8 Software Tools Teens Can Master Today

8 Software Tools Teens Can Master Today

(The following is a guest post from Lolita Allgyer, Marketing Associate and advisor at Praxis.)

8 Software Tools Teens Can Master Today

Getting a job looks pretty complicated when you’re young. That world is far away, right? That comes after you graduate college and are ready to take on the world, correct?

Not really. In fact, today it’s never been easier to gain expertise in the areas that all businesses are eager to build out. Innovation has made it possible for young people like you to break into some of the coolest careers available! One of the best ways to set yourself apart today is to learn software tools that are common to many businesses. Here are just a few examples:

Google Suite

If your résumé says “detail-oriented” this should be on your list. Even if it’s not, mastering Google’s tools will give you experience quickly in the art of organizing and systematizing data. Get your Google Suite certification here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Write a blog series showing the little tricks most people don’t know.
  • Make a tutorial series outlining the basic concepts of each part of Google Suite.
  • Create a short webinar geared toward people who quickly want to navigate Google’s products.
  • Write a Medium article detailing how you mastered Google Suite.

Microsoft Excel

This is a must if you want any kind of analytical role. Without spreadsheets you’ll be left handicapped! Learn Excel and learn it well. Even for those who hate numbers and want nothing to do with data, mastering excel will give you an edge in the digital world, where many people aren’t organized. You can get many different levels of Excel certification here!

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Make a Youtube tutorial series (like this one created by a Praxis participant)
  • Create spreadsheets with data from your favorite sports team, and write an analysis of your findings
  • Find a small business you love and help them build a simple CRM 
  • Start tracking some of your routines and write an article breaking down what works and what doesn’t

Salesforce

Salesforce is today’s top CRM platform. If you’re considering a marketing or sales role, learning how to navigate a CRM is essential. Even if the companies you end up working for don’t use Salesforce, your basic knowledge of a CRM will be valuable for understanding the way sales and marketing funnels work! You can get your Salesforce Administrator Certification here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build a basic CRM for a small business near you.
  • Create minute-long videos about your tips for learning Salesforce and post them to your social media.
  • Create a short podcast series where you teach Salesforce for those who have no clue where to start.
  • Coach someone through the process of learning the program!

Mailchimp

Email is still the biggest way businesses communicate with each other. It’s crucial to learn an email management software, especially for anyone who is interested in marketing or customer service! Mailchimp is one of the more common platforms. (Hubspot would be another example of a tool that fits in this category.) Chimp Essentials is a great course for learning Mailchimp! Check it out here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build out an email funnel for a company you’d like to get hired at. Make sure your copy is strong and that you have the HTML files on standby so they can easily access them!
  • Create a simple mailing list of your own. Play around with signup forms, open and clickthrough rates, and email copy.
  • Teach a couple of small businesses near you how to use the platform for their companies!
  • Run a webinar where you teach the tricks you learned while studying Mailchimp

Facebook Ads

It’s an obvious for someone who wants to go into marketing. But I think it’s equally as valuable for salespeople and customer service associates to know what goes into running an ad! Facebook’s certifications can be found here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Build a small Shopify store and run ads to get people to buy your products
  • Find an entrepreneur who has a small marketing budget and offer to run ads for them.
  • Write a daily blog post about what you’ve learned in Facebook Ads world.
  • Put together a Tweet thread that summarizes what you’ve learned.

Google Analytics

Want to start your own business? Interested in sales or marketing? Then master Google Analytics! You’ll be empowered if you know what the data means and how to act on it! Access Google’s Analytics Academy here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Plug in your personal website and write an analysis of what you learned and what you can do to optimize the site.
  • Make screenshare videos of Google Analytics functions that are helpful to you and upload them to Youtube.
  • Write a simple E-book on Google Analytics and publish it.
  • Find marketing groups on Facebook and write up some blog posts on the topic to share with them.

(Need more great ideas for your teens?  Check out our other career planning posts.)

