3 Life-Hacks for Every College-Bound Homeschooler

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You Can Do This!

Even as their homeschool teacher, I knew I was not the BEST at every subject, so rather than trying to teach it all, I became more of a facilitator of their education leading them up to college level. It’s an incredible time to teach at home! We have so many resources available in today’s world! So, please let me encourage you to seek out the BEST learning experiences as your students are in high school. Trust me, you don’t have to shoulder it all. And, with that being said…

Today, our high school junior pulled out of our driveway and away to her first day of college! Yes, of course I had tears. So, from one home school momma to another, I want to share with you the HOW & WHY she’s doing this! We have discovered a few little “short-cuts” that have completely changed the way we choose to approach college for our kids. Learning how to do the same thing will save you time & money plus give your college-bound adult a nice transition from home education into university!

I sincerely hope these 3 Life-hacks will be of help to you as you bravely navigate the road toward your own student’s high school graduation day! If I can do it, you can too! Please, keep reading 🙂

#1 – CREATE: a weekly SAT/ACT plan

Here’s the HOW – Facilitating high school at home is a full-time job. As you, the home educator, prepare your high school lesson plans, I recommend assigning routine work on Khan Academy or perhaps in an SAT/ACT workbook if your student prefers/needs to learn with a physical book. With that, maybe your weekly assignments could look something like this one:

*Khan AcademyMon.Tues.Wed.Thurs.Fri.
Math*SAT math – 45 min.Lesson from your math curriculum*SAT math – 45 min.Lesson from your math curriculumLesson from your math curriculum
EnglishLiterature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum*SAT read. – 45 min.Literature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum*SAT read. – 45 min.Literature, Grammar, & Writing curriculum
This example shows a plan for SAT/ACT preparation and is meant to accompany the various other high school subjects as necessary for graduation. (Ex: science, history, art, etc.)

I highly recommend using Khan Academy online. This online FREE education website is phenomenal, and hands-down the best official SAT preparation available. In recent years it has partnered with the College Board as well, which means that the questions and test reviews match directly with the format of the SAT. I cannot say enough good about Khan Academy!

Here’s the WHY – get your student scoring well on the SAT/ACT and they will earn the ability to exempt college classes! To be clear… this means they get credit for a class without ever having to attend it AND you don’t have to pay for it either! With her SAT score, our daughter exempted English 1301, 1302, and College math. Y’all that’s 9 hours exempted by scoring well on her SAT. (With U.S. averages at $594/ credit hour that amounts to an approximate savings of $5,346 for 3 exempted classes!) Even if your student gives the SAT/ACT several attempts to reach higher scores, the savings definitely makes it worthwhile.

#2 – CONNECT: with a College Advisor

Here’s the HOW – As you complete the student’s high school transcript, it will be well worth your time to become friends with an advisor in the college world to help guide you. This person will assist you in understanding which classes can be completed during the high school years. He/she can also help select the best teachers for your kids. While convenient, the school doesn’t have to be in your town, either. At niche.com, there are many online options for your high schooler as well. For us, we do have one in our city ranked the #3 best in Texas so that made it a no-brainer! (Interesting to Note: “On average, a two-year public school will cost about 60 percent less per credit hour than a four-year public school. And at just $135 a college credit, local community colleges are one of the most accessible and affordable ways to earn college credits.” Article – “Study: Here’s How Much College Credits Actually Cost”)

Here’s the WHY – Ok, so what does a college advisor do to help your high schooler at home? Good question! Every college has an advisor guiding public school students who are the “dual-credit” students. (They also are getting college credits while in high school; however, after visiting colleges, we found that not all schools honor these dual-credit classes.) This same individual may likely be the advisor to homeschool students as well.

  • Your student’s advisor will lead you to complete paperwork for enrollment
  • He/she will provide the “Petition for Exemption” form your student will need to sign in order to receive credit for classes based on their SAT/ACT/CLEP scores
  • In Texas, if a student has not taken the SAT already, they will be required to show their readiness by taking the TSI exam for reading, writing & math, so an advisor will help you to know what is needed.
  • He/she can help in class & teacher selection – partnering with you providing the best possible education for your high schooler.

#3 – CONSIDER: Concurrent College Classes & C.L.E.P.

Here’s the HOW – After completing a few paperwork items with your student’s advisor, they can enroll and attend classes that semester – simple!

An important note: CONCURRENT classes are NOT the same as dual-credit! Personally, we chose to avoid dual-credit options because not all universities honor them when transferring credits. Our girls have attended the actual college classes on campus… hence the name CONCURRENT, meaning attending a college class and homeschool class at the same time. This way, there is no debating if the class taken during high school was rigorous enough to award college credit. It WAS an actual college class. For example, during senior year, most students have government and economics as requirements; however, they will also have them as requirements toward a college degree. Therefore, our daughters choose to complete these as concurrent – getting high school credit and college credit at the same time! It’s a beautiful thing.

Lastly, I do highly recommend looking into the C.L.E.P. options for your student at home. It is exciting how many high school classes can actually be taken online in preparation for taking a CLEP exam. The best resource I have found for this is the Modern States website. Impressively, this website offers “freshman year for free”! This means they offer enough classes online to study (again, free online classes) followed by taking the exam for college credit. Our daughter was able to exempt one full year of Spanish by taking advantage of the CLEP! (That allowed her to exempt 8 college hours, roughly an average savings of $4,752.00).

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Here’s the WHY – The easy answer: these options save time & money! In doing this, your student can complete their high school transcript AND begin the college transcript AT THE SAME TIME! Below I am sharing how I noted the college level classes on our transcript. In addition, showing the ability to take rigorous, college-level classes in high school also looks favorably in the eyes of scholarship committees… BONUS!

Sample Homeschool Transcript

Note the ‘*College Level’ courses were all taken at the community college for high school graduation requirements.

Thanks, y’all for reading! I truly hope this can be a help to you. AND, I love to hear from you… so, please consider leaving me your comments & feedback!

Domestic Chick