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Typical Course of Study: High School

Typical Course of Study: High School

As the world of Homeschooling has expanded and options have increased and become more focused, it’s a great time to be homeschooling.

Frankly, the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! As the world of homeschooling has expanded and the unknowns of the next school year loom, parents of high schoolers are wondering how to plan for what’s ahead. A basic understanding of a typical course of study can be a simple and helpful guide to planning the future, even when that future seems uncertain!

Focus on the Core 4 in High School

You should focus on the Core 4 high school subjects and then add electives and extra-curricular ones.
Some of this will depend on what type of transcript you are creating and where your students plan to land after high school. Vocational programs, college or university, ivy league or conservatory, or the Military all warrant focusing on different aspects of your student’s learning program.

I will link to classes we offer here at True North Homeschool Academy since we try to create classes with a typical course of study plan for each age group. Still, you should choose the curriculum or classes that work best for your family. It’s always awesome if you decide that means our online classes, but we want this blog article to help you make an amazing transcript for your high schooler, even if TNHA classes don’t fit your plan.

Typical Course of Study: High School

Let’s start by looking at high school as a four-year program. This will give us a long-view approach and help us determine what classes make sense within our subject areas. I’ll list each subject and then a common 4-year course of study. You are going to want to focus on the Core Four and go from there:

English– 9th-grade Literature & Composition, World Lit & Comp, U.S. Lit & Composition, British Lit, and Composition

(English can also include spelling, vocabulary, short story, novel writing, Speech and Rhetoric, Poetry,  etc.).

Math – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Personal Finance

SciencePhysical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology or other advanced Science

History World Geography, World History, U.S. History, Government & Economics

(History can also include other areas or times of History like Ancient History)

Once you plan these, filling in with electives and extracurricular activities will be much easier.

 

Typical Course of Study: High School – Electives and Extra-curriculars

Foreign Language– this can be any Ancient or Modern Language. Keep in mind that Latin is a fantastic foundation for grammar and learning how to learn a Foreign Language, and Critical Languages are a great way to earn Scholarship Dollars; French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin

Physical Education – ½ credit each year. Check out our amazing Dance at the Movies for a fun credit of P.E!

Music – a general overview of music, including Music Theory, Voice, Songwriting, or instrument lessons- also counts. Check out our Music at the Movies for a fascinating look at the power of music in culture!

Art/Humanities – a general understanding of Form and Color, Photography, Photoshop, etc.

Bible/Apologetics Studies – should include a general overview of the Old and New Testament, Church History, and Apologetics. Every educated person was expected to have a general understanding of the Bible and could easily reference books and passages. Take time to read and discuss the Bible together and memorize Scripture. Awanas and the Bible Bee are excellent programs to commit the Bible to memory.

Basic Computer Information Systems – Powerpoint, Video Editing, Internet Safety, and Accountability.

Health – should include general health information, introduction to addictions, cybersecurity and addictions, ages and stages, and reproductive health.

Vocational & Career Interests, including Entrepreneurship – in today’s quickly changing market and the gig economy they will inevitably be a part of, your students need to explore Vocational and Career Options as Life Skills and Personal Finance.

Typical Course of Study electives can vary and be wildly diverse. Think about students’ areas of interest and what’s available to them. Many students delve deeply into a subject area that piques their interest, like art, drama, music, electronics, etc. And don’t forget to provide a robust reading list for your high school students, including short stories, novels, plays, and poems.

High School is also a time to explore new areas of interest so take some time to seek out and expose your student to activities and unique experiences.

Include Community Service in Your Homeschool

A typical course of study for your high school should also include Community Service– I would recommend 15 hours a year or more. It’s tricky with Covid, but you can always write letters to service men and women and collect coats or food for the local coat drive or food pantry. You might have to get creative, but high schoolers typically are creative.

Please teach your students about internet safety and how to protect themselves from addictions, pornography, and perpetrators. Teach them how to manage social media and how to be accountable. Getting snared in addiction at a young age can have devastating implications for them. I highly recommend Glow Kids for every parent and young adult.

