Homeschool Guidance Counselor


Teach Them Diligently 365
Preparing for Homeschool To College

Homeschooling high school with an eye on college does not have to be a scary pursuit. This week, we’ll chat with homeschool guidance counselor, Phylicia Masonheimer, about how you and your children can be prepared to make that transition from homeschool to college.

Teach Them Diligently 365
Congratulations Graduate!

Congratulations! You’ve done it! You and your student have reached the culmination of all those long days, study hours, tutor lesson, standardized tests, arguments over math, and co-op meetings. As your student celebrates this achievement, give yourself a pat on the back! You have been there through this entire process, walking beside your student, equipping […]

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Creating a Plan for Senior Year

It’s hard to believe junior year is wrapping up in only a few short weeks. Now is the time to look ahead to your student’s final year in homeschool! This year, your student will continue many of the tasks begun in his junior year, building on the foundation and priorities you’ve set so far. Plan […]

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Gearing Up for Junior Year

It’s hard to believe it’s almost summertime! As you enter the busy days of swimming, sports, and family events, it’s easy to lose momentum in your college preparation. While you don’t need to continue the same pace in the summer – we all need a break! – the following tips can keep you and your […]

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Should My Student Get His Associate Degree?

Your rising sophomore is wrapping up his or her ninth grade year and chances are you’re already looking toward the fall term. While it is early, perhaps you’re considering some dual enrollment courses or CLEP tests as part of his 10th-grade year. As you peruse the community college website you spy a “fast track” to […]

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Calling, College, and Career

Chances are, your student only has six to eight weeks left for this semester. Perhaps you’re working on plans for a graduation party or state convention graduation ceremony. Maybe you’re working on invitations to an open house and scrapbooking pictures for a graduation party, stopping every once in a while to marvel at how fast […]

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Compiling a Strong Transcript

A student’s high school transcript is his life on paper. Academics, extracurricular interests, volunteer work, and standardized tests are compiled together, a one-or-two page summation of four years’ work. If you’ve been recording your student’s work up to this point – which in some states is required and is always highly recommended, if not necessary […]

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Thinking Ahead: How to Pay For College

Through all these discussions of college and career so far, there’s been an elephant in the room – and his name is college tuition. Pursuing a four-year degree – or even just an Associate’s – can set a young person up for success in the long term, but it comes at a high price. Most […]

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The Benefits of a Summer Job

Winter is replaced by the buds and flowers of spring, cabin fever is retreating, and maybe you’ve already done school outside for the first time this year! The time has come to start thinking about summer. Your freshman is now a rising sophomore (hard to believe!). As summer plans unfold, add to the discussion the […]

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Achieving (and Keeping) a High GPA

Students aren’t the only ones feeling the pressure to achieve a high grade point average. Homeschool parents feel the pressure too – especially since they’re the ones doing the teaching! Since GPA plays such a large part in college admission decisions (and colleges only look at grades 9-12), high school GPA is a hot topic […]

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Resources for Reading Comprehension

My husband is an engineer. When he was being homeschooled, he did very well on the math section of his SAT – but really struggled with critical reading! This pattern is nothing ne. In my experience as a college counselor, I often encounter students – particularly boys – who struggle with reading comprehension and analysis. […]

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Letters of Recommendation

When preparing an admission packet, the college application, essay, and test scores are at the forefront of most students’ minds. But there’s one more piece to a complete portfolio that shouldn’t be forgotten – a letter of recommendation (or three)! Letters of recommendation aren’t always required for the application process, but many schools do utilize […]

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Calculating the Bottom Dollar

You’ve filed your taxes, submitted the FAFSA, and now it’s a waiting game. Colleges send award letters sometime in the late spring and summer, at which point families get an idea of the bottom dollar for their student’s education. This is where all that work on tests and scholarships proves itself fruitful! Each college will […]

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Common Problems with College Prep

The holidays are past (well, except Valentine’s Day!) and your family is back into the swing of homeschool. As you come to the middle of this semester some of the novelty may have worn off those shiny curriculum books. You might be juggling a kindergartener, third grader, AND your high school student – right when your ninth grader starts to struggle with his college preparatory studies. What do you do? Below are three common problem areas for high school students and some ways to address them.

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How to Choose a College

Last month we talked about staying in communication with your local college, as well as contacting universities to stay abreast of their transfer policies and admission requirements. This month, we’ll discuss how to choose which colleges to contact, and how to contact them.

