When you are homeschooling high school, you will want to aim for college. There are two benefits for this. Either your kids will go to college and want the college preparation, or maybe they WON'T go to college, and their homeschool becomes most likely the only formal education they experience. College preparation is actually LIFE preparation, especially considering you don't know what the future holds. You want to homeschool like the Boy Scouts, and always be prepared!
You are possibly thinking, though, about the big HOW. How can a humble homeschool be like a high power "college prep" high school? That's the target of this article. One of the biggest mistake parents make in homeschool high school is not planning high school courses. I'm going to reveal to you how you will be able to steer clear of this trap.
Investigate your state's requirements
To begin with, in eighth and ninth grade, determine the homeschool requirements in your state. Requirements vary largely and can change yearly, which means that you'll find it impossible to know without checking it out for yourself. Check with your state homeschool organizations to learn the requirements. A quick Google search for the name of your state plus "homeschool organization" is all you have to do. Discover the requirements, then create a plan to satisfy them. There are a few states that don't require specific courses from homeschoolers. In that circumstance, make certain you satisfy the legal requirements of your state law, but focus your course selection on college requirements - again, it provides the most flexibility in the future.
Satisfy college admission requirements
What exactly are college admission requirements? There isn't a "right" response to that, simply because every college has their own requirements! There are a few generalizations about college preparation, though, so let me talk about those. Generally, the advised courses to take in high school include 4 years of English, 3 or 4 years of math, 3 to 4 years of social studies, 3 years of science including one lab science, 2 to 3 years of a single foreign language, 2 years of PE, 1 year of fine arts, and enough electives to make 24 or more high school credits. Review the typical college requirements for classes to find out what courses are expected. In every area of high school college prep course work, be certain that you are teaching your students right at their level.
Exceed requirements for fun!
One of the benefits of homeschooling is its efficiency - it allows for ample amounts of time for fun! Most of the things teenagers do for fun can actually be used as high school courses! They fun things your child likes can be fantastic educational electives and additional foundational courses that beef up their transcript. (I have many great tips on how to produce a winning homeschool transcript that I'll share in a later article. )#)
The "basics" cover a multitude of weaknesses
Place emphasis on reading, writing, and math! If you cover the basics, you can't stray far from a great college preparation. Quite a few students who head off to college need remedial help with the basics. If your student has a sound foundation in the basics, then you're successful! The ability to read, write and do math will allow your student to catch up quickly if and when they decide to follow higher education.
Examine your plan each year and adapt as necessary
A quick yearly review can keep you on the right track with high school. Each year you can make decisions for what is appropriate at the time, but the yearly review will offer you the larger overview of high school. The yearly review will remind you that THIS is the year you need to start a foreign language, that this is your last chance for a lab science, or maybe give you the final push to complete an art course. Examine your plan yearly while you enjoy a lifestyle of learning.
Colleges will learn that you have done a great job planning high school courses when your student takes the college admission exams. In order to do well, then, you need to find out a little about those tests. What are they, when do you take them, and why? That will be the focus of my next article.
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