Testing Options and More

ACT Test Prep can save you thousands of dollars in Scholarship earned, National Latin Exam looks great on a transcript, and our Performance Series test is a straightforward way to assess where your student is at and helps them gain confidence with standardized tests.

Want to know more about credits, transcripts, and standardized tests to ensure your high school student is getting a typical course of study? Survive Homeschooling High School is a comprehensive eBook that will walk you through how to plan and prepare for high school. Suppose you have a good handle on your high school plan but want help with the logistics of a transcript or assigning credits. In that case, you may want to check out our Academic Advising- we offer Academic Advising, SPED Advising for nontraditional learners, and NCAA Advising for those looking to compete for an NCAA position.

It’s a great time to homeschool, and the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! Check out our live online dynamic, interactive classes taught within an international community by world-class teachers! Students interact and work together- we believe excellent education occurs within a community!

Money Saving Bundles

And, in case you didn’t know, we offer Bundles for terrific savings.

We hope you have found our quick guide to a typical course of study for high school helpful. We invite you to join our Facebook group to let us know and to chat with other homeschool parents about credits, transcripts, curriculum, and everything homeschool.

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College, Homeschool Mom Anxiety & post-2020 Future

College, Homeschool Mom Anxiety & post-2020 Future

I understand homeschool mom anxiety. I am a teacher and a homeschool mom who has struggled with the college question. And, I get this question ALL the time;  “Can my homeschooled kid get into college?”

It is usually accompanied by explaining how the homeschool parent has made unconventional decisions about their kids’ education (check, you homeschool). What I hear through all of the details is Homeschool Mom Anxiety:

Did I do enough? 

Did I focus on suitable material, subject or lesson? 

Can my kid compete? 

Can my kids hold their own once they start interacting with a group of peers? 

Let me assure you, your kid CAN get into college. 

While Homeschool Mom Anxiety can be Intense, Let’s Look at the Facts.

  • Homeschool standardized test scores are generally higher than public school test scores overall.
  • Homeschooled students score about 72 points higher than the National Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) average. 
  • The average American College Test (ACT) score is 21. The average score for homeschoolers is 22.8 out of a possible 36 points. 
  • Homeschoolers are at the 77th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

Homeschoolers have also consistently won.

  • Scripps Spelling Bee 
  • Apangea Math Contest
  • 3M Young Scientist Challenge
  • National Geographic Bee  
  • USA Mathematical Olympiad 

So, yes, homeschooled students can get into college, compete well and succeed in traditional performance-based environments and competitions. 

Homeschooled students go to college, university, Ivy League schools, Conservatories, Military Academies, and everywhere else public school kids go.

Speaking of colleges and homeschool mom anxiety, what are the expectations of college admissions boards?

Test Scores, Transcripts, Community Service, Extracurriculars, the Students Stand-Out Factor, essays, and references. They’ll look at the package they ask the student to submit, and then they’ll accept or deny your student entrance to their school. 

Post-Covid

Post-Covid, the path to college acceptance is shorter than ever before. My youngest daughter got accepted into a private college with a hefty discount based on the application and a homeschool transcript. That’s it. No test scores, references, or other supporting documentation is necessary. 

In my experience, parents have been asking the wrong questions, particularly since 2020.  

The more relevant TWO QUESTIONS  homeschooling families need to be asking are

  • How will my kid pay for college?
  • Is college essential?

The Rising Costs of College

If you’ve been following college costs for the past couple of years, you realize that they have skyrocketed. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the average price of tuition and fees came to:

  • $38,070 at private colleges
  • $10,740 at public colleges (in-state residents), not including room, board, and expenses
  • $27,560 at public colleges (out-of-state residents)

With additional fees for room and board, which average to:

  • $13,620 at private colleges
  • $11,950 at public colleges

You read that right.

It costs between $22,000 to $51,000 PER YEAR to attend college. 

