For January, I thought I’d a share a nugget of wisdom with you. Nothing like a beginning a new year wish a dose of good advice and well wishing. As a graduation coach, I receive several emails about high school and with the popularity of homeschool on the rise many homeschooling moms want to know if they can graduate their kids. Each homeschool is different and each student will follow a variety of post-high school tracks, so I’ll simply share some quick pointers that I hope will help you in your high school planning.
- It’s a good idea to begin looking ahead once your child enters the middle school years.
Research high school curriculum, plan on being more student interest led, consider their high school track, become familiar with your state’s graduation requirements, if any, etc.
- The summer before 9th grade, decide how you will provide a transcript for your student. There are several sites you can download a template from or you can use a service to record keep for you.
While research high school curriculum, ask the providers for their grading system and scoring records. If you, as the parent, are aware of how to grade works to produce a final score that’s worthy of credit, you’ll be in a better position to build your own transcript. A curriculum that has this information has done most of the work for you!
- Determine if you want to (or have to) create a high school portfolio.
Take a peek at the graduation requirements for your local high school. You won’t always have to do what they do but it does help to know your student will be academically competitive with their peers. Go on, and take a look-see.
- Most college-bound students take the SAT/ACT in the junior or senior year.
It’s a good ideas to take a PSAT the before the actual exam for practice and familiarity.
- If your student is college bound, start making a list of colleges he or she would like to attend.
Even if the school is narrowed down to one school yet, go ahead a look at some of the school’s entrance requirements. This may alter which subjects (or topics) you teach in high school. Sometimes even the year the courses are taught in will matter. Further, help your student narrow their list with possible major, location, tuition costs, size of school, and any familial alum.
- If your student is a junior or senior and has a college list 5 school or less, take a look at the book list or syllabi for required courses. You may decide to get a head start on some titles.
I had a student that took my advice in this tip and had 2 titles, I believe, already read before freshman year. She impressed the professor, didn’t have to work as hard, and she knew what she was talking about. (She still learned lots from the course, but what an advantage!)
- Begin thinking about how you will graduate your student.
While many homeschoolers opt for the GED, many choose the traditional route of a standard diploma upon graduation. There are companies that provide high school diplomas for homeschoolers should you choose this route.
- Look at possible scholarships for your junior or senior.
Several companies, schools, and organization award money to students that have certain criterion. Others, award money based on ability or written essay. And others, award based on an achievement. Either way there’s free money available for high school students who want to go to college. It’s really nice to do what it takes to be awarded the money ahead of time.
- Spend time practicing how to write a college entrance essay if one is required even by just one of the school of your student’s list.
I worked with one student his junior year preparing for college entrance essays by writing scholarship message for junior only. He was awarded many scholarships that year and that was just us practicing for college. Needless to say, the following the year he was accepted into his number one college. And it was an awesome essay, if I must say so myself. Ahem!
- Spend time practicing how to write a cover letter and resume.
If your child is entering the workforce upon graduation, this is vital. However, some college require, even an academic resume, so it’s best to at least be familiar with how to write them.
I could go on on because this process of completing high school and entering college (or the military or the workforce) looks completely on each student as they all have different family dynamics, interests, grades, goals, and future careers. It was my plan to leave with as many “generic” tips as possible and at least get you thinking about this time in your students’ lives. For example, athletes have another entity to consider than just homeschool and college and students who want enter the military have a completely different exam than college-bound students. And each family will not need to complete every single item I’ve listed. Regardless, we all have to think about high school and prepare our students for graduation. I hope this helps. Happy New Year!