Zoom

Video conferencing is a big deal in today’s world. If you’re in customer service, sales, or any other role where you talk to people often, it’s good to have mastered the ins and outs of a service like Zoom. Mastering this tool also means being able to walk other people through minor tech issues with the program, so make sure you can communicate what you’ve learned effectively! Zoom has some pretty cool live training for each of its different functions. Check it out here!

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Create a tutorial teaching newbies how to run a webinar via Zoom.
  • Write a series of blog posts about creative ways to use the platform for business.
  • Record a live training session where you’re walking someone through the basics of Zoom.
  • Go on Quora and search for people’s questions about Zoom. Now that you’re an expert, you can answer them!

Trello

Want to manage a team someday? Thinking of starting a business? Then it’s time you learn to master your workflow! Trello is one of the best tools to plug in no matter what your job description is. There’s a pretty cool Trello course here.

Ideas for documenting your knowledge:

  • Invite your friends to Trello and plan a couple of events on the platform.
  • Try managing a project you’re completing solely through Trello. Write a Medium article about what you learned.
  • Create an Instagram or Facebook story showing people how you use Trello!
  • Create a time management course and showcase how Trello can help time management.

Final ideas on software tools teens can master – 

  1. You can host all these tools and your other skills on a free Crash profile. Using the Crash platform, you’ll be able to show your work in a beautiful visual format and create personalized pitches to companies you want to work for. Take the fun Crash career quiz to get started! 
  2. Remember to build skills in as many areas as possible. If you’re in sales, that’s great. Lots of people are in sales. But if killing a sales role AND you have a bunch of marketing tools in your back pocket, you’ll be able to leverage many more opportunities! In today’s world of opportunities, it pays to have a diverse portfolio!
  3. Documentation is the most important part! You can master all these tools, but if no one else knows what you’ve accomplished, it’s not going to be nearly as valuable to you in the long run. Be open about your learning process, and create value for others with the skills you’re building! 

Ready to take on the world of software? Let’s do it!

Loved this? Consider applying to Praxis. We’ll help you find and build your skills, then put them to work in a startup apprenticeship. You’ll get much more coaching like this, access to a community of entrepreneurial young people like you, and a portfolio of work that will speak for you wherever you go. 

How to Perpare Your Kids for After Graduation Lolita Allgyer

Lolita Allgyer is a homeschool grad who loves education. She is a Marketing Associate and advisor at Praxis, where she works with other young people to help them build careers they love through apprenticeships. She originally published this piece here on the Praxis blog. In her spare time she is learning as much about the world as possible. Her latest interests are French and the ukulele. Interested in an apprenticeship or just want to chat about this idea? She would love to hear your thoughts! Her email is lolita(at)discoverpraxis(dot)com.

 

 

Are you looking for great software tools teens can master today? Check out this great list to help propel your high school student forward!  #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #teens #homeschooling

21 Ways to Accelerate Your Career as a Homeschool Student

21 Ways to Accelerate Your Career as a Homeschool Student

(The following is a guest post from Lolita, a content strategist at Praxis.)

You’re probably not thinking about your career seriously yet. You’re not alone.

Many teens push professional goals aside and just focus on getting through high school. Then college time hits and they’re left with just focusing on getting through college. After that? You guessed it. They just get through work, left wondering what they missed in high school and college.

Your professional life doesn’t have to be boring and life-sucking. In fact, it should be fun.

Want to accelerate your career? Start today to set yourself apart.

The coolest thing about these ideas is they don’t change depending on where you’re going to college or what your major is. They don’t change if you’re wanting to take a gap year or skip college, either.

I’ve linked these ideas to lots of outside resources so you can do some more research and follow the ideas wherever they lead you (because it’s no fun to follow anyone’s advice verbatim!)

