Planning for High School

My oldest son John is finishing up the eighth grade, and the thought of keeping up with courses, extracurricular activities, transcripts, and standardized tests of high school makes me feel more than a little nervous. We are planning on John going to college, but we won’t be able to pay out of pocket for tuition, which means that we also need to be knowledgeable about potential universities, their costs, and any scholarships available. So when I hear about seminars, classes, or other information regarding homeschooling your high schooler, I’m ready to learn.

One tip I heard recently was to plan out your child’s high school career from the beginning. You will save yourself a lot of stress in the junior and senior years if you already have a clear idea of what your student needs to take not only to graduate but also to meet college admission requirements.

To do this, find out what courses are needed for graduation within your state, then check college websites for courses your student needs if he wants to apply to those schools. For example, our state requires only one foreign language course to graduate from high school in the college prep program. Some universities in our state, however, require the student take three years of the same foreign language if they plan to attend. I know, then, that if John might attend one of those universities, he’ll need to start a foreign language course no later than his sophomore year.

It’s not hard to find out what classes you’ll need. For high school graduation, simply do an Internet search of using the name of your state and the words “graduation requirements.”   To find out what colleges are looking for, google the name of the school and “admission requirements.”

After an afternoon of searching the web and studying the possibilities, I think we’ve come up with a pretty good four-year plan. There’s room for flexibility, and we won’t be caught short in the senior year. Now on to the extracurriculars….

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