College Preparation

Your guide to helping your son or daughter transition from homeschooling to college.

Choosing a College: Where to Begin

Girl finding out she got into college

Choosing a college for any high school student can seem overwhelming.

Homeschool students that have received a non-traditional education may feel a bit apprehensive going from a home-based learning environment to a large university.

Some homeschool students take a few courses at a local community college as a first step into the college experience.

On the other hand, many home school students start college prep in middle school and adapt extremely well to the college life especially if they do more independent-type study homeschooling for their high school curriculum.

College Application Tips

Applying to college as a homeschool student is a unique situation and can be time consuming so it is a good idea to start early.

Here are some college application tips for home school students:

1. Start the application process early

2. Meet with a licensed Christian homeschool counselor

3. Take a prep course for the SAT/ACT because these scores are especially important for homeschool applicants

4. Contact your state homeschool agencies for community contacts and resources for college bound homeschool students


Paying for College

Homeschool students have the beauty of creating their own schedules which allows time to work and travel.

When it comes to paying for college, there are many creative options.

Dual enrollment is an option while the student is still in high school and living at home.

Another option is to work and go to school. Many organizations offer scholarships and grants for homeschool students.

Building Good Study Habits

One of the bonuses of being homeschooled is the ability to learn at your own pace.

Research shows that homeschool students often have better study habits because they are in control of their learning environment.

As they approach high school, many of the courses are independent study which also helps create good study habits.

College Preparation Resources

College For Free?

With the cost of college rising faster and student loan debt reaching astronomical proportions, many students are looking for alternative ways to earn their college

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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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What is the FAFSA?

If your student is college bound, “FAFSA” will soon become part of your vocabulary. FAFSA is an acronym for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid: a form filled out by families of college-bound students. This form helps the federal government estimate ho w much financial aid your student is eligible to receive. Eligibility for the Pell Grant and Stafford loans is determined by filing the FAFSA. Some colleges require the FAFSA before students qualify for any scholarships from their institution.

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What to Expect When It Comes to Testing

Standardized testing: It’s every homeschool parent’s favorite topic… or not! Your ninth grader may not have the ACT or SAT on her radar right now, but that is precisely why this is the best time to prepare. Students who know what to expect on standardized tests are far less likely to be intimidated by them – and far more likely to achieve high scores.

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CLEP, AP, and the PSAT

A few months ago we talked about dual enrollment: a fantastic way to save time and money for your student’s college education. (If you haven’t already signed up for a class or two, pick up your local community college catalog or check out the possibilities for online dual credit!) But dual enrollment isn’t the only way to save time and money for college. In this email, we’ll discuss three alternatives that – when used alone or in conjunction with dual enrollment – can help your student achieve her college dreams without the usual time and expense.

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The Truth About Financial Aid

Last month we talked about avoiding college debt. Financial aid is a big part of that conversation, but what exactly is financial aid? Many families who have not yet sent a child to college – or who didn’t attend college themselves – are prone to think financial aid is solely made up of scholarships. When colleges advertise, “6.1 million in financial aid!”, they aren’t sharing the whole picture.

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How to Choose a Major

If you’ve started applying for scholarships already, you may have noticed that some scholarship applications are already asking your student to indicate a major of study. But not many sixteen-year-olds have a firm grasp on what they want to do with the rest of their lives! It’s completely normal for your high school student to delay choosing a major as she explores her interests and passions. However, it’s also helpful to have a general direction for her academic path. Choosing a major starts in high school, and narrowing down potential careers is easier than you’d think.

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Tutors, Testing, and the Tenth Grade Year

When I was being homeschooled the first month of the fall semester was my favorite time of the year. My books were new, the leaves were changing, and I couldn’t wait to tackle the list of books assigned for that semester! It might not feel like fall quite yet, but chances are your family is back to school after your summer break – ready to tackle another year of learning!

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Big Picture Planning

If there’s one thing homeschool parents view with trepidation, it’s the transition from middle to high school. This season contains a whole new level of accountability and pressure as your child enters his ninth grade year. The grades he achieves, the tests he takes, and the transcript he compiles has the power to determine future decisions about college and career. It’s no wonder parents are nervous about homeschooling the high school years!

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The Skinny on College Debt

Do you have to go into debt to attend college? Many people say you do. A quick glance at the finances of most recent college graduates would further prove their point: Debt is normal, even unavoidable, in today’s college culture. But is this entirely true?

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The Importance of Study Skills

The fall term is only a few weeks away, and your junior is already nervous. Between standardized tests, dual credit classes, and his normal homeschool workload, this year is shaping up to be a lot of work! Well, here’s some great news to alleviate those nerves: incorporating study skills into your homeschool routine will help your student not only retain all the information he’s learning, but increase his chances of high test scores and a great GPA. Here are some study skills to start working on this month:

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How’s It Going?

Senior year is just around the corner. Where has the time gone? Twelfth grade is the culmination of these years of hard work, discipleship, and patience. And at the end of this year, a homeschool graduate will stand before your family.

