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.