Everyone is good at something, and not so good at something else. It’s part of being human. I know in which areas I excel and in which I still need work. This has helped me get ahead, and find help when I’m stuck. It’s important for parents to know the strengths and weaknesses of their children. This knowledge will allow parents to direct each child down the right path, and provide support where it is needed.
Students who take Honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes earn more scholarship money for college. When parents become aware of the talents and abilities of one of their children, they can help select harder classes in the areas in which they will likely become successful. Likewise, when a required course is too difficult, they can find a tutor or outside expert to provide support.
To make space in the high school schedule for more advanced courses, students might consider taking a required class during the summer. I took health, biology and driver’s education during the summer to make room for a second foreign language during high school. I knew none of these courses would become my major in college, so by taking them in the summer, there was no negative consequence for me. Deciding which courses to use to accomplish this goal will depend upon a student’s interests and the school’s summer offerings. Sometimes community colleges offer courses that can be used to fulfill high school requirements. Be sure to check with the college counselor and one at the high school to be sure this is allowed.
When students and parents are aware of a child’s strengths, talents and interests, they can work as a team to take advantage of them. This is also valuable knowledge in the case of weaknesses. By knowing where a particular subject falls, disastrous choices can be avoided. It’s a waste of time and effort to require a child to take advanced courses in an area of weakness. It is also disheartening for the child, and looks terrible on a transcript. I always think of a strength or talent like the accelerator on a car, it creates forward motion. Weaknesses are like the brakes. They make the car or student stop.
Picking the right courses will help students be more successful in secondary school and earn far more scholarship money for college. For more information, you’ll want my new book, Free College Awareness, coming soon from Griffin Publishing. How to avoid needing college loans; available soon to families of Pre-K through High School students.
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