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Getting a Jump on Testing

It’s midsummer and the season of barbecues, pool days, and sunscreen – the last thing you may want to think about is standardized testing! Though not the most thrilling of subjects, now is the time to consider how your student will begin the intentional preparation that will equip him for the SAT and ACT.

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Transitioning from Homeschool to College

Often times homeschool students are more prepared academically than their traditional high school student counterparts.

Getting involved in community activities during middle school and high school can help with the social aspect of learning to get along with many different types of people.

Taking classes at a community college can help bridge the gap from homeschool to college.

Another option is to take one campus class and one online class as a hybrid approach.

Join TTD365 for Even More College Prep Resources!

Teach Them Diligently 365 is an online homeschool community and homeschool resource library designed to help you make the most out of your homeschool experience.

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TTD365 Audio Resources - College Prep (Members Only!)

teaching multiple grades at once

Teaching Several Grades at Once

Teaching several grade levels all together can seem daunting. However, what might at first appear to be overwhelming can be turned into an asset in your homeschool. Let’s look together at planning ahead, group teaching, leading older children in sharing knowledge (and boundaries for this approach), and ideas that bring the family together.

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How Home Education Prepared Me for Public Office

Sarah Fowler is the first homeschool graduate to serve on a State Board of Education. In this session she will be exploring key education experiences that prepared her for service in state government and how the lack of training in these areas has undermined the ministry and service of others. Sarah will explore the benefits of Christian mentorship in her personal and spiritual development and share how she has reciprocated by mentoring young people as well.

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Embracing the Caterpillar: Integrating as a Homeschooled Adult

Being homeschooled “all the way through” in today’s world makes you distinct. While every Christian has to learn how to “be in the world but not of”, sometimes as a homeschool alumni, it’s hard to know which world it is that you inhabit. “Homeschool lifer” Danielle shares which unique bumps in the road she’s faced, what has helped make her transition to “adulthood” easier for her & her family, and how her homeschooled identity helps her navigate in life.

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Compelling Case for Homeschooling

Are you curious about home education, but not sure if you’re ready to make the commitment? Do you have a friend or family member saying you’re crazy if you homeschool? Join HSLDA Staff Attorney and homeschooling father of seven, Mike Donnelly, and see why homeschooling may be the right choice for you. Mike will help you understand the basics, show how homeschooled students often outshine their public-school peers, and shed light on the myths surrounding homeschooling.

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Getting Started Homeschooling: Everything from A to Z

This session is a practical “how-to” workshop, intended to help new home educators meet the Ohio state requirements for notification and assessment. Melanie will review Ohio’s homeschool regulations in a way that is interactive and engaging, as well as provide examples of notifications and Ohio’s assessment options. Whether you are in the process of deciding to home educate or you are ready to begin, this is an important session that will provide answers to all your homeschool questions!

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Q&A with Homeschool College Fair Panel

The Homeschool College Fair Panel answers questions from parents who are preparing to launch their high school student to college. Listen Now Download this…

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5 Most Common Misunderstandings about College: What You Don’t Know Will Cost You

The college landscape has changed significantly over the last five years, and families today have more options than ever when it comes to pursuing a college degree. However, as stewards of God’s greatest gifts to us, our children, how can we make wise choices? With over 50 combined years of higher education experience, we are positioned to help you make the most of your options and avoid common mistakes.

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How to Select a College and Prepare Your Student to not just Survive but Thrive.

Over 50% of students walk away from the church during their first two years of college. In this
session, Dr. Thomas White, Cedarville University President, theology professor, published
author, and homeschool dad will present straight forward truth and insider tips from almost 20
years in higher education leadership. Topics addressed will include: how to determine what a
school really teaches; tips for the application process and scholarships; and preparing your
student spiritually to not just survive but thrive in college.

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What You Need to Know about Private vs. Public Colleges and How to Pay for It

Home school mom and daughter, Marcia and Lila Castellano, are from Byron, Georgia. Marcia has home schooled for over 25 years and her four children graduated from college debt free. Her daughter, Lila, is a transfer enrollment counselor at Charleston Southern University while studying in the MBA Organizational Leadership program. “We are here to share from the parent and college perspectives about how to prepare for college and make the best choice for you. I wish I knew what I know now about financial aid and college admissions when I made my decisions!” –Lila

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Home School to Graduate School via World Missions

The 4-5 years and high cost of traditional college often impedes Great Commission obedience. This need not occur: the foreign language and cross-cultural skills needed to minster the Gospel to unreached peoples also comprise the core of a liberal arts degree. Learn how, via credit-by-exam and portfolio assessment, engaging in Christian missions can yield both a B.A. degree and foster an agenda for graduate school.

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Should You Homeschool High School?

Reason together with high school homeschoolers and their parents. Look at reasons for homeschooling high school! Classical Conversations exists to aid parents in their pursuit of a high quality, doable, classical education in an environment where the purpose is the know God and make Him known from tots through teens.

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Gap Year with a Purpose

A popular trend recently has been to take a year off after high school, calling it a “gap year.” Many students see this as an opportunity to take a break and relax. However, there are also many students who take this year to set a foundation for the rest of their lives. This session will discuss the importance of that foundation and how a student can effectively take a Gap Year with a Purpose.

