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About JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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  1. If my choices were between community college and automatic admission to an accredited engineering program I would not be taking community college classes. Yes, it is Tech's problem and they need to honor their commitment to the students they accepted. However, my point was there are options out there that would allow students to spend a year studying and transfer to Tech (which I understand is their plan for those who defer admission).
  2. FWIW - Sweet Briar College (all women's college near VT) is offering guaranteed admission to their fully accredited engineering program to any one with an acceptance letter from VT. The overbooked Tech students have options.
  3. Eat the meal plan rather than ordering out. It's surprising how few students take advantage of this.
  4. If your kid will be applying via common app then start on the essay while there is no pressure from other course work. A quick google search should turn up the topics for the year. Many applications open in August and you can start creating accounts and filling in all the forms. If you are considering any military academies or ROTC scholarships, the applications are probably already open and you should be starting down that path ASAP. Best of luck!
  5. I would also do your research, some of the college exams require you to cancel your score prior to seeing the score (IIRC). Be sure you know their timetable beforehand.
  6. Yes, it absolutely does mean that. We also sent no "official" scores except to the schools where they enrolled. Although, none of the schools they applied to required AP scores as part of the admissions process. If you think about it, many AP classes are only taken by seniors. During the admissions process they have not finished the course or taken the exam. Admissions decisions will already be out when they take those exams.
  7. In my experience the AP Class and the AP Exam serve two different but linked purposes with regard to college admissions. The AP Class: It can give a bump in GPA if you submit a weighted GPA. The AP class can be taken without taking the AP exam in some cases. Some instructors require their students to take the exam as part of the course. The AP class may only be listed on the transcript as an AP course if the instructor has submitted a syllabus to College Board's AP Course Audit process and been approved. As a home school instructor you may create and submit as many AP course syllabi for your students as you wish. Don't be afraid of this process, there are lots of ways this can be accomplished and homeschoolers have, in my experience, been successful in getting approval for multiple courses. In my opinion, the purpose/benefit of having an AP course on the transcript is to indicate a commonly understood level of work. Admissions departments are familiar with AP requirements and view them positively in terms of level of difficulty. AP courses can be helpful in meeting that nebulous admissions concept of pursuing the "most difficult course work your school offers." The AP Exam: This can be done without having taking an AP course. Its main benefit is drawn from having achieved a top score (typically 4 or 5 but at some schools/for some subjects a 3 can also help) that allows the student to receive college credit or higher level placement when entering college. In my opinion the AP exam alone does not show that the student pursued high level course work over the school year, it show proficiency in a subject. Showing proficiency in a subject can go a long way in verifying that grades in that subject on the transcript do not have a "mommy bias" but are true indicators of the students knowledge and performance. Be sure to begin the school year by looking for a school willing to give your child the exam. The experience varies by school district and sometimes even individual schools, seek local advice if possible. I am of the opinion that taking the exam in conjunction with the course is the best of both worlds. Also, for a few schools there is an expectation that a homeschool student will submit more standardized exam scores than just a SAT or ACT as part of their application packet in the fall of senior year. AP scores, along with SAT II and CLEP scores often fulfill that requirement. If you are considering a college that requires this be sure to plan ahead to have these scores as once senior year arrives it is nearly impossible to complete. It is my understanding you can retake an AP test the following year but that both scores would be reported. AP/Honors grades and test scores: AP and Honors level courses typically bump up a GPA if you submit a weighted GPA. There are two types of GPA-weighted and unweighted. Different schools have different requirements for what they wish to see. I prepared my kids' transcripts with both GPAs. I gave an explanation in the supplementary materials as to which courses were weighted and why. Usually it was for courses that I had submitted an AP syllabus, the outside provider had an AP designation or an outside provider had listed the course as honors or AP (or in one case as college level). I chose not to submit any AP scores directly from College Board for my kids except for to the school they enrolled in, we never submitted scores without seeing them first (even though that was the more expensive option). If I considered the score high enough it was reported on the transcript. Planning: Plan your testing location well ahead of time if you intend to include a test. Be sure you are doing the preparatory and background class work to support any AP classes you intend the kids to have. Don't be afraid to plan and submit your own AP syllabus. IF it were to be returned you have the opportunity to edit and refine your syllabus to meet the objections of the reviewers and resubmit. Best of luck and don't over think this, focus on providing a quality high school education with plenty of course work in the subjects they are interested in studying in college. If you do that then AP courses will fall into the mix somewhat naturally if you desire them.
