I have had some requests for tips on how to graduate a high school student who is ready to go to college… to be honest, I was scared to death the past several years as we were homeschooling high school. I kept hoping that I was doing enough and helping her enough to make sure she was able to go to college. I think I was still sweating it up until we actually got the acceptance letter! I surely don’t have all the answers, and I am sure there are other homeschool moms out there who do it way better than me. Still, here’s a summary of the things we did to get her through…
1) Keep homeschool records. Every homeschool should keep detailed records, however, once your child reaches high school that is even more important! Those records become their
hope for college entrance. It is much easier to keep the records as they go along than to have to remember what they did and how they did to create them just for college entrance.
2) Keep course descriptions. It is beneficial for most colleges to be able to see exactly what your student studied for each of his/her courses. You can do this simply by keeping a log of an approximately 100 word description of the course. (Also easier to do as your take the courses than waiting to create it when a college asks for it.)
3)Have a goal. In 9th and 10th grade you should be encouraging your child to examine themselves to determine exactly what they LOVE to do. (I’m not talking about video games here Ask them to make an inventory of the subjects that they are taking in school, and to rate them as far as the level to which they enjoy them. As a parent you can help them by paying attention to the activities that they enjoy. These will often align with their school strengths. Once you have their strengths narrowed down, challenge them with courses and experiences that will grow this passion.
4) Take the PSAT or the SAT in 11th grade. This was one of the bets things that we did. It gave us an idea of what we needed to study and review to get the score we needed for scholarships. Don’t be afraid of taking both ACT and SAT. Whichever one you score better at… take again! We took the ACT 3 time during her senior year. The last two tests she scored identical grades on, and we both felt that she had reached her full potential on the test.
5) Check out dual enrollment at your local college. This is a great way to challenge your high schooler, and also a nice head start to college.
Yes, all of us “homeschoolers” seem to balk a little when we talk about homeschooling high school. It’s the big time – the big league – the life altering last few years of school. I think all of us are afraid that we are going to mess our kids up for life! I know that I was! well, good news… if I can do it – anyone can! We just graduated our oldest daughter, and she is on her way to becoming a full time college student at Mercer University. It’s over, and we did it. (Though I am still shocked and suprised at times!)
We have always chosen courses that were an eclectic mix. Over the years we have found that a little of this and a little of that really fits us better than buying one complete curriculum from one publisher. In years past, some of our favorites have been Apologia, Saxon, and Institute for Excellence in Writing. We have even used several of the free online classes found at Homeschool College USA. My daughter did the Forensics course last year and loved it! This year we are giving the new Time4Learning High School a try. It is new this fall, and we have used T4L before with our other children. So, we will see if it’s a fit for us – it may work like all of the other currciculum before it… a piece here and there might be just what we needed!
Some of the best things that we have learned over the years are simple. Follow your children’s strengths… What is your highschooler good at? Then feed him/her a diet of challenging classes in that area. Make them an expert at what they enjoy…
Homeschooling high school can be a challenge, it can be frightening… but you can do it… I’m already working on #2 in 10th grade…SHEW!
High School Prep Genius an Academic Guide to Excellence by Jean and Judah Burk is a beneficial tool for any parent with a student entering high school. In fact, this book really took me by surprise! I was blown away by how MUCH material was here. Each chapter is full of amazing content and tools to help safely and successfully navigate high school with a view to your child’s future success.
What’s it all about?
Covering not only academic success this book addresses personal success as well. Using innovative methods to encourage the student to find personal areas of interest that will enable lifelong benefits. I really appreciated how this book took a step by step approach to providing everything a student needs to be successful in life.
For those homeschool families who haven’t had experience with high school yet, this would be an invaluable resource to obtain. With clear delineation of high school requirements as well as suggested courses of study, this book makes mapping out your high school plan easy. High School Prep Genius also addresses each grade of high school individually coaching the student on specific milestone goals that should be accomplished by month.
What are the pros?
As a parent I loved the way this book really encouraged parent/student teamwork. Truly a successful high schooler is in league with his/her parents to make the most of those four years. Another indispensable aspect of the High School Prep Genius is the plethora of copiable templates and documents to help record your high schooler’s accomplishments. I would dare say, anything… and I mean anything… that you would need to track your high school progress is contained within these pages!
In addition to helping the student navigate high school waters, there are sections with an abundance of instruction on how to manage career choices, choosing a college, and creating life goals. This is truly a comprehensive look at making the transition to adult life.
What are the cons?
Well, to be honest there really weren’t that many cons. I think this book is well written and very practical. It takes into account a wide variety of students. My only thought is that they could have addressed homeschoolers in a little more depth.
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for a candid review.
Have you ever checked out Homeschool on the Cheap Link up? If you haven’t, you should! It’s a great link up party- hooking us homeschoolers up with all things cheap and free to homeschool with! I really love it. It’s over at the Three Boys and a Dog blog… Have fun checking it out!
Just wanted to take a minute to share with you that the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Our Curious Home. Please hop on over there and check out all the creative homeschool bloggers that share their amazing ideas. See if you can find MomSCHOOL’s post for this week!
I recently read an article in the Carnival of Homeschooling about making and using a summer bucket list to keep track of all the super fun amazing things that you want to do with your kids this summer! I love that idea and am so inspired to try it…I hope to pass a little inspiration on to you!
