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Homeschool Timeline by Year

The Homeschool Coach's Play-by-Play Guide

As we gear up for the new football season, let's not forget that the game reflects life itself. As homeschooling parents, we can learn valuable lessons by viewing our educational journey through a gridiron lens. Just like a professional football team prepares in advance and progresses through four quarters, we too navigate the preparation and the following four years of high school. Each stage of this game holds valuable insights that can help us become successful homeschooling parents. Let's take a play-by-play look at each quarter of homeschooling high school.

Tailgate Party: Elementary School - A Joyful Start

Just as fans begin celebrating before the game begins, the homeschool tailgate party represents the elementary school years. During this stage, education is all about cultivating a love of learning and enjoying the journey. Just like food, folks, and fun at a tailgate, we should feed the joy of learning, engage in true socialization with parents and friends, and infuse subjects with excitement and fun. These early lessons lay the foundation for a budding intellect, nurturing a lifelong thirst for knowledge.

Pre-Game Warm-Up: Middle School - Preparing for the Big Game

Before the kickoff, teams engage in warm-up exercises to stretch their muscles. Similarly, the pre-game warm-up for homeschooling is the middle school phase. It's a time for parents to familiarize themselves with the high school game and for children to stretch their academic abilities. Communication is key to ensure everyone is on the same page. Just like coaches reviewing the game plan, parents must understand the upcoming challenges to prepare a strategy for success. This includes identifying strengths and weaknesses and adapting the curriculum accordingly.

First Quarter: Freshman Year - Calm Beginnings

As the game commences with the kickoff, freshman year marks the beginning of high school. It's essential for homeschool parents to remain calm during this period. Just like in football, the team has practiced and prepared during the pre-season. Now is not the time to panic, even if challenges arise early on. Stick to the game plan, cover the core subjects, and stay composed. Remember, it's not about the initial score; it's about laying the groundwork for a successful high school journey.

Second Quarter: Sophomore Year - Scoring Early Points

Coaches know that scoring during the first half is critical for a successful game. Similarly, homeschool parents should strive to get off to a strong start with their sophomore year. Introduce foreign language, fine arts, physical education, and electives to gain early high school credits. Encourage your child to take the PSAT/NMSQT® and enroll in college prep classes to prepare for future college admission and scholarships. Flexibility is essential, and adjusting the curriculum and schedules, when necessary, can help maintain the lead throughout this quarter.

Half Time: Summer before Junior Year - Reevaluating and Strategizing

During half time, football coaches continue working by reevaluating their strategy and planning for the second half. In the same way, homeschool parents should look ahead to junior year and develop a plan for success. Consider college admission and scholarship opportunities, and ensure your child is on track to meet the requirements. Make necessary course corrections and gather information about potential opponents to stay ahead of the game.

Third Quarter: Junior Year - Gaining the Lead

In football, gaining or maintaining the lead during the third quarter is crucial. For homeschoolers, junior year is similarly pivotal. Make the most of this year by achieving milestones like taking the PSAT/NMSQT®, attending college fairs, taking the SAT® or ACT®, visiting college campuses, and making college choices. Each achievement brings you closer to victory in the college admission game.

Fourth Quarter: Senior Year - Maintaining Control

As the final quarter approaches, it's essential to maintain the lead and avoid last-minute desperation plays. For homeschoolers, senior year is the time to stay focused and on track. Apply to colleges early in the fall, write personalized and self-reflective essays for college applications, and complete the FAFSA® to maximize scholarship opportunities. Keep your lead throughout this quarter and secure your win!

Super Celebration: Spring of Senior Year - Graduation and Beyond

Just as every win in football is cause for celebration, homeschoolers can celebrate their success with a unique graduation ceremony. Choose the best college for your child, plan a graduation party, and present them with a meaningful trophy - their high school diploma and transcript.

It's All about Teamwork

In football, a successful team relies on teamwork, and the same applies to homeschooling. Comprehensive homeschool records and helpful test scores represent true education. Tailor the curriculum to your child's interests and passions for delightful learning experiences. Planning ahead for potential challenges ensures you're prepared for whatever comes your way.

Winning the Game

Just like a winning football season requires skill and preparation, homeschooling success depends on consistent effort and planning. Stay on track and be prepared for the unexpected. As the great Vince Lombardi once said, "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity." Embrace the journey, and your star player will be ready for whatever comes their way, whether it's college or a successful career.

Suggested Resource

For continuing education and parent coaching, take a look at my High School Solution. The High School Solution will hold your hand through the most challenging aspects of homeschooling middle school and high school in a way that will give you confidence and courage. Complete with 4 teaching modules, this solution will take you through How-To, Ages, Stages, and Curriculum. This could be the Homeschool 101 course you are looking for! Take a look here

For Further Reading

A Higher Calling: Homeschooling High School for Harried Husbands

For Homeschool Dads Only! (Sort of)
Encouragement for Homeschool Husbands From Mr. HomeScholar

Matt Binz, Mr. HomeScholar, has just the ticket to encourage homeschool dads. Written with all the gentleness and finesse of a 16-inch WWII battleship cannon, Matt aims straight at the heart of the homeschooling father who may question this whole homeschool thing or who does not clearly understand the dad's role in education. He knocks down arguments made by waffling dads and pushes them straight ahead as full partners in homeschool success. Take a peek at A Higher Calling here

[Book Excerpt] Keys to High School Success
Which AP® Classes are Best for Self Study?


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Thursday, 07 December 2023

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