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Preparing for the SAT

Are you tired of hearing about standardized tests yet? Most students are! Yet this topic is one of great importance if a student wishes to attend college – immediately after high school or even down the road. Your SAT and/or ACT score gives the college a glimpse of your critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, and ability to problem-solve under pressure. All of these are skills you need for college and career.

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Should I Take a Gap Year?

Not every student wants to go to college right out of high school. Some aren’t sure they want to attend college at all – looking instead at alternative options. Though the atmosphere of education encourages immediate entry into college post-high school, this isn’t every student’s story. Some students choose to take a gap year.

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What Next?

January 1st is a special day, and not just because it’s the beginning of a new year! This is the first day the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available for families of college-bound students for the fall.

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How to Write a Stellar Essay

The college application essay fills many students an understandable trepidation. So much rides on this one written work! Though essays are optional on standardized tests (largely because colleges have their own admission essays they wish to consider), the college application essay is required. No two essays are the same, however. Each college chooses an essay topic unique to what they seek in their applicant pool.

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Degree Completion Plans and Your Community College

If you’ve recently picked up a community college course catalog for the first time, it might seem overwhelming. How do you know what classes to take? How do you know those classes will transfer into a university degree program? Enter the degree completion plan: every homeschooler’s best friend in the quest for higher education!

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Pinpointing Potential Careers

How do you know God’s call for your life? For some, it’s a clear message to their heart from a young age. Others find it by trial and error. But many don’t know God’s call simply because they aren’t aware of how to recognize it.

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Homeschooling High School

Teach Them Diligently is launching a high school guidance counselor service led by Phylicia Masonheimer to help you with homeschooling high school. Services will be offered before our conventions as: Webinars, Facebook Chats, regular Live Office Hours, etc. And during the convention at our pre-convention High School Guidance Conference in which we will provide live counsel and guidance for after high school and preparation for college or any other next step once your student graduates.
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Finalizing Your College and Career Plan

With the holidays approaching and Christmas break around the corner, this email may seem like just another addition to your to-do list! But if you have a few minutes this month, December is a great time to sit with your senior to finalize your college and career plans. No plan needs to be written in stone, especially in the ever-changing climate of the teen years. Even so, tangible goals for this final semester of your student’s high school career are incredibly helpful as you decide what’s next.

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Planning Your College Visit

As the weather gets colder and holiday preparations begin, schoolwork takes a backseat. Whether you break completely for the holidays or do light work all year round, I’m about to add one little thing to your to-do list: arranging your first college visits! Don’t worry: you don’t need to visit colleges in December. Since most of the students and professors will be home for Christmas break, there wouldn’t be much to see anyway! This is the month to begin planning for next year’s visits, whether in spring or fall. How do you set up a campus visit, and what should you do once you’re there? Here are some tips:

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Academic Check Up: Refining Your Plan for College

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the school year already! Before the holidays are in full swing, December is a great time to refine the strategic plan for your student’s college preparation. Here are some steps to take as you plan ahead for next semester:

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Planning for Spring(Freshman)

As the holidays approach you and your family are probably taking a few weeks off from school. This is a great way to come into the New Year with fresh perspective and new goals! Rather than add to your to-do list for this busy season, this month’s email will review some of the concepts we’ve shared over the last semester. These will come in handy as you plan for the second half of your student’s freshman year.

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College Applications: Things to Know

You and your student might not be anywhere close to deciding on a college yet. Perhaps you haven’t decided if he wants to go to college at all! That’s perfectly fine; junior year is a time of preparation more than it is a season of decision. Since you’re in the preparation process, here are some things to know about college applications.

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Why Extracurricular Activities Matter

Drama group, swimming, gymnastics, debate: how do these activities contribute to a student’s academic transcript? More than you think! While colleges will first take into account a student’s tests scores and grades, extracurricular activities provide a complete picture of who the student is and where he’s headed academically.

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Checking In With Your Degree Completion Plan

By now you may be very well acquainted with your student’s degree completion plan (DCP): the list of classes required for his intended major(s). These plans are available on any college’s website or through their admission office. Within it is listed general education courses (100-200 level courses you can CLEP or dual enroll prior to university) and your major-specific courses (300-400 level courses in a specific area of study).

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Does That Awana Award Matter?

Homeschooling grants students an incredible opportunity to impact their community. The freedom of a homeschooling schedule allows homeschoolers to do much more with their time than the standard student. Because of this, many homeschoolers graduate high school with both a diploma and an extensive resume.

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