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razorbackmama

When formulating a high school plan...

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What all do you take into consideration? Your child's strenghths and weaknesses are a given, of course. Do you try to come up with a plan geared toward a particular college? Your state's requirements? Etc.

 

What if you have no clue where your child wants to go to college? (Heck, I didn't figure that out till I was IN college!:lol: ) And as far as state requirements, what if you move between now and graduation (which is always a possibility with us)?

 

Just wondering what sort of factors I should be considering as I sit down and try to map it all out.

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Here is a link to a link to a post that I wrote describing how I did it. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153454

I just looked at the requirements for my town, the ones in TWTM, and the ones for the sort of college my child might be interested in and blended those together with my child's interests to make a beginning plan. At max, a college is probably going to want 4 years of foreign language (preferably the same one), 4 of language arts, 4 of math through at least calculus taken every year, 4 of science with at least three labs, one year each of world history, US history, government, and economics, some fine arts, some computer skills, extra years of whatever the student is specializing in, and some outside verification of the transcript that you will make, like SAT scores or outside classes of some kind given by professionals. My town's requirements were less than that - still 4 years of math and language arts, but only 2 or 3 years of the other things. Most colleges land somewhere between my town and the maxi list. I aimed for the max and wound up with less as we decided that things involving my son's interests were more important than, say, 4 years of the same language. It really helps to define your family's goals. If you start with your definition of a well educated adult and work backwards, trying to figure out how to get there, it is easier. Don't forget that getting into college is only half the battle. The other half is being able to do the work once there. That means your child has to have the study, organizational, and social skills to be able to learn in a classroom. Make sure you talk to your child alot about what his interests are, too, and get him involved in the planning process. Don't be discouraged if he isn't interested in 8th grade. Just keep trying. By 11th grade, he will probably have more opinions.

HTH

-Nan

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Hi,

I looked at what my state required and then I looked at what was suggested for an academic honors program. My oldest did the Academic Honors program and has been accepted at Purdue with no problem. My second child has learning issuses and will graduate with a little less rigor than the 1st. We don't know what his plans are yet. He seems to be lieaning toward the miliatry, but may do community college with some type of law enforcement background.

Cindy

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One of the other things to consider are specific goals. For example, it was my hope that my son would take AP Latin. To do that, he had to study Latin throughout high school.

 

Some courses do not have prerequisites. For example, American History can be taken by any high school student but chemistry depends on Algebra II skills. Keep in mind these prerequisites.

 

When we initialized devised my son's high school plan, he thought he would become an engineer. Now he wants to be an archaeologist. His rich science background certainly will not hurt him.

 

Bear in mind also that the minimal course requirements for most state universities do not guarantee admission. I would err on the side of caution.

 

And have fun! High school is hard work and broadening for the parent/teacher as well as the student.

 

Jane

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And I'd add: be sure to plan time to figure out what *non-academic* goals are important to you for your student, and then be sure to schedule time into each school year to accomplish those things. High school, especially the first two years, are your last little window to pour into your student all those important goals and reasons you may have started homeschooling in the first place... And if you haven't planned for those things, well, the last 2 years of high school just step on the gas and take off without you!


When we were starting to plan for high school, I was so panicked about the academics and making sure we got all the credits needed that I spent WAY too much time working up tentative schedules and researching curriculum. But really, that is not too hard to plan for -- you look at what your state requires for high school graduation, and what requirements your state universities want, and then plug in programs to take care of those requirements. And counting credits and making transcripts aren't too hard, they just take some weekly organizational time on your part.

The most helpful advice I received about planning for high school had to do with things *outside* of planning academics and credits: to make sure I planned for and schedule time throughout the high school years for the things outside of straight academics that I really wanted to make sure our DSs learned or experienced before they graduated. Things like:
- learning basic life skills (shopping / cooking; making a budget / taxes / finances; basic car maintainence; basic home upkeep; etc.)
- having meaningful conversations (about how to go about making choices; the opposite sex / dating / marriage; spiritual topics; sharing fears or dreams; etc.)
- developing good life habits
- developing a rich relationship with the Lord
- enjoying some family vacations together
- allowing our DC time to fiddle around trying out hobbies and interests
- leave "wiggle room" in the schedule to allow for DC to pursue unexpected interests (as elective credits OR as extracurricular activities)
- being aware that our time with our DC would decrease in the junior/senior years as they learn to drive, have parttime jobs, may be taking community college classes, have more outside social activities, preparing for graduation, ACT/SAT testing or prep for testing, visiting colleges, filling out college applications and scholarship forms, etc.


Here's a helpful recent thread on beginning to make a plan for high school: "Soon to be high schooler"

BEST of luck as you chart you way into the new seas of home school! ;) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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We assume our kids will go to 4-year college ... so I began with a survey of admissions requirements at a variety of colleges ... they are pretty similar, in the end.

 

Then I looked at our state's requirements for a diploma ... this gave me ideas for several "life skills" areas I wanted my kids to have at least an overview of ... e.g. personal finance.

 

Then I sat down with each kid and talked about all these requirements, what their goals are (if any) for the near future (e.g. personal interests) and for their future lives (i.e. career), and how to get from here-and-now to those goals, assuming college is part of that path.

