A student is better equipped to successfully enter college or vocational training if they successfully graduate from high school. A homeschooling student is deemed as successfully completing high school anytime the parent chooses as long as the student is 16 or older and they were enrolled as a student for 2 consecutive years leading up to graduation. Academic colleges require different preparations than vocational programs, but vocational pursuits can be just as challenging and rewarding. The last time I looked a plumber makes more money than I do, and I have a Master’s Degree! Non-the-less, there are steps that students need to take each year in high school to improve their chances of post-high school success. The following information is commonly followed by homeschoolers to prepare them for success in their chosen post-high school pursuits. These points are also useful for parents of students attending a brick and mortar school and are commonly handled by a school’s guidance department. Resources to accomplish the following can be provided by your local homeschool support group.
FRESHMEN 9th Grade
1. Map out your high school graduation plan by developing your 4 Year Plan (9th-12th grade courses.) This plan can be adjusted every year as interests change. 2. Select challenging high school courses. Remember that choosing to take upper level math classes will help a student succeed on SAT/ACT tests. Also, many scholarships and colleges have 2-year language requirements and a requirement for community service hours. 3. Choose your extra-curricular and service activities carefully. Your final transcript will contain this information and serves as a resume of sorts for colleges and other organizations. You want records to reflect your abilities and pursuits accurately. 4.Visit college fairs and begin contacting colleges or vocational centers for information.
SOPHOMORES 10th Grade
1. Continue to contact schools for information. 2. Request recommendation letters from leaders of clubs or organizations you are involved with to save for future submissions. 3. Develop good study habits. 4. Pick nerdy friends who like to study hard!
JUNIORS 11th Grade
1. Continue to develop good study habits. 2. Study SAT/ACT prep materials. 3. Continue gathering vocational or college and scholarship information. Many scholarships must be applied for in the junior year. Contact College Admissions offices.
SENIORS 12th Grade
1. Visit colleges and meet with college representatives. 2. Fill out state or federal financial aid forms before the 2nd semester. 3. Fill out admission forms early for the college you plan to attend.4.Plan early for participating in graduation ceremonies.
TESTING – Takes tests like the PSAT, SAT, ACT or PLAN tests as offered beginning in 9th grade. It is good to do tests early in your high school career to know weak areas on which to work. Retake these tests every year when offered. Take the PSAT or NMSQT exam in the 11th grade. These 11th grade tests are geared toward scholarship eligibility. Retake the SAT or ACT whenever possible if you want to improve your scores. Colleges will take the best score of each section on each test to qualify the student for admissions.
Please submit questions to be answered to firstname.lastname@example.org. These posts serve to build a relationship between the public and homeschooling families. Topics include how to homeschool, benefits or pitfalls of homeschooling, graduation options, community involvement and education resources. Nancy is director of Family Tree Private School (www.myftps.com) since 1999 – a school for homeschooling families. Nancy has a Master’s degree in Educational Technology and Research and was Florida certified K-12 for over 30 years. She and her husband homeschooled their 3 children.