Do you have a student that is ready for High School? Homeschooling through High School can seem a daunting task. Subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, Geometry, Government and Civics can quickly cause you to feel overwhelmed. Questions such as how to figure out credits/grades or earn duel credit while in High School may arise. Hopefully this web page will assist you with some of the questions you may have.
“The High School Advantage: The Four Year Plan”
The following outline has been graciously provided to share with fellow homeschoolers. It is from a presentation entitled "The High School Advantage: The Four Year Plan" given by a HLA (Home Life Academy) Homeschool Counselor on Friday, July 9, 2010 at Hillview Baptist Church in Franklin, TN. For those of you who haven't had time to attend a 'How to Homeschool through High School' seminar, it should serve as a wealth of information. Enjoy!
Network, network, network - answers are out there! Trust but verify the facts.
Know your student - what works for one may not for the other.
Encourage your student to be an independent learner
Read, Read, Read and Write, Write, Write - Have your student write answers in complete sentences in all subjects starting in elementary grades!
Go DEEPER not faster!
Great idea for families with girls in 5th grade. Like the American Girl series, have your child pick a time period and make a character and write a book after researching what it might have been like for this fictitious character. Be creative! Makes education come to life.
Don’t be afraid to change what is NOT working or to keep doing what IS working.
Organization as they relate to our experiences many years ago.
Cover School is like the Principal - administration
Association is like the PTA - clubs/yearbook
Support Groups like home room (co-op)
If you have two of the above three that is good!
Grading Scale as per HLA - A - 100-94 B - 93-86 C - 85-77 D - 76-70 F <69
High School has to have a grade for each class to get a credit - can no longer do Pass/Fail
One Credit = 150 class hours or completing a full curriculum.
Can earn as low as ¼ of a credit / year - they had a pool in their back yard and gave ¼ of a P E credit each summer for swimming which added up to their 1 credit PE requirement.
ENGLISH : 4 parts - Vocabulary, grammar, composition, literature
9th Grade - Recommended Skills for Literary Analysis by James Tombaugh (Others that are good are Abeka and Writing Staff)
10th Grade - World Literature
11th Grade - American Literature
12th Grade - British Literature
Your child will be spending WAY MORE than 150 hours / year in these studies but just give them one credit.
(Recommend getting Skills for Rhetoric for Jr. High Students)
She had her students read one book per week.
She can send you a list of recommended books for your students to read - send her an e-mail to Karen@homelifeacademy.com asking her to do that.
Recommended for 5th, 6th and 7th graders - Wordsmith
Dual Enrollment is GREAT! This is where your high school student enrolls in college courses and receives both high school credits and college credits.
BE CAREFUL! The college your child may eventually attend may NOT accept these credits as transfer credits!
CLEP Tests - Be Careful with these as well! Most colleges require you to take the CLEP test at their school so WAIT until they are enrolled in that college. These are about $150 per test and are worth the effort if you have a bright student!
BE CAREFUL that you don’t take too many CLEP, AP or Dual Enrollment classes as it may mess up your chances to get really good scholarships because they may be considered a Sophomore student. Stay below 20 hours of these - depends on the college - check with them.
Technically, our kids are considered PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS not HOME SCHOOLING STUDENTS since we are under a cover school.
NOT every child wants to go to college - Determine their goals and work towards their goals.
MATH : 4 years of Math with the lowest level being Algebra I
Every student should take CONSUMER MATH but this does NOT count as a high school credit. You can put this in the PERSONAL FINANCE credit spot. Dave Ramsey’s class is a good one.
Be careful with Math U See as if the web-site does not say the course is a High School course, it will NOT be counted as such.
Old Saxon (includes Geometry) vs. New Saxon which has Geometry as a separate subject - Be careful!
SCIENCE: PHYSICAL SCIENCE curriculum by Apologia MAY NOT count as an acceptable SCIENCE course if your student is going in to an Engineering Major or something strong in math and sciences! Check with the college they want to attend! THIS SHOULD BE DONE BEFORE HIGH SCHOOL! NCAA may NOT accept this as a high school class.
HLA only requires 2 lab sciences but some colleges require 3 lab sciences - check with them!
Must have Biology AND Chemistry or Physics GENERAL IDEAS: Colleges can be put in two categories in TN - Tennessee or Board of Regents School
An Elective is a class that is NOT REQUIRED
Required - 9th - World Geography 10th - World History 11th - American History
College Requirements - Foreign Language - 2 or 3 years Visual and Performing Arts - 1 credit Computer - 1 credit - ½ typing and ½ power point or program applications (there are FREE tutorials available on your computer) Try accessing your County website for FREE software (under resources) - your tax dollars at work
TOO MANY CREDITS on a high school transcript will red flag your student and may hurt them. They are looking for 22-28 credits; over 32 will cause problems! Use the PORTFOLIO to highlight other than academic achievements of your high school student.
PORTFOLIO items: Mission Trips Clubs Community Service Puppets
Colleges are now looking for commitment and dedication rather than a long list of different unrelated items. ACT vs. SAT ACT is more common in the southern states.