  1. Teach yourself an instrument. (Don’t get a teacher. Learn it yourself.)
  2. Build a website. No one else has a personal website at your age! Document your high school experience and your projects there!
  3. Teach someone else a skill. What better way to pass on what you know?
  4. Learn a skill set that is uncommon today. Study something like blacksmithing or knitting.
  5. Blog every day for a month. See if it won’t change your writing skills.
  6. Do anything every day for a month. You’d be surprised at the skills you build by sticking to something for thirty days.
  7. Set your goals in 30-day segments. Want to learn something new? Build a 30-day project around that goal.
  8. Read x amount every single day. Instead of setting a huge goal of reading a certain amount of books, start small. Read 30 pages every day, or 20, or 10: whatever you feel you can handle. 20 pages per day is 140 pages per week. That’s a small book’s amount! Besides, once you get started reading, you’re more likely to keep going.
  9. Complete a short course that’s relevant to your career interests. Places like Udemy have great courses that can help you expand your mind and build new skills!
  10. Go to conferences. Meet up with other people that think like you. Challenge your mind to think outside the box. Build your network young!
  11. Volunteer. There are hundreds of ways you can give back to your community and invest in yourself at the same time!
  12. Get a part-time job. Nothing will give you better experience than working in the market and making money for it.
  13. Find a mentor. Do you have big goals or ideas? Find someone ahead of you in those goals and learn from them. Better yet, do some free work for them and show them how much their advice matters to you.
  14. Start a podcast. Want to share your ideas with the world? It’s not hard to get started podcasting! You’ll build public speaking and content creation skills to boot.
  15. Learn how to email well. This is a skill you’ll need in your career. Learn it now.
  16. Use social media to your advantage. It doesn’t take long to establish yourself as an expert in the things you’re interested in!
  17. Read Breaking Smart. This series of essays will change the way you think about technology and its future.
  18. Dive into things as soon as they interest you. When those big questions hit you, take advantage of them. Research until you are tired of the subject. Write a paper on what you learned.
  19. Ask for recommendations. Some of the best books I have read were recommended to me by colleagues and peers. Same goes for videos, podcasts, and many other forms of content.
  20. Get good at learning things from Google. In today’s world, the ability to quickly and seamlessly learn something new is an advantage. Cultivate this while you’re young!
  21. Learn something new every day. Above all, make the commitment to never stop growing! Don’t fall into the rut of checking boxes. Take control of your learning experience today!

Want more ideas on how to prepare your homeschooler for their future career?  Check out some of True North Homeschool Academy’sother posts on career readiness today!

Hey, I’m Lolita, content strategist at Praxis and lifelong learner. I was homeschooled for most of my high school experience; I spent a lot of that time running a small business raising dogs.  I’m a guinea pig of all the ideas I mentioned above. You can follow me on Quora, where I dive into writing answers for fun. Check out my Instagram, where I’ve challenged myself to do things like a streak of daily polaroids. I tweet sometimes here, and post about my work on Facebook here. My email is lolita@discoverpraxis.com and I’m always excited to talk about education, career success, and big ideas!

Is your homeschooler prepared for their future career? Check out these 21 ways for your homeschool student to accelerate their career! #TrueNorthHomechoolAcademy #career #homeschoolhighschool

Planning for the Future by Building Integrity

Planning for the Future by Building Integrity

(The following is a guest post from Val Harrison, author & homeschool mom.  For more information about instilling integrity in your homeschool student, check out our podcast Life Skills 101, over on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.)

I’m honored to write a guest blog post for my new friend Lisa of True North.  Lisa and I share the same passion for encouraging and equipping parents and students with what they need to succeed – be it at home, academically, in preparation for a career, or spiritually.  It’s especially exciting to talk about the current True North theme of INTEGRITY.  What a powerful topic!

As a mom, I know that I want my kids to have strong integrity –

  • that they would do the right thing no matter who is or isn’t watching,
  • that they would be committed to speaking truth even under pressure,
  • that they would choose the right thing even if it contradicts what they feel like doing.

