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SparklyUnicorn

I need a guidance counselor...

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High school.  What are my options?  What are the pros and cons of the various options?

 

DS wants to study computer science or electrical engineering.  I think he is capable. 

 

The local public school is NOT an option.  We need affordable options for high school (and college) so money is a consideration.  I admit I'm nervous about going the no high school diploma route because I don't fully understand the ramifications of that come time to apply to colleges. 

 

And I wonder how many outside courses are ideal to add to a transcript.  What tests are ideal that he should study for and take?   Our local CC is friendly towards homeschoolers so he could just sign up for courses, but at this point I don't have a clue how he would fare in that environment.  I assume eventually that'll be fine, but at 14 I'm not so sure.   

 

We have a little time because he is 13, but some subjects he is already well into high school level. 

 

He wants to have some freedom to pursue programming projects.  He's eying adding in some EDX courses from somewhere like MIT (possibly computer science). 

 

Ack...so any advice you can give me I would really appreciate it.  Or if there is a wonderful book, website, or anything that would be helpful.  I've been looking at various options, but I'm so torn. 

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My son is your age and I have been freaking out about high school as well.  Our public school is also not an option.  I came across a web site homeschoolcollegeusa.com.  It changed the way I think about high school and college.

 

I plan on utilizing a majority of their outline to help me.  We'll clep out a lot of the stuff and leave the things he likes for actual class time at the cc.  So when he's about sixteen or so he can get into the labs and really decide if science is the way he wants to go.

 

(I know my post count is tiny.  I have no affiliation with the web site.  I am the ultimate lurker)

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1.  Pick the "best" possible college he might want to go to.  

2.  Look up their requirements.  

3.  Look up the tests their applicants take (MIT has an interesting assortment of competition tests they are interested in)

4.  Look up their "average" freshman class stats.  

5.  Plan his high school coursework to meet them.

 

6.  Start prepping for the PSAT NOW (ie. plan his English and math to ensure good grammar, large vocabulary, excellent command of algebra and problem solving)

 

Its not really so much where he takes the courses as what he learns in them.

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I'm so stinkin' scared of high school.  Reading this thread, my heart started pumping and my gut is churning.  Ugh.  I'm just not sure I can do it.  I'm terrified.  

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I'm so stinkin' scared of high school.  Reading this thread, my heart started pumping and my gut is churning.  Ugh.  I'm just not sure I can do it.  I'm terrified.  

 

Well this does not make me happy exactly, but less alone.

 

:grouphug:

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1.  Pick the "best" possible college he might want to go to.  

2.  Look up their requirements.  

3.  Look up the tests their applicants take (MIT has an interesting assortment of competition tests they are interested in)

4.  Look up their "average" freshman class stats.  

5.  Plan his high school coursework to meet them.

 

6.  Start prepping for the PSAT NOW (ie. plan his English and math to ensure good grammar, large vocabulary, excellent command of algebra and problem solving)

 

Its not really so much where he takes the courses as what he learns in them.

 

I have started looking into that.

 

Speaking of SAT or PSAT, do they have prep books out yet for the new tests?  I've also considered the ACT. 

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Pull up some comfy chairs, ya'll, grab a cup of tea or coffee, some chocolate and sit a spell. Take a deep breath.  It's all going to work out, and I promise your children will mature into capable young adults that colleges will welcome. The best part is that high school is actually fun.  Your teen matures out of the eye-rolling middle school funk and starts being someone who will engage in conversation.  They start living their own lives more and more, and it is really a joy to be there watching as it happens.

 

Homeschooling high school is no different from homeschooling k-8.  Whatever you were doing before, just keep on doing it through high school. If your student has a passion for doing some specialized project, let them have the luxury of time to do so.  If your student needs more than you can offer, outside courses whether on-line or at community college are excellent options, and there is no limit to the number of those courses on a transcript.

 

The difference, and the ensuing panic, comes of course with the college application process.  There needs to be some outside verification that the grades on the mommy transcript are accurate, that the student can handle college. You can back up the mommy transcript with some AP or SAT II subject tests. If you think your student needs those tests, then you need to plan for them to happen in the spring semester of the year they take the course.  Dual enrollment grades, whether 4 year college or community college, are also excellent proof of ability to handle college.

 

But mommy transcripts work in getting kids into college, even when that transcript reflects a very non-traditional set of courses.  My current college student had a transcript with courses from home, a public charter school and community college.  It had courses on robotics and computer programing, lots of math, 4 standard years of English.  There was health and PE and a year of economics at the community college, but only 3 years of science and 2 of Spanish (some colleges want 4 of each....).  He only took the ACT once, never took any other standardized tests.  He didn't want MIT, he wanted a small LAC and that is where he is with a nice merit scholarship, top of his class in his STEM major.

 

Take some time to browse old threads on this board as there is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from all that has been posted over the years.  And relax!!  Plan a bit then enjoy the ride.  

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First of all, you can do this.  

