Monday, May 29, 2023
HomeHomeschoolProtecting School Prep Easy & Cheap

Protecting School Prep Easy & Cheap

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Homeschoolers typically suppose an efficient college-prep highschool monitor might be costly or difficult. Highschool homeschool curriculum does not have to be both. You need not do numerous costly twin enrollment (DE) and outdoors courses; you simply should be intelligent in the way you go about issues.

Homeschool to college - Elements of a successful college application: Academic rigor, Validation of mom grades, How the applicant is exceptional, A strong resume, An excellent essay, Impressive letters of reference.

Parts of a profitable faculty software:

  1. Tutorial rigor
  2. Validation of “mother” grades
  3. How the applicant is phenomenal
  4. A powerful resume
  5. A wonderful essay
  6. Spectacular letters of reference

Beneath are free and inexpensive sources to assist your homeschool highschool pupil stand out from different faculty candidates with out breaking the financial institution.

Bounce to:

Use the library

Grow to be shut buddies along with your librarian. Use interlibrary loans.

Be part of a number of library techniques. Every system gives one thing completely different. One may provide entry to programs from one international language firm, one other will provide a unique one. Some provide Linkedin Studying, others do not. I’ve discovered not all libraries do a superb job of highlighting what they provide, so be sure you look by way of the entire web site menus and discuss to the librarians. You might discover that entry to sources the library gives shouldn’t be well-publicized.

Take a second language course. Many libraries provide free international language packages. Use them, and ask librarians if they’ve any native audio system they will put you in contact with. Watch films in your goal second language. Learn books in that language (beginning with kids’s books). Use Livemocha without cost follow. Quizlet additionally has wonderful free sources, and the flashcards are nice follow.

Be part of a dialog group for that language. I’ve seen a bunch of dialog teams listed on Meet Up, or discover them on-line.

Prep for a language proficiency check. Cat Jackson, homeschool tutorial counselor, suggests “an awesome free approach so as to add rigor to your admissions bundle is to have your pupil prep for a language proficiency check. This can be a enjoyable technique to dive deep into language studying. That is significantly useful for a child who’s serious about linguistics or a international language as a school main.”

A number of language proficiency assessments to think about using:

Use The Nice Programs. Many libraries provide free entry to The Nice Programs, that are completely fabulous lectures by faculty professors on all types of subjects. I used them extensively within the center to highschool years. Observe that generally these programs can be found by way of libraries underneath the Wondrium model, which is the subscription website owned by the mum or dad firm of The Nice Programs.

If accessed by way of the separate Nice Programs database (login is at The Nice Programs or Wondrium web site along with your library credentials), you might discover the guidebook that comes with the business model of every course. If the programs can be found by way of Libby/OverDrive, the guidebooks might not be out there. The guidebook provides you questions you should use for paragraphs, essays, and to check understanding. It additionally lists further readings for every lecture. The guidebooks can generally be bought used on Amazon or eBay.

Mix comparable programs to make full credit. I used them for meteorology, geology, oceanography, geography, private finance, the judicial system, how one can be a brilliant star pupil, world historical past, American historical past, physics, and chemistry.

Borrow tools. Many libraries provide free lab tools; others provide telescopes or science backpacks. Some have Maker Areas with instruments like 3-D printers or laser engravers. Discover out what your libraries provide—you could possibly put collectively a highschool science course with these sources.

The mortgage of a telescope mixed with some books and one of many Nice Programs makes for a superb astronomy course with lab. Mix these sources with assembly along with your native astronomy membership. Grow to be concerned with the astronomy membership, and—voilà!—you may get an educational letter of reference, which is one technique to present faculties exterior proof of faculty readiness.

Get a grant. Communicate to your librarians about the opportunity of their getting a grant to discover a instructor for a category you need your teen to take. My library fortunately does this, so positively examine with yours.

