I received the following question:
Hi! How do you handle the advanced student and how do colleges view young applicants. Is it better to stretch the younger student till the “typical” age before plugging her into high school/college prep classes or just let her “graduate” early and proceed as a young college student? I am conflicted!
It really can be a struggle to decide whether to just challenge a student, or whether to skip them ahead. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are a few questions to ask yourself to help determine which route is best for your family.
1. While your student is advanced academically, are they advanced in maturity? Many times students may be strong academically but are still developing in their self discipline, time management, responsibility and other aspects of personal maturity. They may not be ready to be around college-age students and have the responsibilities of college-level work.
2. Is your student ready to have...
I was listening to Scott Young, who is a productivity and study skills expert, and he made an important distinction on a recent podcast episode.
Many times we confuse tasks with projects.
This is SO TRUE for both parents and students! Many times we create to-do lists, and put down as tasks activities that are actually more complicated projects that have multiple smaller tasks involved. Even things that might seem mundane, like making a purchase, might actually involve a more complicated process of researching that item, understanding different features, comparing brands, reading reviews, deciding where to buy, determining your budget, making the purchase, and then learning how to use/install/implement the item.
It's a whole project! Yet by putting it down as a "task," we oversimplify and underestimate the emount of time, energy and brainpower that will be involved in that one activity.
This is especially true when it comes to school, academics and study skills! Many times...
What are the basics you need to know if you plan to homeschool high school in Tennessee? Here are some of the top questions I get (also check out my Homeschooling High School Resource Guide here!).
NOTE: I am not a lawyer, and this is not intended to give legal advice.
There are three ways to homeschool in Tennessee:
1. Register through your Local Education Association (LEA), basically your local public school.
Advantages: Free, simple to do, only have to track the days you were schooling (minimum of 4 hours per day) for 180 days (the calendar you have to turn in can be found here)
Disadvantages: Have to test in 5th, 7th and 9th grade, do not have a homeschool-friendly advocate for you, the parent has to have a GED or high school diploma or utilize a tutor who has a GED or high school diploma, and there is no diploma/transcript issued (parents create diploma and transcript and have to send to colleges).
So how did I get here?
Well to start, this is not what I though I would be doing when I was in high school or college, though I still daily use the skills I acquired along the way.
I was homeschooled all the way through my high-school graduation, and was blessed to have an insider-track on college prep with a dad who was a college professor. This led to several steps that ultimately resulted in me getting paid to go to college:
1. I had a solid academic foundation
2. I had a clear picture of what career path I wanted to pursue
3. I knew the scholarship requirements early-on and set them as goals for myself in my test-prep
4. I was careful to meet the deadlines and make the right connections along the application process, and chose to go to an affordable school (even though I could have gotten into a higher-ranked college)
5. I didn't stop searching for scholarships once I got to college, but kept pursuing funding each semester
My second year of college I started tutoring...
I've heard the following questions SO many times!
Do I really need to take algebra?
Why do I need to read that book?
Why am I required to study history?
When am I ever going to use proofs?
Am I actually going to use chemistry?
This is a waste of time!
I get it. There are a bunch of subjects that are required for high school that, if you look from the outside, seem like they are completely unrelated to the direction we are headed. So why are they required? How can we motivate our teens to do their best in a subject when we can't name the last time we had to diagram a sentence or complete an algebraic equation?
You Don't Know Where You're Headed
I'm not doing what I thought I would be career-wise in high school. Statistically, neither will your teens. Right now the average person is holding 12+ jobs over the course of their life according to Zippia! The days of preparing for and staying in one career field for life have been replaced with a progression of...
You want to see your child succeed after high-school. You have researched and talked with friends, but there is so much conflicting college prep advice. Which exams should your high-school student take? When should they start preparing? Do you need to sign up for dual enrollment or AP tests? And how can you start preparing for college if your teen doesn't even know what he or she wants to do? What if they want to pursue a career path you don't know anything about? What then? If this sounds familiar then you are in the right place!
I was paid to go to college because I had a clear plan for a career path, and I created UniversityReady to help families be strategic in their approach to career and college preparation!
My heart is to help...
I received the following question about science credits:
I have a daughter finishing 9th grade. She has done well in Biology 1 but doesn't want to take Chemistry or Physics. She is preparing for college and is unsure of her career at this point. She's not interested in science or math careers. She's English and History minded and artsy. What is your opinion of allowing her to take advanced Biology and maybe Marine Biology instead of Chemistry and Physics.
Great question! It can be confusing on the requirements when it comes to science, as we typically associate the core sciences of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as being mandatory.
Flexibility in Science
However, unlike math where Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry are pretty much required nation-wide, there is a lot more flexibility in most states when it comes to science requirements. By far Biology is the most commonly required science (if any), with Physical Science coming in second. In most states, there are...
One of the most important skills a student can learn in high school is how to eat a frog.
Yep. You heard me right.
There are a couple of different quotes, attributed to Mark Twain (although more likely said by Nicolas Chamfort), which go something like this:
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day"
"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."
Okay, now that you've lost your appetite, let's get serious. Obviously we're not really encouraging you to go out and gorge yourself on a poor amphibian, but rather that you should tackle whatever sounds the least appealing first in your day. Getting that unpleasantry out of the way on the front end allows for things to be smoother as the day progresses because you've already got the most difficult part out of the way.
Academically speaking, this means...
For dual enrollment, does each college semester class count as 1 credit or .5 credits for high school?
Great question! So when you are looking at the content that is covered in a Dual Enrollment course, a one-semester college class is typically considered to be the equivalency of a year of high school. So what you would normally cover in a whole year of high school Spanish 1 will be covered in one semester of Spanish at a college, a year of biology in high school will be equivalent to the first semester of biology in college, etc (should definitely take that into consideration when evaluating if your teen is ready for Dual Enrollment!).
How does that count when it comes to your transcript? When you take a Dual Enrollment course through a college (whether online, at the college campus, or at your high school through a DE arrangement), you will typically receive 3 hours of college credit (which will be on a transcript from that college that you will send to the school you...
I received the following question:
My daughter is in 8th grade this year. I am curious, if she takes classes this year that meet her HS requirements, can I count them as such or does she have to wait until next year for them to count?
The answer to this really depends upon your specific school or entity that you are under academically, but generally speaking yes, you can typically count 2-3 credits from junior high (7th/8th grade) towards your high school credit requirements.
Usually there are restrictions on the type of credits that are allowed, and they typically fall into the following three categories:
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