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Guiding Your Homeschooled Student Toward a Career as a First Responder

Guiding Your Homeschool Student Toward a Career as a First Responder | Blog Post, True North Homeschool Academy

As a homeschooling parent, you have the unique opportunity to guide your child toward a fulfilling and rewarding career as a first responder. First responders, including paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), play a vital role in our communities, providing assistance in times of crisis. If your child has a strong desire to serve their community, ensure public safety, and make a meaningful impact on people's lives, here is a quick guide to help them prepare for a career as a first responder.

Understanding the Role of First Responder

Before embarking on this journey, it's essential for your student to have a clear understanding of what it means to be a first responder. Explain the roles and responsibilities of paramedics, firefighters, police officers, and EMTs. Share stories and examples to help them comprehend the challenges and rewards of these careers.

Develop a Strong Educational Foundation

Education is the first step on the path to becoming a first responder. Ensure your student has a solid foundation in math, science, and communication. Encourage them to excel academically, as strong analytical and communication skills are vital in emergencies.

Choose the Right Curriculum

Homeschooling allows you to tailor your child's education to their interests and career goals. When creating a curriculum, consider including courses related to healthcare, emergency management, or criminal justice. These subjects can provide valuable insights into the world of first responders.

CPR and Basic First Aid Training

At an early age, introduce your student to basic first aid and CPR training. These skills are fundamental for anyone pursuing a career in first response. You can find online courses, and local workshops, or even consider becoming a certified instructor yourself.

Encourage Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is a critical aspect of being a first responder. Encourage your child to stay active and participate in activities that build strength, endurance, and flexibility. Regular exercise will help prepare them for the physical demands of the job.

Volunteer and Gain Experience

First responders often start as volunteers or interns to gain valuable experience. Encourage your student to explore local opportunities such as volunteering with a fire department, shadowing an EMT, or participating in community events related to public safety.

Pursue Relevant Certifications

Depending on the specific first responder career your child is interested in, they may need to obtain relevant certifications. Paramedics, for example, need to complete EMT training and gain experience before advancing to paramedic certification. Keep track of these requirements and assist your student in meeting them.

Foster Leadership and Teamwork

First responders must work well in teams and exhibit leadership skills when needed. Encourage your student to participate in group activities, clubs, or sports that foster teamwork and leadership abilities.

Stay Informed and Updated

The world of first response is constantly evolving. Encourage your students to stay informed about industry developments, new technologies, and changing protocols. This can be done through reading, attending seminars, or joining online forums related to first-response careers.

Provide Emotional Support for a Budding First Responder

Working as a first responder can be emotionally challenging. Offer emotional support and guidance to help your student cope with the demands of the job. Encourage open communication and provide resources for dealing with stress and trauma.

Next Steps

Guiding your homeschooled student toward a career as a first responder is a noble endeavor. With a strong educational foundation, relevant training, practical experience, and your unwavering support, your child can develop the skills and attributes necessary to make a meaningful impact on their community. Ultimately, the decision to become a first responder should reflect their dedication to public service and their passion for helping others during times of crisis.

Grab our Young Professionals Series Ebooks

How Do I Determine High School Credits?

Credits, Transcripts, and Tests – OH MY!

High school credits? Ugh! That's an instant homeschool parent stressor. Whether you’re a homeschooling veteran or just getting started, understanding how high school credits work for a homeschool transcript can be a daunting, but necessary task. This is especially true for those who are preparing to apply to higher education, as universities look closely at transcripts to assess a student’s academic achievements. Knowing this, it’s important to be aware of how credit accumulation is determined in a homeschool setting.

By the end, you’ll understand how to correctly award credits, so you can take the steps necessary to create an effective transcript that accurately reflects your student’s academic achievements.

By Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Acadamy and It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool

Credits, Transcripts and Tests – Stepping Stones to the Future

Start with the End in Mind: Exposure- Interest- Strategy

What kind of LIFE does your student want to live?

The Transcript is the STORY of your student's High School Career

You want to include:

  • Academic Classes
  • Extra-Curricular
  • Community Service
  • Physical Education
  • The ARTS
  • Work
  • Clubs
  • Camps
  • Team Activities
  • Awards
  • Leadership Opportunities

What is a credit?

Credit- Carnegie Unit – 120-180

Hours of Work

  • 1 Credit- 120 hours
  • ½ Credit -60 hours
  • ¼ Credit- 30 hours
  • 2 Credits -240 hours

How to accrue a credit? 

