Published On: Friday, October 21, 2016|Categories: Education Info, Parents, Tenney Subscribers|

As students transition back to school, those in the upper-level grades are thinking about graduation and beyond. What college they want to go to, what advanced classes they should take, and how they will succeed in getting into the college of their choice are some of the questions on their minds. However, one area that may not get much attention, but is just as important, is acclimation to college life away from home. It sounds simple enough at first glance, but involves far more. Parents can help their children now before they get out of high school to gain ground in some of these key areas. Let’s look at some necessary skills students from a small school will need for college life and beyond.

Basic life skills

Basic life skills include such things as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Handling the budget
  • Grocery shopping

Living alone and attending college requires students to manage household chores on their own, as well as balancing the workload of school and possibly a work schedule. If your child is not prepared for the change, the abruptness overwhelms them. Here are a few tips to aid them in developing some basic life skills:

  • Start them early on a consistent chore/school schedule.
  • Provide them with tools to create a simple weekly menu plan and master grocery list. These will save them time in their schedule.
  • Teach them the steps in housecleaning. Show them how to implement handy shortcuts found here. Some housecleaning tips save time and money. WebMD writes that dishwashers can be used for more than just the dishes like “refrigerator shelves, drawers, and ice trays. Beyer recommends putting sponges in the dishwasher to sterilize them for reuse.”


This is one of the biggest factors students face when they begin college. No longer are they under their parent’s leadership or roof. There will be many decisions to make on a daily basis. Of course, they can always call home and get advice, but for the most part, they are venturing into the world on their own. Here are a few of the topic areas to assist your child with:

  • Budgeting: They will need to understand the value and importance of their hard-earned money. Most students have jobs or some type of income, but if a budget is not in place, they will run short on the necessities. Start now with teaching them how to budget.
  • Safety: Children need to have a healthy awareness of safe behaviors, understand how to be vigilant in protecting themselves, and have tools to aid in case of an emergency (first aid kit, resources to contact if needed, etc.)

Time management

Balancing school, work, and household chores is a daunting task if you do not have time management skills. Creating a schedule is just one facet of achieving your time management goals. Guide your child to begin now developing short-term and long-term goals, then provide them with a plan to achieve those goals step by step. Here is a sample template to use.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive, assess, and manage one’s own, as well as the emotions of others.” This skill is important for future success in the workplace and in overall happiness. Successful people have higher emotional intelligence quotients. Psychologist, Daniel Goleman, highlighted the five main elements of emotional intelligence. They are as follows:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

You can start working with your child now to help increase his or her emotional intelligence. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Help your child become more self-aware by keeping a journal.
  • As your child becomes more self-aware and realizes triggers to behavior, guide him or her to be responsible for that unacceptable behavior and self-regulate.
  • Participate in volunteer work with groups of people less fortunate to give your child a deeper empathy for those in need. Giving time to seniors in nursing homes, homeless people, or others who are destitute will have a lifelong positive effect.

For more ideas improving emotional intelligence, check this website.

Making that move from high school to college is an exciting big step. With the proper tools, your child is prepared for the changes accompanying the transition. At Tenney School, we would love to discuss any concerns you may have about your student as they get ready to make that step. Contact us today for more information!

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