Parents should start thinking about their child’s college future when the child is little and before their education begins since this will be the foundation of how they view learning and the skills/knowledge they learn to prepare them for this next step.
An online homeschool program is one of the best things a parent can do for their student whether they start them in this format or transition into it in the later grades. The curriculum should be solid and be highly recommended while the platform should be easy to navigate and use daily to complete my assignments and exams.
There are many options available to choose from so it is important to carefully research and review each site for accreditations, college prep designations, student reviews and tools/resources for students and parents.
Grades are always important, but they become even more so starting in 9th grade when the report card becomes the foundation for the transcript required for college admission. Students and parents should work together to ensure the child receives the instruction they need to understand the material as well as additional tutoring or assistance with online resources that are available through the platform. The program’s guidance counsellor (or equivalent position) should also begin working with students to create a plan for graduation. This includes what classes and number of credits are required to graduate along with electives that will support the student’s future goals and aspirations.
A benefit of using the best online homeschool program is the flexibility for the student to learn at their own pace so they can fully grasp the concepts and be successful in their high school studies, but this is also dependent on the quality of the curriculum and usability of the platform.
Graduation year is too late to start looking at application deadlines and college requirements because most students have already completed the process and the boards are looking forward to the admissions for the upcoming fall semester. The overall process can be complex and has several moving parts when you consider the application, financial and specific institution standards so counsellors recommend getting familiar with the process in 9th grade. This includes identifying which colleges the student is interested in attending whether based on location, degree programs or scholarship opportunities. Online website tools are very helpful and can provide information about multiple schools with just a few clicks but should be done by both the parent and the student so there is open communication and moving in the same direction.
The best online homeschool programs should offer information (at a minimum) if not opportunities to take national tests such as the ACT and SAT which are used in the admissions process in conjunction with the transcript, application and essay if required. These can be taken as early as 9th and 10th grade to determine the student’s baseline and then re-taken in the next couple years to obtain a higher score which is always the one the school will accept and use. Study materials are available in bookstores and some homeschool programs offer prep classes as electives to help students prepare for these challenging exams and should be taken advantage of as they are part of the program’s cost/tuition.
Dual enrollment is a great option that helps students get their two-year degree at the same time they receive their high school diploma and is more affordable than waiting until after graduation. The best online homeschool program will have a specific college (or colleges) they partner with that students can attend virtually, and classes are credited to both programs. This is an ideal way to get the basic courses out of the way so that graduates can go straight into their core degree program with whichever college has accepted them. It is important to confirm that the universities where the student is applying will accept the Associate’s degree from the college which is why accreditation in both areas is an important feature.
The best way to help prepare your student for college is to give them the right tools, resources and foundation for them to succeed and confidently move forward into the next phase of their journey if they decide they want to attend and get their degree.
Getting established with quality backed homeschool program early is important since they have professional instructors and other resources that can help navigate the entire process from beginning to end. This reduces the risk of being overwhelmed and possibly missing key dates and steps that will affect the outcome. It also guarantees that documentation will be easy to access and in the proper format that colleges are looking for, making the process smoother and easier for the student to go where they want. No matter the student’s age now is the time to start laying the foundation for their future.