Since most kids don’t generally have $100- $200,000 laying around, and the expected rate of parent contribution is often ridiculous, student loans are often the go-to. 

You’ve heard me say it before, the average college student graduates in six years, not four, with an average of $37,000 in debt. 

But approximately 40% of students who start college drop out, and many have already incurred debt. Debt cannot be bankrupted; it increases exponentially if the payer takes a forbearance or deferment. Debt can financially cripple a young adult for life. 

Holy Buckets, Batman! That’s a lot of responsibility for most young adults, many of whom have never made a significant purchase before college. 

Is College the Next Best Step?

For those who believe college is the best next step, I would encourage parents to help their young adults run a cost/ benefit analysis. Talk to someone in the working world who is in their potential career field and consider pay/ benefits and vocational costs in terms of time and money. What will be the actual ROI (Return on Investment) of their college degree? 

Dave Ramsy says it so much better than I do in Borrowed Future, an excellent documentary on the crazy debt that begins incurred the lack of intense scrutiny that parents and young adults should be bringing to bear on college costs and degree ROI. 

And it’s not that there are no scholarships and opportunities that will bring college costs down. Still, since 2020, even scholarships have gotten thin, as people’s regular giving and contribution habits have changed. 

College costs are not limited to financial debt but can have long-lasting effects on a student’s worldview, politics, faith, and so much more. While college classes might not instigate change for students, extracurricular activities are. And with college students spending less than 3 hours a day on academics and more than ever before on “Student Life” that guides students towards socialism and secularism, it’s time to rethink college in the traditional sense.

Anti-Education I am Not

Look, besides having five kids, my husband and I have five graduate degrees between us; we are hardly education averse. We both love to learn and have raised five inquisitive auto-didacts. But times, they are a-changing, and it’s time to get innovative and creative about education, degrees, and vocational training. 

And who better to do that than homeschooling families? We’re so used to thinking outside the box that this should be second nature for us.

Is College Necessary?

In the past, having a degree paid dividends for the student. You can bank on the financial benefits of having a degree, and the more advanced a degree one holds; generally, the higher salary one makes. But most of the articles and charts that this information is based on don’t consider the financial debt and burden of student loans. 

In the past, getting a degree was about so much more than just earning a piece of paper. It was the traditional pathway to adulthood for many of us, and we launched our career success as adults. Many of us met lifelong friends, not to mention our spouses in college, discovered artistic and intellectual areas of interest and passion, and, just as importantly,  we learned how to learn. 

Without college, how will our young adults find friends suitable mates and hone their intellectual pursuits and abilities? I talk to Moms from all over the country every week, and I can assure you I’m not alone in my query. 

It’s Time to Develop the Art of Non-conformity

As if we haven’t done so already, being homeschoolers and all. Look, the world has changed and continues to change. You’ve heard me talk about this 4th Industrial Revolution that we’re in, right? And with every revolution, careers and industries die, and extraordinary opportunities and fortunes are to be made. But, it’s also a time of upheaval, so old ways and paths just might not work or be worth the price to be paid. 

Ease Your Homeschool Mom Anxiety and Re-negotiate What College Looks Like

College is a worthy pursuit, but there is no reason to do it all on campus. Dual Enrollment, CLEP, and Community College classes can get your kids ahead for pennies on the dollar. And while  DE is limited to pre-high school graduation, CLEP exams can be done even while students attend college classes. Also, parents, it’s never too late to talk to your kids about finishing college in 4 years or less. The longer they are in college, the higher the cost or debt. So, finishing sooner than later saves them time and money. 

Everybody needs Entrepreneurship

In my reading and studying on the future of work and education, one topic that comes up repeatedly is Entrepreneurship. It’s so crucial that some colleges require students to take Entrepreneurship as part of their required program credits. And Peter Thiel, former PayPal CEO who created the Thiel Fellowship, is so committed to Entrepreneurship that he offers 24 students two years and $100,000 to get things done. 