 

Look at the requirements for schools your son might want to attend.  You'll start to notice some similarities in the requirements.  The more selective the school, the more likely it is that they will require SAT subject tests in addition to the regular SAT or ACT.  Also, believe it or not, sometimes *less* selective schools will seem to have *more* requirements specified.  You'll also want to check how "homeschool friendly" the schools are.  Some have the exactly the same requirements for homeschoolers as regular applicants and some will say things like you need an "official diploma" from an "accredited program."  Fortunately I've mostly seen this from otherwise nonselective artsy schools.

 

As for enrolling in outside classes, I have to say, that it made me feel more confident about things to be able to say that my son had almost half his credits from outside coursework.  You probably don't need that much, but a class in each major subject area (English, math, natural science, social science, and possibly foreign language) would probably be helpful.

 

And again, you can do this!

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During the early high school years, my signature included me  :willy_nilly:   freaking out about high school.  In the later high school years, my signature included me   :willy_nilly:   freaking about about college.  Look at my signature now.  :cool:

 

I did not feel very confident teaching most high school subjects, except math.  Our local PS was not an option for full-time enrollment either.  OTOH, money wasn't too much of an issues here because I work.  So, I only taught math and English in 9th grade.  I outsourced the rest.  We are fortunate that CC is free for homeschoolers in 10th-12th grade.  Ds graduated with 69 CC credits.  Ds did take a foreign language at PS for 2 years.  And he had a few other private online classes (Derek Owens physics, Laurel Tree Tutorials HS Composition, History at our House American History, Potter's School java, Landry Academy sports medicine).

 

We are advised by more experienced HS moms to start dc off at CC in a class called The College Experience or a class in a subject they are strong in.  I did both.  We are also advised to be cautious about Ethics and the reading material in the English classes in the earlier years.  The College Experience:

This course is designed to strengthen skills essential to success in college, with further applications to post-college plans. Included are study and test-taking strategies; effective interpersonal skills; time management techniques; creative and critical thinking skills; college services and resources; educational policies, procedures, regulations and terminology; and library resources, research strategies, and information skills for online, blended, and traditional learning environments.

 

Do consider the ACT.  Ds took the ACT at the end of 9th grade, then 10th grade.  He took it again early 12th grade only because it was looking like he was going to apply at an expensive private school and the higher the ACT the better.  He wound up raising his score by 2pts but never applied to that school after all.  He took the PSAT twice, but didn't come close enough to have bothered.  Never took the SAT, but did take several SAT IIs for another expensive private school he never applied to after all either.

 

The best resource I found was TWTM boards.  Thanks SWB! 

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The best resource I found was TWTM boards.  Thanks SWB! 

 

Hear, hear!

 

Regards,

Kareni

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This is our tentative plan--ds will be doing 9th next year, and his interests are along the same line as yours. By high school, I am ready for my kids to have a lot more independence, and they are ready for it as well (so far). I.e., I don't really want to be teaching them anymore. Because we, too, are on a limited budget and can't outsource everything, we have to do some tweaking. We are from a state that requires a cover school. 

 

**Core--American Correspondence School. This will cover all the basics. We will do the higher maths they offer. He will have done about half of AOPS Intro to Algebra, and will continue to work along in AOPS as he desires, but will still do AS Algebra 1 and upwards, just more quickly. Transcript will be sent to cover school. By covering the basics with AS, we will have time and funds to pursue:

 

**Variety of online courses one or two at a time in areas of interest. He is currently taking 3D Art and Animation, which involves programming with Blender. Grades will be sent to cover school.

 

**Start dual enrollment classes in 10th grade. Dual with uni and cover school.

 

His cover school will be the gathering place for all the credits.

 

We will see if this is what 'actually' happens. ;) 

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In 2006 I was in your position except my kids had been IN ps, so I was new to homeschooling in its entirety.  I only knew that I worked in our local public high school (and had since 2000) and wanted more for my kids.

 

They got pulled out after finishing 8th, 6th, and 4th respectively.

 

Oldest only did one DE class his senior year (English).  The rest we did at home.  He got high SAT/ACT scores and made it into three Christian colleges (a direction he wanted - he introduced us parents to the idea that my kids could choose a college rather than just attending Virginia Tech as hubby and I did).  He got merit aid at all three colleges.  He graduated last year (business with an accounting concentration) and immediately had a job he loves in his field.  

 

Middle son wanted higher.  I tried to prepare him for higher.  He did two DE classes as a junior (Microbio and Effective Speaking) and one official AP test - Stats (more classes at AP level, but no classes officially AP by name).  He did one more DE senior year (English) and one more AP test (Psych).  No SAT II tests.  He tried for PSAT, but just got commended in our state.  He did end up with a tippy top ACT (in the top 1% and reaching perfection on one section - close on others).  He got into 5/6 colleges he applied to and all with merit aid.  The 6th he was waitlisted at, but it was a lottery school where essentially no one can assume an acceptance.  He's a junior now at a Top 30 Research U with a 3.9+ GPA and just got accepted for a paid internship in his major at Stanford (240 applied, 13 were accepted).  He's likely to turn down an invitation to interview for an internship at Harvard that he also got as I believe the Stanford one is his first choice.