  • Class time
  • Reading
  • Tests & Exams
  • Projects
  • Papers
  • Presentations
  • Competitions
  • Practice


Create a VISION for your family

Develop a Liturgical Life and focus on faith formation.  Create time and intention

Academic Transcript

(21 Credits)

4 English

3 Math

2 Science

4 Social Studies

(history, geography,


8 electives including PE, health,

BCIS, Art, Music

College Prep Transcript

(23 Credits)

4 English

3 Math

3 Science

4 Social Studies (history,

geography, gov/econ)

2 Foreign Language

7 electives including PE,

health, BCIS, Art, Music

Honors Transcript

(26 Credits)

4 for English

Math 4

4 Science

Award 4 for Social Studies (history,

geography. gov/econ)

3 Foreign Language

7 electives including PE,

health, BCIS, Art, Music

Grades =  Assessment  


Hours on Task






Log Sheets

Test/ Quizzes

Goldilocks Principle- Not too hard, Not too easy, JUST RIGHT!

Typical Course of Study (4 Years)

English- English 1, 2, 3, 4 – can include grammar, spelling,

literature, composition, poetry

Math- Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry &

Pre=Calc, Calculus, Personal Finance, Accounting

SCIENCE: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics,

Environmental Science, Anatomy & Physiology

HISTORY: World Geography, World History, U.S. History,

Government & Economics, Politics, Philosophy & Economics

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: 2 years of 1 language

ELECTIVES: BCIS, Art, Music, Bible, Health

Don’t Forget!

  • Student’s Name
  • Name of School
  • Dates Attended
  • Work listed by Grade or Subject
  • Credits Earned
  • Grades Earned
  • Grading Scale
  • Signed and Dated


  • Develop Strategies for Success
  • Learn how to work under pressure
  • Learn how to make an educated guess & eliminate obvious wrong answers
  • Understand instructions particular to each section
  • Tests are created to be endurance tests

High Test Scores

-Scholarship money

Every point higher on a test can translate into academic dollars

Composite Scores count


  • Start with the End in Mind
  • Typical Course of Study
  • Stand out Factor- Electives, etc.
  • Strategize Testing
  • Launch with JOY
  • Pivot as Necessary- be flexible and adaptable!
How Online Learning Can Level Up Your Homeschooling Game

How Online Learning Can Level Up Your Homeschooling Game

You Can Homeschool, Online Learning Can Help

With the current state of the world, many parents are finding themselves in the position of homeschooling their children. While this can be a daunting task, there are many resources available to help make the transition smoother. One of the best resources available is online learning. Online learning can help to supplement or even replace traditional homeschooling methods, and it has many benefits. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the ways that online learning can level up your homeschooling game.

Benefits of Online Learning

Flexible Planning

One of the great things about online learning is that it provides a more flexible schedule. Homeschooling can be a full-time job, and it can be difficult to find the time to fit everything in. With online learning, you can set your child's school day up in a way that works for you. You can also take advantage of online resources to help you plan and organize your homeschooling schedule.

Range of Online Courses Available

Another benefit of online learning is that it offers a more diverse range of courses. When you homeschool, you may be limited by the courses offered by your local school district or by what you are able to find online. With online learning, you have access to a much wider range of courses. This means that you can tailor your child's education to their specific interests and needs.

Individual Learning Experience

Online learning also provides a more individualized learning experience. In a traditional classroom setting, it can be difficult for children with different learning styles to get the attention they need. With online learning, each child can learn at their own pace and in their own way. This means that your child will be able to learn in a way that is best suited for them, and they will be more likely to retain the information they are taught.

Preparing Children for the Future

Finally, online learning can help to prepare your child for the future. Many jobs that didn't exist a few years ago now require some level of online skills. By getting started with online learning now, you can give your child a head start in developing the skills they will need to be successful in the future.

Opportunity for Social Interaction with Online Learning

Some parents worry that online schooling won't provide enough social interaction for their kids. However, there are many ways to ensure that your child still gets plenty of social interaction. You can sign them up for extracurricular activities or have them join a homeschooling co-op. You can also connect with other families who are homeschooling and set up playdates or field trips. With a little planning and effort, you can make sure that your child gets plenty of social interaction. Our live, virtual dynamic classes have a social outlet baked in. The classes take place via Zoom, where students interact with other students and the teacher.

Is Online Learning a Good Fit for Your Family?

As you can see, online learning has many benefits. If you are considering homeschooling your child, online learning should definitely be a part of your plan. With online learning, you can give your child the best possible education while still maintaining a flexible schedule and providing a more individualized learning experience. Online learning is an excellent way to level up your homeschooling game.

Do you homeschool your child? What online learning resources do you use? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool Over Summer

(Home) School is in for Summer

 I know, you are so ready for a summer break. Sleeping in, swimming, camping, and vacation. I hear you. I'm just as ready as you are. But, I also remember just how hard it was to get back into the swing of things with homeschooling come Back-to-School time. So, this year (Home) School is in for summer! 

