1. Get a job that needs little training.
2. Get a job which they are already trained for.
3. Get their MRS or MOM degree.
4. Go to vocational school or enter some sort of apprenticeship program.
5. Join the Armed Forces.
7. Start their own business.
8. Go to a Community College for two years.
9. Go to a four-year College or University.
The type of high school course of study you choose, should be determined in part by the type of work the student wants to pursue once out of high school. Most fourteen-year-olds have little interest in what they will do once out of high school, so most parents would prefer to keep their student’s options open as the student enters high school. Since a college prep course of study has the most detailed requirements, it is often wise to plan for a college preparatory course of study. That way if the student chooses to pursue a college education at a later date, they will be prepared to apply.
It is possible to take college prep course work, and still devote time in high school for vocational study, apprenticeships, or starting a business. The flexible schedule of home schooling allows a student to maximize their time and options. But some choices like college, vocational school, and the armed forces have certain rigid requirements which need to be fulfilled during the high school years.
If you ever have any questions concerning these requirements, feel free to set up an appointment with one of the high school counselors at the public high school your child would have attended. You help to pay the salaries of these counselors through your taxes, and they are generally willing to answer some questions for students attending private schools/home schools. While the counselor will not evaluate your home school program, they can provide you with written material concerning college entrance requirements, obtaining scholarships, available vocational/apprenticeship programs, and how to sign up to take college entrance exams like the ACT, answering YOUR questions is part of their job.
To enter the Armed Forces:
In response to a Federal law enacted in 1998, each branch of the military must allow up to 1,250 home school diploma recipients to be considered under the Tier I status along with all other high school graduates. This pilot program was due to expire September, 2003, but was renewed for another year. The Home School Legal Defense Association is working to ensure Congress passes this law permanently. Under this law, home schoolers seeking enlistment in one of the four branches of the military must provide a high school diploma, a high school transcript, pass the military aptitude test, and meet any physical and other eligibility requirements for recruitment. This means military recruiters must accept a home school diploma or transcript regardless of the teachers’ relationship to the student. Furthermore, a transcript or diploma prepared by the parent, as well as a high school diploma or transcript issued by a non-accredited home school correspondence course, satisfies the law’s intent. No additional educational documentation is required. Home school students seeking to enlist in any of the four branches of the military cannot be rejected, as in the past, simply on the basis of not possessing an accredited high school diploma.
To enter college
Entering state colleges of universities can be a little tricky, but generally once they realize your student is “normal” and just wants an education, they usually find a way to make your student fit their mold, or they will just accept your student on his or her own merits. Bureaucracies have lots of rules. Private schools, religious schools, and top notch public universities are MUCH, MUCH easier to gain admittance to. They are more willing to see your student as an individual. These schools might even view home schooling as an advantage.
To enter a State Vocational Technical School or a Community College (for example)
After high school
They look at your student’s ACT or SAT scores. If the student did not take the ACT or SAT, they have their own basic skills test which your student can take. A home schooler with average academic skills should have no trouble being admitted. The student would possibly have to take the GED also.
During high school
This institution has a program operating in which public high school students can apply and attend classes there during their senior year while still enrolled in the public schools. The students stay most of the school day. They take their required senior courses (English) at the VOTECH School. If the public schools can take these classes, then private schools should have the same opportunity. You might have to work hard to convince your VOTECH of this, but once they are convinced that your student really DOES attend a private school, they should find a way to accommodate you. And don’t forget to ask these schools if dual enrollment is possible.
Dual enrollment gives the student high school credit (in your homeschool) for the post-secondary courses and college credit (for their university education) at the same time. This is an arrangement used in many of the 50 states, and KY colleges are beginning to be open to dual enrollment.
To enter a Kentucky State University
The student needs to have completed a pre-college curriculum. They also need to have scored at a minimum level on the ACT or SAT and meet that school’s overall high school GPA requirement. Each school has their own set of standards. The college admissions officer will also be looking for some kind of evidence of the student’s interaction with the “real world.” This interaction could take the form of a part time job, out of home instruction, community involvement, public speaking skills, etc. Colleges and universities may also be open to letting a student take classes before they have actually graduated from high school. And once again, dual enrollment may be possible.
Home schoolers are welcome at all of the KY state universities, and each school has their own admissions policy concerning home schoolers. Several of the state universities may require some sort of extra on-campus testing or interview. You may have to show detailed documentation of the courses taken, or just perform well in a personal interview. Contact the schools you are interested in to find out their particular policy.
At U of L, home schoolers take a few extra on-campus placement tests. At WKU, they require nothing extra. In my conversation with the admissions office at WKU, I was told that any student who has not graduated from a public school which has been accredited by the organization which accredits the KY Public Schools would be considered on an individual basis. This means that anyone coming into WKU from out of state, out of the country, or anyone coming from a private high school is given the same treatment. I was told that they look for an ACT score high enough to validate the grades given on the student’s transcript. If the ACT score is high enough, they assume that the student really did do the course work required and deserved the grades listed on the transcript. The admissions counselor made a special effort to tell me that WKU has admitted home schooled students in the past, and they plan to admit them in the future also. They will evaluate your student as an individual and will not discriminate against them just because they have been home schooled.
Questions ... Questions ... Questions ...
How do I get information about taking the ACT or SAT?
Information about how to apply for these tests is available from your local public high school counselor. Both of these tests have a practice test which can be taken in the fall of either their sophomore or junior year. You can get free “Practice tests” from the above mentioned high school counselor. Books which “coach” the student and prepare them for the test to be taken can be purchased at any good bookstore (like in the Mall). These tests can be taken several times. Hopefully the student would improve their scores each time they take the test. The student could then choose their HIGHEST score to turn in when applying to colleges.
How and when can my student take the GED?
GED testing is handled by different organizations varying from county to county. Once again, your local high school counselor can give you the name and phone number of the organization authorized to give the GED test. The KY equivalent of the GED is called a High School Equivalency Certificate. It can be taken once the student is 17 years old. The applicant must have been out of a formal classroom situation for a period of one year, or have their high school class (the class of which he/she was or would have been a member) already graduated. Long-term home schoolers must petition to take the GED, but this permission is usually granted.
If we design our own curriculum, how do we know how much working time is involved in earning one high school credit?
In an attempt to standardize the amount of work necessary for a high school to issue one “credit” for a course, the Carnegie Unit was created. A Carnegie Unit (one credit) signifies 150 hours of class instruction, work, or contact with the subject. (or 180 school days in 50 minute class sessions). There is a good deal of debate among homeschoolers as to whether Carnegie units should be tallied in a home school setting.
When you speak of an apprenticeship, what do you mean?
An apprenticeship might be a formal program set up to train someone for a specific trade. However, here the term is used more loosely. An apprenticeship could be any situation where the student would volunteer (without pay) to help someone who has specific skills or works in a career which the student is interested in investigating. At first the work might be mostly janitorial, but after a time, the student would receive a steady dose of training in various aspects of that occupation. Eventually the arrangement might work into a paying job, or the student might decide to start a business of their own.
Where can I get a sample copy of high school forms like assignment sheets, transcripts, etc.?
Pre-printed transcript forms are available from BJU and ABEKA or they can be photocopied out of The Home School Manual by Ted Wade or the Christian Home Educator’s Curriculum Manual by Cathy Duffy.
What if my student cannot get into the college of their choice?
The student could spend the first year of college in a small private college or at a community college. If they work hard and get good grades, they should be in a good position to transfer to the college of their choice for the next three years.