Parent’s 10th Grade Checklist

Summer
  • Visit a college campus together. It’s a great way to get your 10th-grader excited about college.
  • Get the facts about what college costs. You may be surprised by how affordable higher education can be.
  • Help your sophomore explore career ideas.  He or she can make a list of interests, talents and favorite activities and start matching them with occupations.
  • Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were in high school. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit.
Fall
  • Make sure your child meets with the school counselor. Your sophomore should schedule a meeting to talk about college and career options and to make sure he or she is taking the most-appropriate classes.
  • Encourage your child to set goals for the school year. Working toward specific goals helps your high schooler stay motivated and focused.
  • Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child’s tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team.
  • Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school.
  • Help your 10th-grader get ready to take preliminary exams. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT or the PLAN this fall can help your child prepare for college admission tests. Sophomores can also use their score reports to figure out which academic areas they need to work on.
Winter
  • Review PSAT/NMSQT or PLAN results together. Your child’s score report indicates his or her academic strengths and weaknesses. Review the report together and talk about ways to improve in areas that need attention.
  • Start thinking about ways to pay for college. Most families get help paying for college costs.
  • Encourage your sophomore to consider taking SAT Subject Tests. Many colleges require or recommend taking these tests to get a sense of your child’s skills in a certain academic area. In general, it’s best to take a Subject Test right after taking the relevant course.
  • Discuss next year’s classes. Make sure your child will be challenging him- or herself and taking the courses college admission officers expect to see.
Spring
  • Make a college wish list together. Talk with your 10th-grader about qualities he or she may want in a college in terms of location, size, majors offered and so on.
  • See how much you need to save for college.
  • Help your child make summer plans. Summer is a great time to explore interests and learn new skills — and colleges look for students who pursue meaningful summer activities.