Former Homeschooler and pageant winner Samantha Shank created materials for educators, has a successful TpT store, and is currently graduating with an M.S. in Education debt-free. She wants to purchase her first home, financed by her TpT store and website. 

Entrepreneurship Tools

With online tools, entrepreneurship is easier than ever to jump into. Of course, time-honored ways of making money still exist, like clearing houses (my sister and I cleaned houses all through high school, making $30-$50 way back in the day), lawn service, and babysitting. But, there are so many new ways to earn a buck now, too- like selling on Teacher’s Pay Teachers.

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And while certain degrees and fields might require higher education, like the medical and legal profession, even those fields are changing with innovative AI and robotic development. What’s needed for licensure or certification now, but be different in the field in 5-10 years. 

Develop Marketable Skills  

While not everyone’s cut out to be an entrepreneur, making room in your junior and senior high school schedule to develop marketable skills just makes good sense. At the very least, your kids are creating a robust transcript, and they might even be discovering a lifelong passion, vocational path, or lucrative side- hustle that pays their way through college, as Samantha Shank discovered. 

Homeschool Mom Anxiety

While we live through a time of shifting and upheaval, we don’t need to worry about our kids getting into college.  The relevant questions, particularly post 2020, are:

  • How will they pay for it 
  • Is it worth it given what they will pursue vocationally

Entrepreneurship and Marketable Skills Training are two sure-fire ways to set your kids on the path to Future Success! 

If you are looking for skills training for your tween or teen, particularly in marketable skills that are applicable now, check out our wide variety of classes that allow kids to make money now: Entrepreneurship, Video Editing, Photoshop, Computer Science, Computer Illustrator, Graphic Design and more!

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking College

Re-thinking college is something all of us with college-aged kids should be doing! With sky-rocketing debt associated with a degree and a mushy job market, the exponentially rising costs of college, it might not be the best way to launch our young adults. But, where does that leave us? As I’ve said before, we are in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and with any revolution, there are high costs and great opportunities if you know where to look. This article will explore ways to hack college and look at viable options to do alongside or instead of college!

What are the Colleges Teaching?

I was talking to a relative this weekend. Both of his kids went to the top-rated public business school in America. They both said they learned little past what they taught in high school, now believe that socialism is better than capitalism, and have embraced a pro-choice stance. For the time and money involved, their conservative, Christian, pro-life parents are disappointed with the values, education, and return on their college investment.

The College Experience

From where I sit, I believe that the college “experience” – both educational and social- is mostly a thing of the past. Colleges and Universities are merely bastions of social reform, and the “Academy” is no longer interested in education, which includes skill-building, synergy, stewarding Christian Culture, and the Great Conversation. College might still be necessary for specific careers or fields, but it’s no longer mandatory for vocational success or a rite of passage required for upward mobility.  For many of us, college still seems like a reasonable goal. As homeschoolers, college acceptance validates the time and effort we’ve invested in our kids. As our kids launch, it’s a logical “next step” and an excellent, negotiable middle ground between childhood and adulthood.

Is the ROI of College worth it?

This experience leads us to some hard questioning if we are committed to launching our kids well. Is the traditional “4-year” college route, with debt, a smart way to go? As parents, how do we proceed in:

  • guiding and directing our young adults in a way that will position them well
  • launch them with  as little debt as possible
  • give them ever increasing responsibility and autonomy
  • utilize their talents

I believe that going through college – if your student needs that documentation for entering into a Big 10 Company, graduate school, etc., should be done as efficiently as possible. In other words, get college credits quickly and as inexpensively as you know how to do it. Work towards a degree program with clarity and focus. (For a fascinating look at most colleges’ pre-pandemic state of messy affairs, check out the book College Unbound).

College GEN ED’s 

For kids who are still preparing to graduate from a college or university, I would get General Education courses out of the way before hitting the college trail- either through Dual Enrollment or CLEP, or a combination of both.