Have your pupil provide to assist write (underneath supervision) the grant proposal. In case your youngster writes or assists considerably with a number of grants, you might award them a highschool credit score known as “Grant Proposal Writing.” This expertise is a good way to get your pupil writing properly, and it is a superb skilled ability to incorporate on a resume or faculty software. Encourage your college students to work carefully with the librarians when planning courses they need and writing grant proposals.

Be part of a committee. Encourage teenagers to volunteer for the library’s Teen Advisory Committee. Have them do varied volunteer tasks across the library. Suggest to your librarian that the library turn out to be eligible to certify the Presidential Service Award, and guarantee your pupil earns an award every year. This enhances your teen’s resume and also will guarantee they’ve somebody to ask for a letter of advice.

Use dwelling books. Borrow dwelling books from the libraries and use them as the idea for a course. Use Worldcat to seek out which libraries have copies of particular books you need, and use the data for the e book to request an interlibrary mortgage in case your libraries do not carry a e book you need. (The interlibrary mortgage system makes use of the identical database as Worldcat, so linking to the Worldcat itemizing for a e book helps librarians once you place the request).

For instance, The Disappearing Spoon and Napoleon’s Buttons can kind a superb backbone for a science class. These are attention-grabbing books with numerous concepts for impartial analysis and essay subjects. Studying biographies of all of the Founding Fathers, their letters, and supply paperwork can kind the idea of a superb early U.S. historical past credit score.

When you google “<topic identify> dwelling e book” one can find wonderful lists, and lots of the websites you discover may even provide free lesson plans. Ambleside On-line can also be a superb useful resource.

Use Linkedin Studying

Discover a library system that provides free entry to Linkedin Studying (previously Lynda). Your pupil can study images, digital design, software program growth, internet design & enterprise. Verify area people faculties additionally—some provide free entry to Linkedin Studying as properly.

If supplied by way of your area people faculty, examine to see if entry is lively for all registered college students or is restricted to college students enrolled in a category. Your teen may be capable to use it after they have an account however are usually not registered in a category.

Hang-out secondhand e book shops, thrift shops, and eBay

You possibly can typically discover secondhand curriculum or college textbooks for pennies. They make completely good highschool course spines with the addition of some readings, essays, tasks. [Ed. note: It is a good idea to check older texts for out-of-date content that may be inaccurate or no longer considered inappropriate, particularly for science and social studies textbooks.]

Take free on-line programs

Khan Academy gives each highschool program without cost. It even gives SAT and PSAT prep.

Be taught math without cost

  1. Math Planet is a Swedish nonprofit that provides free math courses for Prealgebra, Algebra 1&2, and Geometry, plus ACT and SAT prep
  2. Faculty Your self gives free algebra 1&2, geometry, trig, calculus & stats
  3. Khan Academy gives all of highschool math, and SAT prep
  4. Digital Nerd gives all of highschool math, ACT & SAT prep
  5. PHET from the College of Colorado gives simulations for math and science


Large Open On-line Programs (MOOCs) are on-line programs from high universities, usually free. College students could possibly get credit score for these programs by way of EdX, one other supplier of MOOCs.

Generally, for a nominal quantity, universities provide certification after you have executed the course. For example, Coursera gives Python certification for $79 and for the R statistical programming language.

In case your pupil completes programs and performs properly, you may spring for certification. It will add validation to parental grades and look good on the transcript.

Dad and mom may also award credit score when teenagers full MOOCs or use them in  mixture with different sources.

Use OpenStax

OpenStax, a nonprofit group affiliated with Rice college, gives free textbooks for highschool and faculty degree programs. The textbooks are “high-quality, peer-reviewed, overtly licensed faculty textbooks which are completely free on-line and low price in print.”

Along with faculty degree texts, OpenStax gives a number of texts “designed to satisfy and exceed the necessities of the School Board’s AP®” programs. Though use of the textbook does not enable a pupil to make use of the AP® designation on transcripts except the course is licensed by the School Board, such textbooks will put together college students for the AP® assessments. Coursework utilizing these texts might be designated as honors programs.

