I have always stated that it is important to start saving for college early – when your children are very young. More time saving means more interest accrued. However, that’s NOT the only thing children and parents should start early. In his Washington Post article, 8 Subtle Ways to Prepare Middle Schoolers for College, Jay Matthews provides 8 good suggestions on what parents and their future college students can do to start the preparation process early. These include:
- Notice what they enjoy doing, and help them do more of it.
- Make sure your child knows that B’s are fine in middle school and that fun is important.
- Enroll them in Algebra I in the eighth grade.
- Insist they develop some practical housework skills.
- Flavor family trips with a bit of college atmosphere.
- Encourage children who are curious about the world to take a foreign language.
- Character counts. Encourage its development.
- Do everything you can to encourage reading.
One more suggestion I would like to make is to instill financial responsibility at a young age. This will teach them the value of saving early.