ACTs/SATs/college apps and more!

Discussion in 'General' started by Mama_Kim, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Yikes, we had our Jr. parent meeting at Open House last night at Sean's HS. So much to keep track of and think about for college. They even gave us a refrigerator check list to help us know when to do what. It's all so complicated. I do not remember all of this from my hs and college days. Ugh.

    Sean is taking the ACT for the first time in Feb. He already seems nervous. That can't be good, right?

    Anyway, all you seasoned parents, any advice? How did you survive this all?
     
  2. 8isgreat

    8isgreat Well-Known Member

    Kim,

    DH made a spread sheet to keep Emily on track....not for the testing....she was on top of that. She took both the SAT and ACT twice...did about the same both times...and pretty well...so she did not retake them. She did study for them....we got her some books....there are plenty out there...dh did some research on what book to get from Amazon.

    The spread sheets come in handy when applying to schools...when apps are due, when scholarships are available/due/notified. Thank goodness Emily only applied to 3 schools....we know some kids that have applied to 12 or more. :icon_eek:

    And I agree with you....not the same as when we were in school....I do think it has become a business like thing. But, then again with schools so expensive!!

    I hope your son is not too nervous....the good thing is that you can always retake the tests and they only count the better test!!

    Oh...and we tease Emily....that she is our learning curve! :blink:
     
  3. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate the advice.

    DH has a spread sheet on Sean as well. Must be a guy thing! He also researched and got him some great ACT/SAT books to study from and Sean has been using them. I guess we're on track but it's so nervewracking.

    Yeah, I tell Sean all the time that he's our guinea pig. :p :lol:
     
  4. 8isgreat

    8isgreat Well-Known Member

    Hurray for our guys!!

    Yes, I agree that it is nerve racking, but I think it is because we have no control here....it is up to our kiddos, who are growing up! With my daughter, I am looking forward to her heading off to college and us getting on with the next step in our relationship, we sure do fight alot now. I have heard from a friend of mine that when her daughter went off to college, her daughter started to love her again!! :lol: I am so going to miss her, but, I need to face the facts, she is outta here in a couple of months!! Thank goodness I have my baby twins to distract me!! :p
     
  5. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'll ever be up to speed on this process! It is all so foreign! I don't know why it has become such a stress fest!

    I stopped Jessie mid-vent the other day (she was near tears because of one thing which was overlooked in one of her apps and she had just received the notice); I told her Look, this is supposed to be a wonderful, enjoyable, adventure in your life! Not a horror of stress and tears! Let it go, HOney! YOu've applied, you're already accepted in two schools...just relax and enjoy the rest of your senior year!

    I think she literally, physically, let the tension out then. She has told me that most of her classmates are "freaking out" about college applications and acceptances, and I think they feed off each other a little bit too. But definitely, there is a lot of hype at school and in our culture today about the college thing and I think it's over the top!

    My best advice would be: yes, encourage Sean to do practice tests for the SAT and ACT; they will increase his confidence nad he will feel comfortable with the question format and the short cuts that are used in questions, which will enable him to answer more quickly and probably more accurately (especially in math; certain wording is usually a signal to use certain formulas, etc). But I wouldn't stress about it too much and I would really try to help hi not to become too stressed about it.

    He's a good student. He IS going to get into most if not all of the colleges to which he applies.
     
  6. 8isgreat

    8isgreat Well-Known Member

    Kim,

    I thought I would throw this in...we just got a cold call from a swim coach trying to recruit dd!! Now add that in the spread sheet!! Watch my dh head explode!! :p
     
  7. 4kids4Cat

    4kids4Cat Well-Known Member

    I probably have a lackadaisical attitude about this, but I think kids are too darned stressed these days; I'm not going to add to it. Maybe it's because I already have one in college that I feel this way (although I didn't get all that stressed about his college tests and apps a couple of years ago). Maybe it's because I've had other family matters that have taken priority. Maybe it's because I firmly believe my children will find their own way, and it will be good, even if it's not my way.

    With Russell, I did (finally) go to one of the parent meetings and thought, "Wow, this is so much to remember and keep track of," but Russ seemed to have a handle on it all, so I just let him take care of everything. I did ask him, every so often, if he was "on track" with dates and such.... he said Yes, so I left it at that. He is currently a sophomore at his first choice college.

