Home schooling students do best in high school when they start preparing themselves ahead of time. In seventh and eighth grade, students can prepare for the level of work and self-discipline and study skills that are required in high school.
Seventh and eighth grade students can even begin to take one or two high school courses. By doing so, they can become accustomed to what is expected of them at the high school level, and also can start earning high school credits. Collecting a few early high school credits can lessen pressure on a student later on.
Sometimes students don’t consider ninth grade important because college is still four years away. However, college admissions departments look at the high school transcripts and grade point average (GPA). If students do not achieve good grades in their first year of high school, those grades can pull down the overall average for the four years.
For many home schooling families, obtaining financial aid is essential for a student to attend a Catholic college. While the CAT or ACT test scores are the most seriously considered, the high school transcript also is important for the financial aid process for colleges.
Difficulties can arise when students start home schooling in ninth grade, since they have not yet adapted to the at-home study situation without their friends, their sports, and their school events. Consequently, students starting home schooling in ninth are often going through a period of adjustment, which can and often does affect the academic progress.
Many students entering ninth grade are maturing spiritually and emotionally, going through adolescent changes. If the home schooling has started in earlier years, the adjustment to independent study is not another factor affecting these changes. Parents starting students with home schooling in ninth grade may discover their students need more self-discipline and good study habits than they anticipated.
Daily Mass is important for the high school student to help deal with the normal spiritual questions at this age, and his own religious development. Frequent confession is necessary for the young adult in our current secular culture.
For all seventh and eighth grade students, start thinking about high school now!