Last night I hosted the homeschooling High School meeting at my house. There was a good attendance, even though only half of my huge RSVP list actually showed. This was probably good, as my living room is small. We had almost every stripe of homeschooler present, except possibly the strict one-box-curriculum-provider kind, or complete unschooling types.
My attendee’s diversity included users of community college courses, online courses, group tutors, private tutors, and co-ops. There were people there that mixed and matched those things and those that did none of them, doing everything on their own. The discussion was lively and friendly.
We discussed what coursework and credits were on differing types of transcripts by using HSLDA’s brochure (downloadable here).
We discussed ways to keep homeschooling affordable:
- by using the library and extensive interlibrary loan
- by using khan academy (click here for their website)
- by using live mocha (click here for their website)
- by using MIT open courseware (click here for website)
- (and can you afford not to?)
We discussed a good yahoo group: homeschool2college or hs2coll
We discussed the difference between the SAT, ACT, SAT II (subject tests) and AP tests. Like it or not, homeschoolers must test to show they are what they say they are. Some colleges will be closed to them if they do not test in all these ways. (see www.collegeboard.org)
We discussed curriculum providers:
We discussed the importance of parenting, and emphasizing that your kid know they are loved and supported. More than academics, we want them to graduate with sound morals, be able to make good choices, know how to learn and access information, think critically, speak intelligently, and be nice. Also are all the life skills they need in place? Do they understand insurance, how to write a check, or cook an egg? How do they handle conflict or frustration? Can they “handle” what the “real world” hits them with and still safely soar?
It is about truly serving their needs and requirements, and them owning the process. It is about starting with their goals and working out from there, instead of looking at all of your options and trying to juggle opportunities as they surface. Assessing your goals, you may have to make some opportunities that don’t exist and let other opportunities pass you by that meet other people’s goals but not your own. Be warned: rushing around smartly is not proof of accomplishing much. Indepth study takes time. War and Peace does not get read on the fly.
There is a college for every kid that wants to go. Visit many and sign up on the PSAT to get on college mailing lists. Their choices will evolve through this process. Don’t get too set on one school. Have reach schools on your list as well as some you are sure they can get in.
The privilege of homeschooling high school is being there for great conversations. Prioritize quality time with your teens. Have your kid teach you the material. The best way to learn is to have to teach someone else. We really get to know them and be known by them. And this is all just the tip of the iceberg.
Well, this gives you a taste. If you were at the meeting less virtually, you could have tried the apple cake (recipe here on my blog) or the apricot squares (recipe here on my blog). Homeschooling is like desert, it’s yummy, but tasting it makes you appreciate it’s goodness more….