August 3, 2010

School Plans Once Again

I am getting my ducks in a row, and I finally am feeling the freedom of ending my home school journey. It has been such a blessing to see my child go from frustrated and unsuccessful student to almost ready for college. The Lord has Graciously allowed me to continue to school him through high school, and to be there for him when he needed me most. Now that he is almost 17, and ready to graduate from home school, our plans have shifted to college, and potential courses of study.

Earlier this year, I made the decision to graduate him early, and to enroll him in the community college for early bird studies. He is ready, by all means and measures, and the extra challenge of being in college will suit him well. He has some hurdles to overcome, mostly due to the fact that he has been home schooled (shouldn't be that way, but it is). One of those hurdles has been getting him a photo ID so he can take the placement exams at the local college. You wouldn't think it would be such a big deal, but it is (with the Patriot Act and all). So we have had to push back our enrollment until we have all our official paperwork in order. This has left us with a short gap of one semester to fill with some extra study work, and that is what I have been working on today.

My son will be graduated from high school this year (June 2010 will be on his official diploma) even though he will not begin college classes until January 2011. This is OK, and will work in his favor, allowing him some prep time to get ready for the ACT and SAT test as well as just settle into college life. My goal is to get him ready to take the BIG tests by Christmas. He will take the SAT test in November, and then the ACT in December. I believe the ACT suits him better, so that is the test we are really prepping for, though the SAT will be a good overall indicator of his testing abilities. In addition, I plan on administering the ITED test for 11 and 12th grades in September and December. The Lord has prompted me to order these tests for him and that is what I plan on doing.

This leaves us with courses to prepare for four months only, since we will be registering for college classes in late October/early November. I was thinking I would do a math prep class along with some reading from AO/HEO Y10. I am rethinking this move now that I am working, and will be working PT (with high hopes for FT work this fall). I just think he needs something more plain/more direct, something with less responsibility since he will be on his own every day.

I was over at CBD (Christianbook.com) and browsing through the home school curriculum, when I saw that Switched-On School House has GED Prep courses. I read the content and think that these are perfect for our needs. Each course is $29.00, so a good bargain for me. Plus the course will cover all the requirements for the GED test, which will in turn prep him for the big college tests. I am going to order Math, Science, History, and Language Arts. Each course is 4 units, and should be completed by the time of the ACT in December. Moreover, the math prep class will give him to added review to do well on our community college placement exam.

In addition to these four courses, I am also purchasing SOS Arizona State History. We have a public school requirement for this class, but I thought it might be interesting to cover the content as a separate course. It is just a semester, and it probably will be some what interesting to study. I am not particularly concerned about it -- it is really just something to fill out his time.

Whew! I am so pleased. This will be a diversion from our path of CM studies, but since our goal is simply to prep for college, these stand alone courses should do just fine. They are computerized, which is a benefit. My son can just pop them in, do the lessons and walk away from them. I will have little follow up except to make sure he is doing them faithfully each day. It should be a no-brainer, with little work needed from me.

God is so GOOD to me.

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