On any given day, you can hear me saying to one of my kids, “We do what is best, not what is easy.”   Oh, the good ol’ “mom-isms” of life! There are probably a few at your house as well.  Some of my favorites are:

  • “Work hard before you play hard,”
  • “Don’t trust your feelings, because feelings are deceptive,”
  • “We were created for relationship – relationship with God and relationship with others,”
  • and my all-time favorite, “Do what is best, not what is easy.”

That last one is what INTEGRITY is all about!  It’s about doing what is truly right no matter how we FEEL, no matter what we WANT, and no matter what temptations or pressures may be pushing us toward compromising God’s values.

Good parents are constantly in the process of doing what is right instead of what is easy in the situations they face.  That’s why parenthood is so profoundly impactful to our lives – it requires so much setting aside of self for the good of someone else.  The very essence of a loving parent is integrity.  Now how do we help our children see the necessity for this same quality?  How important is it to teach our children to choose honesty and uprightness no matter what?   Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of convenience, but where they stand in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.” I want to raise children who can stand strong through all the situations of life.

Moms of teenagers, I hope you will have your students read the following part of this post to help them grow in their commitment to integrity as they prepare for a career.

In my book, GAINING MOMENTUM: Preparing Your Student for the Pursuit of a Career with or without College, one of the sections is called, “Power Steps and Career Habits.”  Since Lisa asked me to talk about integrity in this blog post, I thought I would examine some of the power steps and career habits that would be jeopardized by a lack of integrity.  Let’s take a look at just a few of them. First, you’ll see the Power Step or Career Habit, then you see how a lack of integrity destroys it.

Improve Interpersonal COMMUNICATION Skills to Build a Strong Career

Lack of integrity ruins relationships.  One of the success habits I discuss in the book is the importance of growing your interpersonal communication skills or relationship development. Whether it is a parent/student relationship, boss/employee relationship, relationship between co-workers, or even just neighbors, integrity is a critical part of every relationship.    Quality relationships hinge on honesty and doing what is best for the other person even when it is inconvenient or without immediate personal reward.  Honoring a person includes being honest with them and treating them fairly. That is what integrity looks like in a relationship.

A Large Network Solidifies Your Future

Lack of integrity causes a professional network to crumble.  Your goal is to be constantly growing your network of relationships with people in your career field.  This ever-expanding network can produce countless dividends for your efforts. In fact, a large network is seen as a strong hiring asset because that network represents potential clients or potential referrals, and it reveals to an employer that you possess the social skills necessary to grow the company as you have grown your network. However, if you struggle with maintaining strong integrity, that network can crumble quickly.  In contrast, purposeful effort to maintain exceptional character can produce an unparalleled strength in your network.  The strength of your network depends on the strength of your character.

Understand the Power of PERSONAL BRANDING

Lack of integrity destroys a Personal Brand.  We’ve all got a personal brand, and we’re constantly developing it.  From your social media posts to the way you dress, your hygiene, your word choices, your posture, your eye contact and the confidence in your voice; all of these factors and more go into the development of your personal brand. Among the many factors, your personal brand is shaped by your integrity.   When you are dishonest, it sends the message that you can’t be trusted.  When you choose to compromise quality in workmanship, you compromise your personal brand about whether you do dependable work.  If you want to stand out in your career field, stay above reproach in your integrity to keep a strong personal brand.

If You Want to be Great in a Career, Learn to be the Servant of All

Lack of integrity is self-serving rather than serving others. Good integrity requires doing what is right for all involved, not impulsively caring about your own desires above rightness. Conversely, to possess integrity is to possess a value for all people in a given situation, and by so doing, you are serving them. Serving others requires humility and empathy.  It also produces a much better leader, as serving in every level of work throughout the organization gives a more thorough understanding of all the facets of the business.  This principle works because it is a Kingdom Principle – a principle our Creator designed for His Kingdom.  Matthew 20:26 and Mark 10:43 both say that “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be a servant of all.”

