If you have a child who is enjoying summer between two years of high school, you understand that most high school students think that summer is a time for them to hang out, have no responsibilities, and do whatever they want - and while this might have been the case when they were in elementary school and middle school, it should not be the case any longer! For any high school student who wants to go to college, the preparation for this goal should begin early on in the high school career, and one of the best times for the preparation to take place is during the summer; help lead your high schooler toward these "assignments," and the payoff in the future will be well worth the effort. The primary thing that colleges focus on when looking at college applications is the scores these students received on the standardized tests (the SAT and the ACT), and in order for a student to do well on these tests, they have to study - and of course, there is no better time for them to get in a few hours of study each week than the summer! Another thing that colleges will especially pay close attention to (one of the things that can push a decent college application to "good," and can push a good college application to "great") is the amount of extracurricular activity a student participated in during high school - especially in the way of volunteering; encourage your son or daughter to volunteer in a charity or other program a couple hours a week during the summer, and they will benefit in so many ways! And finally, the responsibility of having a job will do plenty to prepare your child for life after high school - and having a bit of extra money in their pocket will not feel too shabby either! If you tell your high schooler you have some "assignments" for them during the summer, you will probably not get very far, but come up with an approach that will work on them, and nudge them toward using their summer in a wise and productive manner.