30 Credits would be equivalent to 1 yr of College and remember that most college courses count for 3 credits:

6 Credits of English

  • Composition I*
  • Composition II/*

3-6 Credits of Math

  • College Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Accounting I or II

3- 9 Credits of Science

  • Environmental Science
  • Biology *
  • Chemistry*

3-6 Credits of Social Sciences

  • Psychology *
  • Sociology
  • Government*
  • Econ*
  • History

3-6 Credits of “Diversity” 

  • Religion
  • World Religion**

At True North Homeschool Academy, we are so committed to helping families re-think college that we offer many test prep courses. We also have a new Dual Enrollment program. Combining DE with CLEPs can save your student even more time and money- getting them on the road to independence sooner.

CLEP for College Credit

Not sure if the college or university of your choice (or should I say, within your financial reach) takes CLEPs? Some schools have it posted on their website. If you talk to admissions, but you can’t find it in print anywhere, it’s not binding, so check the website and catalog or ask the Admissions Counselor to write it on school letterhead, with a signature. Furthermore, you can always earn an Associate’s Degree from one of the “Big Three”- Thomas Edison, Excelsior, or Charter Oaks and transfer your Associate’s Degree from one of these accredited colleges. Because it’s an Accredited Degree, your credits and classes will transfer, and you can jump into upperclassman status, finish faster and not spend quite as much money.

The Importance of Learning Entrepreneurship

II encourage every young person I know to learn how to navigate the online world with at least some understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Developing an online business is even better, offering an online educational program, better still. Alternative Ed is booming and will continue to do so. Online education was a $1 billion business in 2010, was expected to be a 2.1 billion dollar business in 2020 (pre-pandemic estimates), and is now projected to be a $357-$435B business by 2023-2025. Learning to sell online can position any young person well, and you certainly don’t need a degree to learn online sales and marketing.

For those still eager to attend college, I would suggest creating an ANI or other Compare/Contrast chart to evaluate your ROI for the projected schools, degrees, and job prospects. If students have been working and saving for college but aren’t’ getting scholarship dollars that will allow them to graduate without extreme debt, other types of investments might be more prudent in both the short and long term.

What is the Return on Investment for College?

College ROI should be evaluated from both a monetary, lifestyle, and values point of view. Sending kids to college who aren’t clear about what they’ll be studying, or their vocational plans ultimately lead to more debt as they change majors or leave school. Further, with no clear job prospects or way to pay back the debt. The majority of college graduates (those who do graduate, and the 50% or so who don’t), leave college with an average of $37,000 in debt. They often graduate in six years instead of four.

Strategize Higher Education Investment

Once you’ve determined if higher education is worth the investment, determine a strategy. There are some exciting scholarship opportunities available. Scholarships like the Military (leadership and vocational training, along with a regular paycheck), Critical Languages, or Community Services Scholarships. Sports and NCAA opportunities provide excellent opportunities but often take years of lead-up time, parental time and money, and political astuteness. Particularly as we now navigate transgender athletes.

Develop You Students Stand Out Factor

Being intentional about helping your kids develop their sense of “otherliness” in unique and stand-out ways

It’s a whole new world to navigate for young adults, and it’s worth spending time thinking through alternatives to a traditional college experience. Like True North’s Orienteering course, a Vocational Exploration course can save thousands of dollars literally and get kids started on a vocational path while still in High School. Practical courses that will prepare our students for the Future of Work, including the increasing “Gig” Economy, are also prudent.

Career Exploration can save you TIME and MONEY

Not sure where to start? The Orienteering Course will help students explore their strengths and skillsets, look at various educational and vocational options and develop a plan. Courses that teach marketable, real-world skills, many of which we offer at True North Homeschool Academy, like:

These courses give students real-world, marketable skills. It’s not too early to begin researching college costs, talking with your students about the lifestyle they hope to live, and strategizing the best ways to make that happen.

Typical Course of Study

Don’t overlook the importance of a solid Jr and Sr High school Academic Program, complete with rubrics, gamification (courses will use it more widely over time), and grading. Your young adults will live and work in a world where being able to think and adapt quickly and collaboratively. A solid academic program lays an excellent foundation for that time of critical thinking. Not sure where to start in developing a program? Our Academic Advising programs are designed to work with and for your family.

