Homeschooling can be an adventure, a roller coaster, and sometimes, a bit of a circus act all rolled into one. As homeschool moms (and dads), we juggle teaching, cooking, refereeing sibling squabbles, and occasionally sneaking into the pantry for some chocolate therapy. It's no surprise that as your kids grow, you might start worrying about their future, especially when it comes to getting into college. But fear not! We've got the perfect recipe for preparing your homeschooled kiddos for college success. And we promise, it won't require you to teach calculus (unless you want to)!
The first step is to embrace your child's individuality. Homeschooling offers the perfect environment for tailoring education to your kid's unique needs and interests. So, forget the rigid, one-size-fits-all approach. Let your child explore their passions and talents. Whether it's foreign language, writing, coding, or interpretive dance, encourage them to dive deep into what makes their heart sing. Freedom is one of the great gifts of homeschooling. And by following your kids' interests, you just might help them develop a stand-out factor (think college scholarship money).
Pro Tip: If they become a world-class interpretive dancer, they'll have a leg up on their college application!
This post is sponsored by CURE THE FEAR
A step-by-step Guide So you can be SURE you're not missing ANYTHING. Truly.
This 77-page manual—available either as a printable ebook or as a paperback—guides you one step at a time through the process of researching and planning how to homeschool your teen through high school.
The end result is a complete coursework map which will include everything needed to prepare your teen for whatever they want to do after graduation, no matter whether they want to go to college or straight into the workplace.
->Gain the confidence to know that YOU—an ordinary mom—can homeschool high school successfully. Without losing your sanity or messing up your teen's life!
While spontaneity is a homeschooling hallmark, you'll need to document your child's educational journey for college applications. Create a portfolio that showcases their achievements, including projects, assignments, and extracurricular activities. Keep records of grades, standardized tests, and volunteer work. Make it colorful, creative, and a true reflection of your child's personality.
Pro Tip: Add a section titled “Creative Problem Solving” where you describe how you once used algebra to figure out how much toilet paper you'd need for the year. Or, encourage your budding novelists or film maker to start a Youtube or Blog to document their journey. Again, think scholarship dollars!
Explore Your State's Requirements Homeschooling and Graduation Requirements (the results might surprise you)!
Each state has different homeschooling requirements. Check with your local homeschooling association or education department to ensure you're meeting all necessary criteria. You don't want any last-minute surprises when applying to colleges.
Pro Tip: Connect with your local homeschooling association and join your regional FB group. They're like a secret society of homeschooling ninjas.
Test the Waters
Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT can be intimidating, but don't worry; you don't need to turn your dining room into a testing center. Many colleges now offer test-optional admission policies. If your child is a great student, their grades, essay, and portfolio can shine without standardized test scores.
Pro Tip: Practice with “pretend” tests and chocolate chip cookies as a reward for each completed section. Great test scores create a clear pat
The moment of truth! When it's time to apply to colleges, help your child choose a mix of “reach,” “match,” and “safety” schools. Review their application essays, make sure their portfolio is in tip-top shape, and remind them that rejection is just one more way to learn and grow.
Pro Tip: College admissions officers love to see applicants with unique stories and experiences, so don't be afraid to highlight the quirkiest aspects of your homeschooling adventure.
Homeschooling is an incredible journey, and the destination doesn't have to be a mystery. By embracing your child's individuality, documenting their achievements, keeping up with state requirements, approaching standardized tests with confidence, and applying to the right mix of colleges, you can prepare your homeschooled child for a successful college experience.
Remember, homeschooling is a unique and wonderful experience filled with laughter, occasional chaos, and a whole lot of learning. And, who knows, maybe someday you'll be reminiscing about these homeschooling days while enjoying your child's interpretive dance performance at their college graduation! So, keep calm, carry on, and enjoy the ride!
In today's fast-paced world, the importance of learning a second language cannot be overstated. While languages like Latin,Spanish and French have traditionally been the go-to choices for language learners, there's a new kid on the block that's quickly gaining recognition for its role in unlocking a world of STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) career opportunities: German! Ja, das ist richtig (Yes, that's right)!
