Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have you graduated a child from your homeschool?

Okay, I have some questions for other homeschool families who have graduated their kids.  Specifically if your children have gone on to enter college.

  1. Did you try to duplicate the public school grad requirements, like 2 years of foreign language?  Covering same subjects is not required of private schools in Kansas, though we have tried to follow the same basic subjects.

  2. If so, how did you get their foreign language?  Did you teach it yourself, use a software or text?  Take classes elsewhere?

  3. How many classes did you do elsewhere, rather than at home?  Community College, other school, paid tutor, etc?  What subjects were they?

  4. If you didn't duplicate public school grad requirements for your state, did your child have any trouble getting into college?  Did they make them take those classes in college w/o counting toward their degree?

  5. Did they go to community college first, or a 4 year college?  Private or state?

  6. How did you handle transcripts for your child?  (I think I have this one figured out but am always looking for input on it.)

  7. If you never did standardized tests, how well did your child do on their first ACT or SAT?  (We've done some practice tests and I'm not too worried about this for my oldest, but I am starting to re-think my anti-testing stance.)

  8. Did you take or skip the PSAT?  I had initially read take it, but recently have read don't bother since very few gain a scholarship from it and it's not required.

  9. Did you keep a reading list?  Did the colleges ever ask to see it?  This keeps coming up in articles online as prep for college, and I can't figure out WHY!  I don't recall having to show a reading list when I entered college.  Weird.

Just a few questions I'm hoping to discuss with other homeschool families.  My oldest has two years of high school left, and my 2nd oldest enters high school this Fall.  The closer we get to our first graduation, the more questions I discover I have.  LOL!!


April E.


  1. Not sure I can answer every question, but...
    1. Yes, we modeled our course of studies for my oldest daughter on our state's guidelines. In Indiana they call it the core 40 and they count each semester as one credit. This is of course different from across the border in Ohio where one year is one credit. That being said, we decided that it made sense to follow the system set up by the state we live in. Of course with my youngest daughter we're not going to follow it as closely.
    2. Foreign language- with my oldest daughter we used Bob Jones University's satellite program for her junior and senior year. (I think the program has changed a bit in recent years.) It was designed to pipe all her courses in, but most of them were boring. Spanish however was great! And she is now a senior in college graduating this year with a major in Spanish. With my youngest we were blessed to have a native Spanish speaker teaching at our local co-op.
    3. With my oldest the only thing we invested in outside of the home was the BJU satellite, which was of course very expensive on it's own! With my youngest we're using co-op classes as needed... mostly for science because I can't stand it.
    4. No problems here!
    5. She started at a Christian University and then transferred to a large state school her junior year.
    6. A mix of pen, paper and spreadsheet that I eventually just transferred to MW Word and made my own.
    7. We did PSAT and SAT without any problems. She did both twice.
    8. See above!
    9. Nope, we didn't keep a reading list. I did create course descriptions that had some lists in them, but I was never asked for it.

  2. Too many questions to answer in one short comment :-)

    In fact, each question would make a great blog post. So I copied, pasted, and printed your list to keep in my blogging ideas folder. Look for some posts on these topics in the next weeks and months.

    And thanks for all the great ideas!


  3. We've graduated one student so far...

    1. We followed our oversight group's guidelines for grad requirements, which are the same as state with the addition of at least one Bible credit. Foreign language is suggested, especially for college-bound students, but is not required to graduate. My son did one credit of Spanish.
    2. We used Switched-on-Schoolhouse for Spanish I.
    3. none.
    4. My son went to a private college for broadcasting, and got in easily. That school did not require foreign language, which was the only thing we would have been "missing"
    5. Private school, specialized study, so he was finished in one semester.
    6. Our oversight group provides transcripts, although I can also produce my own using Homeschool Tracker.
    7 & 8. He didn't do any of the standardized tests at all. I have a student in Gr 10 this year and he didn't do the PSAT either.
    9. We kept/keep a reading list only as part of grading records, so I could produce it if it was required.

  4. Thank you for answering, ladies! I'm looking forward to reading more responses, as well. We're struggling with the Spanish curriculum we have, and I'm trying to decide what to do about that. I guess I won't just skip it. LOL!!

  5. As you know, April, I haven't graduated any high schoolers yet, but I'd say that if your children have a higher academic aptitude and strongly desire to attend college, I would have them take the PSAT as well as the SAT.

    My niece will start college this coming fall with a full ride scholarship for all four years of college as a pre-med student, and the #1 reason is because she took the PSAT and was one of the highest scorers in the nation.

    A good friend of mine in my town has a homeschooled son who took the PSAT and also got a full ride scholarship for all four years for his college education. He's just finishing his second year in college, I believe.

    While it is very unusual - and an honor! - to place in the top 1,000 PSAT scorers in the United States, it IS possible. I know two people personally who have done it! For both families, this was the only way their children were going to be able to attend college and remain debt-free.

    It doesn't cost much at all to take the PSAT, so your children won't have much to lose.

    Just my two cents,



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