How to Register for the ACT

How-to-Get-Your-Child-Prepared-for-College-in-High-SchoolKids grow up fast. Remember their first day at school? Or how helping with their basic grade school arithmetic made you look like a genius? And then, high school happened. Everything got harder, especially their becoming independent and not needing you as much. It’s healthy, though. Kids grow up to be their own person. Their independence is a sign you did good work because soon they will be out there in the world on their own.

But no matter how old they get, they will always need your guidance. Right now, it’s with their college applications. The application process is pretty straight forward, but it’s something entirely new for your child. It’s also an anxiety-filled process because it is a momentous period in their lives.

How to Get Your Child Prepared for College in High School

The college application process requires both the student and the parent to be organized. The process is a whole lot easier if you prepare in advance, then every step becomes more of a habit then an uncertain action. Parents, this is what every student should do:

  1. Take challenging college-prep courses that yield more than minimum graduation requirements, for example, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB). Focus on core academics like English, math, science, history, HS/college dual enrollment, and world languages
  2. Focus on maintaining good grades. A distinctive high school transcript will be necessary for a strong application.
  3. Colleges are interested in more than your academic record, so explore and commit to extracurricular and leadership activities.
  4. Summer volunteer opportunities/jobs/internships beef up applications.
  5. Meet regularly with the guidance counselor, preferably starting freshman year. Guidance counselors are a great resource in planning out high school and college careers.
  6. Understand the costs of college and who’s responsible for it. If the family is helping out, it should be determined how much parents are willing to spend.
  7. Tour several college campuses.
  8. Register, then study and finally take a college admissions test.
  9. Complete the college application process, which includes essays, questionnaires, and sometimes interviews.
  10. Apply for available scholarships.

Where You Come In

While each of the items on the checklist above is critical, some may require more help from a parent than others. For instance, number four—summer volunteer opportunities/jobs/internships beef up applications—might require you to taxi your child around until he or she gets their license. The same goes for number seven—tour several college campuses. As well as number six—determining who’s paying for the degree.

However, number eight—Register, then study, and finally take a college admissions test—requires further assistance from a parent. There are two common college admission tests and your child needs your help to determine which he or she should take, if not both. You should help them decide. But first, you have to understand them yourself.

The ACT is a national standardized paper-and-pencil test for colleges and universities to assess applicants. The test consists of four mandatory sections (English, math, reading, and science) and an optional section, Writing. Students are given 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete the mandatory section. If they opted to include the Writing section, then they are given an additional 40 minutes for a total of 3 hours and 35 minutes.

The SAT is another option that only tests math, reading, and writing. Meaning, if your child is better at science, they might have a better shot at scoring higher on the ACT.

The primary reason to choose one or the other is reliant on the student themselves. Here are the differences between the SAT and the ACT:

  1. ACT is less complex than SAT, and so the ACT test has a shorter time for each question.
  2. The SAT does not have a science section.
  3. The SAT reading test is much longer than the ACT.
  4. ACT allows students to use a calculator throughout the test. The SAT has sections wherein the student is not allowed to use a calculator, while there is also a section where they will be allowed to use one. If your child is not great at math, the ACT might be better for them.

The ACT could be a good alternative to the SAT if your child didn’t do well on the PSAT. If this is the case, you can find the ACT test dates for 2020 here.

How Else Can You Help

As you help your child through the college admissions process, keep in mind the following:

  • Being emotionally and financially prepared for it.
  • Before they leave your nest, get them to be comfortable with taking responsibility for their lives.
  • Teach them basic life skills like cooking, driving, etc. so that they can take care of themselves out there.
  • Help with researching colleges and universities.
  • When they arrive on campus, set communication guidelines with your child.
  • Create a financial plan and be specific about who will be responsible for which expenses.
  • Have a serious talk about safe sex, drugs, and alcohol.
  • Be encouraging. It’s a scary new phase for the child.
  • Not everything will work as planned, so always have a Plan B.
  • If you are anxious about anything, especially finances, then be mindful that you don’t place too heavy a burden on your child.
  • Prepare to have an empty nest and the emotions that come with it.

Get it done, let go and have faith

The entire admission process can seem like a huge task. Although this might be the heaviest burden your child has had to bear, you have dealt with worse. Your guidance, encouragement, experience, and wisdom will be essential throughout the process. But somewhere along the line, your child will have to step up and lead the process. They will have to make definitive choices and take decisive action. The process should be seen as teamwork, rather than one party doing everything. After that, you are going to have to let your little bird fly.
Every Parent’s Option For Their Child’s School And Education

 Gardening for kids: 5 Links to get your child more involved outdoors

Gardening-for-kids-5-links-to-get-your-child-more-involved-outdoorsIt would be fair to say that we are firmly in an era that is dominated by PlayStation’s, the internet and everything else that involves tech.

