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How Many APs Should My Student Take?

How Many APs Should My Student Take?
  Don't get caught up in the AP hype. You don't need a million APs in high school . In fact, you really shouldn't have too many  APs . All tests and no fun make a dull teen. A recent study of 400,000 entrants to about 100 colleges...
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College Plans with No College Clue

College Plans with No College Clue
Question: How do you plan high school courses when all colleges are different and you don't know which college your child is interested in?

Answer: Provide a general college preparation early in high school, and then fill in gaps later!

First, plan your high school courses keeping normal college preparation requirements in mind.  This article will help you figure out what "college prep" means.  Planning High School Courses.  And this article is helpful to learn about science labs: You CAN Teach High School Science Labs! 

As your child gets older, you'll begin to look at colleges.  If you are looking mostly at prestigious, highly selective schools, look at requirements they have.  Think in general terms: in general, those schools like extra testing.  If you are looking at local private universities, visit them and ask about their unique requirements.

When  your child is a junior the college search begins in earnest.  That's when you'll find out what is required by "that" certain college.  You will have plenty of time to meet those requirements because you've handled all the general requirements during freshman and sophomore year.  You'll be ready for anything they throw at you!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel.  You’ll  get notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!
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Planning High School Courses: Part One

Planning High School Courses: Part One

Planning High School Courses: Part One

As a homeschool parent, you know how to educate your children best. You use what you know about your students and their learning styles, and make sure to cover a wide range of academic areas. But when it comes to homeschooling high school, sometimes parents become paralyzed over how to choose courses. What are the subjects that colleges want to see on a high school transcript? How many credits are necessary? How do you teach upper level math when you’re not a math major?! Here are some guidelines to help you plan your high school courses and prepare your student for successful college admittance, without changing the way you homeschool!

Most colleges like to see four years of English, which you can accomplish in a variety of ways. Your student could study literature and composition through a prepared curriculum, or you could simply have them read and write a lot every year. You could consider a speech class as an alternative. Keep in mind what really matters–ending up with a student who enjoys reading, communicates in writing, and knows how to learn.

Social Studies
Colleges like to see three to four years of social studies. Often colleges will further specify what specific classes they particularly want to see. Usually that will mean world history, American history, American government, and economics. Remember that you aren’t confined to choosing the “expected classes” for social studies, either. In our family, one son took a course in Russian History and the other chose Psychology.

Three years of science is expected for college preparation, with at least one of those classes including a lab. Each area of science is so different that a child may really hate one but really love the other, so it’s helpful to try to expose them to difference branches of science. You can also try unique subjects: geology, astronomy, computer programming, etc. Colleges love to see unique courses, so don’t be afraid to delve into another area of science if your son or daughter is interested.

Fine Arts
Colleges like to see some fine arts in the transcript, but usually one credit will suffice. Fine arts include music, art, theater and dance. My students studied the fine arts through history, using lots of library books. We studied music history by checking out CDs and biographical books on different composers and styles of music.

For further information on planning your child’s high school courses, check out Part 2 and see my Planning High School Courses Online Training.

The HomeScholar’s Total Transcript Solution will take the fear out of homeschool transcripts!
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Naming Your High School Courses

Naming Your High School Courses
Some people are intimidated by grading. Some parents are scared of high school credits.  Then there are some unschool or delight-directed homeschools that really stress out about  naming classes.  It can be pretty easy when you use textbooks (look at the title of the  textbook!) but in other situations it’s not as simple.

I just got off the phone with a mother trying to name an unusual class. If you are stuck, try Google some key words from the class you are trying to name, with the words “course description.” You’ll come up with a bunch of high school and college class course descriptions that will be similar. Look for the title that best represents your class, and Voila! In this mother’s case, we decided that “Occupational Education: Restaurant Occupations” was the best name for her class.

Did you know that every Wednesday on Facebook I provide a Video Tip of the Week for homeschooling high school?  Recently I put on Facebook a video tip about Naming High School Classes.  If you are on Facebook, please check out my fan page!  You can “LIKE” my page which will allow you to grab my free mini-course called, “The 10 Essentials – What Every Homeschooler Needs to Study Before Graduation.”

Homeschool High School Tip: Naming Your High School Courses on YouTube.

If you need any extra help, you will really appreciate my Gold Care Club, as well as lots of templates and tools that will help you along.    We are currently featuring an hour long video training session on how to keep homeschool records.  You need to hurry, though.  That video training won’t be there forever!
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Homeschool High School: Parent Training A La Carte

Homeschool High School: Parent Training A La Carte
What is the difference between a video and Parent Training A la Carte?  Do you like to learn on the computer, or hold something in your hand?

Thank you SO much for all the great information!  I am a bit overwhelmed right now though!  It's so much to absorb!  I have a question; how is the Parent Training A la Carte different from Preparing to homeschool high school dvd?  Are all the Parent Training A la Carte webinars' info included in  the preparing to homeschool high school dvd?  Thank you for your help!
~  Giovana

Dear Giovana,

There are two main differences between A la Carte Classes and Preparing to Homeschool High School on DVD.

First, the DVD is mailed to you, you can hold it in your hands, and you put it in your DVD player.  In contrast, A La Carte products are completely digital, the product is online, and you watch it on your computer at your convenience.   If you want to hold something in your hands, the DVD is perfect.  When you buy an A la Carte class it is yours forever.  You will always have access to that class.

Second, the DVD is a four hour overview, intended to take away the fear of homeschooling high school, and I recommend it as the first introduction for parents who are planning to homeschool high school. The DVD is a bunch of information presented as a general, light overview.  In contrast, the A La Carte classes are one subject in depth.  If there is one subject you want to know more about, the A la Carte classes are perfect.

The only overlap might be the Planning High School Courses.  I cover that pretty thoroughly in the Preparing to Homeschool High School DVD. The  other four classes that I am offering initially are completely new, and are not duplicated in the DVD.

I plan to continue to add A la Carte classes at a rate of one or two a month, so there will always be something new for you to check out.  Make sure you subscribe to that page (via RSS) so you are notified when new classes are added.

I hope that helps!

Our monthly newsletter comes out on the first of every month.  Sign up for your free monthly newsletter here.
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