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

Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything

Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything

I’m a Homeschooler. I DIY Everything. 

Just because you are a homeschooler doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything. In fact, I would propose that outsourcing some things is going to keep your homeschool life running more smoothly, keep your housework more manageable and keep your sanity in the sane zone! I’ve outsourced for years and it’s been such a stress relief to know that I don’t have to do or know everything!

Opportunities to Outsource

Classes through clubs, co-ops, areas academic class days, on-line classes, private tutoring.

Which Classes? Those that you don’t have the time or inclination to learn or teach, those with expert teachers available, those that are specialized or unique.

Testing. While we can get and use testing through our local public school, it comes with it’s own set of challenges, plus I never get the test results back. I found a great solution to that- a test that counts for standardized testing AND gives me access to the results immediately and keeps track of how my student tests from year to year! Check it out !

Academic Advising. What? You might be thinking right now that you didn’t even know your guidance counselor in High School. I saw mine twice throughout my entire high school career and that was for the brief moments it took to get her signature. So, Why, Oh Why, would you want to outsource something like Academic Advising?

As an experienced Academic Adviser who has worked with homeschoolers from around the world, some that were profoundly gifted and some that were profoundly challenged, and many in the middle, I can tell you that most parents who DIY this portion of their homeschool are missing things. Furthermore, it’s been hypothesized that those who struggle with creating Transcripts, often struggle with things like College Scholarship applications. What will a skilled Academic Adviser help you do and look for?

  • How to create personalized long-term SMART goals for each student that are do-able and bring peace to your planning
  • How to create a personalized learning plan that covers the bases AND takes into account my kids bents, challenges and passions, potential job opportunities
  • The difference between Vocational, College prep, and Honors Transcript
  • What types of things to put as addendums on your Transcript.
  • The Arts as well as Service and Work hours
  • How to Create a Transcript that credits your students life experiences and skills
  • How to prepare for vocational training or college
  • How to incorporate Dual Enrollment and CLEP classes
  • How to develop your student’s “otherliness” as they prepare for college admissions and scholarships
  • How to incorporate Fun and Free time into your life and the life of your students!
  • Utilizing conepts such as Morning Baskets to get serious academic work done while enjoying the closeness and togetherness of a homeschooling family.
  • Understanding what colleges really want to see on a High School Transcript
  • How to balance the Transcript and test scores.
  • Soft Skills

Whether you’ve have chosen this educational path with intention or are a reluctant homeschooler, linking arms with others to attain your vision, just makes sense! It’s a complicated world and expensive and giving your kids a jump-start into adulthood well prepared with little debt is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Whatever your situation, you don’t have to go it alone! True North Homeschool Academy has a fantastic Academic Advising program that is going to knock your socks off, and give you the time and space to relax, make the valuable impact on your kids lives you were looking for and give you peace of mind about your plan. And if you don’t yet have a plan, we can help with that, too!

Just because you are a Homeschooler, doesn’t mean you have to DIY everything! And don’t forget, our Academic Advising program includes a Scantron Performance Series test!