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  • WCC Contributor

Parent to Parent: Organization Tips for Secondary Planning

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Written By:

Vicki Clinkscales



As a parent of three, I know first-hand how important it is to prepare early for the next stage in your child’s life after high school. The earlier you begin the better. In these uncertain times, one may think that pursuing higher education is not a priority but as I see it, that couldn’t be far from the truth. Obtaining a degree or certification in a trade is the one thing that is essential in securing a rewarding career.

Preparing early can be as simple as developing a timeline with your child preferably before they enter their freshman year in high school to determine what path they would like to take.  Thanks to COVID-19, you have the time to sit down with them and lay it all our on paper!  Keep it informal at first. Use bullets to list the things they want to accomplish each year like join a club, play a sport, take certain courses, volunteer opportunities, etc.  Be sure to listen to them and their interests and don’t be too quick to project your own ideas. I know. It’s hard not to do that sometimes but in the long run you will find out that this is what’s going to motivate them later because the bullets become goals and the goals become achievements.

My husband and I did this with our last child. We took the bulleted items of what he wanted to do and then organized them by dates. Again, not too formal, we just categorized them by month. This time we decided to use large post-it paper and had him stick our newly created timeline on a wall in his room.  Freshman year passed, sophomore, junior, and now senior year have all passed by and as we look back at the post-its most of what was written was checked off.  I cannot tell you how handy that timeline came in when our son felt like giving up. In his senior year, despite the let -down of prom, end of spring sports, and senior celebrations, he was still able to see the big picture that was created four years ago.

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