5 Ways to Set your Kids Ahead from an Early Age

These days it’s becoming increasingly difficult for high school students to get into college. Whether you’re looking at traditional or online colleges, the application process can be very stressful. With more students applying and more rigorous admissions standards, there’s no guarantee of getting into your top school.
If you’re a parent with young children, you may already be thinking about their future. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help put small children in a good position for being admitted to college one day.
Here are a few examples.
1) Spend Time with your Kids
One of the best things you can do for your kids when they’re young is spend a lot of time with them. Studies show the more time young children spend with their parents, the more likely they are to do well in school and have good social skills.
2) Read to Them
Reading to your kids teaches them a number of important skills. First, it makes them good listeners, since they can’t talk over you when you read them a story. It also helps your children focus on one task at hand, which will put them a step up when they begin preschool and kindergarten. Most importantly, exposure to books will help your children develop good verbal and reading comprehension skills.
3) Play Math Games
Many children struggle with math when they begin school. To some extent, this makes sense. After all, children practice their verbal skills every time they have a conversation or hear a story. They’re less likely, however, to go around the house counting and adding things.
You can help your children with math by inventing easy games for them to play. These don’t have to complicated or creative. For example, when you give your child a bag of M&Ms, make him or her count the chocolates before eating. Integrating math into your children’s lives will make it much easier for them to do well in the subject at school.
4) Follow up
After you read a story or do a similar activity, make sure to ask your child questions about the experience. If you’ve just finished reading a book, ask your children about their favorite part of the story, favorite character, etc. After they give you an answer, be sure to ask why they chose that character or plot point. By doing so, you encourage your children to think about the world around them and develop their basic analytical skills.
5) Don’t Forget About Music
Studies show children who play a musical instrument have better memory, analysis and communication skills than those who do not. When your children make music, they use many parts of their brains at once. Music is one of the few activities young children can do that simultaneously allows them to analyze and create something.
Children can start instruments like the piano or violin as young as 4; these are the most common because they come in small sizes. Most children find that learning a new instrument is a rewarding and fun experience. Just be careful not to put too much pressure on them at a young age, or you may cause your children stress.
This post is brought to you by guest author Carly, who enjoys writing about online colleges, education and the arts.