Finishing Strong #139: Transitioning from High School to College

Welcome to Finishing Strong ~ a weekly link-up dedicated to families homeschooling middle & high school kids. Each Wednesday, moms just like you share their best tips, encouragement, advice, and more for teaching older kids at home.

Finishing-Strong-500x500I am delighted that families homeschooling middle and high school age students are coming together and finding inspiration in one another. That has been the goal of Finishing Strong since its inception. Thank you!!

Finishing Strong is hosted by me here at EvaVarga along with my friends – Heather from Blog She Wrote, Megan from Education Possible, and Heidi from Starts at Eight.

I know you will find the posts that have been shared with us inspiring! Grab a cup of tea, kick back, and take some time to check out the wonderful posts shared below. What are your favorites?

 

High School Forecasting

When I was in college, one of my earliest advisors provided me with a chart and asked that I map out all the courses I would need to achieve my academic goals and graduate with the degree I needed for my career. Every term I made adjustments based on what courses were available and to reflect my progress. This map or forecasting sheet was an invaluable tool and one that I continue to use today as I guide my daughter along her academic journey.

high-school-forecastingShe’s dual enrolled. This means she is taking a full course load of courses at the local community college. These courses fulfill both high school graduation requirements and are applicable to her college degree.

When she met with her academic advisor at the start of this term, she shared the forecasting sheet that she and I mapped out together. Her advisor was impressed and remarked that she was already more aware and more prepared than students who had already completed high school – a big boost to her confidence!

Learn more about High School Forecasting and find the link to download the free customizable spreadsheet I used to map out her courses – it was created by fellow Finishing Strong co-host Heidi from Starts at Eight (Thank you, Heidi!).

 

Finishing Strong

We hope you’ll take some time to check out the amazing posts that have been shared with us. We are so thankful to all of our readers and contributors who help make Finishing Strong a key resource for everyone homeschooling through the middle & high school years.

The top posts shared last week

Below are a couple of the posts I most enjoyed from last week. The first post is the one that received the most clicks. You won’t want to miss it! alt title
Homeschooling High School Q & A

from Ann at Annie & Everything ~ To be honest, the issue of a diploma has been eating at me so when I read, “A diploma can be purchased. Nobody NEEDS to look at it. Colleges only look at transcripts … future employers won’t ask to see it. In short, nobody cares about this but you.” I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

 

Must Have Supplies for High School

from Heather at Blog She Wrote ~ Heather provides an in-depth look at everything your high schooler will need from lab equipment, office supplies, organizational tools, and technology.

BJ’s Guide to the Common Application

from BJ at BJ’s Homeschool Encouragement ~ Applying to college can be overwhelming. BJ walks you through the common application including important changes to facilitate the process and help you in the transition from high school to college.

 

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As always, thank you for helping us to make Finishing Strong a key resource for families who are homeschooling through the middle & high school years.

What are you going to share with us this week?

Guidelines:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 4 sites. If you were featured, we would love for you to use the “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Please Share!

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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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Finishing Strong #108: High School Forecasting & Field Trips

It’s been a joy to get to know so many of you this year through our weekly Finishing Strong link-up. Through your posts, I am regularly reminded why we homeschool and inspired to try new things. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours!!

We will be back with our regular Finishing Strong posts on January 11th. The link up below will stay open until then. Please take a moment to add your ideas and encouragement for homeschooling middle and high school. I look forward to seeing what you’re excited about in your homeschool.

Finishing Strong #108

Finishing Strong is hosted by me here at EvaVarga along with my friends – Heather from Blog She Wrote, Megan and Susan from Education Possible, and Heidi from Starts at Eight.


Many homeschool families are enjoying an extended holiday break this time of year. Others seek out fun hands-on activities to engage their kiddos while still incorporating learning opportunities. Mini unit-studies are perfect for this time of year.

Science Milestones: The Engineering Feats of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel @EvaVarga.netWhile substitute teaching last week, I led six class periods of seventh graders through an engineering challenge of building a tower with spaghetti noodles (uncooked of course) and marshmallows. It was a blast to watch the kids collaborate with one another to build their tower taller than the other teams.

