HS 207 [AUDIOBLOG] College Preparation for the Homeschooled Teen: How You Can Be SURE You're Doing Enough by Ann Karako.
In this episode, Ann eases your fears about what it really takes to get your teen ready to handle college coursework. You'll discover that you CAN do this thing and it won't be as difficult as you think. Be encouraged and gain ideas to implement that will build your confidence that your teen won't be missing anything important needed to succeed.
Ann's blog: Annie & Everything
Ann's blog post about researching college requirements: How to KNOW What Your Teen Needs to Get Into College
Ann's high school planning book: Cure the Fear of Homeschooling High School
Ann's blog post about independent learning: This is What Happens When You Use Independent Learning in Your Homeschool
Ann's second book which includes how to start independent learning in high school: Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School
Ann's blog post about college applications: The TRUTH About How to Look Good on College ApplicationsHigh School Homeschool Blog Roll
Facebook Group: It's Not That Hard to Homeschool High School
HS EP 207 – Ann Karako
WENDY – Hey there. Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions podcast. I’m your host, Wendy Speake. Here on the podcast we start each week with a longer, more traditional podcast, most often with guests. But sometimes, we simply open the Word together and apply it directly to our homeschooling days. On Thursdays, however, we share shorter episodes that I like to call Blogcasts, where one of our favorite homeschool bloggers simply encourages us with the content of one of their recent blog posts.
I hope this message serves you and your family today.
As always, I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sonlight Curriculum. The wonderful people at Sonlight Curriculum offer complete homeschool curriculum that you are guaranteed to love. And now, let me introduce you to one of my friends.
ANN – Hi, I’m Ann Karako and I blog at annieandeverything.com, where I consider it my job to ease the anxieties of any moms who are thinking about homeschooling high school and wanting to start. Or, also, to provide encouragement to any moms that are in the trenches right now. We’re in this thing together.
And today I would like to read a blog post entitled, College Preparation for the Homeschool Teen: How You Can Be Sure You’re Doing Enough.
Why are you afraid to homeschool high school? Ask that question of anyone who hasn’t tried it yet, and you’ll almost always get the same answer. I’m afraid I won’t prepare my children well enough for college. It’s a universal fear, and one that I had myself. But like many of the other things that scare us about homeschooling high school, the angst about college preparation can be easily dealt with.
How do I know, you ask? Well, we’ve graduated four children from our homeschool. Each of which is vastly different from the other and all of them went on to college and did just fine. Well, clarification: one didn’t graduate from college. Instead she quit after two years. But that wasn’t due to bad grades. Unless you count B’s as bad grades, which I do not.
She merely decided that the academic environment was not her cup of tea, so she came home and began working full time which worked out great for her.
So, having clarified that, I want you to take a deep breath and listen to me for a minute.
I’m going to come right out and say it. It IS totally possible to be confident that your homeschooled teen is being adequately prepared for college. And it’s not as big a deal as you think. There are a few simple processes you can incorporate into your high school homeschool that will be the best ways to ensure adequate college preparation for your child.
Many of them come naturally to the average conscientious homeschool parent, which you are if you’re taking the time to read this. In fact, you are probably doing some of them already, even if you’ve gotten no higher than middle school so far. If you do these things, then you can be confident that you are giving your teen adequate college preparation.
One – do your research. Use the internet to find out what colleges require for admission from their high school applicants. I’ve written an entire post on this, so I’m not going to go into detail here. Suffice it say that this is the first thing we should do when we start even considering homeschooling high school. Making sure that your homeschool high school curriculum has enough credits in each subject area to satisfy college admissions officers, is a huge confidence booster about whether or not we are doing our job of preparing them well.
In fact, I also wrote a book about planning your high school coursework with college requirements as the foundation. Cure the fear of Homeschooling High School: A Step by Step Handbook for Research and Planning, will guide you through the process of checking those requirements and building your teens coursework plan around them.
You will feel so much better when you know you haven’t missed anything important. Am I right?
Number 2 – teach your teen to learn independently. This will probably have been started in middle school or earlier, but if not, now is the time. What this means is guiding your teen to take ownership of learning the content of their courses. In other words, the high school student should be reading the lesson, or watching the video, and then competing the assignment without relying on you for instruction or explanation.
They should be checking their daily work and learning from their mistakes. They should be studying for tests on their own. Your involvement should only be to answer the occasional question and to grade tests and papers and projects.
Why is this so important? Because that is what college is. In college, your child is given a syllabus and is expected to follow it. He’s expected to stay on track with assignments and turn papers in on time. He is expected to seek out help when he doesn’t understand. No one will hold his hand and check in on him.
If your teen is in charge of most of their learning while they’re in high school and being generally successful, then you can be certain they are being well-prepared for college. I want to just reassure you, here, that this is a process. I always recommend having them fully independent in this way by junior year or senior year at the latest. But before then, you are helping them learn this skill.
There’s a chapter in my latest book about how to make this happen, especially if you haven’t started until high school. The book is called Save Your Sanity While Homeschooling High School: Practical Principles for a Firm Foundation. And trust me, having your teen learn independently will totally help keep you sane.
