My Home School Experience

What I am learning about Homeschool College Prep

originally posted April 27, 2009

 Unfortunately, it seems your first child ends up being the guinea pig when you are raising your family. We managed to turn out a wonderful, responsible young son; but, I thought it might be good to share what I have learned along the way.
1) ASSESS goals for college early. When your child enters high school, try as soon as possible to assess her/his goals for college/tech school/vocational school. This will help you know what type of courses will be needed. Re-assess this EVERY year. If possible even get down to two or three schools of preference. Contact them and find out exactly what they will be looking for when you get ready to apply.

A)  Liberal arts colleges and universities (in general, maybe not always) do NOT want to see a GED score. This is a flag for “high school drop out”. These schools will be looking largely at SAT scores, written essays, community service, and probably a personal interview. So work on these things.

B)  Technical and Vocational Schools want you to have taken the GED. They may also want to see ITBS or equivalent type scores during the high school years. Again check with your particular school. Another note to consider if there is any chance you will want to transfer to a university following tech school. BE SURE that the credits WILL transfer to the university system.

C) College Credit – There are several ways to attain college credit while in high school and most of them will save you money in the long run.

– CLEP tests – Take the clep test for as many courses as you can. Prepare as you complete your high school course. Then take the exam. a score of 50 will give you 3 – 6 college credit hours and a year of high school credit. This will get all those general courses everyone has to take out of the way. Again, check with your college of choice for their policies.

– AP Courses or Dual Enrollment – These are offered at local schools and online. They will also prove to administrators that your child is college material. Dual enrollment is another way to build up college credit as lower costs. Why spend money on high school courses when you can take college courses, usually at a reduced rate.

– beginning at age 14 you can sign up and have access to one on one counseling, someone to keep you on track, and you can complete nearly all of your college requirements with their help.



*  A personal note about attending Christian college..

a) It is worth every penny.

b) There are usually rules which keep our kids from going totally wild and protect them.

c) Most courses are taught from a Biblical Worldview or at least it is presented. This is where my Christian beliefs became mine rather than just what my parents told me.

d) Student/teacher ratio is much smaller. Professors and administration actually care about the students and want them to succeed. They actually will know your child by name!

e) I also have found that Christian schools seem to be the most flexible. They want your student. And they will do what it takes to get them there.

f) By the way, do not assume that you cannot afford Christian schooling. These schools usually have a lot of private scholarships to award.. academic, musical, sports, etc. They try very hard to make it work for you. And (at least for now) Pell Grants and other government financial aid are also available. Go through the application process before totally ruling out this option. Don’t assume you cannot afford it. What you cannot afford, is for your child to attend the public university system and lose their soul in the process.

g) Chances of them finding a wonderful Christain spouse increase greatly!

h)  At least consider sending your child for one year, preferably the first year. It would be a kind of transitional time for them… being on their own with limits. (I know it is hard to think of sending them away to school, but it will not kill you or your child.) This was my parents philosophy. Actually, it was the only way they would consider paying for our college. If we attended anywhere else, we carried the cost on our own.