    Curtis, my high school junior, is REALLY feeling the college pressure from his peers this year. Like Renée said about her Jessie, QUOTE
    She has told me that most of her classmates are "freaking out" about college applications and acceptances, and I think they feed off each other a little bit too.
    And I really agree with this, also from Renée: QUOTE
    But definitely, there is a lot of hype at school and in our culture today about the college thing and I think it's over the top!
    Here's a perfect example: Curt's best friend is taking a $1000.00 SAT course; he tried to get Curt to take it with him. This friend is a kid with a phenomenal GPA and one of the top students in every one of his classes. Oh, and all of his classes are AP/honors. Curt said, "No, way," but he still needed reassurance from me that he wasn't missing something crucial. He did well on his PSAT's and he's always tested well; I told him not to worry about it. Enjoy life. Things will work out. And it does help to be able to tell him, "Russell didn't do that." ;)
     
  8. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate hearing from you as well. Lou did quite a bit of research about prep for the ACT/SAT and every thing he found told him the test prep courses are expensive and a waste of money. There are lots of free websites with test prep and also some great books so we went that route instead. I'm not sure how much Sean has utilized these tools but he is a good rote test taker so I'm hoping he won't have too much difficulty in that regard. He takes the ACT this Saturday. We told him this can be a "trial run" since he gets one free voucher from the school to take the ACT. I just want him to take it and get comfortable with the process. However, if he does well, then he's done.

    I think back to when I was in this time of life. I took the SAT, once, and never did take the ACT. (Signed up but didn't take it.) I visited one college, applied to one, got accepted, and that was that! None of this long drawn out process. Lou and I decided much like you that the school and Sean's peers put way more pressure on these kids than is necessary. I've calmed down a bit, realizing he is smart, motivated and capable of anything he sets his mind to and that he will get into a college of his choice and I shouldn't sweat it too much.

    I'm still a bit nervous about it all since he's our first but this too shall pass, right?

    BTW, Cathy (8isgreat), great news about your daughter and being recruited by the swim coach? Did it fit into DH's spread sheet?
     
  9. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    Slide over on the lackadaisical couch, Cathy! :laughing:

    Kim, I'm glad you are beginning to relax again after the shell shock of the college app meeting! :laughing: I totally agree with you and Cathy about these expensive courses (not worth it!). Kiki told me about the sample test books and asked me to pick up a few of those for her; Jess did a couple of those practise tests, too, from the same books. I think it is helpful to some kids to run through the methodology before the actual tests, and I trusted my girls to know what they needed to prepare. Like you with Sean, I could see that they were capable and ready and I let them know that their dad and I have confidence that they are on the right track.

    I have complete confidence in my kids to make their way through this process...with me only on the sidelines saying, "You're smart, capable and you've done a lot with your life so far! You will be fine, no need to stress! Go enjoy your senior year!". They've been working independently at school affairs since Elementary school, with their father and I standing by to advise if they want advice and to help if they need help, but we have never taken the driver's seat in our children's lives. I attended no meetings about college applications. I am always mystified by these meetings. Why in the world do they want to see me or their father at a meeting with a bunch of other parents? We are not applying to college! :laughing: I think they just get parents nervous and worried and I think it is unnecessary!

    But we've been this type of parents from Day one. We refuse to buy into the hype and stress and more important, we refuse to infect our children with it, either. These school years belong to them, not us. We are here if they need our help and they know they can come to us for advice at any time. They do so very occasionally, but most of the time they handle their affairs independently, from school projects to community projects to college applications. We are so proud of them all! And they are able to be proud of themselves. Everything they've done, they've done by themselves.

    BTW, Jess is 2 for 2... accepted to both colleges she's heard from so far... with a very impressive scholarship!

    My eldest is a sophomore at her first choice college, and has been on the Dean's List every semester since starting.
     
  10. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(Nifty @ Feb 5 2008, 11:08 AM) [snapback]606462[/snapback]
    I attended no meetings about college applications. I am always mystified by these meetings. Why in the world do they want to see me or their father at a meeting with a bunch of other parents? We are not applying to college! :laughing: I think they just get parents nervous and worried and I think it is unnecessary!
    I should have known better. But we got an automated message about a MANDATORY meeting for parents of juniors before our winter open house at the high school. So like the dutiful parents we are, we went, lol. But yikes, they really laid it on thick! Never again. I should have learned from the MANDATORY 8th grade parents honors meeting at the high school a few years ago. They talked about honors/AP courses, getting into colleges, etc. I also came out of that meeting shaking in my boots! Why, oh why, do they insist on scaring the crap out of us? I don't recall my parents ever attending any kind of parent meeting at the school for this type of stuff. We as the students were given the information, expected to relay it to our parents or not, and be responsible for our own academic lives. Maybe it's just a by-product of too much hand holding from little on?

