephen Jones
Too many college freshmen see the first semester as an experiment.  They treat it like high school with greater freedom.  During high school managing time was not important and it was easy to earn good grades. In fact some high school students regularly studied for and examination for the first time while on their way to school.  College has been a rude awakening in terms of the amount of time that a student must devote to studying.  The best thing that a second semester college freshman can do is develop a success plan and follow it. A parent can sit down and ask what the students biggest frustrations where during the first semester.  Often the student will say that they had no one to be accountable to and the freedom through them off track. Listen first then work on a list of changes together. Recognize that your freshman may be frustrated and feel boxed in.
Some freshmen don’t know what to do when they run into a difficult class and they do not like an instructor. All of their high school instructors supported them because they were one of the brightest students.  A freshman must adjust to the unique teaching styles of their instructor and ignore their personal emotions.  Talk with your freshman about their experiences and how they differed from high school.  It will help them to identify the habits that they must change.  Procrastination does not work in college because there is too much information.  Here are ten tips to turn around a freshman’s second semester:
1.  Get a time management daily planner and increase your studying time in your daily schedule.
2.  Don’t procrastinate and study for examinations at the last minute. (Study 5 days before each examination)
3.  Purchase books for all classes and begin reading right away. Follow your syllabus and stay ahead.
4.  Meet every professor in their office throughout the semester.  Go to their office with prepared questions.
5.  Get tutoring where appropriate
6.  Get involved in study groups where students are earning A+ grades.
7.  Focus on maintain a positive attitude by reading motivational books or listening to recordings.
8.  Organize and review your notes daily.
9.  Ask your instructor questions right after class.
10.  Go to the library to study and avoid friends who area distraction.
The first year in college is difficult for many freshmen.  They are making a lot of adjustments on their own for the first time in their lives there are breaks in between classes. You can help your student by letting them know that you are listening versus lecturing.  Some freshmen are still maturing into the person that they will become as a young adult.  Get your student to follow the tips in this article watch your freshmen’s grades improve.  College will be the stepping stone to your child’s future.
Dr. Stephen Jones is a college coaching and study skills expert. You can get a copy of his book the Seven Secrets of How to study at or to obtain college coaching for your son or daughter call 610-842-3843.