Number 3 – Give them a strong language arts foundation. In my opinion, language arts is more important than science or math. Because if the student has good grammar and a wide vocabulary, understands how to read higher level subject matter, and can express themselves through speech and writing, then they will be able to read and understand just about anything that is thrown at them in college, including the science and math.
The reverse, that the kid who can handle high level math, will be able to read and understand other subjects, may not be true. Also, all college majors involve using language. Not all of them involve math and science.
So, don’t give up on the grammar just because they are in high school. Encourage reading of all genres. Give them lots of opportunities to write. If your teen is capable of handling the English language well, then you can be confident they will be ready to tackle college coursework.
Number 4 – teach them to manage their time. This is related to number 2, about learning independently, but isn’t exactly the same. Sometimes a kid is able to learn independently just fine. But they don’t discipline themselves to do it in a timely fashion. In college, they will need to juggle classes, work, sleep, and their burgeoning social life. Give them opportunities to practice that all now. Give them opportunities to fail at that now. It’s definitely better for them to suffer consequences and learn lessons in time management, now, at home, rather than later at college when you are spending the big bucks.
If you are teaching your teen to be responsible for how they use their time, then you are doing a good job of preparing them for college.
Number 5 – don’t always let them redo everything to get an A. This is one of my personal pet peeves with homeschoolers. Of course, we want mastery. But if we always let the kid retake every test or rewrite every paper, they never learn to do it right the first time. I gave my kids B’s, and lower when they deserved them. I personally think a transcript with all A’s is suspect, y’all. Yes, there are plenty of kids who earn them. But do they really earn ALL straight A’s? Or might there be an A minus or two in there? Or even – GASP – a B plus?
Every homeschooled kid is not an A student. Hello? Don’t try to pretend they are just because you would like them to be. They won’t get the opportunity to redo things in college. If you are holding your teen accountable for the quality of their work the first time, then you can know that they won’t be overwhelmed by the same expectation in college.
So, doing the above things will give us confidence that we are doing all we can to prepare out kids. But wait! I’ve got more encouragement for you. Consider these other factors that will help you feel affirmed about whether you are providing adequate college preparation.
Six – the SAT and ACT are good indicators of whether your child is ready for college. If the scores from these tests are rather low, you might wanna consider some other type of career path. If the scores are average or above average, then your child has the ability to handle college level work. This is completely objective, y’all. There is no homeschool mom bias here.
Number 7 – colleges are aware that freshman need help adjusting to college level work and college level expectations. Often there is an entire course during the very first semester that teaches the freshman about study skills, time management, how to use the library, etc. There is usually also a huge support system for freshman, from the RA on their dorm floor, to orientation small groups, to student mentors, and more.
And many college professors who teach freshman classes are more communicative when it comes to expectations and scheduling, as well as giving lots of feedback on assignments. Knowing this on the front end can help allay fears about your child being able to adapt. They are given every opportunity during that first year to learn everything they need to know.
Number 8 – and then there’s the consideration of what type of college you are trying to prepare your child for anyway. Sometimes, I think we homeschoolers feel like we have to plan as if our child will be going to an Ivy League school because if we shoot for anything less, then we’re not measuring up to the homeschool elite out there who have been winning the national spelling bees and acing the honors courses and running their own businesses by age 18. Guess what? Most of us are ordinary.
Most of us will be sending our children to the local community college or state school or maybe a small private school. Those places will love your homeschooled child. Or, at the very least, they won’t expect them to be a superstar of the highest order. It’s okay to have an average student going to an average college, y’all. I feel so strongly about this point that I wrote an entire blog post about it, which is called The Truth About How to Look Good on College Applications.
Number 9 – there is help. You are not in this alone. Check out my high school homeschool blog roll for a list of blogs that regularly write about homeschooling high school. Lots of great information there. Then there’s my Facebook group called It’s Not That Hard to Homeschool High School, where you can ask any question you want and get wonderful feedback from over 28,000 moms who have felt just like you.
When you have support it is so much easier to be confident in what you are doing. I do know how insecure we can feel when thinking about homeschooling high school, especially when it comes to college preparation. But I’m here to say that you’ve got this. By paying attention to the things I’ve listed above, you can be confident that you’re giving your teen everything they need to be successful when they start college.
So, no more worries, okay? Hugs!
WENDY – I hope that today’s blogcasts equipped and encouraged you. Remember that next week I’ll be back with another great conversation right here on the Homeschool Solutions podcast. My name is Wendy Speake, I’m your host, and I am so glad that you tuned in today.
But before we sign off, I’d like to invite you to subscribe right now to the Homeschool Solutions podcast through Apple or Google Play. And speaking of invitations, won’t you join me at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions this year? These conventions are my favorite, offering dozens of wonderful speakers and hundreds of inspiring exhibitors. Go to greathomeschoolconventions.com and find one near you in 2020. This year I will be at the Ohio, Texas, South Carolina, and California conventions. Make sure to stop by and say hey if you’ll be at one of those events.
But in the meantime, we’ve got this podcast and homeschooling.mom as other great resources to support you as you educate your kids in math and science and literature, yes, but also as you train them in Godliness and love.
Until next time, this is Wendy Speake. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful day.
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