Homeschooling through the high school years can seem daunting, and while it is a serious responsibility, it is also a great joy. I found that these academic years were extremely rewarding. This is when I saw most of my labor from elementary to junior high come to fruition. Notice I said most, you actually reap the results throughout your lifetime. Do you remember when your child had all those milestones in their education and you were there to see them come to pass? Some of the most fulfilling events were hearing my sons read, hearing them recall multiplication facts, and writing an imaginative story.
Well, I must say that graduating my sons from high school was the capstone for me of all of the years we homeschooled. When my first son stood up on stage with Dale and me, a great amount of memories were surging through my mind. Talk about wanting to laugh, cry, jump, holler, and fighting the urge to do all of those things when presenting his diploma to him at his high school graduation ceremony was difficult. I decided to let Dale speak as we presented the diploma so as not to embarrass my son too badly. All I said was,” Ian, I am so proud of you! Congratulations! We did it!” and blew a party horn. Humor, celebrating, and brevity all combined into less than one minute. That was a pretty amazing feat for me as I enjoy talking. 🙂
For you who follow a traditional school year, summer vacation will be here in a matter of weeks and you may be at a crossroads where you have to decide what you are going to do for your student when it comes to high school and preparing for college. I will discuss each of these in detail over the next few weeks. But, for this week I’d like to give you some simple advice to have you think about working on a plan that won’t be overwhelming. Preparing your high school student for university studies is not as difficult as it appears with proper planning.
- Eighth grade- Create a four year high school academic plan. Plan out each year and prepare them for college even if they say they are not interested. It is much easier to take a foreign language when you are in high school than taking it as an adult. The amount of college applicants is quite high and competition is stiff so prepare your daughter’s or son’s academic courses with that goal in mind. Some courses such as physical education and fine arts can be applied toward high school while in junior high.
- Ninth grade- Begin college prep classes.
- Tenth grade- Evaluate what colleges your student wants to attend.
- Eleventh grade- Visit colleges, narrow down the field.
- Twelth grade- Apply to colleges, warp up any loose ends.
See, that’s not so bad! 🙂 Next week I will talk about ninth grade and how to create a transcript; pick college prep courses; get additional help with courses; start a reading list, and choose volunteer opportunities.