God’s Got This – Putting Your Career in God’s Hands

In making decisions, a lack of integrity is relying on your own thoughts rather than relying on God’s wisdom.  “To be honest,” I say in the book Gaining Momentum, “my husband and I don’t want our kids to have their dream jobs.  We want them to have God’s ideal career for each of them.  And there’s only one way to discern what God’s career will is for our students – to help equip them with the habit of seeking His will in all facets of their lives” (49). Imagine that you receive a gift – a package that says, “God’s Choice for Your Career.”  You are excited to find out what it is and to get started on your future!  However, the label on the front of the package reads, “Warning: This gift only works if you utilize the contents according to the directions.”  The directions are God’s principles – your knowledge of them and your ability to implement them.  If you want to be in the center of God’s will for your career, make each decision along the way according to His will, not your own; and that, my friend, is having integrity, doing what is best not what is easy or comfortable.

Integrity Quotes

When someone chooses to compromise their integrity, it reveals five things about them:

Breaking integrity shows a lack of trust in God.

God is allowing you to be in this situation, and He has a way for you to respond that fits within His life principles.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  We must have faith that God’s principles are the best options in any given situation, even if it doesn’t seem like His principles will work in a particular crisis of decision.

Breaking integrity shows a lack of respect for others.

When you make decisions that benefit yourself at others’ expense, you are not honoring them in the situation.  Do you realize that caring enough to be honest with a person reveals your value of that person?  If we truly value someone, we will make decisions that are for others’ good. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

Breaking integrity shows a lack of caring for your own future. 

Dishonesty, compromise in quality, or short-cuts don’t bring lasting stability. All of these impulsive responses come from a lack of self-control.  Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”  It’s like building a house on shifting sand, it’s going to collapse eventually, just as Jesus taught in Matthew 7:24-27.

Breaking integrity shows that we’re not seeing the value that emerges through adversity.

What is that value?  Growth! God doesn’t bring every difficulty that is in your life, but He certainly will bring good out of the difficulty if you stay the course and work through the crisis with His principles as your guide.  When it’s hard to do the right thing yet you do it anyway, God usually has some lessons for you to learn (growth) and some exceptional blessings that follow.

In fact, it has been my experience that the greatest blessings come through adversity.  In contrast, when you compromise right morals in a situation to get what you want when you want and in the way you want, you are missing out on the growth and blessings that may have come from unwavering integrity. Romans 5: 3-5 and James 1:2-4 point out the benefits that transpire from staying strong during hardship.

True North’s name indicates its commitment to unwavering clarity in focus – its compass is set to God’s principles and His ways, no matter what the world around it may choose. I love it! This title can be an inspiration to every student who participates with True North Academy.

We’ve spent the majority of this post talking about how career success hinges on strong integrity, and that is true.  Integrity is essential in business because the Creator of all earthly systems, both seen and unseen systems, are dependent upon the principles that He established. Even unbelievers, if they live by God’s principles, will reap the benefits of those choices. However, the most important reason that you should seek to possess integrity is because God calls us to live a life of obedience to Him.  Matthew 6:33 implores us to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His RIGHTEOUSNESS…” Integrity is a commitment to His Kingdom and His will instead of our own.

May God bless you in your journey to seek a life of integrity!

For more info check out our Soft Skills 101 series on Integrity:

Books and Resources by Val Harrison:

Val Harrison and her husband Rich have seven children. Five have graduated from their homeschool while school is still in session for the youngest two. With a degree in communications, she has taught speech and career skills to homeschool students for just under two decades. She is the author of the book series “Your Family God’s Masterpiece” consisting of three books:  Wearing All Your Hats without Wearing Out, Clash in Your Home: A Game Plan for Cleaning Up the Conflict, and When Littles Are Loud: Maximizing the Moments without Drowning in Chaos.   She is also the author of GAINING MOMENTUM: Preparing Your Student for a Career with or without CollegeVal loves to encourage and equip parents. You are welcome to visit her website and blog at www.PracticallySpeakingMOM.com or on Facebook at Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM.