As I watched, I realized that the activity fit perfectly with the science milestones study on Alexandre-Gustav Eiffel, I had shared just a few days prior. As his birthday is tomorrow (December 15th), there is no better time to read a short biography of this world famous engineer. Thereafter, try your hand at building a tower.


high-school-forecastingMy post, High School Forecasting: Coordinating Schedules, CLEP Exams, & High School Courses, was the most clicked upon post shared last week. Thank you so much everyone!

Field TripsOne of the posts I most enjoy this past week was, 10 Unique Homeschool Field Trips, written by Tina R. on iHomeschool Network. “These 10 unique homeschool field trips for multi-age children will help you to keep your kids learning together and keep field trips stress-free.”

Story StartersI also really enjoyed Michelle’s 50 Story Starters for Teens at The Heart of Michelle. These 50 story starters are sure to inspire your teen’s next creative writing assignment.

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As always, thank you for helping us to make Finishing Strong a key resource for families who are homeschooling through the middle & high school years.

What are you going to share with us this week?

Guidelines:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 4 sites. If you were featured, we would love for you to use the “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Please Share!

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Were You Featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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High School Forecasting: Coordinating Schedules, CLEP Exams, and College Courses

Fall term is nearing an end. Many students are preparing for final exams as well as forecasting with their advisors and thereby registering for winter term. My daughter, Geneva, is amongst them.

She has really enjoyed taking dual enrollment courses on the college campus these past few months and has worked very hard to assure she completes two consecutive courses within the 10-week term. Come winter term she will enroll in two courses – Intermediate Algebra (Math 95) and English Composition (Writing 121).

high-school-forecastingHigh School Forecasting

Her goal is to complete the degree requirements for an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree simultaneously with her high school diploma. While no easy feat, it can and has been done by homeschoolers and public school students across the state.

As at least one of the courses she will take winter term is transferable to a four year university, it is important that we work alongside an advisor to ensure the courses are counted for dual enrollment. We’ve made an appointment and look forward to sharing the four-year plan we have put together.

Course Load and Schedules

I opened our forecasting discussion by first describing the degree requirements for the transfer degree as well as the course list for a degree in engineering (a field in which she has expressed interest since she was a young girl). She then shared the goals she had for herself and what she hopes to accomplish over the next four years.

This FREE customizable spreadsheet provided the skeletal structure for her four year plan. Thank you, Heidi!

High School 4 Year Forecasting Plan

Together, we looked at the course descriptions for each of the classes she was interested in and thereby narrowed down her choices. In addition, we read the prerequisites carefully to ensure there would be no surprises along the way.

Four courses chosen from at least two disciplines including at least three laboratory courses in biological and/or physical science are required for Science & Mathematics.

With the prerequisites and an engineering degree in mind, her choices include a year of General Chemistry, a year of Physics with Calculus (must be taken concurrently), and two terms of Geology. We thereby plugged each of these into the four-year plan assuring that she would take no more than two courses per term at the college.

In addition, the course load during her senior year in high school is relatively easier than the preceding two. This will provide a little cushion and time for scholarship essays and other unforeseen hoops she may have to jump through.

Foreign Language Requirement

In Oregon, there is a foreign language requirement for admission to a four year university:

[Transfer] students who graduated from high school in 1997 or later must meet a foreign language requirement with either two years of high school level study in the same language or two quarters/semesters of college level study with a minimum grade of a C- or better.

While she is fluent in Mandarin (having studied the language since she was 5 years old), as an independent homeschool, Academia Celestia is not an accredited institution. She will thereby be expected to take a foreign language course at the college or demonstrate proficiency by passing an exam.

While she hopes to someday learn additional languages (and may yet decide to take a college level course), she will most likely choose this option. Her ultimate goal is to study abroad in China and earn a minor in Asian Languages and Culture.

CLEP Exams

In addition to the course work and requirements described above, there are several foundational (Writing, Communication, and Health & Fitness) and Cultural Literacy requirements.

Four courses chosen from two or more disciplines are required for Social Sciences. Three courses chosen from two or more disciplines are required for Arts & Letters.

For Social Sciences, she selected a fascinating Anthropology course and a course suggested for Engineering students, Economics. To earn addition credits (9) for History 201, 202, and 203 she plans to take the CLEP exam in United States History.

While English 104, 105, and 106 are not required for the AA degree (she chose alternatives in Art and Philosophy), she may also choose to take the English Literature CLEP exam to earn credit (9) for these courses.