It’s an exciting time when your child leaves school and starts college, but it can also feel like there’s a lot of pressure for them to pick the right courses. It’s hard not to think too much about the potential impact of their choices on their future, but it’s important they enjoy the subjects they choose. Here’s some guidance from a Sixth Form College in Hampshire on how you can support your child to choose the right college courses for them. 

 Pick subjects that interest them

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 Your child will probably be studying their subjects for a couple of years and in a lot more depth than at school, so they should be interested enough in the topics to want to focus on them for that long. Encourage them to spend some time thinking about what GCSEs they enjoyed the most at school. The more they are excited about studying a particular subject in depth, the more effort they’ll probably put into it. 

 Consider the next step

 While it’s not a good idea to look too far into the future, your child will probably have some idea of what they’d like to do after college so their choice of college courses should align with that. If they’re dead set on a particular path, they can specialize with their subjects and focus just on that. If, however, your child isn’t sure what they’d like to do after college, it’s best to keep the options open by studying a broader range of subjects. 

 Think about what they’re good at

 Playing to their strengths will give your child the best chance of performing well in their chosen subjects. If they had a natural aptitude for a certain subject at school, they might want to explore this further at college and specialize. If they were good at lots of subjects it can be harder to narrow things down, in which case they can think more about what they enjoy and what fits with their ideal career path. 

 Research thoroughly

 When deciding on college courses, it’s worth finding out exactly what each subject covers and what the curriculum is. Try to find out as much information as possible before making a decision. Also bear in mind compatibility between subjects and what learning pattern is required for each; for example, some subject combinations might cause timetable conflicts or require a form of learning or assessment  which your child doesn’t like, such as giving presentations. 

 When deciding on college courses, the sweet spot is finding subjects which your child enjoys, is good at, and which align with their future plans. 

Note: This is a collaborative post

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