 

I think this young lad with no official accredited high school and just three DE classes is doing ok academically.  He wants med school in his future.  I'm no longer concerned that he will get in to be honest.

 

Youngest wanted to return to ps for high school. He's doing ok where he is, but my other two did better academically.  They were far better prepared.

 

Like others who have BTDT, I was in your position when we pulled ours out.  It was scary and I wondered if I were ruining their futures.  Now I'm content.

 

Our success?  Choosing courses that fit my guys.  TT worked well for math.  A combo of Apologia/Campbells worked well for science.  I'd have added Zumdahl in hindsight for Chem.  Lightning Lit and Wordly Wise gave us some English courses - others I sort of made up and/or augmented.  Notgrass worked well for History, though we also supplemented with travel and our normal curious life.  Spanish I should have changed.  We used Rosetta Stone - my only regret from homeschooling curricula.  The History of Art was fun, etc, etc.  There are many curricula to choose from and none are "always" right.  Pick what works for you and don't limit yourself to it.  Encourage reading and curiosity.  Follow rabbit trails.  Travel if you can.  Tons can be learned from travel.  Keep reading the high school board and college boards.

 

And enjoy the journey.

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Welcome to the "big kid board". ?

My suggestion for the "quick start" to homeschooling high school before the start of 9th grade:
1. do some "big picture" research to get a handle on the broad areas you will eventually need to know about
2. determine what method of record keeping will work for you
3. make a high school plan (High school curriculum, how do I start?)
4. based on #3, start researching curricula options for the specific courses you've laid out for 9th grade
5. talk with local homeschoolers to find out what programs are available to you locally (for academics, but also for extracurriculars)

Refer to the high school time table to help you break down what the typical homeschooling parent needs to work on and when over the 4 years of high school -- it spreads out the many balls you have to juggle so you don't have to research *everything right now*. ?
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

High school.  What are my options?  What are the pros and cons of the various options?


I always like to suggest finding a local homeschooler with high school students/graduates who can sit down with you and share about all the local options, and answer questions about local options. They can also share about materials they've used and what worked/didn't work and why -- so, some great real-life reviews of curricula.

Very broadly, options for homeschooling high school, depending on what's available in your area, and what your finances will allow you to take advantage of from the wide assortment of online classes and other options. Pros/cons will greatly vary, depending on quality of what's available to your locally, but also what your specific needs are. Your needs will change from year to year, also changing what is a pro/con.

Options can include a combination of:
- textbooks, "living books", curricula with DVD lessons or CD tutorials
- online tutorials, podcasts, live streaming classes, MOOCs (Edx) 
- online classes
- correspondance school (such as American School)
- "umbrella" school or agency, if needing an accredited diploma
- high school class (or sports, a club, or extracurricular) with local public/private/charter high school
- homeschool co-op (either formal co-op, or meet informally meet with others for mutual support in math, science, writing, etc.)
- "university model" school (attend school 3 days/week, homeschool 2 days/week, using curricula of the school's choice)
- hire a tutor
- dual enrollment with local community college or university
- CLEP and/or DSST (study and test for college credit)

Before worrying about individual options for ways of accomplishing courses, I suggest some resources to get a feel for the "big picture" of what you'll need to accomplish or decide about. Ideas:
- Homeschooling the Teen Years (Cafi Cohen)
- Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens (Debra Bell)
- Homeschool High School: You Can Do It! (Tillman, Justison, Groop)
- Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission (Jeanne Gowen Dennis)

That will help you start formulating specific questions you'll want to research and get answered. Another helpful resource is the collected wisdom of WTMers. A lot of helpful past posts are linked in the pinned threads at the top of the high school board:
"Starting High School, Outsourcing, Online Classes, Tutors, Dual Enrollment, AP/PSAT/SAT/ACT/SATII/CLEP… links to past threads here!"
- post #1 topics: high school time table; general encouragement;  getting started; making a high school plan; outsourcing; tutors; online classes;  dual enrollment
- post #2 topics: threads with info and experiences with various tests: AP, PSAT, ACT, SAT, SATII, CLEP, GED; pros/cons of AP vs. Dual Enrollment vs. CLEP

"Transcripts, Credits, GPA/Grading, Accreditation, College Prep/Applications, Scholarships/Financial Aid, Career Exploration -- past threads linked here!"
- post #1 topics: transcripts; credits; grading/GPA; course descriptions; record keeping; diplomas; accreditation
- post #5 topics:  college prep; NCAA; choosing a school; admission/Common App; freshman orientation/first time at college; financial aid/FAFSA/EFC; scholarships; alternatives to 4-year college; career exploration
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

The local public school is NOT an option.  We need affordable options for high school (and college) so money is a consideration.