Take free AP® and CLEP programs

Trendy States gives free courses for AP® and School-Degree Examination Program® (CLEP) exams. In addition they provide to rebate the price of the CLEP if the coed passes it. These exams run round $90.

The School Board additionally gives AP® lecture rooms that give extra assist for the AP® programs. AP® & CLEP scores present exterior validation to parental grades. Relying on the school, they will additionally end in faculty credit score.

Libraries may have copies of follow assessments, or you may typically discover them on-line. There are various on-line teams for training for AP®s and CLEPs (there are numerous extra on-line teams for CLEPs).

Though not free, here’s a listing of cheap twin enrollment programs from regionally accredited faculties and universities.

Take twin enrollment programs

Twin enrollment could also be supplied to homeschoolers by way of neighborhood faculties, native universities, on-line colleges, and (in some states) public colleges. Homeschooling for School Credit score maintains a present listing of schools providing inexpensive on-line twin enrollment programs.

Every college on the listing is regionally accredited, which is the gold normal for faculty accreditation. The next info is included for every establishment:

  • Establishment sort (2 or 4 yr, public vs. personal, whether or not spiritual)
  • Twin enrollment program identify
  • Price
  • Restrictions on enrollment (location, grade, course restrictions, and many others.)
  • Necessities (transcripts, placement assessments, and many others.)
  • Whether or not scholarships can be found
  • Hyperlink to the details about this system on the establishment’s web site

Along with the listing at Homeschooling for School Credit score, examine your area people faculty for inexpensive DE courses. Bear in mind that DE college students could also be required to leap by way of further hoops when registering (corresponding to registering in particular person with a counselor as an alternative of utilizing the web portal).

In some states, homeschoolers could also be eligible to enroll in DE courses without cost by way of their public college system (courses could also be both on the college or at a neighborhood faculty). Verify with your state homeschool group for extra info.

Prep for the SAT/ACT

Do not let folks make you suppose your pupil cannot do properly with out costly prep programs. They’ll completely prep and do very well with out spending a penny. Khan Academy gives free SAT prep. has numerous wonderful free check prep (my son says their math is superb). He says the perfect prep teaches you how one can acknowledge the kind of query and how one can reply that with out really figuring out how one can do the issue.

Use prep books from the library. Math Planet gives free SAT and ACT prep too. Whereas many faculties are actually test-optional, scholarships typically nonetheless require standardized scores.

Be part of interest-based golf equipment

Be part of golf equipment of grownup fanatics—astronomy, boat constructing, blacksmithing, cosplay, the Society for Artistic Anachronism (SCA), historic re-enacting, and extra.

You get an enormous bang in your buck—your pupil will get to study from fanatics (and you may flip that into highschool credit), they get mentored by an grownup/s who is not a mum or dad, they construct a resume, they usually work with individuals who can write wanted letters of reference/suggestion.

Volunteer at a museum

My son volunteered at Nauticus, our native maritime discovery museum. He needed to turn out to be an knowledgeable on sharks, horseshoe crabs, knot tying and maritime sign flags, amongst different issues. They offered the bottom coaching, after which he went off and did tons of analysis. Then each Sunday, he labored as a docent and taught these subjects.

Right here you’ve gotten a number of advantages:

  1. Your teen can earn a highschool credit score.
  2. Their volunteer hours can go towards the Presidential Service Award and/or The Congressional Award (I’m an advisor for The Congressional Award in case your college students desires to work towards that achievement).
  3. Volunteer hours can go on the coed’s resume.
  4. The particular person your pupil works for can present a letter of advice.
  5. You may get sources to create additional highschool credit—all without cost, relying on the museum. Make buddies with the curators, and see if they are going to train your teen.

Search for summer season analysis/internships/jobs

Summer time analysis and internships are tough to seek out and might take numerous analysis by dad and mom. I helped my children write resumes for the businesses we recognized as doubtlessly providing internships and jobs. My community of buddies and enterprise associates was typically in a position to assist by priming the contact particular person at a enterprise to count on a chilly name from my children.

