Friday, August 2, 2013

Homeschool Seniors | Choosing a Senior Project

Choosing a senior project for your homeschool senior student can be a lot of fun. Keep in mind their talents, gifts, and abilities and encourage them to set goals to make their project a reality.

My entrepreneurial son set his sites on eCommerce when he began mapping out his senior project. It seemed like the perfect fit for a burgeoning business student who loves to write, and he had a lot of fun doing it.

Visit David's website, ACT College Test HERE. His site's topic? Tips for mastering the ACT.

After homeschooling for over 17 years, I can honestly say that while we had a great experience, and I'm confident that my kids didn't come up short socially or academically, there was one thing that was missing during those high school years: a guidance counselor. During that all-important senior year, and really all of high school, it would have been really nice to have had a person acting in the role of a guidance counselor to help us navigate through testing, scholarships, college apps, career decisions, and more. I relied heavily on my circle of homeschooling friends who helped me find my way through.

One thing I had learned from my daughter's senior year was that we should have started ACT testing as a sophomore. (Poor oldest child! Guinea pig of the family!) I also learned from her experience how truly valuable (read $$$$$) that score can be when it comes to earning scholarships. David took the ACT test a total of three times, and his top overall score was a 32. That put him in a place of opportunity: for summer programs, for merit/academic scholarships, and for federal scholarships as well. Preparing for the ACT is not that difficult--especially when you let him walk you through it with the tips and tricks that worked for him.

Choosing a Senior Project

When it comes to choosing a senior project, your child's senior project should look like something that he or she is interested in. If they are not excited about taking on this challenge, and if it's not something that they can have fun with, then redirect them to something that they will enjoy doing. It should be something that is career-oriented, something that helps them solidify what they are interested in pursuing through further education or something that want to jump into and pursue as soon as they graduate. Here are a few ideas:

Education. One homeschooled student I know started a children's performing arts camp. She planned out a two-week program for multi-age levels, secured a location, hired a staff, advertised, and took on the students. This experience and the paper she wrote about it was included with every college application she sent. [Please note, she spent her junior year planning this, and the summer before her senior year was when the camp took place. This way, she was able to put it on her college apps, which are due by the end of November, your child's senior year.]

Real estate license. In our state, you can get a real estate license when you're 18 years old.

Internships. Let your child spend the summer working for experience. Lots of places are glad to trade work for experience and a college recommendation letter. Try your local zoo, newspaper, museums, television station, or hospital.

Apprenticeships. If your child has no direction, give her two-weeks each with business people and other professionals that you know. Offer her a wide lens on career opportunities and let her narrow it down for herself.

Learn more about Planning a Senior Project HERE. Find out how you can set up your homeschooled high school student for success HERE.

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