Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks / Kaplan Test Prep. I received compensation to write this post, and any opinions expressed are my own, and reflect my actual experience.
I have a freshman in high school! I can’t believe my baby boy is already in high school and that means that college is right around the corner. We really struggled with him in middle school. It was like pulling teeth getting him to do his work and get prepared for high school, so college has been the last thing on my mind. I thought we had at least 3 years before I had to really think about college planning but we do not! After reading the paperwork that was sent home from school yesterday, we realized that we really need to buckle down and do some major planning right now. Everything in our son’s life from here on out reflects on his college experience. Some of the key factors in the college admissions process includes grades, test prep, our son’s course load, admissions and application timeline, the application essay, our child’s social media profile. Clay and I didn’t go to college so even though we did our best in school, we didn’t really realize what all was involved in getting into college, even from a freshman in high school level. We are new to college planning and had no idea where to start but Kaplan Test Prep KapMap has really helped both Clay and myself know where to start.
Kaplan Test Prep had a handy guide called KapMap which is a month-by-month breakdown of everything you need to know about getting into college. Here is some of the info included in the KapMap:
Our son hasn’t been too enthused in the idea of high school, let alone college. Clay and I have been talking to him about some of the things that he needs to do to, not only, enjoy high school but to also get prepared for going to college. Even though we thought we didn’t know much about what he needed to successfully prepare for college. We had told him to get active in clubs and extracurricular activities. We also suggested sitting down with his school counselor and creating a plan for the year that will strengthen his study skills and goals. Those are a couple of things that are on the map! I was surprised to learn that we knew more about early college prep than we thought!
I also learned that College admissions officers look at strong course loads and that he needs to possibly take some honors and AP classes in his Sophomore year. Every year Kaplan surveys college admissions officers to ensure that students are receiving accurate and up-to-date information on trends in the college admissions process. The map gives you tons of links for more info including things like PSAT registration, the best test prep study methods, practice tests, check lists for campus visits, etc.
You follow the guide month to month from your child’s Freshman year to their Senior year. You have this awesome and handy guide that will help you prepare throughout all of high school. Clay and I are both really happy to have something that will help our son prepare but will also help us, help him.
One thing I suggest (and this is what we’ve done) is to buy a big 3-ring binder, divider tabs and notebook paper. Print out the KapMap and divide into 4 calendars for each of the 4 high school years. Use the tabbed dividers to make it into a 4 year calendar. Put some notebook paper into each of the 4 calendar dividers. Then, go through each month and visit the recommended links and take notes in your binder of things you need to do with your child to help them prepare. Even though you can save the pdf on your computer and access the links from there, it’s a great idea to print it out and make notes with the link addresses in your binder. This just gives you some portable access to the links. Some of the links include printouts and lists so be sure to print them out and put them in your binder as well. This will not only help YOU stay organized and give you the tools you need for college prep in one convenient location, but it will also help your child see that organization and great planning are the key to successful college prep.
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Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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