- What about charter schools?
- What about a virtual charter?
- Or what about single classes at the public (or charter) (or private) high school?
- Does your area have a free or low-cost option for high school students to takes dual enrollment courses from the community college?
- Homeschool co-op? Or meet with a few homeschoolers to pool resources/skills to maximize high school subjects?
- search for threads with info on free online math tutorials, virtual labs, and literature guides
- find online podcasts, live streaming classes, MOOC (EdX)
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

The local public school is NOT an option.  We need affordable options for high school (and college) so money is a consideration.  I admit I'm nervous about going the no high school diploma route because I don't fully understand the ramifications of that come time to apply to colleges. 


Important: homeschool is NOT a "no diploma route". The only time homeschooling results in "no diploma" is if the student drops out or fails to complete the course of credits required by the parent for high school graduation. This is NOT a matter of semantics, but a legal reality in the U.S., with parent-awarded homeschool diplomas recognized and accepted by the U.S. military, and all universities***. 

*** = if you are in a country other than the U.S., then the situation may be different
*** = in the U.S. a small number of colleges or universities (esp. NY schools) require some additional hoop-jumping

The ramifications of a parent-awarded homeschool diploma when it comes time to apply to college are virtually no different than those of students awarded a public school diploma. Just like public high school students -- your student will need to take a few national standardized tests along the way. About 30 universities require homeschoolers to "back" the homeschool transcript with two SATII test scores. Other test scores are useful for college admission and applying for scholarships (ACT, SAT, AP), while AP and dual enrollment not only "confirm" homeschool grades, but also show advanced level of work and can aid in admission to selective, competitive, or top tier colleges for ALL high school students, regardless of whether homeschooled or public-schooled.

There are a few (rare) instances which may require an "accredited diploma" (which means "a diploma awarded by an accredited organization"). If an accredited diploma is needed, you pay the fee to have an accredited "umbrella school" or overseeing organization (such as American School, Keystone, Kolbe, etc.), track credits each year while you use curricula from the approved list, and at the end of completing the required credits, the accrediting organization awards the diploma.
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

We have a little time because he is 13, but some subjects he is already well into high school level. 


I strongly recommend starting now, this semester, with researching your options for record keeping to figure out what works best for you, and then start tracking those high school level subjects to include on a transcript under the heading of "high school courses accomplished before 9th grade" (which is an additional way of showing advanced work), or, to include as his first high school credits in case later on he wants to graduate early.

Even if neither of those things turns out to be your high school reality, I still strongly recommend getting the record keeping method that works for YOU in place in 8th grade, so you can start "practicing" and have one less thing you have to figure out while simultaneously transitioning into doing full-blown high school. ?

See that first pinned thread above for links to past threads on ideas for record keeping.
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

And I wonder how many outside courses are ideal to add to a transcript.  What tests are ideal that he should study for and take? 


Too many variables to be able to answer this in a general way. It totally depends on what options are available to you. And if outside courses are what best prepare the student for future college. And the student's choice of degree program. And the future college/university itself. Some students take NO outside courses; some students take a few outside courses; some take virtually all outside courses. And they ALL (whether some outside classes or none) are accepted to colleges, many attending impressive schools, many landing partial -- and even sometimes full -- scholarships.

re: tests

Minimum:
Take at least one ACT or SAT, which colleges use for admission, and for awarding of merit scholarships. If you don't want to do more than that, you don't have to. (See the recent thread "Since the SAT is changing in spring 2016" for discussion on which to take, and when, plus discussion on the PSAT, also revised this year to match SAT revisions. I doubt this will be an issue for you, as your DS probably won't be taking either the ACT or SAT until at least 2017, and more likely in 2018.)

Do you need scholarships?
And do have an advanced student who is willing to take multiple tests to work for high scores? Then do both the ACT and SAT several times, and spend a lot of time on test prep and practice. Also take the PSAT (potential scholarship $$ when scoring high in 11th grade).

Do you need entrance to a competitive school?
Take several APs or dual enrollment**, to show advanced level of work to be competitive.

Do you need to reduce the cost of college?
High scores on AP tests can grant credit, and dual enrollment** is simultaneous high school AND college credit and towards a degree program -- both can reduce time spent at the university earning the degree, which then reduces amount of money having to be spent on college. CLEP tests and DSST tests can do the same thing. There are even options for earning a college degree at home for much less money through College Plus or others or even line it up yourself, through a careful selection of CLEPs, DSSTs, and online distance courses

** = don't do dual enrollment until your student is able to do well -- the grades are part of the student's permanent college transcript record, and will have an effect on future university admissions
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

Our local CC is friendly towards homeschoolers so he could just sign up for courses, but at this point I don't have a clue how he would fare in that environment.  I assume eventually that'll be fine, but at 14 I'm not so sure.   


That's a subject for a whole 'nother post. ?
 

On 3/20/2015 at 11:33 AM, SparklyUnicorn said:

He wants to have some freedom to pursue programming projects.  He's eying adding in some EDX courses from somewhere like MIT (possibly computer science). 


Again, this probably would get you more specific experiences and advice if you post a specific question.