So, why is German gaining so much traction in the STEM world? Well, grab your lederhosen and let's explore how this language can open doors to exciting career paths in a lighthearted way!
Germany, often referred to as the “Land of Ideas,” is renowned for its contributions to science and technology. German inventors and innovators have given us everything from the automobile to aspirin. By learning German, you're tapping into a treasure trove of knowledge and innovation. Plus, who wouldn't want to visit the birthplace of the bratwurst while pursuing a STEM career?
When it comes to engineering, Germany takes the cake (or should we say, the Black Forest cake). The country is famous for its precision engineering, and many global engineering giants like Volkswagen, Siemens, and Bosch call Germany home. Knowing German can give you a leg up in landing a dream job with these industry leaders.
Leading in Research
Germany is a research powerhouse, with numerous world-class universities and research institutions. If you're passionate about scientific discoveries, learning German can help you access cutting-edge research and even pursue higher education in Germany, often tuition-free!
German isn't just spoken in Germany; it's also widely used in Austria, Switzerland, and even parts of Italy and Belgium. With your newfound language skills, you'll be ready to collaborate with scientists and engineers from various German-speaking countries, broadening your professional network.
STEM Study Abroad
Imagine studying STEM subjects in the heart of Europe, surrounded by centuries-old architecture, picturesque landscapes, and yes, delicious sausages. Learning German can make this dream a reality, as many universities in German-speaking countries offer STEM programs in English.
Being bilingual is like having a secret superpower. Studies have shown that bilingual individuals tend to have improved cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, and even better career prospects. Learning German can give your STEM career a boost and make you a hot commodity in the job market.
In a nutshell, if you're contemplating a STEM career, learning German is a strategic move that can open doors to a world of opportunities. From engineering marvels to scientific breakthroughs and international collaborations, the German language is your ticket to success in the STEM universe. Plus, who can resist the allure of schnitzels, pretzels, and Oktoberfest?
Grab this free e-book for a taste of German Culture! This recipe book was complied and created by True North Homeschool Academy students in their German Culture studies class.
So, dust off your language books, fire up your favorite language learning app, and immerse yourself in the wunderbar world of STEM auf Deutsch (in German). Viel Erfolg (Good luck) on your STEM journey with a sprinkle of German flair! Prost!
Homeschooling is a journey filled with challenges and triumphs, and one of the greatest resources for both veteran homeschoolers and newcomers alike is the annual homeschool convention season in the United States. These events provide a great way for homeschool families to connect with the larger homeschool community, discover valuable resources, and find inspiration to enhance their homeschooling journey. In this blog post, we'll explore how attending a great homeschool convention, like the Great Homeschool Convention and its regional counterparts, can be a great place for homeschoolers to come together, learn, and grow from the best home education speakers!
The Great Homeschool Convention: A Beacon for Homeschoolers
The Great Homeschool Convention is one of the most prominent and highly anticipated events in the homeschooling calendar. Held in various locations across the United States, this convention serves as a great place for homeschoolers to gather and learn from experienced educators, speakers, and fellow homeschool families. What makes it truly great is its commitment to fostering a sense of community among attendees. While it's an in-person event rather than an online event, taking place at the convention center, it's a great opportunity for the following reasons:
Connecting with Veteran Homeschoolers
One of the greatest benefits of attending the Great Homeschool Convention is the opportunity to connect with veteran homeschoolers. These individuals have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, making the convention a great way for newcomers to gain valuable insights and advice. Whether you're just starting your homeschooling journey or you've been at it for years, there's always something new to learn and discover. From practical ideas to in-person conversation, this home educators convention is a great time to for the entire family.
Regional Conventions: Bringing the Greatness Closer to Home
In addition to the Great Homeschool Convention, many regional conventions are organized throughout the United States. These events offer a great way for homeschool families to connect with their local homeschool community. Regional conventions are often more accessible for families who can't travel long distances, providing a great place for networking and learning within your own region. Before you go, check out the list of workshops, list of speakers, hotel discounts, and vendors in the huge homeschool curriculum exhibit hall. That's the best way to plan your trip!
