Stand Out!

Stand Out!

Stand Out: How to Maximize your High School Years

Each year there are roughly 15.4 million high school students in America, with 25% of those students from 24,000 high schools. Each of those high schools has a “Best;” the best football player, scholar, performer, linguist, etc. Competition is stiff for both college and university scholarships.

Furthermore, the number of honor students in India is greater than the number of total students in America, and with today’s global market, future college-goers are competing with scholarship dollars and opportunities internationally. Standing out from the crowd will garner your student scholarship money and opportunities that being one of the many will not.

Group of people working in charitable foundation. Happy volunteer looking at donation box on a sunny day. Happy volunteer separating donations stuffs. Volunteers sort donations during food drive

What is a Stand-Out Factor?

A Stand out factor can be many different things but they are most likely to include:

  •       Initiative –student initiated, led and directed
  •       Passion – student has personal investment
  •       Individuality –has to do specifically with the students core values
  •       Strategy –student has strategized to achieve

I would also recommend that a Stand-Out Factor include:

  •       Positive impact on others
  •       Uniqueness
  •       Broad Reach & Big Win

With technology so readily available, it’s almost easier to develop your stand-out factor than ever before. Young creative entrepreneurs can self-publish novels, music, videos, and movies. But, publishing doesn’t automatically make something Stand-out. How can you tell if you have developed your stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

What’s a stand-out factor? It’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary!

Lisa Nehring, Director, True North Homeschool Academy

Stand Out Students

Below I’ve listed some of the ideas students that I’ve worked with have actually done to develop their own ability to stand out:

  • Write, perform and publish a quality play, book, music or film
  • Develop art skills like throwing drawing and painting, pottery, creating stained glass windows/ lamps, blacksmithing, etc and enter art contests
  • Hike a trail for a cause or a challenge 
  •  Raise money to travel abroad and serve on a mission            
  • Breed and trademark a type of fruit or flower
  • Breed and sell a pet- iguana, dogs, miniature cows
  • Win money as a prize bowler, archer, skier, etc.          
  • Start a business, track your earnings and impact
  • Help run a state or national political campaign, work as a legislative Paige,
  • Study and Perform Shakespeare
  • Learn multiple languages, particularly Critical Languages
  • Travel internationally; create guidebook or blog about travels, do international community service or charity work
  • Do hundreds of hours of Community Service 
  • Build a functioning web-site
  • Build something impressive- like a Robot, Drone or Plane, or replicate all of the Enterprises’ ships as models 
  • Earn a license or Certification– pilot’s, drone, PADI
  • Learn tech- 3-D Printing, Robotics, Photoshop, Photography and it’s many digital uses!
  • Earn Awards such as the  National Latin Exam, German National Exam 
  • Participate in and win National Competitions- Geography, History, Bible, Poetry
  • Participate in CAP or Jr ROTC
  • Turn your interest in performing into becoming a juggler or clown
  • Turn your interests into an opportunity to impart your knowledge to others and teach a skills you’ve learned in person, or online
two female soccer players on the field

Use What You Have

Identify and develop areas where your students show interest or talents and skills they are already using. You might also consider areas that you, as the parent, can coach or develop in your student. If you have a passion or hobby and your student shows interest, I would venture to say that that is an area that would be perfect to develop into a stand-out factor. 

Outsource When Needed

On the other hand, each of our kids shows talents and abilities that we might know nothing about. In which case I would encourage you to research and find resources that can develop your student’s interest beyond your knowledge.  Resourcing your student doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are so many great online tutorials now. Literally, the world is at your fingertips with the tap of your fingers. At the same time, don’t overlook local resources. My older kids took horseback riding lessons from a National Barrel racer in return for mucking out stalls. 

Developing your student’s stand-out factor might garner those students scholarship dollars and opportunities; it might lead to jobs or even a career. At the very least, it will develop your student’s overall sense of ability and accomplishment, as well as soft skills, such as work ethic, communication skills, creativity, and critical thinking.

High School is the perfect time to develop your student’s stand-out factor, through clubs, projects, and course work that helps them understand themselves and opportunities more robustly, such as our Orienteering Course. 

If you need help identifying or knowing how to further develop your student’s stand-out factor, we’d love to help! Check out our Academic Advising program and Parent Membership programs!

