My four sons have watched my husband and I be college students. I have personally been pregnant with three of our four sons while working on my Bachelors degree. Our sons have watched us graduate with our bachelors degrees and most recently all four boys watched their father graduate with his masters degree. It has been without a doubt a challenge for us to be parents, employees, active churchgoers, volunteers and students at the same time. The easy thing would have been to give up and quit our formal education. I personally knew that this was not an option. I know that we have four little boys watching our examples. I feel that if we were to quit going to school, we would in essence be giving permission to our sons to quit when the going gets tough. Somehow the going always seems to get tough so the driving force to succeed has to be iron strong and completely unbreakable. I want my sons to know that if their parents were able to achieve a formal education that they can do the same and even better no matter what. I find it extremely important to instill in our boys a burning and unquenchable desire to go to college.
The following are 15 suggestions on how to inspire a desire in children to go to college:
1. Take children to visit different college campuses.
2. Sign them up for "kids college" classes at local junior colleges.
3. Let them experience a college graduation.
4. Be an example of learning... take college courses or other classes to better yourself.
5. Ask your child what he wants to be when he grows up.
6. Talk to your child about what he needs to do to accomplish his educational goals.
7. Foster a love for reading.
8. Teach your children that college is not optional.
9. Discuss the advantages they will have in life because of going to college.
10. Be active in their current educational endeavors.
11. Don't let them think that college is too expensive or not worth the money.
12. Help them believe that they are smart enough to go to college.
13. Educate yourself on "educational things" your children should be doing now to be prepare for college.
14. Talk about your own college experience.
15.Give your children experiences with formally educated people ie: career day at school.
As a parent, one never can fully know what is going on in a child's mind. As a child, I completely believed that I was intellectually incapable of going to college. I believed this to be true even through my senior year of high school. I would talk about going to college but really did not believe I was capable. If it had not been for my parents who expected me to go to college I probably would not have made an attempt at going to college. I had had too many disappointing educational experiences as a child. I quote my sixth grade math teacher when speaking to my math group " You all will never know math good enough to work at McDonald's." What was I to believe? With negative experiences like this one, how could a child believe they can go to college?
If you have any ideas or tips on how to inspire a desire in children to go to college please share!