First, students grow and mature a LOT over the high school years, and what your current 9th grader is not capable of right now, may be much more capable of doing in the fall or spring of 12th grade, 3 years from now.
1) More focus on ACT prep to get that 1-2 point bump
Problem: Dd would have to have the test read to her. At this point, I don't believe she would have the endurance to sit through 6 hours (I'm guessing here) of oral testing. I'm looking at test-optional schools for her, but the best financial deal for would be for her to go in-state/public (Georgia).
Absolutely possible to wait and test in 12th grade, when your student has had more time to mature into dealing with LDs or even begin to "grow out of" LDs.
Definitely get an official diagnosis now (if you don't already have one) to start a paper trail to prove the need for accommodations, both for testing in high school AND to be eligible to receive free accommodations offered by a possible future college.
Here is the info for testing accommodations for the ACT and SAT tests.
And then practice test-taking for the next few years on a regular basis to slowly build endurance. Start off doing one test section for 15 minutes. Build up to the full time period. Do that for each different test section, until familiar with all the different test sections. Take al of 9th grade and in to 10th grade to do that. Then start stretching the length of time and practice doing 2 test sections. Etc. Slowly build up those "attention span muscles", and combined with feeling very familiar with the test sections will help make it easier for your student to sit for the full length test by 12th grade.
2) Satisfy ... University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options...
You are lucky! For accreditation, Georgia is the ONE state in which you as a homeschooler can jump through the hoops and become accredited. See these past threads for more info:
Accreditation (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)
Bev in B'ville: about your accreditation (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)
2) Satisfy at least one unit from each category of the University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options: DE, AP
4 Carnegie units of college preparatory English
4 Carnegie units of college preparatory mathematics
4 Carnegie units of college preparatory science
3 Carnegie units of college preparatory social science
2 Carnegie units of the same foreign language
2 units of American Sign Language OR
2 units of computer science3
Problem: So far, ds has gotten into every school he's applied to, but they all have been in more homeschool-friendly states. He did get into a smaller Georgia school with a high admit rate, but we are waiting to hear how the flagships play out. I feel like admittance as a homeschooler for him has been based on strong ACT scores and some accredited, economical state-funded DE and AP coursework. This plan won't work for ds unless I can get her enrolled in our local tech school's DE program.
If you go through the accreditation process, then, looking at your requirements, it sounds like you'll be fine.
And that would allow you to choose the materials that would be the best fit for your student struggling with dyslexia. Then you can take things at your 9th grader's pace. A minimum of 5 high school credits per year easily meet these requirements, and would probably be a do-able amount of work for a student with special needs.
4) Consider other curricula choices
...We have been doing Classical Conversations... meeting weekly with her peer group has done a lot to motivate this low-energy kid! She has to have an option that has built-in accountability... Considering problem #2, I'm thinking some accredited coursework might be of benefit if applying to state schools in Georgia.
You might also look into self-paced, outsourced courses and materials.
Note: *coursework* is not accredited -- it is the *cover school or organization* that is accredited, and that then okays or dismisses materials as meeting their accreditation policies. So if you don't go the route of seeking accreditation for your homeschool, you might also look in to an online accredited cover school that is flexible about choices of materials so that you could use some self-paced, outsourced options.
3) Look hard at smaller, private LACs
Problem: Cost! I'm seeing there is lots of money out there for high achievers, but that's not going to be dd...
9th grade is very early to already be deciding whether or not a particular college will work for your student or not. In fact, it's very early to already be deciding that THIS particular student NEEDS or WANTS to attend a 4-year school after graduation. Rather than focusing on college choices in 9th grade, I'd gently recommend spending the next 2 years working on exploring your student's INTERESTS and STRENGTHS through extracurricular activities and through some Elective credits. That may help you uncover a previously-hidden gift or strength that would be your student's dream job, and best prepared for through a 2-year Associate's degree or on-the-job training, rather than a 4-year LAC or state public university.
And, if at this time in 2 years when your student is halfway through 11th grade, you discover a 4-year degree IS what will best serve the student's needs, you will also probably have a much clearer idea of the student's interests so you can research colleges with that degree field and look specifically at those with good merit aid.
Also, there are options other than merit aid or need-based aid for paying for college, such as
- tuition-free schools and work-for-tuition schools
- companies that you can work for part-time and they contribute towards your tuition
- knocking out 2 years at a much cheaper community college and transferring to a university and only needing 2 years at the more expensive university to complete the 4-year university.
There are even options for possibly reducing room and board costs -- for example a few elder-care homes around the country that are experimenting with programs that offer free room and board to college students to live at the elder-care home, in exchange for 10-15 hours a week of time with the residents.
More ideas on alternative/out-of-the-box ways of funding college in these past threads:
"s/o: Cautionary Tale: High Cost of College -- a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!"
"How are YOU managing to pay for college?"
5) Finding a school that fits your student's parameters
Problem: Parameters include a) smaller student body size b) excellent LD support c) majors related to students current strengths (costume design, fashion design, theater make-up design) but with enough options to allow for exploration of other careers d) in-state if possible but will consider private school if we can swing it e) test optional f) homeschool-friendly
Gently, and just my opinion, but I think you are perhaps looking too far ahead right now. Again, pointing you to my first statement -- the 9th grader you see in front of you will be a very different student than when in 12th grade and approaching college admission, so some of these needs may not be a concern in 3 years.
Again, JMO, but I think that the next 2 years would be best spent in working your way through the required credits in order to be college prep, and working on whatever remediation will best help your student jump the dyslexia hurdle. At 9th grade, I would guess your student is around 14yo -- which is right about the time that many students with LDs begin to make the start of a break-through on their LDs or are beginning to figure out "work-arounds" in dealing with the LDs.
You mention costume design, fashion design, and theater make-up as this student's current strengths. I'd suggest strongly capitalizing on those interests/strengths with as many hands-on and class opportunities as possibly right now, as well as some possible support coursework that would double-dip as English or Social Studies courses (for example: study Classic Plays for an English credit, or History of the Theater as a Social Studies credit).
Involvement in these activities might lead to some great networking to open up on-the-job-training career occupations, or may lead to networking with people in the industry who suggest a school that is the perfect fit for your student.
Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. BEST of luck to you and your student as you homeschool high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.
Edited by Lori D., 26 December 2017 - 10:27 PM.