No one knows your child the way you do, so you have the upper hand when it comes to getting involved. But here’s our two cents if you need a little help getting started.

Instill a love for learning.

In order to do this, you must start at a very early age. Encourage active play and lead by example by watching news programs and documentaries that stimulate their curiosity or by taking trips to the library together as a family. Children who are exposed to a broad base of knowledge at home find it easier to learn in school.

Talk to them about college.

Your expectations have a big influence on the expectations children set for themselves. By talking to your kids about college at an early age, they will embrace the idea naturally and always connect learning and their future.

Talk to them about opportunity.

No matter how young they are, sooner or later kids realize money is important. You can help them correlate higher education and higher pay. Make sure they understand that a college education opens many doors and that the jobs they’ll find with postsecondary credentials are better than the jobs they’re likely to get without those credentials.

Create a positive learning environment.

You can encourage success by creating an environment in your home conductive for learning. Designating a quiet, well-lit area for your child to study may them make better use of their studying time. Start by eliminating all distractions such as a TV or games and by supplying the area with everything they need to complete their homework and/or study.

Become familiar with college requirements.

Although college requirements vary in every institution, every college has similar evaluating standards for prospective students. Start reading up on the requirements of local colleges like UTB and TSC to get a better idea of what your child will need.

Let them know about dual enrollment.

Dual enrollment is a program that allows eligible high school students currently attending an accredited school to simultaneously enroll in college courses. Credits for these courses can be applied towards their high school credits and their degree. Check with your high school or the university or college your child is interested in attending for more dual enrollment details.

Talk to them about options.

Many kids are reluctant to move away from home or may feel that college is too hard or too expensive. Explain all the different college options so that they understand that higher education is for everyone. Discuss possible financial options such as work-study programs, scholarships and loans.

Be All In.

When you are involved in your child’s education, they will achieve more regardless of your economic status, ethnic or racial background or educational level. Stay involved in school activities and support school work. Be a partner with the teachers and the school staff. Volunteer in school events and spend time with other parents. All of these are great ways to pass on important values to your child.