MOOC (Edx) courses can be helpful options for homeschoolers, esp. when putting together "DIY" courses. Be aware that many, many of these courses have no support material, have no tests, and require no "output", which makes it very hard for the homeschooling parent to gauge how much learning was accomplished, how to award credit, and esp. how to award a grade. Some, like Coursera, actually have the student turn in papers or assignments (but which are peer-reviewed, so comments or "grades" on assignments are awarded by fellow students, FWIW), but you can use this yourself as a basis for determining if the work was accomplished in order to award credit, and you can determine a grade based on the output.

Welcome to planning for high school! It's a lot of work, but it can also be the very best years of homeschooling. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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On 3/20/2015 at 12:59 PM, Garga said:

I'm so stinkin' scared of high school.  Reading this thread, my heart started pumping and my gut is churning.  Ugh.  I'm just not sure I can do it.  I'm terrified.  


Yes you can! Take it one step at a time. You do NOT need to know it ALL right now. ?

Before 9th grade, learn what you'll need to do "the next step" (because that's all 9th grade really is -- the next step):

1. figure out a method of record keeping that works for YOU
(understand what records you'll need: track output for each course; hours; grades; GPA; credits; transcript; test scores; documentation for "DIY" or non-traditional classes…)
(methods: pencil/paper and file folders; spreadsheet; record keeping software; outsource to a "cover school"; etc.)

2. figure out a high school plan -- or at least what courses you want to cover in 9th grade
(see post #2 of "High School Curriculum: Where Do I Start?")
(typically in 9th: English (half Lit/half Writing), Math, Science, History, possibly Foreign Language, possibly 1-2 Electives (esp. if not doing For. Lang) -- maybe Health, PE, Fine Arts, Computer, personal interest...)

3. figure out how you want to accomplish each of those courses
(if you're already using something you like and works -- just use the next level of it -- easy-peasy! ;))
(post threads for each subject you don't have something lined up; describe your student/situation; ask for recommendations; research the recs; decide -- if it's a fail, try something else -- NOT the end of the world ? )

Once you have that in hand, take some time either before or DURING 9th grade to look around at your options:
- possible extracurriculars (academic, sports, special interest)
- possible outsourcing
- possibly work in a little time at home to work on choice of ONE miscellaneous area (study skills, typing, life skills, etc.)

That's it! You can do that much! Don't worry about college admissions right now. Really! That's down the road and you'll learn about it in about 2-3 years, when you need it. Check out the high school time table to help you keep in perspective what you need to be figuring out and when. ?

Go Garga! ?

Edited by Lori D.
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Very impressive!  :hurray:

 

 

I'm proud of our lad.  Homeschooling didn't hurt him at all (phew!), BUT he works at college and worked through learning things here on his way toward getting top stats.  It didn't just happen because he was a rural homeschooler.  I am convinced homeschooling helped though.  He never lost his love of learning and he learned far more than we cover at our ps - all at his own pace.

 

He is accepting the position and not worrying about any of the others he applied to.  Stanford's was his top choice if he'd had his pick.  (We just talked with him earlier today and now are contemplating whether he flies out or if we can squeeze in another western road trip before he needs to be there...  :coolgleamA: )

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Homeschooling high school is no different from homeschooling k-8.  Whatever you were doing before, just keep on doing it through high school. If your student has a passion for doing some specialized project, let them have the luxury of time to do so.  If your student needs more than you can offer, outside courses whether on-line or at community college are excellent options, and there is no limit to the number of those courses on a transcript.

 

The difference, and the ensuing panic, comes of course with the college application process.  There needs to be some outside verification that the grades on the mommy transcript are accurate, that the student can handle college. You can back up the mommy transcript with some AP or SAT II subject tests. If you think your student needs those tests, then you need to plan for them to happen in the spring semester of the year they take the course.  Dual enrollment grades, whether 4 year college or community college, are also excellent proof of ability to handle college.

 

But mommy transcripts work in getting kids into college, even when that transcript reflects a very non-traditional set of courses.

 

[...]

 

Take some time to browse old threads on this board as there is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from all that has been posted over the years.  And relax!!  Plan a bit then enjoy the ride.  

 

:iagree: 

 

Homeschooling high school puts a lot of pressure on the homeschooling mom, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that it will be no big deal if I just take a deep breath and relax. I say that to try to temper my you-can-do-this-rah-rah-rah comments a bit.  ;)

 

I have homeschooled two through high school at this point. My oldest dd is finishing her 2nd year in an honors program at a 4-year university. Her transcript had PSAT, SAT, ACT, and 4 SAT II test scores. She took just 2 dual enrollment classes at the community college while she was in high school. Other than that, her transcript was a "mommy transcript." Her senior year, she applied to 5 schools and was accepted into all of them, and she was awarded several merit scholarships at various schools. So her transcript had some outside verification (not an enormous amount), but that did not affect her college search in a negative way at all. I think my bp dropped 30 points when her first acceptance letter arrived!  :laugh:

 

My second child is graduating this spring. We are in the midst of the college search process, and waiting to hear from the schools that only do regular decision (so we won't get their notifications until ~April 1). He has been accepted into 3 schools so far, and into the honors program at each of those schools; he has also been offered merit scholarship money at each of the schools. His transcript had PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT II scores, and just 1 dual enrollment course. He also took a class through the AoPS online school. So again, mostly a "mommy transcript." But even without hearing from all of the schools, he has options for college, which is a great situation to be in.