Curriculum Fair: Finding the Perfect Resources
One of the highlights of any homeschool convention is the curriculum fair. Here, you can explore a vast array of educational materials, from textbooks to online courses, hands-on science kits to art supplies. It's a great place to shop for your homeschooling needs and see firsthand what materials align with your educational goals. This is so helpful to new homeschoolers!
Addressing Special Needs in the Homeschool Community
Homeschool conventions also cater to the needs of families with special requirements. Many offer workshops and resources designed to support special needs homeschooling. Attending these sessions can be a great way to connect with other families facing similar challenges and to discover specialized resources and strategies. Make a list of important information you hope to gather from the event, and any special needs curriculum exhibitors who can offer practical help to homeschool parents of special needs students. You're sure to find info-packed workshops and maybe even make new friends!
Homeschool Events: More than Just Conventions
While the Great Homeschool Convention and regional conventions are the cornerstone of homeschool convention season, there are numerous other homeschool events throughout the year. These may include workshops, field trips, and local gatherings. Staying connected and involved in these events can be a great way to maintain a sense of community and support year-round.
Pack Your Bag and Get Ready for the Next Homeschool Convention
The homeschool convention season in the United States is a remarkable time for homeschool families to come together, learn, and grow. Whether you're seeking guidance from veteran homeschoolers, exploring curriculum options, or addressing special needs within your homeschooling journey, these events offer a great way to connect with the homeschool community. So, mark your calendar, prepare your questions, and get ready to be inspired at the next homeschool convention near you. It's a great place to be!
You may have already scoured the internet for help, asked all of your homeschool friends, joined all the Facebook groups, etc., but I hope to give you the confidence you need to get unstuck from research mode and start homeschooling high school.
Many people believe that, as parents, we lack the knowledge and skills to homeschool the high school years, but that may be holding you back.
If you're struggling with the confidence you need to do the thing, this is the place for you.
Ready to dive into a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into what it takes to homeschool high school? Let's do this thing.
Always Remember to Keep Things in Perspective
If you've been finding yourself overwhelmed at the thought of homeschooling high school, and consider yourself as less than the ideal person to do it…
Ask yourself, why do I think this way about my abilities to homeschool high school, and who benefits from my being stuck in that place of fear and overwhelm?
Let me assure you, it's not your kids that benefit. It's the educational system that counts on parents as outsiders to their children's education. It's that way by design.
So, of course, if you don't have a teaching degree, or maybe a degree of any kind, you're going to feel “less than” by comparison.
It doesn't need to be this way, and I'll share some stats with you to give you confidence.
And you just might find that with this confidence, most of the overwhelm in other areas take care of themselves.
My Quick Tips for Homeschool Teacher Mom Confidence
Let me start out by saying that, even with my background, I felt JUST LIKE YOU. I mean, c'mon! Who did I think I was homeschooling my kids? And high school? Forgetta' 'bout it! So, how did I pivot? How did I get the gumption to do it? Here's how:
I looked at my track record so far:
Honestly, making a to-done list regarding my own experience raising my children gave me a huge boost in confidence when deciding to homeschool high school.
Respect: We taught our children to respect us, one another, and people in general. We'd built a relationship with them.
Best Interests: I was their mom! Who else would have their very best interests at heart, both academically and spiritually? I'd managed walking, talking, and basic skills so far. I KNOW my kids like no one else.
Resources: This is not complicated (whew!). We had a computer, a library card, educational resources and so much more at our fingertips. One resource I didn't need? $4800 per student to educate my children. Not even close. As in, nowhere near close!
This simple combination of respect, best interests, and resources was a real eye-opener to me. It gave me the confidence to do just one thing. Try.
How is your mindset regarding what's truly needed to homeschool high school?
Don't be afraid to simplify what you really need to make the choice. Perfection doesn't exist anyway (at least not IRL homeschooling). Decide. Pivot when you need to.
Let go of the fear, put the work into your family, and trust God with the results.
Whatever works for you is what will work best for high school students. You've got this.