Athletic Young man swimming the back crawl in a pool. Swimming competition.
Typical Course of Study: High School

Typical Course of Study: High School

As the world of Homeschooling has expanded and options have increased and become more focused, it’s a great time to be homeschooling. Frankly, the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! As the world of homeschooling has expanded and the unknowns of the next school year loom, parents of high schoolers are wondering how to plan for what’s ahead. A basic understanding of a typical course of study can be a simple and helpful guide to planning the future, even when that future seems uncertain!

You should focus on the Core 4 subjects for high school and then add in electives and extra-curriculars. Some of this will depend on what type of transcript you are creating and where your students plan to land after high school. Vocational programs, college or university, ivy league or conservatory, or the Military all warrant focusing on different aspects of your student’s learning program.

I will link to classes that we offer here at True North Homeschool Academy since we try to create our classes with a typical course of study plan in mind for each age group. Still, you should choose the curriculum or classes that work the best for your family. It’s always awesome if you decide that means our online classes, but we want this blog article to help you make an amazing transcript for your high schooler even if TNHA classes don’t fit your plan.

Typical Course of Study: High School

Let’s start by looking at high school as a four-year program. This will give us a long view approach and help us determine what classes make sense within our subject areas. I’ll list each subject and then a common 4-year course of study. You are going to want to focus on the Core Four and go from there:

 

English– 9th-grade Literature & Composition, World Lit & Comp, U.S. Lit & Composition, British Lit, and Composition

(English can also include spelling, vocabulary, short story, novel writing, Speech and Rhetoric, Poetry,  etc.).

Math – Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Personal Finance

SciencePhysical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology or other advanced Science

History World Geography, World History, U.S. History, Government & Economics

(History can also include other areas or times of History like Ancient History)

Once you have these planned, it will be so much easier to fill in with electives and extracurricular activities.

Typical Course of Study: High School – Electives and Extra-curriculars

Father and son timeForeign Language– this can be any Ancient or Modern Language. Keep in mind that Latin is a fantastic foundation for grammar and learning how to learn a Foreign Language, and Critical Languages are a great way to earn Scholarship Dollars; French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin

Physical Education – ½ credit each year. Check out our amazing Dance at the Movies for a fun credit of P.E!

Music – a general overview of music, including Music Theory, Voice, Songwriting, or instrument lessons count as well. Check out our Music at the Movies for a fascinating look at the power of music in culture!

Art/Humanities – a general understanding of Form and Color, Photography, Photoshop, etc.

Bible/Apologetics Studies – should include a general overview of the Old and New Testament, Church History, and Apologetics. It used to be expected that every educated person had a general understanding of the Bible and could easily reference books and passages. Take time to read and discuss the Bible together and memorize Scripture. Awanas and the Bible Bee are excellent programs to commit the Bible to memory.

Basic Computer Information Systems – Powerpoint, Video Editing, Internet Safety, and Accountability.

Health – should include general health information, introduction to addictions, cybersecurity and addictions, ages and stages, reproductive health.

Vocational & Career Interests including Entrepreneurship – in today’s quickly changing market and the gig economy that they will inevitably be a part of, it’s important for your students to explore Vocational and Career Options as Life Skills and Personal Finance.

Typical Course of Study electives can vary and be wildly diverse. Think about student’s areas of interest, as well as what’s available to them. Many students delve deeply into a subject area that really piques their interest, like art, drama, music, electronics, etc. And don’t forget to provide a robust reading list for your high school students, which should include short stories, novels, plays, and poems.

High School is also a time to explore new areas of interest so take some time to seek out and expose your student to activities and unique experiences.

A typical course of study for your high school should also include Community Service– I would recommend 15 hours a year or more. It’s tricky with Covid, but you can always write letters to service men and women, collect coats or food for the local coat drive or food pantry. You might have to get creative, but high schoolers typically are creative.

Please make time to teach your students about internet safety and how to protect themselves from addictions, pornography, and perpetrators. Teach them how to manage social media and how to be accountable. Getting snared in addiction at a young age can have devastating implications for them. I highly recommend Glow Kids for every parent and young adult.