Lastly, for students bent on a particular job that might entail college, check out our Young Professionals Series for practical, hands-on advice and actionable steps to develop your student’s professionalism while still in high school.

Take a listen to our ReThinking College podcast!

Our Academic Advising program, designed to help you create an actionable plan, will save you time, money, and frustration now and as you launch your young adult! SPED Advising is also available! 

Tips for Teens: De-Stress Test Taking

Tips for Teens: De-Stress Test Taking

Standardized Tests & Teens

If homeschoolers have a hot topic, it is probably standardized testing. Many homeschoolers avoid standardized testing, and since Covid, mandatory state testing has taken a back seat in many states, with requirements becoming lax and even non-existent. 

This is in part because in the last few decades, standardized testing has taken a front and center seat in the educational world. Some states require testing at certain grades for data, funding, and even graduation.

Nationally, students are encouraged to take the SATs or ACTs based on their goals post-graduation. No matter your student’s age or how great a test taker they may be, standardized test stress is real.

De-stress the Test

Here are a few tips and ways to help get through standardized test stress. 

  1. Scores do not equal worth: Remind your child that a score does not determine their worth. Their inability to do geometric equations does not take away from the fact that they may be an incredible musician. They also do not determine your skill as a homeschool parent. Just because you are not teaching to the test, does not mean you or your child are inept or incapable. Test scores are data points, not worth scores. 
  2. Process of elimination: these standardized tests are just that, which means they are almost 100% multiple choice. The best thing you can help your student learn how to do is to eliminate the obviously wrong answers. Each eliminated “no”, raises their chance of choosing the correct answer. Even a 1:3 chance is always going to be better than 1:4. 
  3. Do what you know first: these tests are usually taken in booklets, and students complete them one section at a time, and are timed. For a math section, for example, it is better score-wise for your student to go through the section and complete the questions they can answer easily/quickly, and then go back and do the harder ones. Skipped questions aren’t penalized, but incorrect answers are. In each reading section, after reading the short story, answer the easy questions first. 
  4. Use the scrap paper: students are often provided unlimited scrap paper to do math problems, outline writings, etc. Many students avoid using it because they are afraid it makes them look “dumb,” because they can’t just do the work in their heads. For many, this can be detrimental. Encourage your child to use scrap paper and to ask for it if not provided.
  5. Be Prepared: for most students, testing is arduous. Brick-and-mortar schools often do testing weeks and spend nearly full days, for 2 weeks, fulfilling the standardized tests. Sleep, hydration, and filling foods can help keep your student’s constitution going through the task. The ACT, in particular, is designed as an endurance test. These tests have about four hours of information crammed into three hours.

Have a Test-Taking Strategy

Prepare your child and understand the strategy for each test. For example, is the student penalized for leaving answers blank or for attempting to answer, even if the answer is wrong? This type of information enables students to do well on that exam.

Less Pressure for All

Additional things to remember that may help lessen your stress as well as your student’s:

  • Many school districts rely on testing to also help determine their state or federal funding each year.
  • Schools use test results to determine how many classes they may need to provide extra support for those who scored “below basic” in areas like reading and math. 
  • These benchmarks are volatile. “Standards” change regularly. The standard for a third grader in PA may be very different for a third grader in Wyoming. Both may change many times between now and 2030. Neither is wrong or bad, but they are different.
  • Low or average SAT or ACT scores do not automatically mean your child won’t be able to get into a post-high school program. More and more institutions are seeing that these scores are not an end-all-be-all and are looking more at the actual transcripts and experience students are coming in with. This includes trade schools.

Tests Scores & Scholarships

While lower test scores won’t keep your kids from attending an institution of higher education – higher test scores can result in more scholarship dollars. Given the rising cost of post-secondary education, 1 point on the ACT/ SAT  can be the difference between no scholarship money, $10,000 or even a full year in tuition dollars! 

