Tips for Parents: Supporting Your AP Student

The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) allows Iowa students to take APTM classes online.  IOAPA is especially meant for rural schools that do not have the resources to support APTM classes.  Educators can learn more here.

Previously we discussed ways mentors can assist their students in the classroom.  Yet focusing only on what mentors can do ignores the invaluable support students receive at home.  Beyond emotional support, in what ways can parents and other guardians help APTM students?

Set priorities at home

One way parents can help is by designating a spot at home for studying.  By creating a quiet space at home, parents make it easier for students to get right to work on assignments.  Importantly, parents can also urge their children to get enough rest as high school students rarely get enough sleep.  While parents may not set bedtimes for their teenagers, they can remind their children to go to bed at a consistent time every night and to refrain from gaming, movies, and online browsing right before bed.

Explore academic expectations and possibilities

Research has shown that rural students interested in higher education—the kind of students who often choose to enroll in online APTM courses—may not know how to prepare for college.  Parents can initiate conversations with their child regarding future plans, and parents and children can work together to research college preparation information.  By learning about courses offered at their child’s school and reviewing graduation requirements with their child, for example, parents can foster an easier transition for their child from high school to college.

For some parents who did not attend college themselves, understanding how to best support their child’s transition into higher education may be easier said than done.  College admissions can be a difficult process to navigate, particularly for individuals living in rural communities.  However, universities now offer resources through social networking sites like Twitter and YouTube so even geographically isolated students can connect with campus representatives.  Many universities also offer virtual tours or programs that specifically target rural students.  Regardless of parents’ own educational experiences, there are many ways they can help their children thrive academically.

Selected Resources

Cross, T. L., & Burney, V. H. (2005). High ability, rural, and poor: Lessons from Project Aspire and implications for school counselors. Prufrock Journal16(4), 148-156.

Howley, A., Rhodes, M., & Beall, J. (2009). Challenges facing rural schools: Implications for gifted students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted32(4), 515-536.

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