It means that gardening is often forgotten about. This is despite the fact that it has countless benefits associated with it, including:

  • First and foremost, it’s fun
  • It gives children responsibility
  • It provides them with information on nutrition (key in today’s world)
  • Allows them to develop cooperation skills
  • The list could go on!

Bearing this in mind, today’s article is a collection of links that we have stumbled across through the internet over the last few months. Hopefully, by the end of proceedings, you’ll have a much better understanding of how to get your child more involved in gardening, whilst keeping it fun at the same time.

House Beautiful – How to make gardening fun

For those of you who perhaps don’t quite know where to start with your child’s new hobby, let’s direct you to House Beautiful. They have collected just five points which provide an excellent starting base and show what you need to do to get your garden adventure started for your little ones.

Avas Flowers – Go bright and colorful

As we all know, kids love bright colors. This is where the  Avas Flowers Pinterest page comes into the picture, so kids can see photos of colorful plants and flowers. Your little ones really will be enticed outside if your garden is decorated with such plants, so take a look at the Avas Flowers website to read more about what you should be turning to.

Life Hacker – The easiest vegetables to grow for beginner gardeners

Little else needs to be said about this next suggestion. Put simply, the article tells you some of the easiest vegetables to grow for beginners. Children obviously fall into this category and if they can see that the garden is producing something tangible (which they can taste!) it can make all of the difference.

Express – How to create a children-friendly garden

This next article comes courtesy of the Express, although it has been written with Alan Titchmarsh (a leading gardener in the UK, for those not aware).

It goes into all sorts of ways to make your garden child-friendly, which should be your main focus as you integrate this new hobby in your family life. It doesn’t just touch upon the obvious but also talks about some of the lesser-known safety factors such as avoiding poisonous plans etc.

BBC – How to set up a wormery

Granted, most parents are going to wince at this final suggestion. Unfortunately, like it or not, kids love worms. A wormery provides them the perfect reason to get out to the outdoors and get up close and personal with these fascinating bugs.

Over the weeks they’ll see all the little tunnels these creatures create and it really will provide the perfect excuse to get out more.




Green stalk


Vegetable Gardening Tips for Beginners
Tips for Teaching Young Children Street Safety

Shopping on a Budget: Top Tips

 Top-Tips-when-shopping-on-a-budget-now-and-for-the-futureIt’s easy to overspend when you take a trip to the supermarket or have a day of retail therapy. As lovely as it is to treat yourself occasionally, noticing the sharp depletion of funds in your bank account is enough to turn your stomach. Managing your money effectively can be difficult at times, which is why sitting down and working out a monthly budget is always a good idea. Here are some ideas on how to shop on a budget and stick to it.


Finally, one other way to save your pennies when shopping is by taking advantage of sales and discounts. If you are looking to indulge, then for the sake of your budget, at least find a good deal. There are numerous sites like Lowes promo codes that offer a range of coupons you can use for multiple brands. You can also find the latest coupons and promo codes at of the fastest-growing coupon platforms.

Set a Limit

Once you have calculated the cost of your bills, subscriptions, rent, etc. out of your wage, look at what you have left. Where possible, try to put at least 10% of that amount into savings. After this, the remaining amount will be the expendable cash you have left. Think carefully about how long this will have to last until your next payday, and then set yourself a weekly spending limit. You can divide this limit into how much you’ll spend on food, transport, and social engagements.


When you have set your spending limit, it’s essential to decide before you go to the shop. For example, if you’re going to do a grocery shop, consider making a meal plan for the week. This way, you will only buy the necessary ingredients to make those meals, instead of picking up random items off the shelves. Also, if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthier meals, this type of planning can help you achieve that.

Be Disciplined

If you want to stick to a budget, a bit of self-discipline will have to come into play. If you have a habit of indulging yourself every time you go to meet friends or head to the shopping center, this will have to stop. It’s easy to go over budget when shopping, therefore only buying what you need or limiting yourself to one treat instead of five is essential.

Go Alone

If you have a friend who is always telling you to ‘treat yourself’ when you shop together, don’t invite them with you on your next shopping trip. Although you should be practicing self-discipline, it’s easy to be swayed by someone encouraging you to buy those shoes you love, but don’t need. Shopping alone keeps you focused on what you’re there to buy, and your spending limits.

It is worth coming up with a monthly or weekly spending budget to help you save for the future. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice, but it shouldn’t leave you broke at the end of each month. Use these tips to help you spend wisely.
How Can Single Mothers Plan Their Budget Efficiently
How Well Do Your Kids Understand Finances?
How to Teach Your Children the Value of Saving Money