 

Also, neither of my kids took any AP exams. That is honestly something I have agonized over, but I mention it because it certainly didn't hurt them when it came to college admissions.

 

While I knew that I wanted college to be an option for my kids, I didn't get serious about specific classes or tests until late in their sophomore years. I made sure we would cover 4 years of math/science/language arts, made sure we were doing lab sciences, and started early on the foreign language requirement. But really they just kept moving forward on the path they were already on, with more emphasis by me on record keeping, until they got a little bit older.

 

Also, fwiw, ds who will graduate this spring is going to major in mathematics, and dd is in a nursing program. So ds has been very STEM heavy, and dd needed a solid background, including math and science, for admission into her nursing program.

 

With respect to a STEM kid and high school, I'm pleased with the things ds has pursued in high school, in part because he has been able to cover much more math than he would have been able to in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. There are many solid options for high school, obviously, but if you do decide to homeschool, this is a positive that may help you keep going when you feel stressed.  ;) Ds has been able to cover discrete math in addition to the regular math sequence and he has done a few programming couses through EdX. He has also been able to do some art and literature study that I'm not sure he would have chosen if he had been in a traditional school that was pushing a STEM focus for him.

 

Hope that helps! You can do this!! 

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I have to comment on the title of this thread:

I need a guidance counselor

My immediate thought was:  I got some bad news for you.  You ARE the guidance counselor.

 

But, honestly, that is also good news.  There is just a bit of a learning curve to it, but you are used to the learning curve by now, I suspect. 

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On 3/21/2015 at 2:54 PM, Shelly in VA said:

Homeschooling high school puts a lot of pressure on the homeschooling mom, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that it will be no big deal if I just take a deep breath and relax. I say that to try to temper my you-can-do-this-rah-rah-rah comments a bit. 

 

On 3/21/2015 at 3:39 PM, Sue in St Pete said:

I have to comment on the title of this thread:
My immediate thought was:  I got some bad news for you.  You ARE the guidance counselor.
But, honestly, that is also good news.  There is just a bit of a learning curve to it, but you are used to the learning curve by now, I suspect. 


Yes, that's really a big part of what makes homeschooling high school trickier: you have to learn and DO a huge new time-consuming job of administrator (transcripts, record keeping, etc.), career exploration guide (helping your student figure out what they want to do, to help launch them in that direction), and counselor (sorting through the explosion of options to figure out how to best help your student achieve their goal).

And all of that is on top of the increased time/work that high school takes for discussion, mentoring, and just plain teaching-as-needed higher maths, writing, and science labs… plus the usual mom-stuff of chauferring your student to a million more activities, teaching them how to drive, encouraging them in their first job searches and part time jobs...

But, we eat that elephant one bite at a time -- Or, if vegetarian:that redwood one bite at a time... (:D

Edited by Lori D.
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I hired a homeschool guidance counselor I heard about here on the boards. She's wonderful. PM me if you want her name.

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I have to comment on the title of this thread:

My immediate thought was:  I got some bad news for you.  You ARE the guidance counselor.

 

But, honestly, that is also good news.  There is just a bit of a learning curve to it, but you are used to the learning curve by now, I suspect. 

 

HAHA.  I know!

 

I had a very lousy guidance counselor. 

 

I am definitely used to the learning curve!

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I need a Canadian (specifically Ontario) homeschool guidance counsellor.  Anyone have any leads for one of those?  Pretty please??  I'm willing to offer Nanaimo bars and Canadian bacon as a reward for finding one. :)

 

(P.S.  I do know about Sarah Rainsberger's site but she doesn't seem to be updating it anymore. :( )

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Yes, that's really a big part of what makes homeschooling high school trickier: you have to learn and DO a huge new time-consuming job of administrator (transcripts, record keeping, etc.), career exploration guide (helping your student figure out what they want to do, to help launch them in that direction), and counselor (sorting through the explosion of options to figure out how to best help your student achieve their goal).

 

And all of that is on top of the increased time/work that high school takes for discussion, mentoring, and just plain teaching-as-needed higher maths, writing, and science labs… plus the usual mom-stuff of chauferring your student to a million more activities, teaching them how to drive, encouraging them in their first job searches and part time jobs...

 

But, we eat that elephant one bite at a time… Or, if vegetarian… that redwood one bite at a time…  ;)

 

I live in NY.  Technically the "paperwork" stuff has been there all along.  I have always taken the time to write pretty detailed plans and reports. 

 

I'm not teaching anyone how to drive though!