There are tons of really good reasons to homeschool year-round, but today I'm going to share what I think are 5 great reasons to homeschool over the summer. Let's dive in! 😉 


1. Choosing to homeschool this summer gives you the freedom to break at other times. 


Embracing the summer as a time of learning can let you flex when things come up during the year. And they do come up, don't they? Someone gets sick, family visits, you travel during the holidays. Summer learning affords you the freedom to break when you need to without feeling behind or guilty. You set the pace.

2. Summer homeschool can help prevent that “summer slide” we hear about.

 Studies show that 20% of school year reading gains and up to 27% of school year math gains are lost in the traditional summer break. For the homeschooling parent, summer homeschool isn't just about something to do over the summer, it's part of the big picture of learning. We don't want to have to start the year on the struggle bus, playing catch-up. 

3. Baby, it's hot outside.

I know, this doesn't seem like a big deal, but if your kids were anything like mine, that heat can be just as disrputive as a snow day. The heat makes kids lithargic. They tend to gravitate towards the air conditioning and often times a screen. Why not capture the screen time for learning?

4. Master a new skill.

Often times our school year is packed. We're focused on the essentials and it's hard to fit in a purely interest-based class. It might be time to learn a new language, master the math we'll need for Chemistry next year, or hone our essay writing techniques. Even preparing for next year with a class on Study Skills can give a real advantage.

5. Getting a preview of coming attractions. 

Summer classes at True North Homeschool Academy are a great way to preview how the classes work in the fall. Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus!

We're here to support your homeschooling choices, happy to answer your questions, and provide you with an educational option that helps lead your kids True North. We'd love to see you this summer!



Bundle Your Summer Classes & Save!

Summer Bootcamp Bundle allows you to choose 3 Summer Classes for 20% off over ala carte classes!

Choose from fourteen Summer Classes that will build students academic skills, setting them up for future academic success! Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus! Choose from the following:

Each class leads into a full year class in the fall, for students that want to continue their educational journey with True North Homeschool Academy!

Can Testing Ever Be Helpful?

Can Testing Ever Be Helpful?

Do you use testing in your homeschool?

Over the years I've heard many complaints and negative aspects of testing. It seems like one of those subjects that every homeschooler has an opinion about.  It's true that testing is not for every child.  But are there good reasons to test, even if your state does not require it?  I say yes!  

When can testing be helpful?

To gain experience.

Like it or not, testing is part of our society.  We take tests to drive, to gain access to college, even to serve in the military.  It never hurts for your children to have at least a little testing experience under their belts. Some students are naturally gifted at testing while others struggle more, but it's probably safe to say that everyone can use some extra practice.

To know where you stand.

Yes, there are times when testing may not accurately represent your student's knowledge, but you may also find yourself pleasantly surprised at what your student does know. I think that sometimes our children read and glean things that we don't even realize. They can learn from a wide variety of sources, so sometimes a subject you perceived to be a struggle is right on course. Other times we may have missed something important. Testing can point out these strengths and deficits.

Standardized Testing can be intimidating to Homeschool parents and students! Stress no more! True North Homeschool Academy offers state of the art standardized testing through Scantron’s Performance Series tests. We offer Reading, Reading Foundation, Math and Language Arts, Algebra, and Geometry tests for grades K-12. Tests can be taken in the privacy of your own home and can re-taken more than once throughout the school year. Delivered online, accessible through a computer convenient to you, the test is private and secure. Your student can go at their own pace, learning testing skills without suffering test anxiety. Tests can be “paused” and re-engaged, allowing students to gain testing skills, score well, and gain confidence!For peace of mind.

Sometimes as homeschool moms it's hard to know if we are doing enough, or being enough. There's been more than one day when I've felt like I was failing my children. Testing often shows me that things aren't nearly as bad as I think. Maybe that math I've worried about all year is actually on grade level, or maybe there are places reading can be improved. Either way, I know where we stand, and I can correct what I need to and lay aside worries that I don't need to visit.

So where do I find these tests?

You are in luck because True North Homeschool Academy offers the Performance Series Testing just for homeschoolers!

So what's so great about the Performance Series Test?