Do you focus on integrity in your homeschool?  Check out why we think integrity is an important part of your homeschoolers future.  #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #careerpath #integrity #podcast

 

 

CLEP Exams – Everything you Need to Know

CLEP Exams – Everything you Need to Know

(The following is a guest post from Sara Porras.)

If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve heard the question, “But, what about high school?” or “How will they ever get into college?” They don’t understand that you don’t really teach high school, but rather you become their guidance counselor. You choose or help your students, select curriculum, books to read, or even help them find co-op classes or a few online live courses where they learn subjects like Algebra, Latin, or history from a more learned teacher.

When starting my research on homeschooling high school, everyone’s advice seemed to have to do with getting the students into college. Teens take courses to prepare themselves for the college entrance exams, the ACT and the SAT, they volunteer in the community, participate in sports, and they might even earn a few college credits all to appease those college admission counselors. I started to wonder how hard it could be to “get in?”  And although I’m in no hurry to rush them off into a college classroom and or onto a college campus, couldn’t they just start by taking some classes while in high school? What about college-level exams?

The first time I learned about CLEP exams, College Level Examination Program, my understanding was that they were a great way to prove your student had taken courses with academic rigor and that they had mastery of the material they had studied. Honestly, I didn’t know if my bright, but mostly average kids could pass a college-level exam. I had also heard horror stories of kids earning multiple college credits from one source or another, later to learn their student’s college of choice would never accept the credits. I was skeptical.

CLEP Exams can save time and money!

My research quickly led me to some astonishing information. While watching a wonderful webinar by Becky Muldrow of Dual Credit at Home, I learned that not only are homeschool high school students passing these exams and earning college credit, they are also earning associate degrees, and some are earning four year Bachelor degrees.

Wait! What?

They are doing it for a small fraction of the cost of attending a brick and mortar school. There are accredited colleges that accept many college credits via college equivalency exams, dual credit exams, and more! Consider Liberty University, which accepts 75% of 120 credits needed for most bachelor’s degree as transfer credits. Three colleges, known as “The Big Three,” accept almost all credits via transfer. Charter Oak State College, a regionally accredited online college, accepts 114 transfer credits. They offer Bachelor degrees that, if carefully planned, can be obtained for less than $6,000! Our college funds are currently pretty small. However, if we can combine college and high school at the same time, I believe they can finish their undergraduate degree debt-free.

Planning is Key

When planning to do college and high school simultaneously, it’s important to plan well.  You want to make sure your student meets at least your state’s homeschool high school requirements if any. You also need to know the transfer policies at the college your student plans to complete their studies with. Most of the general education or lower-level classes needed for a Bachelor degree are the same subject high school students study. Your student will study subjects at a high school level, add in some extra study and then take and pass a 90-120 minute college-level exam which helps them bank college credit and you can issue them high school credit for their time and effort while studying to learn the material.

CLEP Prep Courses

Our CLEP Exam Journey Begins

Not one to enjoy wasting time or money and enjoying a good challenge, I plunged in with this journey last fall, my twins’ Freshman year of high school. I recommend starting with a subject your student enjoys as your first exam. For our boys, it was US History, and I had already planned to have them study this subject. They began high school history, Omnibus III from Veritas Press in the fall. They did extra studying using Quizlet’s free games, and online flashcards with Speedyprep (HSLDA offers members a discount for Speedyprep.) By February, they were ready to take the plunge and just see how the testing would go with CLEP US History I.

Our First Test!

The staff was quiet and calm when we arrived, and all eyes were on us as they noticed the ages of our kids. They asked if we knew these were college-level exams and there was no guarantee of passing. We paid the $25 proctor fee, per test; fees vary among testing centers. The boys were sent into the testing room and out of my line of sight.