 

Testing Options and More

ACT Test Prep can save you thousands of dollars in Scholarship earned, National Latin Exam looks great on a transcript, and our Performance Series test is a straightforward way to assess where your student is at and helps them gain confidence with standardized tests.

Want to know more about credits, transcripts, and standardized tests to ensure your high school student is getting a typical course of study? Survive Homeschooling High School is a comprehensive eBook that will walk you through how to plan and prepare for high school. If you have a good handle on your high school plan but want help with the logistics of a transcript or assigning credits, you may want to check out our Academic Advising- we offer Academic Advising, SPED Advising for nontraditional learners, and NCAA Advising for those looking to compete for an NCAA position.

It’s a great time to be homeschooling, and the options for High School Homeschooling are better than ever! Check out our live online dynamic, interactive classes taught within an international community by world-class teachers! Students interact and work together- we believe excellent education takes place within a community!

And, in case you didn’t know, we offer Bundles for terrific savings.

We hope you have found our quick guide to a typical course of study for high school helpful. We invite you to join our Facebook group to let us know and to chat with other homeschool parents about credits, transcripts curriculum, and everything homeschool.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to read these:

Homeschooling for College Credit

Homeschooling for College Credit

Homeschool for College Credit – A Review

Homeschooling for College Credit by Jennifer Cook De Rosa is a beautiful how-to manual for hacking college credit.

For anyone with kids who plan to go to college, it is a must-read.

The average student graduating from college takes six years instead of 4 and has, on average, $27,000 in debt. It’s also important to factor in college completion rates. According to Alissa Nadworny, 6 out of 10 students who start a college degree never complete it. Those saddled with debt, without an economically feasible plan to pay it off, may end up in deferment. Currently, more than half of student loan debt is in deferral. This affects quality of life on many levels.

Undergraduates can take out up to $57,000 in school debt and graduate students up to $135,000 in debt. Given the stats, it just makes sense to look for an antidote to the college debt disaster. This book is the antidote!

This 300+ page tome is chock full of fantastic information.

Chapter Headings Include:

  1. Congratulations: You’re a Guidance Counselor
  2. Thirty Ways to earn College Credit
  3. Behind the Scenes
  4. High School Planning
  5. Dual Enrollment Advice
  6. Transcripts and Record Keepings
  7. Homeschool Exit Strategies
  8. Completely Free Tuition

Unique & Worth Every Penny

What makes this book unique and worth every penny can be found in Chapter 2: Thirty Ways to Earn College Credit.

This chapter goes way beyond the standard fare of CLEP, DE, and AP and the Big 3 and includes companies, colleges, hacking MOOCs for test prep, and so much more. My daughter, for example, is studying her 3rd foreign language in High School and is professionally interested in becoming a translator. Guess what? There are exams specific to language mastery, that can be taken from anywhere in the world that rack up college credits if your students have mastery in a foreign language.

This is a pragmatic book, one that talks about how to guide your teen in a way that makes sense. Included is some tough love regarding degree killers: time, money and socialization, the ROI of a degree (Yes! And why aren’t government loan dollars somehow tied to this?) how the trades are worth considering and strategies for teens who don’t want to go to college. This book is chock full of worthy information that every parent of high schoolers should be thinking about and considering, along with their high school student.

One of my favorite chapters is how to go to college for free. I love it because it is creative and thorough and includes eight different ways your student can earn free tuition.

This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about their high school student’s future.

We are entering a massive shift in the world of work, and young adults burdened with debt or lack of skills/training will be ill-equipped to handle the fast, global changes that are already taking place. This book will help you assist those young people in your life to strategize a clear, concise plan as you homeschool for earning college credit as efficiently and economically as possible.

Jennifer Cook DeRosas does the research for you. It’s all here, in her highly informative and easy to read book, Homeschooling for College Credit; Your guide to resourceful high school planning.

I highly recommend it!

Couple this book with Beyond Personal Finance and join us for Life Skills for Teens. You might also want to read some of the resources we have here on the blog, including Yes! Your Child Can Learn a Foreign Language and High School  Dual Enrollment Tips.

If you don’t already follow the Life Skills for Homeschool Teens Facebook page, you will want to bookmark it to keep up with other parents of teens and get the latest scoop on resources for teaching those essential life skills plus encouragement and fun with other homeschool parents who have the same concerns that you do!

college graduates