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8/3/2006 11:01:32 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--College Admissions Part 1

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--August 2006
The Road to College Admissions
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Dear Friends,

Summer is winding down, with a new school year fast approaching. For
many families with high school students, another year means coming one
step closer to the often confusing college admissions process.

This email is one in a three-part series to be presented in August,
September, and October--all focusing on college admissions. And it's
not just for parents of seniors. Even if your child is just entering
high school, it's a good idea for you to become familiar with this
information before you start making college choices.

In this first newsletter, we will address the topics of spiritual
preparation and the college search. In September, we will cover the
application process and the campus visits. We'll wrap up the series in
October with a discussion about alternatives to the traditional
college route that make it possible to accumulate many college credits
(and sometimes all of them!) from the comforts of home.

Finding your way through the college admissions maze can seem
daunting, but by spreading our information out over three months, we
hope to give you a map that lets you enjoy the journey.

SPIRITUAL PREPARATION

Spiritual preparedness is crucial for your student as he enters this
next phase of his life. Below are some suggestions and tools to help
you in this process.

First, we recommend that you and your child set aside a special time
to pray together as you explore this next phase of his educational
journey.

Second, help your student develop a biblical worldview that he is able
to articulate. You can start this process by asking him to write out
his own personal spiritual manifesto--what he believes and why. As
preparation, consider having him read Paul Little's books, "Know What
You Believe" (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3065) and "Know Why
You Believe" (http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3067). Organizing and
articulating his thoughts will challenge him to evaluate his core
convictions and let you both know where he is in his spiritual
journey.

You might also consider sending him to camps such as Worldview Academy
or Summit Ministries or have him sign up for the Generation Joshua
high school program. Most of these opportunities are offered in the
summer, so you can choose one close to his departure for college. For
more information about these programs, check out this site:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3199 .

Third, to help you and your student further understand where he is in
his thinking and what college might be the best fit for him, have
regular chats together. Discuss topics you feel are important: what
he wants to do with his life, what are his gifts, church attendance
during college, Christian ministries on campus, Christian friends, and
other like topics. Encourage him to think through his responses to
peers who might urge him to participate in drinking, sex, or online
gambling. Formulating his convictions in these areas now can help him
resist peer pressure later.

Last, parents--keep on praying!


LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT COLLEGE

If your child does not yet know which colleges he is interested in
applying to, begin with some serious research. Almost all of this
research can be done online as most college websites are extensive and
able to answer most, if not all, of your questions. Many schools will
offer virtual campus tours, provide direct email for staff, and much
more.

As you do your research, some of the parameters you will want to keep
in mind are:

College size--Large and small colleges each have their own advantages
and disadvantages. For example, large colleges have a wide range of
majors (helpful for when a student starts out in one major, but later
determines he or she is really interested in pursuing another). On the
other hand, smaller schools often have smaller classes with professors
who are more approachable and able to make themselves more available
outside of class.

Proposed major--Not all colleges offer all majors. Certain colleges
are well-known for specific majors, while some concentrations that are
not as sought after may only be offered at a few colleges nationwide.
School websites list their majors and often will let you know if a
particular major necessitates particular high school courses for
admission. Students in high school may have no idea what major they
may want to consider, but if they are interested in two or three
different possible majors, you may want to be sure that a particular
college offers all three of the possibilities or a transfer to another
school may be required.

In the latter years of high school, you may wish to help your child
discover his possible career interests by using career testing through
such places as Career Direct or the Call or any number of career
interest types of testing. These resources are available at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3200 and
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3201 .

During the high school years, consider having your child set up a
number of short-term internships--maybe just a week or several days or
even longer. Internships or job shadowing is a great way to know if
there is a particular field of interest your child may want to pursue.
An internship may confirm whether a particular area is really suited
to his interests and abilities.

Location--Location is an important factor when choosing a college.
How far from home do you want your student to be? Will she be coming
home for weekends? Is the school within driving distance, or will it
necessitate plane fares for each trip home? Also consider whether the
college is urban, in a small town, or in a rural area.

Secular or Christian--Carefully consider whether or not a secular or
Christian school will best fit your child's education. To help you
narrow down your search for a college, the College Board website
(www.collegeboard.com) has a great college search engine. Just specify
your parameters and the search engine will bring up a listing of
colleges that match your criteria. Christian colleges also have a
similar search engine (www.christiancollegementor.org) .

Cost--Consider all costs including tuition, books, fees, room and
board if relevant, and the cost of a computer (an essential these
days). Also, consider miscellaneous types of fees such as school
supplies, clothes, cost of transportation, etc.

Proximity to a sound local church--Check to see if there is convenient
transportation provided to local churches each week and if the church
of your choice is student friendly (Do they encourage members to adopt
a student?). Take time to visit possible churches with your student
during the campus visit. Doing such homework and searching out a good
local church is extremely important. Also, investigate the campus
ministries that will be available to your student.

For some families, this may be completely new information, but learn
as you go and remember that we are here to support and help you
through the college process.

Next month we will discuss in detail how to apply to colleges as a
homeschool student and what to keep in mind as you plan that college
visit. Until then, have a wonderful August, enjoy the children you've
been blessed with, and delight yourself in the Lord.

Blessings to you,

Becky and Diane

What's new on HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School website?

New entries to the High School Coordinators' Blog
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3202

Encouragement for the Tough Times by Mike Smith
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3205

Attention support group leaders:
If you would like bulk copies of the two new Homeschooling Thru High
School brochures (Developing a High School Program--Sample 4 year
Plans http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3203 and Recordkeeping for
High School--Simplifying the Process
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3204) to distribute at your support
meetings, please send your request to info@hslda.org and let us know
your name, address, the number of copies you would like, and the name
of the brochures.

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future?

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1110

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