hsm wrote:I know I am ahead of the game here, but I am a planner by nature so I would like to ask about college planning even though my oldest is only in 6th grade. I know how fast time flies.
Anyone who has btdt, can you pass on any advice/encouragement that would be helpful for the upcoming high school/college planning years. I do plan to use MFW high school so that should cover most of my bases.
hsm wrote:Another MFW user directed me toward MFW's planning guide and to HSLDA high school site. These were both very helpful. I would still love to hear anyone else's experiences and pointers, especially in regards to nurturing a child's gifts/career exploration.
I'll chime in, but hopefully you'll gradually hear from several, because this is a seminar topic LOL. In fact, in my area, several homeschool parents have developed seminars, and there are sometimes such seminars at our state convention. But let's see if I can try to be concise for once in my life
First of all, HSLDA as you mentioned is a wonderful resource. I've used their transcript form and I've even called and talked with one of their high school consultants about details of my daughter's unique situation. They are wonderful there.
And as you mentioned, the MFW office and just the MFW high school program will take care of a lot of the thinking for you. If you've looked through one of the high school samples on the website, you'll find a page outlining expectations at two colleges and outlining the MFW plan.
hsm wrote:When do you start contacting colleges to ask about admission requirements for homeschooled students?
You can begin now if it will make you feel more prepared, but things change often. You can start by doing an online search. For example, I did a quick search for "university of minnesota admission homeschool" and the first page that came up boasts of being evaluated by HSLDA! http://www1.crk.umn.edu/admissions/prospective/other/
In 11th grade, you will need to get serious about preparing for application, and actual application for college may happen as early as the summer after 11th but the majority of the time it will be the end of January during 12th grade.
How do you know which colleges to contact when a child really doesn't know the field they would like to go into? She has some ideas but being so young and an indecisive personality in general, she naturally changes her mind often
Again, the internet is your friend. For instance, some major publications post "top 10" type lists overall and in specific fields or specific budgets, such as US News, Forbes, and Princeton Review. Individual colleges also post their "enrollment statistics" and such.
There are also homeschool and college parent forums like College Confidential, where you can ask questions of experienced parents. (I'm not promoting any one site; I canceled my College Conf. membership because it wasn't the kind of chatting atmosphere I prefer -- they are very serious!)
hsm wrote:What grade in high school do you start visiting colleges?
Again, probably 11th grade, but it's up to you. If you happen to travel to an area, or you have a field trip day, feel free to stop in at a college or ask about official tours. Sometimes they will give you a personal tour, and forever you will be on their mailing list for group tours (oldest son is 29 and still gets invites here).
hsm wrote:And what tests do you do and when? (For example...ACT, act prep, etc.)
The SAT is the most common test on the east and west coasts, and the ACT is common in the middle. However, most schools accept either, and it might be worth trying a practice test in both, to see what your student prefers. My son definitely had a preference for the ACT, but I've heard others like the SAT. Traditionally, the ACT was more a test of "accumulated knowledge" and the SAT more of an "intelligence" test, but they both seem to be merging together somewhat.
In Minnesota, we have to do standardized tests yearly, so in the fall of 9th, I began with the PLAN test (pre-ACT), then he did the PSAT in the falls of 10th and 11th (in 11th, it counts towards the National Merit scholarship competition), and then in the spring of 11th and fall of 12th my son did the ACT for real.
All tests are usually held at public high schools, some private high schools, and in the case of the PLAN some homeschool groups. I typically contact the school counselor to sign up.
hsm wrote:Any other advice as we look ahead to high school and college planning.
Just that 9th grade begins a new era in your homeschool. For the student, it means work that isn't finished doesn't go away. For the parent, it means that record-keeping of some sort doesn't go away, so you will at some point be able to create an accurate transcript and possibly present a portfolio.
hsm wrote:Also, how do you encourage your child to explore career options/areas of study? Specifically, realistic goals. My dd often has very elaborate, neat plans but often are not realistic in terms of security or feasibility. While I want them to pursue dreams and God given gifts, I also want them to be prepared to be self sufficient and realistic, but I also don't want to crush dreams and confidence. Hope that makes sense.
I don't think kids are normally realistic until maybe 11th or 12th grade, or even later. However, you can start printing out a page of requirements for a school she looks at now and then (not just minimum requirements, but averages for those who were actually admitted). In 10th grade, MFW assigns a research paper and my son did it on medical careers. I thought it really helped him see the whole range of individual careers out there. He mostly did interviews, but the library also had some good reference books like the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which you can look at online http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
hsm wrote:My dd "may" be a STEM major (veterinarian), but as I mentioned she changes her mind often. She has also expressed interest in Culinary Arts-two very different career choices.
I think it's best to prepare for the stars even if you think she might not get there. To me, all STEM careers require a strong math base. Not only is math required, but almost all of the upper sciences spend a ton of time doing mathematical calculations. Being comfortable with math will mean not only getting into college, but not dropping her major because of the math. After the spiritual and values-based understanding of the world parts of MFW, math is my next priority.