 

 

Now, if the kids had non-traditional goals or goals that I'm just not familiar with at all ... say art school :) ... that would look different, I'm sure ....

 

HTH,

Karen

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What all do you take into consideration? Your child's strenghths and weaknesses are a given, of course. Do you try to come up with a plan geared toward a particular college? Your state's requirements? Etc.

 

What if you have no clue where your child wants to go to college? (Heck, I didn't figure that out till I was IN college!:lol: ) And as far as state requirements, what if you move between now and graduation (which is always a possibility with us)?

 

Just wondering what sort of factors I should be considering as I sit down and try to map it all out.

 

Generally I start with a 4 yr rule.... 4 yrs in each subject category:

 

English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Elective. This would be 6 credits a year. Then I look at a few colleges and see what the average is.

For Example University of Illinois want:

 

English: 4 minimum 4 recommended

Math: 3 or 3.5 minimum 4 recommended

Social Sciences: 2 minimum 4 recommended

Lab Science: 2 minimum 4 recommended

One Foreign Lang: 2 minimum 4 recommended

Flexible Academic Units: 2 minimum 4+ recommended

--For many of the degrees require 3.5 yrs of math including trigonometry.

 

Then consider the state requirements... some require specific courses covered. Most require U.S. History, U.S. Government, Economics or Consumer Education, Health.

 

Then I add in my/state required social studies subjects like 1 yr World History/literature, 1 yr U.S. History/literature, 1/2 yr Consumer Education/Economics, 1/2 yr U.S Government, 1/2 yr Human Geography, 1/2 yr World Religions. I feel these are a must for a rounded social studies program

 

Then I consider the student's strengths, weaknesses, career goal. For Ds#1 he wants to be an astrophysicist and he is very strong in math and sciences. He has a weakness in writing. So he definitely will get four yrs in English, Math, Sciences. For science his goal is Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Earth Science, Environmental Science, and of course Biology of some sort (he isn't fond of biology). For math he will go through Calculus at least. For English he will do English 10, Advanced Composition, Rhetoric 1 and 2 at CC. The rest is pretty much up to Ds... He wants Latin and German for foreign language. He wants computer science courses. That is about it for him.

 

For Dd she starts the same but as she plans to major in music and is not big on science, she will do 3 yrs of math (algebra 2, geometry, precalculus/trigonometry) and 2-3 yrs of science probably. She will do more electives geared for music. For foreign language she wants Italian and maybe also do German. She will cover the same in Language Arts and Social Studies.

 

And many colleges are looking for students with extracurricular interests and community involvement.

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What all do you take into consideration? Your child's strenghths and weaknesses are a given, of course. Do you try to come up with a plan geared toward a particular college? Your state's requirements? Etc.

 

What if you have no clue where your child wants to go to college? (Heck, I didn't figure that out till I was IN college!:lol: ) And as far as state requirements, what if you move between now and graduation (which is always a possibility with us)?

 

Just wondering what sort of factors I should be considering as I sit down and try to map it all out.

 

I haven't read other responses so hoping this isn't redundant.

 

Most important in our high school planning is to remember the purpose and goals underlying our entire homeschool. That continues to guide the high school path for my dc. Those goals seem particularly heightened in high school since these are the last 4 years. Starting out in K, the years seemed to stretch out but by 9th grade, I begin to feel some urgency to read those books, do that Bible study, shore up those skills.

 

I try to map out a four-year plan for the child. I have a general academic core that comprises much of high school:

 

4 years of sciences

4 years of history/social studies

4 years of english/literature credit

4 years of math

2 - 4 years of at least one foreign language

 

After mapping these out, I can add in electives around the core -- Bible, logic, debate/speech, music and others for us. If my child has an idea what s/he would like to pursue in college, we tailor the courses, adding in deeper AP or dual-enrollment courses. My current 9th grader has no specific plan (though he has a range of ideas), so we've aimed for a broad liberal arts and sciences education.

 

Be ready to make course corrections. Hold the 4-year map very loosely. Good courses will become available, opportunities will come your way, classes that you anticipated might not work out. Boy have I learned that so far!

 

Also, don't overlook the importance of continuing on with the 3 Rs. It is so worth it to major on the fundamentals of reading, writing and math even through high school. Use high school also to nail down skills -- research, organization, study, ect.

 

In looking at college requirements, we aimed for the *pickiest* of ds1's college choices. If he met their requirements, he would necessarily have met the other choices' requirements.

 

Hope some of this helps,

Lisa

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For my eldest it's a combination of what she'll need for college, what she'll need if she begs to transfer to the local ps before graduation, what she is good at/bad at/balks at and how she learns. This will be somewhat different for each of my dc (I sigh loudly here thinking of all the work ;)).

 

Unlike some, she did Chem in grade 9/freshman year without Algebra II, but it was a college level Conceptual Chem. She's going to do an AP or equivalent chem later. We want to do Chem/Physics/Bio and then a couple of AP courses since she'd like to major in science or math. The only drawback is that dd is going to do German for her foreign language and they don't offer it at the high school. She is dropping Latin I (cringe) but has been doing 2 foreign languages so far this year.

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