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College Prep for Teens

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Ten tips to help you prepare your homeschooler for college during the high school years!

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College Prep for Teens

  1. 1. College Prep for Teens Homeschooling high school? Freshman year is the best time to start looking toward college. Here’s how you can begin preparing for college now.
  2. 2. LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com is the premiere website for the homeschool high school community. We offer forums for both parents and students, easy-to-browse information about high school homeschooling and post-graduation preparation, and tons of free printables that you can download and use today. Stop by our main site to see all that we have to offer!
  3. 3. View our college prep ideas
  4. 4. Annotated Reading List In my experience, many colleges prefer for homeschoolers to include an annotated high school reading list when they are in the application process. In fact, several colleges and universities require the reading list of homeschoolers, so just to make sure, it’s a good thing to keep up with one during the high school years.
  5. 5. Official Transcript A teen’s transcript is perhaps the most important document for applying to a college or university. Every college will require a transcript for each student, and it’s very important that homeschoolers make sure the transcript is clear and concise. You can create your own, or easily use a template like this. This transcript FAQ article also has very helpful information!
  6. 6. Grade Record Spreadsheet A grade record spreadsheet is an easy and simplistic way to keep track of your student’s grades throughout high school. It’s helpful to include it with the transcript during the college application process to show your student’s journey through high school and definite proof of their academic abilities. Some colleges require samples of the schoolwork, portfolios, or test grades, so this is a great way to showcase your student’s work. You can find the spreadsheet for free here.
  7. 7. The ACT/SAT Taking these tests may be one of the most nerve-wracking moments of the high school journey, but it’s honestly very important. Nearly every college and university require these test scores for admission, unless the student was already enrolled at another college during high school. It’s helpful to consider future college choices when deciding which test is right for the student to know which one the school requires or prefers. It’s also always a good idea to take both exams. Keep in mind, they can be taken more than once! The first time jitters are bound to make things more difficult anyway. You can read more here about the ACT versus SAT (scroll down) as well as information on the new SAT as of 2016.
  8. 8. High School Credit Log Keeping track of your student’s time not only gives proof to the validity of the credits you are recording on the transcript, but it also gives you, the parent, a peace of mind that your student is truly spending the time necessary to earn that credit. A credit log can also come in handy when you fill out the transcript at the end of the year! You can find a template here.
  9. 9. Dual Enrollment Credit/CLEP Something to consider during high school is dual enrollment at a community college. Dual enrollment has a number of benefits, including earning credit for college and high school simultaneously, teaching a subject with which mom/dad struggles, providing more social interaction, and knocking out prerequisite college courses (your post-high school self will thank you!). You can learn more about dual enrollment here. Another option that is becoming increasingly popular is taking CLEP tests. CLEP tests are designed to help students earn college credit through taking an exam for a single course. Students use these exams to “CLEP out” of early college courses by earning the credit for those courses from passing the test. Learn more about CLEP here.
  10. 10. Community Service/Volunteering Including community service/volunteering opportunities on the student’s transcript is really where your homeschooler has a chance to shine. The more competitive schools definitely look for this area because it gives the college a chance to see your student in action and shows more specifically where their priorities and interests lies. Learn more about building those volunteer hours here, as well as a template for a community service time log.
  11. 11. Have a Four-Year Plan A four-year plan is something that will help every teen and parent of that teen. It’s hard to know what’s necessary to study if you don’t have a goal with a checklist. A key aspect of this four-year plan would be knowing more about which credits most colleges expect high schoolers to have studied. It also means knowing the high school requirements for higher education goals so you know what you need to accomplish during those four years. With having a post-high school goal in mind, each year will start with a vision and a plan. The eBook for teens may come in handy as well, which is a roadmap of sorts to help teens navigate the high school years.
  12. 12. Senior Year: Apply & Tour Senior year is the time to apply to those college and universities you’ve considered through your high school journey. Make sure you apply to more than just one school; it’s always a good idea to have more than one pending application in case you don’t get in. Another good addition to senior year is campus tours. I’d recommend touring the campuses of your preferred schools before submitting an application just to have a better idea. Campus tours can do wonders for excitement and clarity!
  13. 13. The Diploma And now, for the final, and most iconic part of finishing the high school journey: the diploma. Though many people think homeschoolers can’t have a diploma, that’s definitely not true! Many states give parents the right to assign a diploma to their graduated homeschool student. In fact, you can even print one using a template if you’d rather not design it. My only recommendation is to avoid using the term “homeschool diploma.” It looks much more professional to just use “high school diploma”--they did, after all, graduate from high school, regardless of at home, private, or public school. I’ve noticed that several colleges ask homeschoolers for a copy of their diploma, so it comes in handy! Your homeschooled high schooler made it--and earned that diploma!
  14. 14. Keep up with the latest high school homeschooling info!

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