High School

I Can’t Wait Until…

   Twenty eight years ago when my daughter was born, friends hosted a baby shower for me. The ladies blessed me by giving me notes of wisdom on index cards.  The advice given on one of those cards has stuck with me over these many years.  It simply said “Enjoy each season of your child’s life without wishing it was the next season.”  I took that advice to heart, but it was a struggle especially during my homeschooling years to not say, “I can’t wait until…”  Have you had some of these same thoughts?

Joyeux Noël!

“Home for The Holidays”

- it's a song, a film, and a sentiment that is rather hackneyed this time of year. I love being home for the holidays, but I decided to think a little bit bigger this year. Bigger than connecting with my out-of-state grandparents. Bigger than making time to enjoy festive traditions with my local family and friends. Bigger than our Christmas cookie contest (although that was very interesting!)

Music Matters

Music is considered by many to be the universal language. This time of the year that is most evident. Familiar Christmas songs, secular and sacred, are playing everywhere you go. If you are like me, you are quickly drawn into a song, especially one that is meaningful or catchy. When I think of music, I think of heaven – angels saying (in song?), “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts” around God’s throne (Isaiah 6:3); and the angels who announced Christ’s birth with “glory to God in the highest…” (Luke 2:14). Won’t it be wonderful to some day be a part of that heavenly chorus?

Using December Creatively

  The approaching holidays may seem daunting with all the extra preparations and shopping hours to be added to your already full schedule of homeschooling and parenting. Do you feel behind the eight ball, trying to finish the school semester while planning for Christmas? Is your grace tank running on empty? Before falling into the holiday blues, I want to suggest some ways to reorient your vision and to take advantage of your resources.

Need Help Teaching High School at Home? We’ll Come to You!

   Becky and I enjoy meeting many of you when we travel and speak at homeschool conferences throughout the country. We encourage you to support your local conferences and attend them whenever you are able. Likewise, we also take great delight in welcoming many of you to HSLDA in Purcellville, VA where we present high school at home symposiums. But for those of you who are unable to attend those events in person, we’ll come to you!

Looking for a Challenging Course for a Motivated Teen? Consider AP!


   Advanced Placement (AP) courses and tests are available to homeschooled teens interested in studying a subject in depth and may also be a way to earn early college credit.  What are AP courses, how does a homeschooler register for AP tests, and what are the advantages of taking an AP course?


What's So Important About IEPs?

Is there anything more confusing than an IEP? If your child has OR has had one in the past, you know what I'm talking about. It seems like the same thing is stated 2 or 3 times, in 2 or 3 different ways throughout the document- creating a rather large stack of papers. Well, a few years ago, HSLDA Special Needs Consultant, Betty Statnick, addressed this topic. I'm reposting her thoughts for you today. I hope you will find this helpful if you are pondering the question-What’s So Important About IEPs?

Planning the College Visit


   Fall is a great time to plan a college visit.  And with that planning comes some questions: What should you be sure to do? What information should you gather? Should you schedule a meeting or just show up? All these will be answered in this blog post taht explains all sides of planning a college visit, by Diane Kummer.


College Application Deadlines Approaching!


Are you under the gun to get those college applications completed and meet the deadlines?

Organization is the key!
Becky Cooke provides key tips and useful ideas for staying on track with the college application process, and encouragement for keeping calm trusting God's plan.

How Do I Evaluate My Teen’s Writing?

You’ve given your teen a writing assignment and the composition is completed. Now the sweating begins.  I’m not referring to your teen’s sweat glands, but yours!  How do you evaluate what your teen has written? 

   I remember when my children would give me their compositions and I would not know where to begin to critique and analyze them.  I could handle science and math – it was easy for me to evaluate their knowledge and progress in those courses. But, evaluating their writing was a different animal.  Let me provide you with some tips I learned along the way that may be helpful to you.

Mission-Minded Teens


   Cultivating a heart for missions begins when it is fixed on Jesus and He places the desire in your teens. You can grow that interest through the courses you teach such as geography, history, Bible, and foreign language. Learning about regions of the world, their terrain, crops, culture, and religions will provide opportunities to talk about various ministries available...

Homeschooling On The Difficult Days

Homeschooling would be easy if...

If I didn't have all this laundry to do, if I didn't have to prepare dinner, if I didn't have to juggle the family calendar, if my kids were older, if we didn't have these pesky appointments, and so on!  

Just when we get on a schedule and things start to run somewhat smoothly -- one (or several) of the children need to go to the doctor...

Recordkeeping for High School

By now, most of you have begun another school year and I hope you are off to a wonderful start.  The beginning of each school year is a great time to take a few minutes and lay out a plan for recordkeeping that will save you valuable time in future years when these records will come in handy.  What records do you need to keep?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the state in which you live, so be sure to check out the HSLDA legal analysis for your state and note any recordkeeping requirements such as attendance, hours of instruction, testing requirements, and so on.

Reading Aloud

   I'll never forget being in Mrs. Clark's third grade class. I was in one of the lowest reading groups ---the Sparrows. Who were they trying to kid? All the students knew that the best readers were the Blue Jays and Cardinals! It was embarrassing seeing the other kids try to keep from giggling as I mispronounced words and got tongue- tied.  I needed patience, time and encouragement -- something Mrs. Clark didn't provide -- but something we can give to our kids as homeschooling moms!

Is Your Teen Ready for the SAT/ACT?

Parents are always interested to know when their teens should begin taking these tests. There is not a hard and fast rule. Often you can gauge when your teens are ready to tackle them. Since the math section covers material from basic math, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and some Trig, your teen will need to realize that these scores may be lower if he/she has fewer math courses completed when starting to take the tests. In light of that, it may be wise to consider completing at least Algebra 1 and Geometry before taking the tests.


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