For those of you who love visual reminders, check out this printable summer bucket list. I know summertime isn’t all about having fun, we will definitely be including some online summer skill building. Yet, the bucket list will be handy to keep us thinking of great things to do. I also love how Little Wonders’ Day made her bucket list come to life with a real bucket! (see picture below) For those of you who love graphic organizers check out this printable bucket list! This is even better – let the kid’s color their own bucket list with this printable color page!
I love this idea from a blogger doing a fall bucket list. She makes a great mantel piece decoration with small buckets for her bucket list! This blogger gives several great ideas for bucket lists from old lunch pails to recycled plastic containers… how fun!
Wondering what exactly should go in your bucket list? Have no fear, these bloggers think of it all. This one asks questions to help you think of your own bucket list ideas while this blogger gives you 107 great ideas for your summer bucket list. Ok, ok, this is the last one I promise… but this printable is adorable for a fridge worthy bucket list! Ok… if that isn’t enough inspiration here’s the beginning (rough draft) of our bucket list.
Visit grandparents in Texas
Go to Camp with kids
Go to the beach
Go to a Major League Baseball Game
Go on a long nature hike
Fun day events
Build a blanket fort outside
Watch the stars on a beautiful evening
Have a water balloon fight
Go on a family bike ride
Watch a movie outside
Homemade ice cream
Do bubble painting
Make beaded necklaces
Let girls pick a favorite pinterest craft and do it!
I think I’ve mentioned that my favorite time of the year is summer… maybe… at least 100 times. I love the time to rebuild myself, but I also love planning my next year’s homeschool. Ever since I can remember, I have loved playing school. As a child when other kids wanted toys, I wanted notebooks and pencils so I could go home and play school. I must admit – teaching, organizing, and putting together a new school schedule makes me “happier than a teacher in a book store!”
So, as I’m looking through the amazing homeschool curriculum that is out there I realized that I had to share some of this with you. I love using Saxon books for the serious math and language arts that I’m doing with my elementary and middle school children. However, for my highschoolers I have discovered two awesome sites that have made all the difference in the world and I want to share them with you. The first is the site Let’s Homeschool High School and the second is Homeschool College USA. These two sites enabled me to get my first daughter graduated last year. I know without all their valuable insight that I would have been lost. They both present an amazingly vast array of FREE homeschool curriculum and online learning possibilities. The Homeschool College USA site also gives you free high school course links that all lead up to taking CLEP tests for college credit. Which in and of itself is an amazing idea. You see, your highschooler can take these courses for high school credit, but then when it’s time for the final – go take the CLEP tests and earn REAL college credit.
We often will use the Apologia science courses, glencoe math, and abeka history as our foundation and then enrich with the free offerings from these sites. I hope that you get a chance to visit and start planning your fall homeschool with this in mind!
Yep… I make no bones about it… I love summer. Mostly because the daily boot camp that is my life on a typical school day is gone during those blissfully peaceful summer months. Yet, the teacher (and probably “Monk” tendencies) in me is concerned that my kids keep their brains active during the summer! So, I am constantly looking for ways to do this without making it seem like we are having a regular school day. This is where I love the idea of Adventure History!
During the summer we often try to brush up a bit on the history of our local areas. A great way to do this is to have a history adventure. Here are a few ways that I try to teach local history.
1) My all time fav… take a day to have a scavenger hunt! Find all of the historical landmark signs that scatter the streets of your neighborhood!
2) Visit your local Historical Society Chapter. Ours has a great website with lots of cool old pictures of our county seat. In fact, we are fortunate, our tiny little town (we are talking a post office and 3 buildings) even has their own book published!
3)Read a book together that is about history in your state. After you finish the book take a day trip to visit the setting of the story! There are some pretty neat things that you can do along those lines in our state. We live in Georgia so it’s a veritable hot bed of Civil War history! Here is a great FREEBEE site to find awesome homeschool literature!
4) Google – have an online day where you use all types of online resources… like this FREEBEE online state games! Then try to visit some of the sites that you learned about online!
I am participating in the Homeschool Friday Freebee Link up… So, buzz on over there and see what other awesome homeschool freebees are waiting for you!
As I’m sitting down to put together this October 15th Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling, I glance out my window and see the beginning signs of fall. The leaves on the trees around my home are turning those beautiful well-known shades of red,orange, purple, and even yellow. Though Spring is my very favorite time of year, fall is equally amazing. The beautiful colors, scents of baked goodies, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and the oh-so-fun hayrides. Each is guilty of making incredible memories that last for a life time. So, as this beautiful season commences, I’d love to encourage each of you to be grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to experience the richness of another fall, and the blessings of freedom to homeschool. So, without further ado… let’s get to the goodies…
Ahhh… the fundamentals. As I’m enjoying the fall scene before me, it’s the fundamentals that make it beautiful. The simplicity of the leaves. The beauty of the sky, and even the crispness of the air. It’s the fundamentals of homeschooling that give it such beauty as well. Here’s a bit of fundamental inspiration for your homeschool…
Need some fresh ideas about math? Introducing the World shares how her math didn’t work out too well at the beginning of the year and how she adjusted to make things better… true homeschool style! Her article Math Remix tells about her success!
That pretty much wraps up our Carnival of Homeschooling for this week. I hope you enjoyed the posts, I know I sure did! If you are enjoying the fall like I am, add a picture of your landscape when you make your comment!