    And I have to wonder? What is the school's motivation? Is it just to improve their "track record" of kids accepted into college, ACT/SAT scores, etc.? Or is it really for the kids? Call me a cynic. ;)
     
  11. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(MamaKim @ Feb 5 2008, 10:21 AM) [snapback]606492[/snapback]
    I should have known better. But we got an automated message about a MANDATORY meeting for parents of juniors before our winter open house at the high school. So like the dutiful parents we are, we went, lol. But yikes, they really laid it on thick! Never again. I should have learned from the MANDATORY 8th grade parents honors meeting at the high school a few years ago. They talked about honors/AP courses, getting into colleges, etc. I also came out of that meeting shaking in my boots! Why, oh why, do they insist on scaring the crap out of us? I don't recall my parents ever attending any kind of parent meeting at the school for this type of stuff. We as the students were given the information, expected to relay it to our parents or not, and be responsible for our own academic lives. Maybe it's just a by-product of too much hand holding from little on?

    And I have to wonder? What is the school's motivation? Is it just to improve their "track record" of kids accepted into college, ACT/SAT scores, etc.? Or is it really for the kids? Call me a cynic. ;)



    I just don't know, Kim. I wonder if this whole thing just builds on itself and spirals out of control, KWIM? Where no one really wants it to be like this, but since everyone holds a tiny piece of the puzzle, no one person can risk letting go of his or her piece because he's afraid then his child will be the only one left behind! At least, I am guessing this is how a lot of people begin to think...which only adds to the stress! I mean, if every other kid applying to college is actually having the legwork done for him by parents, what chance do our regular kids have applying for themselves? I htink this is the worry for a lot of people (and somewhat justified I suspect).

    Nevertheless, I think our kids, who have done their own work for so long and who know they have our support AND our confidence in them and belief in their abilities, actually do just fine with it!

    I am excited to hear when Sean has applied and starts to get his replies! What a wonderful new chapter in his life!!!
     
  12. 4kids4Cat

    4kids4Cat Well-Known Member

  13. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Cathy, thanks for those links. Definite food for thought.
     
  14. 8isgreat

    8isgreat Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to post somewhere appropriate.....we found out that Emily got a Presidential Scholarship to Benedictine College....that is a full ride on tuition!!!! :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: It is worth over $72,000!!!! OMGoodness!!!!! The wallet is sure happy today!!! Now she can afford her room and board.

    Thanks for listening!
     
  15. Mama_Kim

    Mama_Kim Well-Known Member

    Awesome, Cathy!!! That's terrific news!!!!
     
  16. Donita

    Donita Well-Known Member

    QUOTE
    I probably have a lackadaisical attitude about this, but I think kids are too darned stressed these days; I'm not going to add to it. Maybe it's because I already have one in college that I feel this way (although I didn't get all that stressed about his college tests and apps a couple of years ago). Maybe it's because I've had other family matters that have taken priority. Maybe it's because I firmly believe my children will find their own way, and it will be good, even if it's not my way.
    Add me to the lackadaisical couch. :D I really didn't do anything, just let Bradley handle it all. He did a fabulous job! I just kept after him about scholarship apps, and summer jobs.
     
  17. niftywriter

    niftywriter Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(8isgreat @ Mar 5 2008, 07:02 AM) [snapback]653617[/snapback]
    Just wanted to post somewhere appropriate.....we found out that Emily got a Presidential Scholarship to Benedictine College....that is a full ride on tuition!!!! :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: It is worth over $72,000!!!! OMGoodness!!!!! The wallet is sure happy today!!! Now she can afford her room and board.

    Thanks for listening!



    Wonderful news, Cathy! Congrats to Emily, the soon-to-be college girl!
     
  18. 4kids4Cat

    4kids4Cat Well-Known Member

    I just had to post in here....
    Curtis got his SAT scores back today. His friend who spent $1000.00 on a class for the SAT got a mere 30 points more than Curt. Hardly worth it.

    QUOTE(8isgreat @ Mar 5 2008, 06:02 AM) [snapback]653617[/snapback]
    Just wanted to post somewhere appropriate.....we found out that Emily got a Presidential Scholarship to Benedictine College....that is a full ride on tuition!!!! :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: :a_smil09: It is worth over $72,000!!!! OMGoodness!!!!! The wallet is sure happy today!!! Now she can afford her room and board.

    Thanks for listening!
    That is awesome!
     
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