Homeschooling high school can be intimidating and there is so much to do to prepare for college. It can be, in a word, overwhelming. If you’re currently homeschooling a high school student or will be at some point, I can’t recommend highly enough The Homescholar Guide to College Admissions and Scholarships.
Lee is a recognized authority on homeschooling high school, preparing transcripts, and helping parents of homeschooled teens navigate the waters of the college admissions and scholarship process. She regularly shares her expertise on her blog, The HomeScholar and now that same practical wisdom is available in her latest book.
The Homescholar Guide to College Admissions and Scholarships is available on Kindle, too, but I loved having the paperback version…and my handy highlighter. I might need to buy a new highlighter now, though. It got quite the workout as I was reading this book.
Preparing your homeschooled teen for college
If you’ve ever read Lee’s blog, you’re going to recognize her down-to-earth, conversational tone in this fantastic resource guide. Although the college application process is daunting, Lee breaks it down into easy-to-understand language and ends each section with an “Executive Summary for Busy Parents,” a bullet-point guide covering the take-away and action points for each chapter.
Lee covers important topics such as:
- Preparing for college from planning a rigorous academic schedule for high school to when to take which tests
- Finding the right college, whether your student wants to attend a private, public, or Ivy League school
- How and when to apply to colleges
- Taking the right steps to apply for financial aid and scholarships
- Practical considerations like a gap year, cutting costs and dealing with colleges who aren’t homeschool-friendly
Because I have two dyslexic students, I really appreciated the chapter on College for Struggling Learners, which introduced me to the fact that there are colleges that specialize in students with learning challenges.
What if my homeschooled student isn’t going to college?
I sincerely believe that every homeschooling parent needs to read this book, even if you don’t think that your child is going to attend college because, as Lee says on both her blog and in her book, kids change their minds. I love her philosophy of providing all homeschooled high school students with a college prep education because either they’re going to go to college and they need to be prepared or they aren’t going to go to college and the high school education you provide them is going to be their highest level of education – so make it count.
Rather than try to tell you why I think you need this book, I’ll let The Homescholar Guide to College Admissions and Scholarships speak for itself. Here are some of the insights that I highlighted:
“…give you student a sample test in both the SAT and the ACT. Take the test at home, and the score will tell you where they stand in relation to most of the students on each college campus. This will also give you an idea of whether your student can handle the academic load typical of that college.”
“Sometimes [colleges] get frustrated when homeschoolers demonstrate an over-emphasis on classic literature, and they prefer that students also include popular literature.” (Check out Lee’s suggestions for college-bound reading lists.)
“Read to [struggling learners] their textbooks and the classics, and use audio books if possible. Even in college, they can be allowed help with reading.”
Helpful resources for homeschoolers planning to go to college
The whole book is filled with these kind of practical tips and encouragement. It also includes a helpful resource section with tools such as:
- A high school planning guide to help you make sure you cover the courses that will expected on a transcript
- A guide to planning and comparing college costs
- A college application check list
- College-bound reading list (including a list for struggling readers)
- Leadership and community service ideas
- A helpful glossary of college application vocabulary to make sure you understand terms on college applications that may be unfamiliar
Because I’ve got a whole list of things I wish I’d done differently with Brianna’s high school years, I’m relieved to have a copy of Lee’s book as I prepare for The High School Years, Round 2. I’m also excited to have a copy to give away!
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This post is linked to the Homeschool High School blog hop.