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High Schooler needs to "catch up"

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If this were my situation, I would do some reading about homeschooling high school and about colleges; I would get input from the student; and I sit down and work out a general overall plan. Below would be a possible "game plan" that would address the issues in the order of importance to me. Your gameplan will look different to fit your family's needs and goals. : )


Thinking things thru and having a strategy always helps me. : ) Plus, the older our boys get, the more input -- and therefore (hopefully) ownership -- they have in their own future. Hope something here helps you. Blessings, and BEST of luck to both you! Warmest regards, Lori D.




1. Life Skills


Determine what life skills your student will need to have by the end of high school, and a little at a time (so neither you nor your student get overwhelmed!) begin implementing these. "Life Skills for Kids" (by Field) is a helpful resource; there are others. (And, sometimes working on these life skills can lead to a child unexpectedly uncovering a career interest -- or at least help put some of those nice "extras" on a college application, like volunteer work, etc.)




2. Educate/Prepare Yourself


Reading about homeschooling through high school by authors who have successfully "been there, done that" is immensely helpful. Here are some titles:

- "Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission" (Dennis)

- "Homeschooling: The Teen Years" (Cohen)

- "Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook" (Cohen)

- "High School @ Home: You Can Do It!" (Johnson)




3. Academics


A. Determine what foundational skills the student might be lacking and first focus your energies on getting those up to speed. The foundational skills in my mind would be the "3 Rs" (reading and comprehension level; core math concepts and computational skills; writing a solid paragraph), and critical thinking skills (ability to analyze, and see connections / consequences to decisions). Use the first 1-3 years of high school to make sure your student is solid in this area.


B. Determine high school coursework through knowing what kind of future your student wants. Discuss with your student their interests, career choices, where they want to go in life. Possibly before the senior year have your student, either online or with a career counselor, take an interest/skills inventory such as the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), or Campbell Interest and Skill Survey (CISS). Knowing what direction your student is interested in heading will help you plan out a high school education that will facilitate moving right into the college, the technical institute, the apprenticeship, the travel, the internship, etc. that will then help them get into their chosen field.


C. Determine high school coursework by looking at the entrance requirements to colleges/universities/institutions that your student might attend. Make sure your high school credits match up. Ex.: if the college wants 3 lab sciences for entrance, make sure your student accomplishes that goal.


D. Consider outsourcing coursework you don't feel confident about teaching, or that your student won't be responsible to you to complete.

- Online coursework.

- Satellite classes at home.

- Classes through a local high school or homeschool co-op (often special interest courses can be taken at a local high school while continuing to homeschool).

- Community College -- many of these courses are dual credit -- they count as both high school credit AND college credit.

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I tutor a girl who had zero credits at the end of the 10th grade and now she is at the end of 11th grade and she is on track to graduate on time.


First of all, we eliminated breaks. No summer break, no spring break, no fall break. I let her have a short Christmas break. That's all.


Then I adjusted my expectations. I had to consider her learning challenges and the reason that she was where she was. Also, with our umbrella school we have the option of pursuing a college bound diploma or general diploma. She is pursuing the general diploma. I am still encouraging her to enroll in college, but she will need to start out making up defiencies. But that's okay. It is better than where we started.


When she graduates, she will have not gone further in math than algebra 1. But that's okay with her and her parents, because they never thought she would even get through pre-algebra. In science she will only have gone as far as biology, but again, that is okay with everyone involved.


It is not the education I would wish for her, but it is what we can do in the time we have left. I am trying to give her a foundation she can build on, save her the shame and stigma of not having a high school diploma, and encouraging her that for the rest of her life she can be an overcomer and a success.


So, short answer, you do what you can do.

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