I waited in the lobby for the first hour of the 90-minute exam and returned to wait for the rest of the time in the small testing office just outside the exam room. The receptionist asked where the boys went to school and how old they were. She said quietly, “Oh, I see. Well, a passing score is 50, for most colleges, and we typically see scores just under that or slightly over. Occasionally, someone studies hard and manages a score in the 60’s.”

I told her that I honestly, just wanted them to pass. These exams are pass or fail, and at most schools, will not earn a grade. Ten minutes later, our son Luke emerged from the exam room with a large smile on his face. The receptionist took his printed score off the printer and said, “Nice job, young man!” as she mouthed the words “Seventy-one!” to her co-workers. Two other staff members came out from behind their cubicles to congratulate them.  They also asked about homeschooling and when we planned to return for the next test!  In the meantime, our other son completed his test with a respectable 68! We were elated.

Banking College Credits

Since then, they have banked 12 college credits by passing the Civil War and Reconstruction DSST, which is another college exam worth a 400 level college history course at most schools that accept CLEP, the CLEP American Government, and CLEP US History II. They could also take CLEP American History, which we plan to take next year, which will earn 3-6 credits depending on the transfer school.

The Practicalities

Day to day while preparing for an exam and doing high school? We are currently working on studying a few high school classes, like Algebra II and Spanish, plus one exam at a time. On an average day during this past spring, they would spend an hour doing their high school level history curriculum, thirty minutes practicing online flashcards with SpeedyPrep or Instantcert, around 45 minutes watching videos reviewing the material with Study.com, and around 15 minutes doing the review questions from the free membership with Modern States.

After completing the courses with Modern States, they offer a free voucher to pay for the $89 CLEP exam and will even reimburse the proctor fee. They offer this to the first 10,000 students to apply each year.)  After getting through the Study.com videos, about three weeks per exam, they would spend a week doing practice tests from either Peterson’s or REA and reviewing any areas they were weak in and then they took the exam. The practice exams were equal to or harder than the actual exam. It is a lot of work.  Some subjects will require more time for us. But their success has motivated us to press forward.

Planning for Success

Our son, Luke, has zeroed in on a Bachelor degree in Government with a concentration in Policy and Politics from Liberty University Online.  They accept up to 90 credits of the 120 needed for a degree to be transfer credits.  Because several CLEP exams are worth 6 credits and some language exams are worth up to 12 credits, I believe they can finish all of their general education credits within the next year. We won’t have Luke actually apply to Liberty until he has earned around 80 credits including all of his general education credits which he will earn through these examinations.

During high school, he also plans to volunteer or intern for a non-profit lobbying group which defends school choice, life, and the freedom of religion. Our son Grant is working on his general education requirements and considering all his options including aviation, biology, or cartography. They are working hard toward their goals to complete high school along with a degree at the same time or shortly after and are already eager to work in an area of their interests to make a difference.  We’re enjoying the ride.

(Are you interested in CLEP courses for your high school student?  Check out our CLEP Prep Course offerings at True North Homeschool Academy.)

College Credit in High School
Sara Porras is married to her active-duty military sweetheart, has been homeschooling their three boys since 2011, she enjoys portrait photography, prepping schoolwork plans and tutors online part-time.
To begin your homework on this journey, I recommend checking out Academic Advising and Orienteering at True North Homeschool Academy, Becky Muldrow’s Dual Credit At Home,  Homeschooling for College Credit, and Free-Clep-Prep.

 

 

 

Are you considering CLEP exams for your homeschool student during their high school years?  CLEP exams are a great way to save time and money! #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #CLEPPrep #Homeschooling

Why Use Homeschool Academic Advising?

Why Use Homeschool Academic Advising?

Why do you need homeschool academic advising?

As homeschooling parents, we are called upon to choose curriculum, teach the kids, keep track of credits and graduation requirements and guide our kids to a successful launch. We are the school board, administration, academic advisor and teacher, all rolled into one.

