Is Your Kid in College? Then Why Don’t You Start Too?

Barry Lenson

Is Your Kid in College? Then Why Don’t You Start Too?

Go back to school and start collegeIf you are the parent of a student who has just started college, you are probably ready to kick back and relax a little. After all, applying to college was stressful for you too. You visited campuses, attended info sessions, filed the FAFSA form online, made a plan to pay the bills, bought all kinds of dorm paraphernalia, and then finally delivered your kid to campus and drove away. That is a lot of stuff to go through, for sure.

But here’s a suggestion. Instead of just relaxing, why not take some courses online too, just to share in the experience of learning? I did just that after our daughter started college. She is now in her senior year, and I have taken three courses online over the last three years. The experience has been terrific.

In a way, I feel more connected to my kid, because we are both sharing similar experiences. I also enjoyed being able to call her up to say, “Do you know what? I just got a flat A in my course.”

There is also a chance, and some experts believe this, that kids do better in school when their parents are learning too. It makes me think of the Suzuki method of teaching little kids to play the violin, in which the parent is given a violin and given lessons while the kid watches. After a certain period of time, the kid says, “Hey, I want a violin too!” And then child and parent learn together, and the kid is motivated.

Granted, college kids are older than the little kids who receive Suzuki instruction, but the point is that students are more motivated to learn when they see that their parents are doing it too.  When learning is an important family value, in other words.

Thanks to StraighterLine, you can get started without breaking the bank. You could retake a course that you took years ago, or explore a new subject through a course online. Hey, your kid is in college now, right? That could give you more time to think about your educational goals too.

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