  8. My kids both did AP Environmental Science with lab. They didn't have any push back from colleges about counting it. That said, neither was trying to be accepted as a STEM major.
  9. As I said, I think each state has its own quirks in the process. The course requirement in Virginia may be to Boys State's advantage in terms of their own education component and I think US/Virginia history is part of the state standards in grade 11 so its the perfect tie-in.
  10. My son went to Boys State two years ago. I will say that there is probably some variation between states. That said, he enjoys leadership events like this and had a good time. I think it helped him in a wide variety of ways: his own leadership skills and understanding of government were increased, it aided in his understanding of group living, he knew what living in a dorm with other guys would be like before college, he received multiple offers of college admissions and scholarships (without ever completing an application), and several of the scholarship programs and colleges he was applying to looked very favorably on his having attended Boys State. There are some light requirements as far as transportation and clothing but most everything is provided to the boys at no cost. Here in our area transportation was actually covered, we chose to pick him up and see their final event. Finally, a word of warning, there is an expectation (I think nationally but certainly in Virginia) that an applicant will be completing US history and government (possibly state history and government as well) during their junior year in high school. Fortunately, my son is a history buff and was able to answer most of the interview questions on these topics but we had saved US History and Government for senior year and that made things a bit awkward.
  11. -- What led you to homeschool? My oldest had completed Kindergarten and 1st grade at a very expensive, private, international school. I was deeply unsatisfied with the quality of her education and how unkind and irresponsible the teachers had been. We were set to move to a less than desirable school and I would be putting my middle kid into school there as well. After spending two weeks on vacation with some great friends who homeschooled their similarly aged kids where the other mom and I talked "school" and made endless lists of resources, I ordered WTM and read it cover to cover with pen in hand, mostly on a transoceanic flight. I don't think I'd have made it so far without this board, my dear (and still endlessly patient) friend and mentor, and that first copy of WTM. -- How was your child homeschooled in the high school years? (Did you use WTM as a guide? Did your child take out of the home, online classes, or college classes?) Two graduates so far. Both were home educated from elementary through high school. I would say we were WTM/classically inspired with a smattering of Charlotte Mason principles and some Montessori influences in the early years. I tended to look for the curricula that best suited the kids and accomplished our college prep goals. During high school they did a combination of online coursework and regular home schooling courses. I frequently wrote my own AP syllabi which we submitted to College Board. One took JROTC at our local high school for two years (he would have happily done all four if we had lived in the area sooner). We also participated in language classes as a family while overseas and one of the kids had some private tutoring to accompany one of their online courses (it was a course with little teacher presence and one that was beyond my ability to teach effectively). -- What did your child do after graduating? What is your child doing now? Clemmie, the oldest, is about to start her senior year in college. She has been incredibly active in student government, participated in a international academic conference, taken on a variety of student leadership rolls, worked on college committees with faculty, administration, and the president, participated in sports and acted as team manager, and now works for admissions. She is spending the summer working in an internship in her chosen field. She disproves daily the homeschoolers are unsocialized myth. Spencer, the middle, is about to start sophomore year in college. He attends his number one choice school on a Marine Corps option NROTC scholarship. He's spending a month with us this summer before heading off with the other ROTC students for their summer program and then immediately returning to school to help lead the new students through their orientation period (it's a military school so it's more like boot camp with moments of academic advising). Winston, the youngest, is still at home working through middle school. (Yup-there is a huge gap.) Our intent is to homeschool him through high school as well. Depending on the school district we may look into more options for him to take a course or two at a local school or even add Dual Enrollment to the mix. We'll just have to see where we are in two years.
