Monday, January 4

The High School Years are Looming


That blog title deserves the title casing. My eldest is approaching his high school years. This amazes me. I've avoided thinking about it for so long that I began to panic when I realized the amount of planning required to see him through high school. I generally research things to death where our school plans are concerned. I started researching homeschooling when my oldest was 2. I had his education mapped out years in advance....all the way through middle school. I think perhaps I was afraid of thinking past that. However, I had the privilege to review a Godsend of a program called Upper Level Homeschool by Terri Johnson. You might remember me raving about her ABC's of homeschooling program. This is set up in a similar fashion, but is geared toward graduating your child successfully and seeing them into college with everything that it entails.

Each week, you receive an email link to your downloadable lesson. Some of these included bonus downloads of ebooks and planning forms. I downloaded my lessons and printed them to create a book I could hold and keep track of. They aren't overly long and would not be difficult to just read on the screen. The lessons included very practical topics such as earning credits, creating transcripts, teaching time management, dual enrollment, CLEP/AP, financial aid, and much more. Each chapter was very helpful and to the point. No fluff.

I love that the lessons come in bite-sized chunks each week, giving me time to put into practice what I'm learning. This course has taken something that had me quaking with fear and insecurity and made it seem more than manageable. I am now aware of the many options I have and can easily narrow them down because I also know which options suit my family best.

There were several areas that I thought I understood before taking this test and I was surprised to learn differently, such as which tests or credits colleges are more favorable toward seeing. I am so relieved that I had the opportunity to read this material while Ethan still has one more year before high school. I now have a year to practice and prepare for our high school days!

Individual lessons are:

#1: Mapping a 4-year Course of Study
Helps you lay out a general design for where you are going, including what is required for your state, what colleges need to see, and what you desire for their education.

#2: Designing a Course for High School Credit
There are different definitions for a high school credit and different ways of achieving them. None of these methods involves 'just doing the work' and receiving a credit. I was rather naive about this point before reading the material.

#3. Outsourcing Difficult Subjects
This is an area we have already explored, but many homeschooling families I've spoken with are surprised at what their options are. This is a helpful lesson for anyone feeling overwhelmed with teaching individual subjects.

#4. Starting and Maintaining a Manuscript
Decodes the mystery of the transcript. Excellent advice and resources for simple record keeping. Crucial stuff.

#5. Developing Good Study Habits
Preparing our teens to own their own education. There is only so much a parent can do and no matter how wonderful the education we present to them might be, if they don't know what to do with it, it will take them nowhere. This lesson offers tips for teens (and parents) in maximizing their time and space and brain power.

#6. Preparing for Aptitude Tests
This isn't just about your teen studying for the tests, it is about deciding which tests are available and beneficial. Some tests are more preferred than others by colleges. Some tests have different times when they can be taken. Before this chapter, I had no idea that there were two different kinds of SAT's or that my son should take some SAT II's his freshman year!

#7. Timed Essay Prep for SAT and ACT
I didn't even realize there was an optional essay portion for the ACT, let alone the fact that most colleges prefer students take it. This is much more than preparation for a test, it is about the benefits and methods of writing. This lesson takes the fear out of teaching writing and encourages parents by outlining the importance of writing.

#8. Taking Courses for Dual Credit
This didn't exist when I was in school, but what a wonderful time saver. Students can earn college credit while taking high school classes. Pros and Cons are laid out and explained thoroughly.

#9. CLEP Testing for College Credit
Explains the process, provides links to great study aids, and compares with Advanced Placement testing. Pros and Cons of CLEP/AP are explained.

#10. College Application Process
Demystifies the process of applying for college. I have a while yet, but it's nice to know.

#11. Financial Aid.
Explains different options which include grants, loans, scholarships, and work study programs. Advises on researching options and assessing what might be available for your student.

#12. Financial Literacy for Teens
A lesson all its own and quite necessary for our children. This lesson includes budgeting and preparing all the while acknowledging our role as stewards receiving blessings from God. There is also a section on becoming a corporation that is very intriguing.

#13. Launching for Success
This has become a parenting philosophy for me, as difficult as it is. It is my responsibility to prepare my children to leave my side and go out into the world as Godly men and women. This lesson addresses this responsibility.

This course has helped me approach this new endeavor with confidence. As much as I enjoy researching education, I don't think that I would have learned all of these things on my own. And even if I could have done so, it would have taken hours upon hours upon hours. These lessons were brief, easily 10-20 minutes each and provided time to process and apply the material. It has been a painless process and I am grateful for it.



Nezzy said...

As always Sweetie, you have done your homework!

Have a great day, Love ya

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Nishant said...
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Anonymous said...

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

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