Resources from True North Can Help

Did you know that True North offers Performance Testing, published by Scantron? This is a valid and reliable test that meets all state testing requirements. Unlike other standardized tests, the Performance Series test can give you great insight as a parent of your student’s capabilities, with specific course objectives based on test results.

Other standardized tests have a range of questions from “lower levels” to a level or two “above” the standard. The Performance Series Test is intuitive. You are offering your child the chance to answer increasingly difficult or easier questions. This gives you a more accurate idea of where your child may be academically. 

Get More Information

Have more questions? Aren’t quite sure where to start? Check out our Advising services and get more information on our Performance Series Testing at the Advising & Testing page. True North also offers test prep classes periodically, so check back with us about those.


Anna Knaub

Anna is an experienced educator and True North Homeschool Academy teacher. She teaches elementary history classes and high school literature courses. Anna is also active in facilitating homeschool clubs including clubs that focus on life skills such as event planning.

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler

Advanced Placement for the Homeschooler. Is this even a thing? Launching our homeschooled students can feel trickier than ever before. We have college costs and world view to contend with.

Many homeschooling parents are looking for the least expensive, most time effective way of getting their kids through college, with a degree, vocational training and minimal debt. And for those purposes, you may want to consider Advanced Placement classes (known as “AP”) as part of your overall strategy of launch success.

In this article, True North Homeschool Academy teacher, Dr. Jim Stobaugh , a well-known college admission coach and author, answers some common questions about the AP Tests.

Q: What is the difference between AP and other college credit options?
A: AP is preferred by most colleges because it is created and closely monitored by universities. Dual enrollment & especially CLEP are a hit and a miss–universities prefer certainty.

Q: What is the minimum score necessary to equal credit at college?
A: Normally a score of 3 although William & Marry, for example, allows a score of 2. Parents should phone the admission departments at colleges.

Q: How many hours is an AP course worth and how many hours can I take to college?
A: 3-6 hours per course depending upon the consenting college. Most college allow 18-28 hours. Vanderbilt, for instance, will transfer in 18 hours but only if the score is 4-5.

Q: When should my student take an AP course.
A: When he/she is ready! Normally 11th or 12th grade, but in some cases 10th grade. Speak to Dr. Stobaugh about this.

Q: How much time will my student have to spend completing AP work?
A: Normally 1 hour per day (5 hours/week).

 
Parents must find a cooperating high school. Students will have an option to take the exam onsite or at home digitally.
 

Here is a list of high schools that administer AP exams:

 
AP EXAM SITES

What is an AP Scholar Award?

 
 
What is an AP Capstone Diploma Award?
 
 
Advanced Placement tests can be an important and integral part of your college process and plan, setting you up for college success, scholarship money and unique opportunities.
 

Advanced Placement Classes from True North Homeschool Academy

 
We are currently offering 3 Advanced Placement tests through True North Homeschool Academy:
 
 
Earn college credit while still in High School!
 
Buy an AP Bundle for greater savings!

About Dr. Stobaugh

Dr. Stobaugh has had more than 25 books published including the SAT and College Preparation Course for the Thoughtful Christian (2016), and The ACT and College Preparation Course for the Christian Student (2012), as well as a critical thinking literary writing and history series.

He is the pastor of Mt. Laurel United Church of Christ, Boswell, PA, an evangelical Protestant church not too far from the Flight 93 crash. Jim and Karen reside on a farm called The Shepherd’s Glen in the Laurel Highland Mountains, Hollsopple, PA. You can read his blog and order his services at www.forsuchatimeasthis.com.

Stand Out!

Stand Out!

Stand Out: How to Maximize your High School Years

Each year there are roughly 15.4 million high school students in America, with 25% of those students from 24,000 high schools. Each of those high schools has a “Best;” the best football player, scholar, performer, linguist, etc. Competition is stiff for both college and university scholarships.