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Homeschool College Q&A

Listen Now Favorite To access this content, you must purchase TTD365 Membership – Monthly, TTD365 Membership – Annual, 365/HLA Annual or TTD365 Membership Upgrade –

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Simplifying College Prep

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to college preparation. Do we dual enroll? Take the AP, CLEP, DSST, ECE? Is the PSAT necessary? How do I decide between the ACT/SAT? Should I take a gap year? If my child has no idea what he/she wants to do, should we even be looking at college?

There are a lot of different ways to prepare for a career path. We know you have heard lots from your friends, and it can become overwhelming very easily. In this workshop we are going to guide you through a series of questions that allow you to evaluate where you are at as a family, and simplify down what tests, tools and approaches make sense for your exact situation.

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Simplifying College Prep

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to college preparation. Do we dual enroll? Take the AP, CLEP, DSST, ECE? Is the PSAT necessary? How do I decide between the ACT/SAT? Should I take a gap year? If my child has no idea what he/she wants to do, should we even be looking at college?

There are a lot of different ways to prepare for a career path. We know you have heard lots from your friends, and it can become overwhelming very easily. In this workshop we are going to guide you through a series of questions that allow you to evaluate where you are at as a family, and simplify down what tests, tools and approaches make sense for your exact situation.

Read More »

Discerning My Calling

I believe the workplace is our mission field and we need to follow the guidance of the Lord to find the right mission field for each of us.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says I know the plans I have for you…to prosper and not to harm…to give hope and a future.

When young people tune into their God-given skills, personality, strengths, and spiritual gifts, they make more satisfying decisions and have fewer regrets about school, college, and career.

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Preparing for College

Just when parents are getting the hang of homeschooling High School – College hopes and fears begin to loom on the horizon. What, really, do College Profs expect from students? With over 17 years experience teaching Psychology at a local college, Diane Benson provides insight into what professors want from students, how to be better students and ways to make freshman year (or Dual Enrollment) easier.

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College Admissions and Scholarship Tips

Gems to glean from a veteran homeschooling family. With 10 homeschooled high school graduates that have gone to college on full scholarships to various schools( from large public universities to very small private Christian schools) Charlotte shares wisdom from experience on obtaining college scholarships. Expectations of college admissions departments and scholarship committees can be elusive. Knowing the right questions to ask is invaluable.

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Over the course of an hour, Deb will discuss some statistics related to what is effective preparation and what is not. When this preparation should begin and when your student should begin taking the ACT or SAT. Deb will also discuss her personal experience with these tests and preparing students and how to decide which is best for your student. The last 15 minutes will be designated for questions. You will leave with practical materials related to preparing for these tests and a solid direction on how to arm your students for this test that will likely define where they can direct their academic future. The content of this discussion is applicable for parents of rising 7th graders and beyond.

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Micro Business for Teens: Starting a Micro Business

Encouragement for teenagers to start and run their own micro business. They will learn a lot while earning some money. A micro business can be started quickly and easily with no debt from home. Presenter Carol Topp, CPA has counseled dozens of teenagers starting a business and will discuss business plans, ideas. Teenagers and their parents are encouraged to attend together!

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Dual Enrollment Classes

Speaker: Jerry Yandell Director of Trip McConnel University. How does it look to participate in dual enrollment and transferring in to college. Jerry addresses lots…

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Attention CHILL OUT

Speaker: Rachael Carman Veteran 22 years of homeschooling mom, Rachel, encourages mom to stay the course and finish strong! You do not have to give…

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One Size Does NOT Fit All: College and Career Check-up

Your situation is different, so your approach should be as well. As we get close to the end of the school year lots of families have questions about what they should have their child do to prepare for college. We’ll move beyond a simple checklist to actually give you the tools and questions to complete an end-of-the-year checkup.

Many people have it backwards. I’m frequently asked by students and parents, “what do I/does my child need to do to prepare for college?” I turn that question on it’s head and instead ask, what do you need to do to prepare for your career? A career, not college, is the goal, and dictates what direction you should follow now (not some automated checklist). If college is a logical part of that route then we can talk about what to do. Don’t know what career you’re interested? Well, we’ll start there!

We’ll do an overview of the “Big 5” elements of preparing for a career, college and life after graduation. What career are you considering? What route will get

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College Out of the Box: the Alternative Methods to Earning Your College Degree

Figuring out where to go (and how to pay for) college can be a stressful time. Join me as I show you options that maybe you haven’t thought of before. We’ll discuss alternative ways to earn credits (it’s not just CLEPS & dual credits anymore!), traditional versus nontraditional routes to a degree, compare costs and time required, uncover little known ways to earn scholarships, and much more. If you have a student Junior high- high school age, you need to attend to find out how they can begin earning college credits doing the work they are already doing! My son started at age 12 and got his accredited associates degree by age 15 and his bachelor’s by 17 (and for just a FEW thousand dollars!). College Out of the Box is the new way to get your college degree in less time, for less money, and with NO student debt!

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