I’m blogging all week about our fears and how to fight them. From my own fears as a homeschool mom and my experience as a homeschool graduate, I’ll be sharing insights and reflections on these tough questions. It’s going to be a great week of getting vulnerable and gaining victory.
When my mom first began homeschooling some 24 years ago, she encountered a lot of challenges. For one, there was no internet as we know it today (I can’t imagine homeschooling without the internet!) Then, too, schools, colleges, and even the military were much more skeptical about homeschoolers, hesitating to accept them without an accredited transcript. When my brother wanted to join the airforce right out of high school, they insisted that he must have time in a classroom (even though he did exceptionally well on all of their tests). So, my brother completed his senior year in four months at our local high school. To avoid the same difficulties when it came time for me, we completed much of my high school work through a distance learning program offered by Texas Tech University so that my transcripts would be accredited.
Now, however, most of those same challenges are non-existent. As a generation of homeschoolers proved that they could hold their own academically and otherwise, colleges became more eager to accept homeschool graduates. And with the changing times came different fears. While my mom’s fears were, “will my children be accepted into college?”, our fear today as homeschoolers is “will my child be ready?”
Surprisingly, a lot of college preparation is a part of every day life. I knew how to take notes during lectures because for years I’d taken sermon notes in church. I knew how to manage my time because of all the extra-curricular activities I was involved in, and because my mom put me in charge of making out my own schedule. I knew how to set deadlines and break large assignments into smaller ones not only from my school work but also from my part-time job at our local newspaper.
Though a highlight for homeschooling is flexibility, time management should still be a key lesson regardless of your homeschool style and approach. Keeping track of your time during your work is good stewardship and a valuable life lesson. Use a timer or a stopwatch to help your child complete tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Train him to schedule his day so that all of his tasks get completed. Teach him how to break large assignments into smaller tasks.
In an earlier post, I listed a couple of places to find yearly academic standards to make sure you are on track with your child’s education. But keep in mind that preparing for college involves more than just getting a good SAT score. And for those children whose plans for the future do not involve college, homeschooling provides the flexibility to prepare them for exactly what God has for them. Teach them to set reasonable goals and plan steps to reach those goals.
Have more questions about graduating a homeschooler? Check out 5 Days of Graduating a Homeschooler and a number of other terrific posts at the Homeschool Crew blog hop.