High school can be a stressful time for a homeschool mom, and many of the tasks seem huge and overwhelming. What if I told you there are some homeschool organization ideas - resolutions - that you can implement right now, that are quick and easy and will make your homeschool work more efficiently? Here is a list of 8 resolutions you can accomplish within one hour that can significantly improve the college preparation of your high school. They aren't difficult resolutions at all. In only minutes, you can feel confident in your ability to homeschool high school.
1. Get Tubby
You can initiate a record keeping system in five minutes or less. Just grab a Rubbermaid tub or sturdy box, and put it in an out-of-the-way corner. You can use the box as a record keeping system just by remembering to put things in it. Sure, there are better and fancier ways to keep records, but ANYTHING is better than nothing. Start throwing things in there - tests, lab write-ups, reports, papers, and certificates. If you are not keeping records already, just grab a tub and Get Tubby!
2. Mark the Calendar
Spend just a few minutes right now writing on that calendar that you got for Christmas. Then you're all set for success! Mark your calendar with important dates now, while it's still looking empty! Find the dates for important tests like the PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, and ACT®. In mid-May, contact the school about registering for the PSAT®. Parents of seniors should also put FAFSA® on the calendar for October 1st.
3. Have a Parent-Teacher Conference
Go ahead, talk to yourself! Review your homeschool high school plan with your spouse and students. Every college has different requirements, but this plan should cover everything: English (4 years), Math (4 years), Science (3 years), Social Studies (3-4 years), Foreign Language (2-3 years), PE (2 years), Fine Arts (1 year), and enough electives to make a grand total of 24 high school credits. Have you forgotten anything? Is there something that you still need to cover before spring? Has anything slipped through the cracks?
4. Modify Classes
While you are looking at your homeschool high school plan, think about what is working for you. If it doesn't work, don't beat a dead horse. Put it away, and try a different strategy that may work better. If the wonderful, expensive curriculum isn't working for you, then it's not worth anything at all. Find something that does work. Out with the old, and in with the new!
5. Begin your Transcript
It doesn't have to be perfect at all. Your goal is to just START your transcript. The way to make your transcript accurate and professional-looking is to work on it regularly. Spend just a few minutes writing down what you have already done. Start by just looking over the high school plan again. Did you do a course in each area? If so, write it down on a list, and keep it somewhere that you will find it again. (I keep things like that in my email, because I can easily retrieve it.) Write down how much time per week you spend with that class, unless you are using a textbook. That will help you determine the credit value on your transcript. Writing it down now will prevent forgetting entire courses that you have successfully accomplished.
6. Identify Specialization
Check your "annoy-o-meter," and in five minutes or less you can determine your child's area of specialization. When your child is supposed to be working, what are they usually doing instead? What is your student most likely doing when you say, "Will you PLEASE put that down?" Is it possible that is your child's specialization? Now I'll admit, this task may need to be completed in the middle of a school project, because it seems like that's when they are most likely to be distracted by their specialization. Look at their specialization, acknowledge that it will be annoying to you, and then try to encourage it when you can.
7. Estimate Test Scores
If your student recently took the PSAT/NMSQT®, you can quickly estimate their SAT® score. Give a sample SAT® or sample ACT® at home to estimate test scores. Understanding their current test scores will help you determine what college will be the best fit for your child academically, and guide you toward the best scholarships. It will help you understand if test prep is a good idea and how successful you can be.
8. Start a Reading List
Many colleges want a transcript and a reading list, and it helps to be prepared. On a piece of paper, print "Reading List," then have your students make a pile of the books they have read in the past three months. They can type up the list while you sip some herbal tea and relax. You've worked hard on these resolutions, and now it's time to take a break. And anyway, it's important for them to practice their typing skills, right? Remember that a reading list is just a "list." It's not a bibliography, so you don't have to include publisher and other details. Just the title and author is fine. Don't feel overwhelmed by the list.
Each item is very quick and easy, and you could get through this list in a few hours. You can be organized and prepared during high school - there is no reason to be afraid! Now grab some motivation to start the year strong! You already have kids, curriculum, pens, and paper... now you just need to find the faith! Grab my book, Finding the Faith to Homeschool High School: Weekly Reflections for Weary Parents. When you homeschool high school, sometimes the only thing separating success from failure is faith and a friend. This book will give you both! Imagine sitting across the table at your favorite coffee shop, sharing struggles and scriptures with a friend. You'll love this scriptural hope and encouragement.
Remember that I'm here to help if you need me!
PSAT/NMSQT® is a registered trademark of the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
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