Reported by Liku Zelleke
It is true that companies look to hire employees that are increasingly technologically adept and are crafty in diverse skills that are usually not attained by just going to high school. A college degree is almost always an indispensable tool when it comes to landing a job or starting your own business.
But when should you start preparing for that degree? There are some people who think that middle school is too early a time for students to be preparing for college. These people think that children in the 6th to 8th grades are being put under what they say are unnecessary pressure situations. They are expected to read extra books and study during weekends, even when they haven’t been given any homework. They also think adding extracurricular activities like sports, singing and acting is just too stressful for the children.
So, the question that begs to be asked becomes: is it true that parents are simply asking too much from their children? Should they instead let them be what they were meant to be – just kids?
“I do not believe that middle school is too early to start preparing for college,” says Chelsea L. Dixon, founder and CEO of GamePhox Unlimited, L.L.C. “Early preparation—and some could argue that middle school is not early—is a positive thing. Reading extra books, magazines, and newspapers for fun helps to develop and expand a middle school student’s vocabulary, especially if he looks up the definitions of words he doesn’t understand. If this practice continues, the student’s vocabulary will expand, which will definitely come in handy when taking the SAT or ACT exams.”
Dixon believes that the extracurricular activities in their schools and their communities help the students discover what it is they want to do with their lives, even if they end up changing their minds later. Apart from clarifying interests, they will also have a focused interest if, say, they were to opt to opt for STEM or FIRST Robotics group – something that can really change their lives.
“The middle school years represent a great opportunity for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students to put themselves on the right pathway to college,” Dixon says. “It gives them the chance to develop the skills that will carry them through high school, college, and beyond.”