  • They can be taken in the privacy of your own home.
  • Your student can complete them more than once during the school year.
  • Your child tests at their own pace, eliminating anxiety.
  • The test continues to asses the student in the subject matter, as long as your student can answer correctly, so you get an accurate read on what your student knows.
  • Scores will save, year after year; giving you a clear graphic of how your student is doing over time.
  • Standardized and nationally normed; meets the requirements of states who require annual assessments for home educators.
  • You will receive a complete PDF of subject scores, along with a Lexile Reading Score.
  • True North includes a 15 minute review of the scores with a teacher/advisor FREE

The Performance Series test is available for grades K through 12  in the following subjects:

  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Geometry
  • Algebra

It's Cost-Effective:

  • Can be submitted for state requirements
  • Can be taken more than once throughout the school year at no extra cost to you
  • A personal consultation is included in the cost. Use this time to review scores and ask about recommendations for your student based on results.
  • True North Homeschool Academy offers bundles for families with multiple students and for co-ops Bundles save you money: bundles of 5 (save $6 per test!), bundles of 10 ($22 per test) and bundles of 15 ($20 each) all offer a substantial discount. You still get all of the benefits mentioned above, but receive a group discount.

We hope if you have questions you will contact us – or order it now online HERE.


Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips


Virtual Field Trips are a great way to see the world, even if you are on a strict schedule or tight budget. With today's technology, field trips can be just a click away. I've compiled a list of Virtual Field Trips below. Some are fun, but all are guaranteed to bring learning to you! 

Get ready to reclaim Field Trip Friday (or any other day of the week, for that matter) with these 26 virtual museum resources. Create engaging, active learning with fun virtual field trips.

This round-up style list of virtual museums has something to learn and explore for every age and curiosity.  Have fun as a family or invite a group of friends to hang out together because these are perfect for home or small learning communities that are gathering digitally to learn and use the world as their classroom. Where will you explore first?

Explore the United States with these Fascinating Virtual Museum Tours

Use The World As Your Classroom with Virtual Museum Tours at 11 World-Famous Museums

Th Thinker Statue wears virtual reality goggles.No passport is required! Learn about all kinds of things from the best museums in the world. From art to artifacts, science firsts to exploring Mars. It’s all right at your fingertips.  There is no better way to inspire and encourage a broad worldview than by visiting museums and outdoor exhibits that allow for inquisitive exploration. Now, thanks to technology, you can give your child the world right in your own living room.

Museums to Visit Online

  • Le Louvre – Studying art this year? Check out this World Famous Museum! So many resources and so little time. It’s perfect for art project ideas, artist studies, and art appreciation.
  • Secrets of Easter Island This is a beautiful website put together by Nova and PBS. It includes a tour of the island and the game Move a Megalith. So much fun!
  • Virtual Farm Tours: Learn more about the wonders of agriculture with your students through this panoramic tour of farms in Ontario.
  • Reach the World at home resources. Each of these kid-friendly journeys follows the experiences of a stand-out Reach the World traveler as they dive head-first into an exciting new country and culture. Super fun for geography & country studies!
  • Museo Galileo Institute and Museum of the History of Science View over 1,200 objects on the permanent exhibition!  There is so much to learn about Galileo Galilei in this interactive, online museum. Middle & High Schoolers may also enjoy a deep-dive Galileo unit study. The Let’s Study Galileo: Science & Truth is a unit study exploring the life and famous works of Gallileo using artifacts and resources from the museum.
  • Holocaust Museum Tour Find pictures, video, and art from the Holocaust Museum. Use the virtual tour along with teaching resources and survivor stories as you help your family understand the tragedy of the holocaust. 
  • Online Exhibitions from the Natural History Museum in London– explore art themes, botanical illustrations, and save images of your favorite exhibits. Perfect for an indoor nature study on a cold winter’s day.
  • British Museum investigate, and have fun adventuring through the many virtual galleries! Learn more about Roman Britain and Egyptian mummies with in-depth studies that correspond with gallery artifacts.
  • Tour the Sistine Chapel – explore the paintings on your computer. This is the same dizzying experience as doing it in person … but without the neck-ache. Being able to zoom in and see the detail of these amazing panels is actually better than being there in person! Grab your sketchbook and spend the day in Vatican City!  
  • The Great Wall of China Virtual Tour– this 360-degree tour of parts of the Great Wall is impressive.  You can advance on the wall as if walking. Jump on the stationary bike or treadmill and visit China for PE class today!
  • Ancient Greek Mythology Virtual Tour – studying the Ancient Greeks or mythology? This interactive virtual tour of the Acropolis in Greece is perfect for learning more about this ancient culture.

Virtual Tours That are Out of This World

  • Explore an Estuary – if your students are studying the tides, ocean, or water dwellers, this is an excellent site. Explore habitats, migration patterns, and climate impact using any of the resources from all over the USA.

Can't get enough of these virtual field trip options? Don't worry; we have more suggestions and companion resources for you! I'd love to hear how you incorporate virtual field trips into your homeschooling! Share your favorites in the comments below!

Learn more about the author, curriculum creator, and True North Homeschool Academy Teacher, Shannan Swindler.