It can be difficult to do all of that on one’s own. I’ve heard several times on homeschooling forums and message boards who state that their parents didn’t help them navigate college or career and they came out just fine. And while I do believe that resiliency and grit are often overlooked and possibly under-expected, I caution parents against leaving their kids to figure it out on their own for two compelling reasons.

Time and Money 

The average student in American is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 6 years instead of 4 with $37,000 in debt. Couple that with the fact that only about half of all students who enter college complete it and you could have a very expensive recipe for disaster.

Hacking High School for Future Success

The savvy homeschooler will view homeschooling high school as the opportunity for two things:

  • Time to explore new opportunities and options
  • Time to prepare for a successful launch

When I am putting together our “school” for each school year I am thinking about academics. I am also thinking about extra-curricular, camps, internships, sports, clubs and other possibilities. I am thinking about how my kids are developing and growing in unique areas (developing their “otherliness”), how to develop their professionalism in specific areas of interest, what kind of personality skills or traits that they need shoring up on, or natural areas of ability that can be further developed.

(Need more great career advice for your homeschool student?  Check out all our other great career readiness posts!)

Why hire someone when you can DIY Homeschool Academic Advising?

So, what does this have to do with Homeschool Academic Advising? Many, if not most, homeschooling parents short change the high school years. They under-credit what they have done, don’t know where to invest time and energy based on students interests or callings because they are worried about what a transcript “should” look like.  They tend to forget to think about things like camps, awards, sports, roles, responsibilities, and community service.

That’s where a seasoned Academic Advisor is helpful.

I see the credits you overlook because it’s your normal. For example, I recently worked with a high school student who basically flunked most of last year’s courses. After digging a bit deeper I discovered that he had extensive camping and fishing experience – like he provides fresh fish each year for more than one family; has hundreds of hours of Community Service (mowing and plowing his Grandmas and neighbors driveways and walks) works full time laying fiber optic cable (because he has such an amazing work ethic and is a responsible worker), and has re-built a diesel engine for the truck he bought with cash that he’d earned watching YouTube videos.

Along with identifying a processing disorder and getting him the academic help he needed, I was able to create a transcript for him that reflected the hard working, high PIQ (Performance IQ), kind and generous young man he was. Additionally, we were able to lay out a doable plan that will get him the professional certification he needs in life to earn the kind of money he should, given his abilities, despite academic struggles.

Similarly, I worked with a family earlier this year who has hopes of graduating from college while still in their teens. This student has the intellectual capability of doing just that but he is also very interested in going into an art field, doing creative, free-lance work. His Personalized Learning Plan included CLEP and Dual Enrollment classes.  These classes were coupled along with developing an online presence, going to professional conferences, developing his artistic abilities, and going to graduate school in a location that would allow him to create the best connections possible.

Story Telling and the Art of High School & Career Counseling

Here’s the deal. At heart, I’m a writer, a teller of stories. I love listening to people, hearing their hearts and learning about the story they’ve lived so far and the story that God is writing. From there it’s easy to create an Action Plan that makes sense, to resource the students and parents with camps, classes, competitions, books and ideas to make the story they are living be cost and time effective and lead to success.

Whether you have a fast burner or struggling learner- We Can Help!

Whether your student is on a fast track or struggling to just keep going, we can help. We have worked with homeschooled students from around the world for many years- from profoundly gifted to disabled. Along the way, we’ve mentored everyone from Olympic hopefuls to kids who use P.T. for PE credit. We have helped kids go on to Internships, the military, community college, State and Christian colleges as well as Ivy League schools. Every student has a story and we would be honored to work alongside you to help write the next amazing chapter!

Check out our Podcast on Soft Skills, Academic Advising, Orienteering Course.

Do you have a plan for your child's high school years? If not, it's time to make one! Check out the perks of homeschool academic advising. #TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy #academicadvising #homeschool