Some Advice from IRL Homeschool Moms Who Homeschool High School
I like to shake it up with info from all over the web. My friend, Pam Barnhill of Your Morning Basket has some critical advice for you. She says the fear of homeschooling high school is a heartbreaker for her. Listen here.
Never Let Those Who Have Never Homeschooled High School Be Your Guide
Your great-grandma means well when she says, “You don't have a degree! They'll never get into college. You'll ruin your life!”, but it's another thing that's holding you back.
Instead, look for experts like No That Hard to Homeschool for guidance.
When you're running out of steam working on getting your mind around homeschooling high school, this quote from Anne Campbell may spur you on:
“From the day you became a parent, you also became a teacher, and you are equipped to teach your child.”
Step 2: A Typical Course of Study | This goes hand-in-hand with the Personalized Learning Plan, and can help you fill in those blanks. Discover that here.
Step 3: List Your Resources | Pull out a piece of notebook paper and list all of the resources you currently have at your disposal. See how that can fit into Steps 1 and 2.
Because I know how important planning is, I put together this free until 10/31/23 (really free!) guide for you. Use it to build your confidence and create a high school experience for your students to be proud of.
Nurturing Mental Health: A Guide for Homeschooling Parents
In recent years, the well-being of our young learners has taken center stage as we witness a surge in mental health issues among students. Anxious children and young people, ranging from young children to college students, are grappling with a wide array of symptoms, from separation anxiety to panic attacks. As homeschooling parents, it's imperative that we recognize the signs of anxiety and equip ourselves with the tools to support our children effectively.
Understanding Anxiety and Its Types
The first step in helping anxious students is gaining a clear understanding of anxiety disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Psychological Association, anxiety disorders encompass a variety of conditions, including social anxiety disorders, panic disorder, and selective mutism. These conditions can manifest in physical symptoms such as racing hearts and negative thoughts, severely impacting a student's daily life and academic performance.
Recognizing the Red Flags
Anxiety levels can vary from child to child, but certain signs of anxiety are universal. Frequent meltdowns, disruptive behavior at home, and a reluctance to engage in social situations are all potential indicators of an anxious child.
Creating a Homeschooling Environment that Supports Mental Health
Creating a homeschooling environment that promotes mental well-being is critical. For younger students, visual schedules can provide a sense of security. Middle school and high school students may benefit from stress-relief techniques like deep breathing exercises.
The Power of Prayer in Homeschooling
As homeschooling parents, many of us turn to our faith and spirituality for guidance and support. Integrating prayer into our homeschooling routine can be a powerful way to address anxious feelings and promote mental well-being. Praying with our children before starting the day or during stressful situations can provide a sense of calm and reassurance.
Involving Family Members and Building a Support Network
In the quest to help our homeschooled children, collaboration with family members and fellow homeschooling parents is essential. Keeping lines of communication open ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to providing support.
Professional Support for Homeschooling Parents
While we may not have school counselors readily available, it's important to seek professional help when needed. Mental health professionals can offer guidance and therapeutic techniques to help both parents and children cope with anxiety effectively.
The Good News: Progress is Possible
The good news is that with the right support, anxious children can learn to manage their anxiety effectively, even within the homeschooling environment. By incorporating prayer, maintaining open communication, and seeking professional support when necessary, we can make a positive impact on the lives of our homeschooled children. Together, we can create a homeschooling environment where children thrive academically and emotionally, while also nurturing their spiritual well-being.
A Well-Rounded Education
In conclusion, the mental health of our homeschooled children should be one of the most important things we focus on in our homeschooling journey. By recognizing the signs of anxiety, incorporating prayer as a source of comfort, and building a strong support network, we can provide our children with a well-rounded education that nurtures their minds, hearts, and spirits.
Lisa Nehring and her husband, Dr. David Nehring, a Clinical Psychologist, and Biblical Scholar speak together on a wide variety of topics, including education, classical education, vision, mission, parenting, marriage, and more.
True North Homeschool Academy recognizes the unique God-given abilities and differences in children and offers live, online classes to accommodate a variety of learning styles. Online schooling is an excellent option for students who struggle with anxiety. Book a consultation today, and let's see how we can help you.