#032 – Helping Your Student Make the Most of Remote Learning

As we look toward yet another semester of remote learning for many, this is an excellent time for students to evaluate their challenges and successes. Some students are thriving in their remote classrooms and others are struggling mightily. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki explore some of the challenges students face and offer suggestions to help students make the most of their online experiences. From their perspectives as a classroom instructor and a Learning Disabilities specialist, Vicki and Lynn have gathered stories of resilience and tips to help students maintain their motivation throughout the semester.

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It’s a New Year! Do You Need Resolutions in 2021?

The year 2020 is finally in the rear-view mirror.  There’s still a pandemic, and there’s still a lot of turmoil in our world, but somehow we need to find hope in the new year.  2021 will be better. We need to believe that.

Somehow, it seems more difficult this year to think about New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all just been hanging on – trying to survive. That seems enough for this year. Survive the present, look to the future, believe things will get better – and don’t try to challenge yourself too much.

But it is a new year, after all, and that brings with it not just hope for a better year, but a challenge to make it a better year.

We’ve offered some New Year’s resolutions, or thoughts, each year since College Parent Central began. So this year, I’ve gone back to reread them, which was an interesting reflective exercise on its own. (Click on the year’s date if you’d like to see the full list for some extra inspiration.)  But I’ve selected just one resolution from each year to share here. The choice wasn’t always easy, but I tried to pull one thing that seems relevant to where we are today.

Take these as a start for your own reflections. You may be inspired to make some resolutions of your own, or you may just opt for survival this year. But I hope these provide a way for you to think about your college student (or almost college student) and about your parenting role in the new year.

Happy, Healthy, Safe New Year!

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College Parent News & Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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The College Parent Central Year in Review – 2020

As we offer our year-in-review each year, I often say this is the time of year when we can’t decide whether to look backwards at the year that is just ending or to look ahead at the year about to begin.  This year, there is no contest. We’re all looking ahead to the future, to 2021, and to the hope for a better year for everyone.

2020 has been one of the most difficult years that most of us have ever faced. Some individuals have certainly faced tragedy of many kinds at other times in the past, but this year was tragic, frightening, and devastating in so many ways for so many of us.

Still, even with our focus clinging to the hope for a better 2021, we’d like to take a brief look at 2020 at College Parent Central. We’ve survived. We’re tremendously grateful for health. We’ve done what we can to reach out to help parents help their students through these difficult days.

The year of COVID

The COVID virus derailed everyone’s plans this year. We distanced, we stayed home, we worked remotely, we homeschooled, we learned to wear masks, we took up new hobbies, we baked sourdough, and we learned to cope with life – and death –  in new ways.

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Your Student Needs This Time Over Winter Break

Winter Break. Most college students look forward to it – and they get increasingly impatient for it as the semester draws to a close. Students face deadlines they may have ignored, final papers, final projects, final exams, and a generally stressful few weeks as they finish up their term.

This year, the stress has increased as they attempted to do their work in masked and distanced classrooms, in hybrid settings or fully remote – either from home or from dorm rooms. It’s been a difficult semester for everyone.

Winter Break

This year, as we enter what many are telling us will be the darkest and most difficult winter we’ve faced, students may be anticipating Break more than ever. Students don’t want this Break, they need this Break. But Winter Break will not be business as usual this year. There may be minimal travel, fewer events, smaller family gatherings, less socializing, and students may have more time on their hands. This has been a year like no other, and it promises to be a Winter Break unlike anything we’ve known.

Whether your student is finally coming home or has been home all along, the next few weeks may prove challenging for everyone. But wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, most students need one thing as this semester draws to a close: time.

Not all time is the same

Your student may be home longer this winter, as many colleges end earlier than usual and many  delay the start of spring semester. But no matter how long your student’s break from college, not all of their time should be the same. Students need different types of time to help them recharge from this “semester -like-no-other” and to prepare to move forward.

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#031 – 30 Episodes In! Reflecting on the Past Year of the College Parent Central Podcast

The College Parent Central Podcast is one year old! During this year, we’ve explored a range of key topics for college parents. In this episode Lynn and Vicki reflect on how the College Parent Central podcast began and where the journey has led throughout this most unusual year. This episode explores some of the core themes that can help parents feel less overwhelmed as they embrace their new college parent role. Join the hosts as they reflect on the past year and preview a new season of the podcast in 2021. 

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College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read more


‘Tis the Season: Time to Think About Holiday Gifts for Your College Student

The holiday season is definitely going to look different this year. We may travel less – and we may not be gathering with as many family members and friends as usual. But most of us are still thinking about gifts. It’s one part of the holiday season that doesn’t have to change.

If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts. There’s so much to choose from!

You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have fifteen new suggestions for 2020 to add to our earlier suggestions.  Don’t stop with this post! Check out our Resources tab for nearly 100 additional suggestions!  We guarantee you’ll find something for everyone there!

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!  If you have additional suggestions, share them in the comments! Let’s make this a community project!

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#030 – Transfer Students: Making Decisions and Navigating the Process

Although college transfer may seem the norm for many students these days, when it is your student transferring it is a significant event for your family. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki explore some of the reasons your student may consider transferring and how you can help them make this important decision. They identify ways that parents can help students navigate the sometimes complex information-gathering and application process. Vicki and Lynn offer suggestions for how parents can be instrumental in helping students make the transition and settle in to their new environment.

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#029 – Steps to Success for Students with Disabilities: An Interview with Elizabeth Hamblet

The shift from high school to college can be challenging for all students, but it may be even more daunting for students with disabilities. In this episode, Lynn and Vicki talk with Elizabeth Hamblet, author of the book From High School to College: Steps for Success for Students with Disabilities. Elizabeth shares essential information that students and parents need to know as they prepare for and apply to college. Understanding the differences between high school support and college accommodations can help pave the way for a smooth transition. Parents will learn what questions to ask and how to encourage the independence and self-advocacy  required of their student in the college environment.

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