Furthermore, the number of honor students in India is greater than the number of total students in America, and with today’s global market, future college-goers are competing with scholarship dollars and opportunities internationally. Standing out from the crowd will garner your student scholarship money and opportunities that being one of the many will not.

Group of people working in charitable foundation. Happy volunteer looking at donation box on a sunny day. Happy volunteer separating donations stuffs. Volunteers sort donations during food drive

What is a Stand-Out Factor?

A Stand out factor can be many different things but they are most likely to include:

  •       Initiative –student initiated, led and directed
  •       Passion – student has personal investment
  •       Individuality –has to do specifically with the students core values
  •       Strategy –student has strategized to achieve

I would also recommend that a Stand-Out Factor include:

  •       Positive impact on others
  •       Uniqueness
  •       Broad Reach & Big Win

With technology so readily available, it’s almost easier to develop your stand-out factor than ever before. Young creative entrepreneurs can self-publish novels, music, videos, and movies. But, publishing doesn’t automatically make something Stand-out. How can you tell if you have developed your stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

What’s a stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

Listen to the podcast!

Lisa Nehring, Director, True North Homeschool Academy

Stand Out Students

Below I’ve listed some of the ideas students that I’ve worked with have actually done to develop their own ability to stand out:

  • Write, perform and publish a quality play, book, music or film
  • Develop art skills like throwing drawing and painting, pottery, creating stained glass windows/ lamps, blacksmithing, etc and enter art contests
  • Hike a trail for a cause or a challenge 
  •  Raise money to travel abroad and serve on a mission            
  • Breed and trademark a type of fruit or flower
  • Breed and sell a pet- iguana, dogs, miniature cows
  • Win money as a prize bowler, archer, skier, etc.          
  • Start a business, track your earnings and impact
  • Help run a state or national political campaign, work as a legislative Paige,
  • Study and Perform Shakespeare
  • Learn multiple languages, particularly Critical Languages
  • Travel internationally; create guidebook or blog about travels, do international community service or charity work
  • Do hundreds of hours of Community Service 
  • Build a functioning web-site
  • Build something impressive- like a Robot, Drone or Plane, or replicate all of the Enterprises’ ships as models 
  • Earn a license or Certification– pilot’s, drone, PADI
  • Learn tech- 3-D Printing, Robotics, Photoshop, Photography and it’s many digital uses!
  • Earn Awards such as the  National Latin Exam, German National Exam 
  • Participate in and win National Competitions- Geography, History, Bible, Poetry
  • Participate in CAP or Jr ROTC
  • Turn your interest in performing into becoming a juggler or clown
  • Turn your interests into an opportunity to impart your knowledge to others and teach a skills you’ve learned in person, or online
two female soccer players on the field

Use What You Have

Identify and develop areas where your students show interest or talents and skills they are already using. You might also consider areas that you, as the parent, can coach or develop in your student. If you have a passion or hobby and your student shows interest, I would venture to say that that is an area that would be perfect to develop into a stand-out factor. 

Outsource When Needed

On the other hand, each of our kids shows talents and abilities that we might know nothing about. In which case I would encourage you to research and find resources that can develop your student’s interest beyond your knowledge.  Resourcing your student doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are so many great online tutorials now. Literally, the world is at your fingertips with the tap of your fingers. At the same time, don’t overlook local resources. My older kids took horseback riding lessons from a National Barrel racer in return for mucking out stalls. 

Developing your student’s stand-out factor might garner those students scholarship dollars and opportunities; it might lead to jobs or even a career. At the very least, it will develop your student’s overall sense of ability and accomplishment, as well as soft skills, such as work ethic, communication skills, creativity, and critical thinking.

High School is the perfect time to develop your student’s stand-out factor, through clubs, projects, and course work that helps them understand themselves and opportunities more robustly, such as our Orienteering Course. 

If you need help identifying or knowing how to further develop your student’s stand-out factor, we’d love to help! Check out our Academic Advising program and Parent Membership programs!

Athletic Young man swimming the back crawl in a pool. Swimming competition.