What do Homeschoolers Need to Get into College?
Many people start worrying about homeschooling High School even before they start kindergarten with their children. Again and again I’ve been asked, “How will I teach Algebra and Chemistry?”, “How will my child get into college?” and other such questions. Here is how we “did High School” and prepared for college/careers.
First, I started “High School” with my children when they were going into their eight grade year, knowing that by the time they were “seniors”, they would have too many other things they wanted to do to be doing a full load of subjects. Even before High School I started having my children keep some of their own records, but at High School time it became more important.
We started by finding an outline of a general High School Curriculum
Something like: 4 credits in English
3-4 credits of Math
2 credits of Social Studies, including a half credit of Government
2 credits of Science
Credits in electives – foreign language, physical education, home economics, music, arts, etc.
You can look at requirements from different States or entrance requirements for different Universities to get ideas of what you and your student think they need to complete.
When your Child asks "Why Do I Have to Do This? "
As an aside, around the same age as we started High School was when our children used to complain about some of the things/subjects I wanted them to do. At that point our response to them was if you know what field you want to pursue we can figure out what you need to do to pursue that, if you don’t (and they didn’t) then you need a well rounded education that will allow you to do whatever you decide on later. My oldest complained a lot about it but was happy when he was well prepared to enter college by which time he had figured out what he wanted to do.
Keeping Records of Homeschooling
Anyway after developing a 5 year overall plan we’d decide on a yearly plan. I figured full credits to be 180 hours on a subject, based on the 180 days students are in school in my State, I know that the kids in school don’t do that much actual work but since they do homework too I figured it was a good compromise. We list the courses for the year, more on how we handled specific courses later. We’d make up sheets that were basically a bunch of small squares, the courses would be listed down the left side and the days of the month across the top and then each time the child worked on a subject they could list the number of minutes spent. At the end of the month they would put the progress toward each credit into a spreadsheet. Often we would set goals for the amount of each subject to work on each week or each month, depending on what made sense, padding a little because we knew there would be things to interfere. Were there times we had to make consequences if a certain amount wasn’t done in a specified period, of course, they are kids.
The other important records I had my children keep for High School were a list of books read, they never really used these but I thought it was good to have. Also they all need a resume built with their education, their special skills, volunteer work and paid work. (read more about resumes)
So what do you do with all this information? In the end you can develop your own transcript and print your own diplomas or there are homeschool organizations that will help you do this for a fee. Of course you can work with a correspondence school all along and they will do the record keeping for you but I never found a program that met our needs. I did try a program one year that I thought might give my children a little outside motivation but it really wasn’t worth the money for what we got out of it. As I will talk about again when I talk about curriculum, before you spend any large amounts of money for anything connected with homeschooling do your research and weigh your family’s resources versus needs.
Check out this site with a free Homeschooler's Guide to Colleges.