Advanced Placement* Courses
Advanced Placement courses are valuable additions to your student’s transcript, BUT in order to list them on the transcript the course content must be pre-approved by the College Board. When choosing local or online AP courses, check to make sure they are approved courses. (Note, however, that any student may take an AP Exam regardless of whether he or she has taken an AP course.)
SAT Subject Tests*
Many colleges require two or three SAT Subject Tests for all students; many others require or recommend these for homeschoolers even if they are not required for traditional students. If your student will be taking SAT Subject Tests, plan them for as soon as possible after the course is completed (June) or plan for the earliest test in the fall and use the summer for review. 10th and 11th grades, or early fall of the senior year, are the most common times to take these tests.
SAT vs ACT®
Some students do better on the SAT; others find the ACT more to their liking. Have your student take practice tests in both and then decide which one to take “for real,” or opt to take both. The SAT includes two main sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math, with an optional 50-minute timed essay. The ACT Test includes English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional 40-minute timed Writing section.
Both parents and students can make good use of the flexible summer schedule while still finding time for vacations, rest, and fun. Parents: take the time to thoroughly plan the year’s courses, strategize for college preparation, and network with other homeschooling parents for ideas and encouragement. Students: seek out a job or internship, go on a missions trip or cross-cultural experience, read quality literature, pursue your passions, or focus on volunteer work.
The junior high years are an ideal time to evaluate where your student is in terms of academics, extracurricular interests, and passions. After discerning whether your student needs extra instruction in a given subject, is right at grade level, or is excelling and ready for high school work, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to prepare for the high school years. These years are also perfect for exploring talents and interests in preparation for pursuing them to an even further degree in high school.
While You’re Waiting…
Use all those little “pockets of time” spent waiting for your students at their various activities, to accomplish some of your grading, planning, and recording tasks. Stock your car or a sturdy bag with papers to grade, pens, calculator, calendar, answer keys, and any other needed supplies so that you can chip away at these ever-present tasks. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!