When you welcome your first child into your family, you aren’t thinking about high school and college. You are savoring the moment and realizing that the Lord has blessed you with the miracle of life.  As the years go by, you are busy. Busier than you have ever been!  You have diapers to change, meals to cook, carpool runs, helping with math, reading through a paper, attending concerts, recitals, performances, and games.  It is never ending.

Then one day you wake up and realize your child is now a high school student. How in the world did this happen?  You aren’t ready! You don’t want to face it!

Yes, it happens to all of us. And for some who are more planner-types, we start thinking about it when our student is in middle school. We consider what will the future hold.

I wanted to start my blog and newsletter with ideas for organizing your thoughts about your student’s future. This is what I did for my first daughter and I’m doing the same for the second.

The college admissions process involves several categories: transcripts, testing, credit before college, college research and scholarships.

What I did to organize my thoughts and ideas was to purchase a large binder and filled with colorful pockets.In these pockets, I would file info I received, copies of blog posts, ideas that occurred to me into the folders.

Eventually, I decided that I am a note taker and I needed more room for my notes than just pockets.

So I switched to a 5-subject college ruled notebook with pockets. I used the pockets to file things and the paper to take the copious notes I like to write out about a subject.

I divided my notebook into 5 subject areas:
1.  Transcripts and Planning High school coursework
2.  Standardized Testing: PSAT, ACT, SAT
3.  Credit before College: AP, IB, CLEP, Dual Enrollment
4.  College Research
5.  Scholarships

The college admission process is going to be different for each family and for each student within the family. It’s not a cookie cutter process. However, if you can gather what you think is interesting for your family into an organized notebook, you will have the information you need at your fingertips when you need it.

In our next newsletter, we’ll cover transcripts and planning, the first section of your college admissions notebook.  How do you keep your notes organized? Are you a planner or are you planning to just “wing it when you get there?”



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Michelle Newbold has been married for 25 years to her best friend, Craig. They have four kids whom they have been homeschooling from almost the beginning.  They are active in their local church and in Classical Conversations where Michelle is a Challenge III Director at two locations. They are looking forward to sending their kids out as influencers in this world.  You can find them often on the lake, working on their wakeboarding & boat driving skills.