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I need a Canadian (specifically Ontario) homeschool guidance counsellor.  Anyone have any leads for one of those?  Pretty please??  I'm willing to offer Nanaimo bars and Canadian bacon as a reward for finding one. :)

 

(P.S.  I do know about Sarah Rainsberger's site but she doesn't seem to be updating it anymore. :( )

 

LOL

 

You need a dancing slice of Canadian bacon. 

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LOL

 

You need a dancing slice of Canadian bacon. 

 

Oooooo...  I wonder if there is such a thing as a dancing slice of Canadian or, as we would call it, back bacon graphic.  Sadly, Sparkly, yours is not a piece of dancing back bacon.  It is regular bacon.  If you change your siggie to a dancing piece of back bacon, you will automatically become an honourary (notice my spelling?) Canadian.  (Disclaimer: I can't take any responsibility for whether or not your honourary Canadian status is valid anywhere other than the WTM board. :) )

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Oooooo...  I wonder if there is such a thing as a dancing slice of Canadian or, as we would call it, back bacon graphic.  Sadly, Sparkly, yours is not a piece of dancing back bacon.  It is regular bacon.  If you change your siggie to a dancing piece of back bacon, you will automatically become an honourary (notice my spelling?) Canadian.  (Disclaimer: I can't take any responsibility for whether or not your honourary Canadian status is valid anywhere other than the WTM board. :) )

 

Hm..I'd have to make one.  I'll see what I can do.

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High school.  What are my options?  What are the pros and cons of the various options?

 

DS wants to study computer science or electrical engineering.  I think he is capable. 

 

The local public school is NOT an option.  We need affordable options for high school (and college) so money is a consideration.  I admit I'm nervous about going the no high school diploma route because I don't fully understand the ramifications of that come time to apply to colleges. 

 

 

Do you have free public charter schools - B&M or Virtual as an option?

 

In states that do offer this, it is a good option to consider.  My state is all or none (fully enrolled at charter or not) but Florida, for example, seems to have a very flexible program.

 

At 13, DS will not know exactly what he wants to study in college so keep options open.

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Do you have free public charter schools - B&M or Virtual as an option?

 

In states that do offer this, it is a good option to consider.  My state is all or none (fully enrolled at charter or not) but Florida, for example, seems to have a very flexible program.

 

At 13, DS will not know exactly what he wants to study in college so keep options open.

 

No free public charter options here.  No part time.

 

He has known what he wants since he was little. I do agree with keeping options open, but I think he does know.  I think going with something rigorous can't be a bad option no matter what he ultimately decides.  The typical college prep path in high school seems to be similar all over the place.  The only "specialization" would be a few courses of interest added in.  I think he'll end up doing most of his math courses at the CC at the rate he is going in math. 

 

I have found some on-line options that look pretty decent.  My only hesitation with doing them full time is not having any control over the content.  I think it might work well for some courses though. 

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No free public charter options here.  No part time.

 

He has known what he wants since he was little. I do agree with keeping options open, but I think he does know.  I think going with something rigorous can't be a bad option no matter what he ultimately decides.  The typical college prep path in high school seems to be similar all over the place.  The only "specialization" would be a few courses of interest added in.  I think he'll end up doing most of his math courses at the CC at the rate he is going in math. 

 

I have found some on-line options that look pretty decent.  My only hesitation with doing them full time is not having any control over the content.  I think it might work well for some courses though. 

My son goes to a B&M charter - I supplement his math since I hold higher standards - we do most of it during the summer break

 

I recommend CloverCreek Physics for 9th grade this is a combo conceptual physics/ algebra physics class good for advanced STEM 8th/9th graders.

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High school.  What are my options?  What are the pros and cons of the various options?

 

DS wants to study computer science or electrical engineering.  I think he is capable. 

 

The local public school is NOT an option.  We need affordable options for high school (and college) so money is a consideration.  I admit I'm nervous about going the no high school diploma route because I don't fully understand the ramifications of that come time to apply to colleges. 

 

And I wonder how many outside courses are ideal to add to a transcript.  What tests are ideal that he should study for and take?   Our local CC is friendly towards homeschoolers so he could just sign up for courses, but at this point I don't have a clue how he would fare in that environment.  I assume eventually that'll be fine, but at 14 I'm not so sure.   

 

We have a little time because he is 13, but some subjects he is already well into high school level. 

 

He wants to have some freedom to pursue programming projects.  He's eying adding in some EDX courses from somewhere like MIT (possibly computer science). 

 

Ack...so any advice you can give me I would really appreciate it.  Or if there is a wonderful book, website, or anything that would be helpful.  I've been looking at various options, but I'm so torn. 

 

You can do this. The ladies and gents here are fabulous. I honestly couldn't have done it without the help I received here over the years. I was absolutely shaking-in-my-slippers-terrified to think about homeschooling high school. The ladies here (there were no gents on the high school board until recently! ;) ) guided me along and offered great advice. I am eternally grateful.

 

This is THE website you need. Seriously. You might glean a bit from other places, but this should be your home. I haven't found any other place that is remotely as helpful as these boards.