Some colleges prefer one of these tests over the other one - ask them.
ACT - counts off more if you leave an answer blank. These are timed tests. Determine before you begin to fill in all B’s or all C’s to the remainder of the test question answers before the time is up. This test costs approximately $27 and is offered 6 times per year - Sept, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, and June.
SAT - counts off more if you get an answer wrong than if you don’t answer it at all. LEAVE IT BLANK if you don’t know the answer.
ACT TIPS or How to get a good ACT Score: Always eat a BIG BREAKFAST high in protein before every testing period - Bacon, Egg, Sausage, etc.
Take the ACT first time in the Spring of 9th grade in April. Don’t do anything to prepare for the test and tell your student it is just to help them by learning to pace yourself. Have them take the practice test on-line just to expose them to the test. We don’t really care what the score is.
10th Grade: After Christmas take the ACT Prep Class (counts as .5 credit) Take the test in April of the 10th Grade
Traditionally the highest scores occur in the Spring of the Junior Year. TAKE IT EVERY TIME IT IS OFFERED during the Junior Year (After Chemistry) READING SECTION - During all these testing times, try different approaches - try reading the questions first and then the reading segments vs. the other way ATH - One student said that working the problems backwards helped them to get a better score because the harder questions were at the end when they were tired.
Only send the test scores to the cover school NOT the colleges.
Never send the scores to the college - they will get them from the cover school.
If you get a better score, send it and they will update it. ACT max score is 36.
SUPER SCORE can be put together by taking the highest score from each time the test was taken. Your cover school can do this.
Practice makes perfect.
Nobody will know the scores except the cover school and the student.
It takes about four weeks to get the results back.
Writing Section? Most colleges don’t want this from the ACT. They will assign their own essay to the students as part of the application process.
PSAT - National Merit Scholarship
SAT - Take the practice test in 10th grade and again in the 11th grade. Only counts in the 11th grade. THIS IS OFFERED ONLY ONE WEEK PER YEAR (in October?) - PLAN AHEAD! Check our www.collegeboard.org
There is a conversion available that will convert one score in to the other ACT to SAT or vice versa.
DUAL ENROLLMENT - $300 / student/semester in JR and SR years.
Great Dual Enrollment Classes are: English Comp I and II Foreign Language I and II - Some colleges don’t accept Spanish, check with them Science Biology I and II, Chemistry I and II Speech Psychology
The college will have the paperwork.
Scholarships & Financial Aid:
29 or above score on ACT - they will qualify for Merit Scholarship $1000/year/additional monies available
HOPE SCHOLARSHIP - Have to have 12 dual enrollment credit hours - basically one course / semester
HLA believes it should be done in moderation as you are putting your child in a dangerous environment where you have NO CONTROL of the content. Your child may NOT be ready for this!
DUAL ENROLLMENT IS WONDERFUL BUT you need to verify that the future college will accept these credits or it won’t be as beneficial as you would like. Make friends with the admissions counselor.
50% of students lose their HOPE scholarship by Soph year due to poor GPA or dropping classes. When it is gone - it is gone.
FAFSA FORM - In January of Senior Year for the next Fall - STAY ON TOP OF THESE DEADLINES.
Financial AID Information Pamphlet - get one from the library.
Two Different kinds of Hope Scholarships: One for Dual Enrollment One for College
Recommend - Get taxes done early in January of Senior Year in order to apply for financial aid!
Tips on Applying:
Colleges MAY NOT accept handwritten transcripts!
Visit prospective colleges in 11th Grade
Take a heavy load in Freshman and Sophomore years. Give them breathing room in their Senior Year to have time for the application process.
Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammar errors on application. DUH!
Don’t forget to press the SUBMIT button when applying on-line. Some are time sensitive - may be as early as mid-December
Let cover school know which colleges to which you have applied.
Check your e-mails regularly and use a professional e-mail address.
The application process is an overwhelming process - help guide your student - teach time management - get them a separate calendar for this (Recommend this as a Christmas present in Junior year.
Apply Early! There are only so many openings - OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Check the college website for the date they will start accepting applications as well as the deadline.
Colleges want leaders, focus on long term commitments.
National Honor Society for Home Schoolers - Eta Sigma Alpha
Community Service Projects, Field Days, Etc.
Never hurts to have letters of recommendations in the Portfolio.
CLEP STUDY GUIDES available on-line - only have to get a score of 50% to get credit Don’t take these until you are enrolled in college and take it from that college.
Teacher’s Discounts: Borders Barnes and Nobles Hastings Books a Million
If you have questions about any of the material in the outline above or about Homeschooling through High School please email us. We will help you find the information you need.
Do You Have Tips for Homeschooling through High School?
If you have information, tips, or links to websites that are helpful on the topic, we'd love to hear from you! Please let us know if you have info that you would like to share on this site via email. Thank You & Blessings!
'Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.' Proverbs 22:6