Today I sent off Lilly’s school records to the homeschool group that I belong to in the States. This is my seventh time to sail the waters of high school homeschooling abroad. It is a different ballgame from elementary school. Here is some of the things I have learned through the years.
When you have a high school freshman, start thinking college.
Join a local homeschool group in your state.
Probably one of the most important changes I made was that I joined a local homeschool group that had standing with the state that I had residence in. That accomplished several things: it made me more accountable, it gave my high schooler class ranking which is important in our state for college entrance and scholarships, and the group kept me abreast of what I needed to do legally for my home education.
Research your state laws.
I researched my state’s laws for the requirements for a high school graduate. It told me how many hours were needed to graduate, how many days in a school year, what subjects were needed to fulfill state requirements.
Last year I hit a little bump. I submitted my subjects for Lilly from 9th grade. One of her subjects was Pre Algebra. When I received my confirmation back, Pre Algebra did not qualify as a high school subject. Whoops. One year behind in math now since four years are required. Check when in doubt that “this subject” will qualify for high school credits.
Give your high schooler achievement tests.
Prepare your high schooler for achievement tests. Our state requires yearly testing of high school students. I think that is good as it prepares your TCK for the ACT test at the end of his/her high school years.
Most countries will offer yearly testing. Google and moms are great sources of information on when and where. Since my homeschoolers were not used to timed tests, I did buy a book that had sample ACT tests for them to practice on before taking the actual test. I am sure there are other helps out there.
The ACT is its own little ball game. I sent my first child off without having taken it, thinking he could take it before his freshman year in college. Big mistake! It is only offered at certain times, and most if not all colleges require the results BEFORE they accept the student.
Let your high schooler fill out forms.
As opportunity affords, let the high schooler start filling out his/her own forms. This is something that most kids abroad are not used to…although their parents have filled out endless, and I mean endless, forms for residency.
But the children have not attended school, made applications, etc, and are woefully at loss when it comes to the filling out of forms that goes along with being an adult in college. Getting some forms off the internet would be good practice.
Ask! Ask! Ask!
As you face having a child in high school, ask, ask, ask. Use your time in your home country to talk to other homeschoolers. It’s a great time to collect information, curriculums, college information, talk to homeschool organizations.
Keep good records.
Keep good records!!!!!!! Every one of my children had his own folder. Lilly is entering the 11th grade, and I am constantly looking back to see what subjects we’ve covered, her grades, her strengths and weaknesses, dates we started, achievement tests’ scores, sample of work that she has done. Records are essential!
Okay, I’ve gone on way too long. But I wish that when I started my first high schooler abroad, someone would have taken me on to help me get started. I was in Cameroon, a long way from help, communication, and information. The Internet has changed that so much, but there is still the “what, where, when, how” that may be helpful to you. //assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js