As if I don't have enough to worry about with homeschooling, housekeeping, and life in general, late last fall I woke up one morning practically hyperventilating because I realized Anna is just four and a half years away from college. How did this happen?!
Anna has been talking about college since 6th grade, but to me it just seemed like a far off milestone that was fun to think about. Now I realize it's going to be here before we know it, and I have no idea how to help her prepare. Well, obviously starting and finishing high school would be a good start, but you know what I mean. When do we need to start preparing for standardized tests? When do we start visiting schools? What should she be thinking about as she selects courses for high school? I don't want to get to her junior year in high school and realize we should have already done a hundred things.
At the same time, I don't want to panic about it either. I recently read The Overachievers and am just amazed at the stress some teenagers are under these days. The book focuses on a group of kids from a super competitive public high school in Maryland where it seems everyone is expected to go to Ivy League schools. Many of the kids are under so much pressure (from parents, peers, themselves) that they sacrifice sleep, health, relationships, and morals to keep up with their busy schedule.
With that in mind, I want to cautiously start thinking about and planning for college. I discussed the above thoughts with my friend, who also happens to be the mom of Anna's long-time best friend (the girls also go to school together), and we decided the best thing to do was to seek advice from someone who has been through the whole college prep process -- and survived. Next week we'll be having breakfast with the girls' 6th grade teacher from a couple of years ago. She has two children who were very successful at Anna's school and are attending great colleges, plus she's very intelligent and a strong Christian.
I'm preparing a list of questions to ask her and thought I'd seek your input. Although Anna goes to an "away" school, in many ways she's in the same boat as homeschool students -- limited course offerings, no AP classes, no class rank, no weighted grades, no guidance counselor (Oh, I guess that's me!). What questions should I ask? Is there anything you'd like to know about preparing for college? You can either leave your questions in the comments or email me (link is in the sidebar). Regardless of what schooling path your children are taking, we can all learn from each other. I'm happy to share what I learn from our meeting, so maybe this can benefit you if those college years are creeping up on you too.
In the meantime, pray for me that I will remember this verse often as we look toward the college years:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:34
May I be a mother who encourages, not pushes; one who remembers there is still time to train her in godliness and not waste the opportunity by focusing too much on things that have little eternal value.
P.S. The above picture is of Marc's and my alma mater, which is NOT the school she's dreaming of -- Boo! She does say it's a possibility though. : )