Why do you need homeschool academic advising?
As homeschooling parents, we are called upon to choose curriculum, teach the kids, keep track of credits and graduation requirements and guide our kids to a successful launch. We are the school board, administration, academic advisor, and teacher, all rolled into one.
It can be difficult to do all of that on one’s own. I’ve heard several times on homeschool forums and message boards kids state that their parents didn’t help them navigate college or career, and they came out just fine.
And while I do believe that resiliency and grit are often overlooked and possibly under-expected, I caution parents against leaving their kids to figure it out on their own for two compelling reasons.
Compelling Reasons to Use Homeschool Academic Advising
Time and Money
The average student in America is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 6 years instead of 4 with $37,000 in debt. Couple that with the fact that only about half of all students who enter college complete it, and you could have a very expensive recipe for disaster.
Using Homeschool Academic Advising to Hack Homeschool Success
The savvy homeschooler will view homeschooling high school as the opportunity for two things:
- Time to explore new opportunities and options
- Time to prepare for a successful post-homeschool launch
I think about academics when I put together our homeschool for each school year. Including considering extra-curricular, camps, internships, sports, clubs, and other possibilities. I am thinking about how my kids develop and grow in unique areas (developing their “otherliness”). What about knowing how to develop their professionalism in specific areas of interest? What kind of personality skills or traits do they need shoring up on, or natural areas of ability that can be further developed?
Why Hire Someone When You Can DIY Homeschool Academic Advising?
So, what does this have to do with Homeschool Academic Advising? Many, if not most, homeschooling parents short-change the high school years. They under-credit what they have done. And they don’t know where to invest time and energy based on students' interests or callings. Primarily because they are worried about what a transcript “should” look like. They tend to forget to think about things like camps, awards, sports, roles, responsibilities, and community service.
That’s where a seasoned Academic Advisor is helpful.
I see the credits you overlook because it’s your normal. For example, I recently worked with a high school student who flunked most of last year’s courses.
After digging a bit deeper, I discovered that he had extensive camping and fishing experience – like he provides fresh fish yearly for more than one family. He has hundreds of hours of Community Service (mowing and plowing his grandma and neighbor's driveways and walkways). Works full-time laying fiber optic cable (because he has such an amazing work ethic and is a responsible worker). And has re-built a diesel engine for the truck he bought with cash he’d earned watching YouTube videos.
Along with identifying a processing disorder and getting him the academic help he needed, I created a transcript for him. The transcript reflected the hard-working, high PIQ (Performance IQ), kind and generous young man he was. Additionally, we could lay out a doable plan that will get him the professional certification he needs in life to earn the kind of money he should, given his abilities, despite academic struggles.
Similarly, I worked with a family who had a student hoping to graduate from college while still in their teens. This student has the intellectual capability of doing just that, but he is also very interested in going into the art field, and doing creative, freelance work. His Personalized Learning Plan included CLEP and Dual Enrollment classes. These classes were coupled with developing an online presence, attending professional conferences, developing his artistic abilities, and going to graduate school in a location that would allow him to create the best connections possible.
Story Telling and the Art of High School & Career Counseling as Part of Homeschool Academic Advising
Here’s the deal. At heart, I’m a writer, a teller of stories. I love listening to people, hearing their hearts, and learning about the story they’ve lived so far and the story that God is writing. From there, it’s easy to create an Action Plan that makes sense, to resource the students and parents with camps, classes, competitions, books, and ideas to make the story they are living be cost and time effective and lead to success.
Whether You Have a Fast-Burner or a Struggling Learner, Homeschool Academic Advising Can Help!
Whether your student is on a fast track or struggling just to keep going, we can help. We have worked with homeschooled students worldwide, from profoundly gifted to disabled.
Along the way, we've mentored everyone from Olympic hopefuls to kids who use P.T. for PE credit. We have helped kids go on to Internships, the military, community college, State and Christian colleges, and Ivy League schools. Every student has a story, and we would be honored to work alongside you to help write the next amazing chapter!