 

I'm so stinkin' scared of high school.  Reading this thread, my heart started pumping and my gut is churning.  Ugh.  I'm just not sure I can do it.  I'm terrified.  

 

You can do it, too. I promise.

 

I have to comment on the title of this thread:

My immediate thought was:  I got some bad news for you.  You ARE the guidance counselor.

 

But, honestly, that is also good news.  There is just a bit of a learning curve to it, but you are used to the learning curve by now, I suspect. 

 

True, that. I found it more difficult to wear my guidance counselor hat than any other but now that I am about to graduate my last kid, I am D@MN proud of my imaginary tattered counselor's hat! I earned that (imaginary) hat and each 'frustration crease' in it!

 

Sparkly (and Garga), everyone else who postedhad so much good advice, that I'll just say go and read it. Print it out if you need to, and read it again. Read the stickied threads. Read them again. Let it percolate, then come back with another question or two. As Lori D. said, it's easier to eat at this beast called "high school" one bite at a time. I found asking too many questions left me still feeling overwhelmed but when I took the time to really get comfortable with one or two things, it became less intimidating.

 

And you CAN send a child on into a STEM field successfully. Several of us speak from experience.

 

I also found it helpful to keep a stash of chocolate (pick your own rewards) for those planning sessions. :D

 

Remember to breathe. You can do this. You have the support of the Hive behind you---- think of how many great guidance counselors you have access to!! :thumbup:

 

 

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Lori already gave you all the links I would have. I think all the advice I would give is already here too. I just wanted to chime in to say a couple of things.

 

First, the WTM boards are like having multiple guidance counselors, and I've never known one in a high school that came close to giving the quality advice that you will receive here. 

 

Second, of course you can homeschool high school. The curriculum and resources are all there. Take it one year at a time. I say this often, but remember 9th grade is just the year after 8th. It should ramp up a bit, but it isn't any huge change. Every year makes steady progress. If you can't teach a subject, find a curriculum that is independent or outsource it. There are plenty of options and anyone willing to invest some effort CAN homeschool high school.

 

This is a great thread full of great information. Good luck to all the parents of 8th graders. Don't panic. Instead, prepare to enjoy the ride. It will be over before you know it - trust me.

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OP  thanks for this thread since we may be looking at school at home for high school too.

 

 

just pm-ed you.

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During the early high school years, my signature included me  :willy_nilly:   freaking out about high school.  In the later high school years, my signature included me   :willy_nilly:   freaking about about college.  Look at my signature now.  :cool:

 

OMG, Sue!  I love this.

 

The best resource I found was TWTM boards.  Thanks SWB! 

 

Yes!    :iagree:

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My kids have all had very different high school paths and all have landed on their feet, so there is no one right way to do this.

I wanted to share what we are facing with our current 11th grader who is very vocal about her educational path. She does not want to take APs. Ok. We can deal with it. We are finding different ways of demonstrating her academic levels. One thing we are probably going to which is unlike any other of my kids is submit some of her work to demonstrate her level. For example, her French is advanced. We took one of her recent essays to a college dept meeting and the French professor who read it said it was very good and that some of their srs were not writing French essays at that level. So, I decided then that submitting a couple of French essays would probably be a good idea.

She took the CLEP cal exam instead of the AP.

She has awards for Russian.

This path is very unlike her older brother who DE for umpteen hours. As a matter of fact, when we asked that French prof if she should DE, her response was an emphatic NO. She said what she is doing is fabulous, so keep it up bc wherever she ends up they will have to place her uniquely.

Anyway, just wanted to encourage any moms out there to not be afraid of finding your child's path vs. a high school path. A strong academic preparation can come in many forms.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Look at my signature now.  

 

I did, and I have to admit that at first glance, I read that your son was attending Colorado School of Mimes. I thought, "Well, that's ... interesting."

 

:huh:  :lol:

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I want to point out that just about ANYTHING you do to guide your student might be more than he'd get in ps. I just spent several hours with a young man (we'd been working on a Scout badge) and it's criminal what the ps has done to him. They shoved him into a "finance" class instead of Alg II, so if he can't get into it this year, he doesn't graduate. They won't let him sign up for online classes until fall, but it looks like Alg II in the building is already full! He hasn't taken the ACT because he was told he "wasn't ready for it". They wouldn't let him take the PSAT, so now, at the end of junior year, he's taken nothing. He's been consigned to the slow track all along because he's smart, but lazy. I sure wish we still had an alternative high school, because it would have been a good fit for him. I came up with a possibility of a way to catch up on math, by doing it through DE. 

 

You're willing to look for help and ask questions--you're light-years beyond where all too many of these kids find themselves. 

 

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First, it will be okay. 

 

Our kids have similar interests and from what you've posted previously, your ds is already working at a decent level. One thing I wish we could have afforded was having ds dual enroll in programming and math classes. He needed more direct math instruction than I could give and he did so much programming on his own over the years that he has been bored in his programming classes this year. He said he's learned absolutely nothing in the class on Java this semester. There were no test outs either and they're both needed for his degree. 

 

 

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