  12. AP Art History is definitely a full year course. Khan Academy is one of the best prep sites for it. However, if you are looking for college credit you need to know two things, first, not all colleges will award credit for this course and second, if they do, you usually have to get a five, though a few will give credit for a 4 while a 3 won't usually grant any credit. We submitted our own syllabus to AP for this course rather than use an outside provider.
  13. Google is a commonly used calendar app, even by workplaces and schools. If I were already proficient at iCal I think I'd just create a "calendar" category for applications and set alarms or reminders. I also really like Fantastical for Apple users, all devices can sync. But it's not cheap.
  14. Service Academies are very competitive. I don't think they look for applicants with a particular passion or kids who are well rounded. I think they have a set of criteria and look for kids who meet all the criteria or exceed it. They end up with plenty of those to choose from. That fact should not persuade anyone from applying. Research should begin as early as an interest is expressed. Course and exam selection in high school will factor into it, athletics (both team and personal fitness are huge), extracurricular activities and leadership are also important. This is one set of applications that requires the applicant to set out a plan for meeting all the requirements in a timely fashion and follow through on that plan. There are some who feel that completing the application early is important and gives the applicant more chances to be admitted, being recruited by a sports team would also increase one's chances. Also, one little talked about source of a nomination is JROTC units. Some of the nation's top units are permitted a limited number of nominations for their students. Physical Fitness-being able to clearly explain your personal fitness regimen to an interview board is important. Especially as a homeschooler with out significant sports team experience. Also not that the physical fitness exams and expectations are not the same for each academy or ROTC program. There are slight variations even with regard to what is a correct pull-up. If you are considering multiple service options you need to prepare for and be able to properly execute all the different options. These programs are not looking for kids who barely meet minimums, they are looking for solid fitness scores. Navy/USMC ROTC-If you have a kid considering the Navy or Marine Corps be aware that you cannot apply to both. You must choose between Navy and Marine option. While it is the same application there are different requirements, different physical tests, etc. There are also different requirements during your college years. ROTC Interviews: If the ROTC program you are applying to requires an interview from an ROTC instructor do try to set this up as early as possible. It can be helpful to interview with an officer at the school you most want to attend. ROTC is a long process that often begins at a recruiting station with someone trying to persuade you to skip college and just enlist. The applicant will need to learn how to navigate that politely to get to the next step. Also, in our experience, there isn't much transparency with the application process. You will learn each step after you complete the previous step. Don't assume that this is easy to complete at the last minute. Leave plenty of time. It is also important to apply early, ROTC scholarships are given in cycles and by completing your application before the first cycle you have the possibility to be considered in later cycles as well. Some elements of the application will need to be updated such as transcript and test scores, and the fitness test may need to be repeated. Universities may not have ROTC units for every service branch. You need to check and be sure that the school you are interested has a unit for the service branch you are interested in. You will need to list the schools you are applying to on your ROTC application. Be aware that your child will have to pass medical exams to be selected. They need to be prepared to discuss anything in their medical history that is out of the ordinary and how that problem has been resolved. It may not be your family doctor(s) who perform this exam. It will probably be someone contracted by the military and you will be notified where to go. In short, set up a personal fitness plan in high school, plan a solid academic program that would lead to successful college admission, look at the service branch you are interested in and check their academic requirements (math, science, and foreign language will take the most long term preparation), and finally, be involved in your community, look for opportunities to practice leadership skills. All of this said-if this is a deeply held desire of your kid, do the research and apply. Being homeschooled isn't a bar to successful admission to any of the programs that lead to commissioning in the military.
  15. I didn't want to dissuade you from W&L, it is just one of those schools that should be on a warning list for homeschoolers to prep early. If we can be of any help in answering questions about VMI please don't hesitate to get in touch. Best of luck to your daughter through this whole process!
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