Saturday, August 11, 2007

Homeschooling Seminar

I spent six hours in a homeschooling seminar today -- not my favorite way to spend a Saturday but still a day away from the kids and with GROWN UPs.

I had no idea that college planning needed to start in the sophomore year of high school -- I had always thought that we were clear until the junior year, and later in that as well. But as E starts 10th grade, we need to meet with our principal this October to discuss career options and the best way to accomplish her plans. Also, E needs to take the PSATs this fall, the SATs for the first time this spring. Then repeat both tests in the junior year, and possibly the Sat a third time in the fall of the senior year if the numbers aren't high enough on the previous tests. There are also preparation classes to consider as well. Today we were told that GPAs must match SAT scores -- an "A" average should score around 1400, a 3.0 around 1200, etc.

I remember applying to colleges being much more simple when I was a student. A 1050 on the SAT with no PSAT and no prep -- no problem for me getting accepted at the school of my choice. A 3.78 GPA spoke more loudly than the SAT scores which were sufficient to allow me to skip mathematics in college all together. I didn't look at colleges until my senior year and applications weren't important until January. (And obviously colleges sure were less expensive in the mid-eighties as well.)

So we have much pondering, much planning, and much praying to do as E progresses through her high school years. She's a focused student and is well on track to get her classes finished in good time and with decent grades. But I don't want to think about all this when the boys go through high school....

Today's seminar also covered our school's online grading option which will save lots of paper, paperwork, and time. With nearly 500 families and 1000 students in our school, dealing with online grade submission should be a big help for both parents and the school administrators. The morning seminar was mostly for new home schoolers, but it was nice to get a few pointers to streamline paperwork, especially attendance sheets and grading reports. The afternoon seminar was for homeschooling through high school which I wrote about above. The one thing we need to figure out is what makes a class Honors vs. College Prep. I've been giving E Honors English and have also been counting her Latin as Honors as it's so much more involved than usual language programs. I will need to double-check her transcripts to be sure I've been consistent with Latin; I'm not sure I graded her as Honors for her first semester.

We start school on the 20th of this month, so now my time for our last week needs to be devoted to opening boxes of books, labeling my Sonlight books, organizing my bookshelves and the kids' drawers, and drawing up new spreadsheets for their weekly assignments. I also have a couple of new curricula to figure out: the boys' science and E's literature. So I guess that summer vacation is pretty much over and done, although we are planning a beach day for Thursday as a "last hurrah."

School is just around the corner ... SIGH. I feel as though I haven't had much of a summer and now it's over ... DOUBLE SIGH.

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