Don’t be shy to make requests of individuals on behalf of your youngster. Get buddies of buddies that will help you out—these experiences construct resumes, could possibly be became credit, and might be sources of letters of advice.

After I crowd sourced on social media, homeschool group member Chas Felton mentioned it may be helpful to permit “your pupil to have a part-time job. This helps with educating them how one can handle their cash, how one can be accountable, handle their time, deal with battle, and permits college students to converse with others from varied backgrounds. Most of the scholarship organizations we work with admire seeing a pupil who has a need to contribute financially. This was a bonus for us.”

Jeanne Faulconer steered that when a teen demonstrates entrepreneurship by beginning a enterprise, their expertise contributes to their resume.

Homeschool group member Kelly Florence added, “In the event that they do have any curiosity in a specialty discipline which could possibly be viable as a small enterprise, enable them to register for their very own enterprise LLC. . . . My son who’s serious about environmental sciences owned his personal farm-to-table produce enterprise which positively helped to offset his common SAT scores.” [Ed. note: Be sure to consult with a CPA and attorney before forming any sort of business entity, since there are tax and legal implications.]

Do a spot yr

Jeanne added {that a} productive/modern/inventive/adventurous hole yr and a portfolio of authentic work or analysis (relying in your supposed main) will add to your teen’s software.

Construct a portfolio or resume

If it is smart for the specified program the coed might be getting into, a portfolio might be a superb technique to showcase expertise and accomplishments. Whether or not a digital portfolio for dance, a visible portfolio for artwork, or a portfolio overlaying a serious undertaking, think about whether or not some type of portfolio could be helpful to showcase a pupil’s work.

Submitting a resume can present a pupil’s strengths exterior of the classroom. Janny Alvarado, an admissions counselor at Roanoke School in Virginia, mentioned that Roanoke School college students “are extremely engaged exterior the classroom,” and the admissions workplace likes to see that incoming college students have an identical penchant for “neighborhood service, extracurriculars and taking up management roles.” These actions might be highlighted by way of a well-crafted resume.

If a school doesn’t settle for resumes as a part of an software, an essay may work properly as an alternative. Many faculties, Roanoke School amongst them, enable software essays to be written on the coed’s selection of topics. Ms. Alvarado factors out that this permits college students to spotlight their uniqueness and differentiate themselves from different candidates.

Until particularly towards software directions, potential faculty college students can add components that do not match elsewhere on a school’s software platform (corresponding to a resume and course descriptions) to the tip of their transcript doc, which might be saved as a PDF file. That approach, all of the paperwork are uploaded as a single file.


Cat Jackson added, “Analysis! Analysis is a good addition to any faculty software. It has at all times been a formidable element to my children’ purposes in addition to my shoppers’. Typically, you may method a neighborhood faculty professor along with your pursuits. In lots of instances, they are going to tackle a highschool pupil in case your pupil presents themselves as mature and academically curious.”

Jeanne Faulconer additionally steered utilizing completely documented citizen science  and impartial science tasks to show analysis talents.

Take note of program necessities

Jeanne identified that some faculties and universities have normal admission necessities and extra stringent or completely different necessities for specific majors. A pupil can find yourself being admitted to the college however not the “college” or “faculty” inside the college that hosts the supposed main.

This could possibly be an engineering college (inside a college) which could need extra math for its college students or an artwork college which desires a portfolio or a music/performing arts college which requires auditions. It is very important plan your highschool credit primarily based on the necessities of the specified “college” or “faculty” inside the college.

Most of the greatest methods to study and to showcase studying are usually not present in costly exterior courses. Get inventive and assist your teen stand out from the group.

We might love to listen to how teenagers are engaging in this (with their permission in fact!), so please tell us within the feedback what has labored in your homeschooled highschool college students.

High school homeschool curriculum: keeping it simple and inexpensive.



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