Day 1: Covering the Basics
[View the entire series HERE]
If you’ve been homeschooled for any length of time, you already understand how many choices there are for homeschooling the high school years.
- follow the same curriculum and take the same courses as teens in traditional high schools;
- do things differently, even as radically as not taking those subjects at all;
- or, anything along a vast continuum in between.
Having options is the trademark of homeschooling — freedom of choice.
Also keep in mind as you are reading this, that no matter what kind of homeschooler you are, there is a college out there for you — uniquely you.
Here’s the catch, though. Colleges are going to want to know who you are, what you took in high school, what you can already do when you arrive — and what you’ll bring to the table once you get there.
Unless you select an open admissions college, one that admits every student who applies, or one that has no entrance requirements whatsoever (pretty hard to find), it’s a fact. You can’t get around it. At least not this year.
Freedom aside, let’s talk reality.
The truth is, most colleges want to know you’ve covered the basics — English, mathematics, science, history, foreign languages and so on. So, whether you’re learning these things in the form of traditional high school courses (lessons, books or lectures), or whether you’re learning this stuff through exploration and experiencing them on your own, they need to be there. On your transcript. When you apply.
Imagine a student graduating from an American high school today. He or she has probably completed (hopefully successfully, with decent grades) the following classes:
- 4 English courses (including lots of writing)
- 4 math courses (including Algebra and math even “higher” than that)
- 3 science courses (usually, with labs)
- 2 or 3 social science courses (like history or geography)
- at least a couple of foreign language classes (sometimes called World Languages)
- a couple of arts courses (like music, art or theater)
- at least 1 or 2 health, P.E. or fitness courses
- maybe an online course or two
- maybe a computer class, or something in the technologies
- a bunch of electives (sometimes focusing on the same general area)
If you’re applying to colleges, you should really be taking those kinds of classes in high school, too.
Do you need to take them all? Do you need exactly the same ones? Can you complete more, less or different ones? No, no and yes. And you can learn the material differently than other teens, too.
But the reality is that admissions officers — at most colleges – expect to see mastery in those areas on a high school transcript. So you’ll need to cover those skills, too.
Stay tuned tomorrow for — Day 2: Focus on Writing.
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