Advantages of Homeschooling
High School: Senior Year


The advantages of homeschooling high school really shine through during the 12th grade. The freedom to choose the right curricula, explore subjects of interest through fine arts, sports, clubs, and community service have shaped her into the young adult she is today.

But she'll need your help this year completing college applications, meeting financial aid deadlines, and choosing the right school.


High School Senior Checklist


Fall Semester


  • Sign your student up for the SAT or ACT if you haven't already done so. If last year's scores were not satisfactory, take the test again. Check out my homeschool high school testing tips to learn how to prepare, plan, and register for the SAT and ACT. Check the schedule for the test you want, then register at least 4-6 weeks before the test date.

TIP: Keep a calendar or homeschool planner specifically for important dates such as the deadlines to register for standardized tests, test days, college preview days, and deadlines for admissions, scholarships, and other financial aid for each college.

    NOTE: For early admissions, colleges may require applications and test scores in early November.

  • Continue scheduling challenging courses. Encourage your student to take Advanced Placement (AP) or Honors classes, if possible, or consider taking courses at a local college that offers dual enrollment (credit for high school and college). The flexibility of class schedule is also one of the advantages of homeschooling high school. Continue taking foreign language, english, math, and science.


  • Continue working on your high school resume.

    List education, school and community organizations/activities, school honors and awards, community honors and awards, paid and unpaid work experience, and references.

  • Narrow college choices.


    • Get information from colleges or universities that your student is interested in. You can request catalogs and brochures online or at a local college fair.

    • You and your senior should schedule as many college visits as possible. Your family can meet with representatives from the admissions and financial aid offices, talk with current students, and take a family tour of the campus.

    • Attend financial aid seminars and college preview days. These are special events for potential students usually held in the fall or spring (or both).

      You can visit academic departments, speak with faculty, and attend academic, admissions, and financial aid sessions to learn more about the school and what it has to offer. You'll also have a guided tour and get a chance to talk to current students about their experiences on campus.

    TIP: Prepare a list of questions to ask before you go. It's difficult to get a lot of specific information with telephone calls and web sites. Take advantage of your one-on-one time with the people who can give you the answers you need.

    • Check with your top college choices. Make sure student is taking the high school classes they require for admission. Be sure to check on the english, history, math, science, and foreign language requirements. Having a parent as your personal guidance counselor is one of the many advantages of homeschooling high school. Request applications and financial aid information from each. You may be able to complete an online application.


    • Ask for recommendations from a teachers or employers. Provide each of them with your high school resume and stamped and addressed envelope(s) to the colleges of your choice.


    • Start searching for scholarship possibilities. Check out the state and local resources. Apply for all that are applicable to you.



    • Continue to encourage hard work and good grades.



    • START THE APPLICATION PROCESS.


      • Have your student write college application essays and proofread the drafts.

        College admissions counselors will see the many advantages of homeschooling if you submit a well-written essay. Don't be afraid to contact them. They may even be willing to review your draft before you turn in the final essay.


      • Apply for admission at your chosen colleges.


      • Also send your high school transcripts to each college.

        Keep copies of everything you send and make a note of the date it was submitted.


      • Ask the colleges about your financial aid eligibility. If eligible, apply early. Many financial aid deadlines are in February, so make sure your application is received before this date.


    • Continue academic enrichment programs. Try workshops or camps that focus on art, music, science, or drama. You may want to keep a special portfolio to highlight special talents, such as art or photography.


    • Continue extracurricular activities. Encourage your child to seek a leadership position in a club or organization such as Key Club, 4-H Club, or a Homeschool Honor Society. Colleges like to see well-rounded students with leadership experience.

    Spring Semester


    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st.You can find it at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Don't forget to keep a copy for yourself.


    • Verify that all transcripts, test scores, and application materials have been received by colleges.


    • Look for acceptance letters and financial aid offers around mid-April.


    • Be sure to visit your college of choice before accepting.


    • Notify all colleges about your decision to accept/reject admission or aid by May 1st.


    • Update your resume/portfolio. Report cards; Awards/honors; Church and community activities; Volunteer and paid work. Include job descriptions and responsibilities.


    • Plan a summer job or apprenticeship, if possible. Freedom to choose and flexibility are just two advantages of homeschooling that have enabled our children to have opportunities that prepare them for college and the real world.






    References:

    auburn.edu
    KnowHow2Go.org
    CollegeBoard.com
    AlabamaMentor.org



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