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Curricula by Simplify

Farrar and Jill Outside Simplify

  • Will you be homeschooling through high school? Discuss plans with your student and give them an opportunity to provide input.
  • Is your high school on a college-prep track? Look at what your local high schools offer and what colleges require. This is a great starting off point.
  • Would your student like a STEM or humanities career? Talk about options but don’t press them to choose now.
  • Think about how they will fulfill subject credits, especially lab sciences if you are not able to teach it at home.
  • Help your teen learn important skills like time management, online research, and note-taking.
  • Start keeping good records. Track time spent on high school level academic work and start thinking about extra curricular activities for high school.
  • Start looking at summer camps. Summer is a great time for high school students to experience new things and develop skills for their future.
  • Welcome to high school! Remember to keep good notes and carefully track how many credits your student is accumulating this year.
  • Taking AP courses this year? If so start searching for schools that your teen can test at.
  • For STEM majors, start on a strong math and science track.
  • Start learning a foreign language and plan for subsequent levels. Competitive students usually complete three years of the same foreign language.
  • Is your teen struggling academically? Remember it is not too late to have them tested for a learning disability.
  • Have your student start a high school resume to keep track of their extra curricular activities, volunteer work, and awards.
  • Re-assess sophomore, junior, and senior year plans and start planning what exams your child will take when.
  • Keep in mind that teens need time for friends, food, and sleep. It can’t all be about school.
  • Have your student start a college planner/ notebook and gradually make a college list. Gently discuss who will pay for college and research scholarships and financial aid.
  • For STEM majors, ensure your child is on track to finish sufficient years of math and lab sciences.
  • For art/music/theater majors make sure your teen has opportunities to build up a resume.
  • Sign up for standardized testing. Visit the SAT, ACT, and AP websites for registration deadlines.
  • Will your child take college classes while in high school? Start thinking about dual-enrollment.
  • Choose delight over achievement. Participate in science fairs, deep learning programs, and/ or focus on interest-specific projects and extra curricular activities to create a joyful high school experience.
  • Keep working on those homeschooling records! Start a transcript draft. Begin writing up course descriptions and add to them each semester.
  • Time to get serious! Make an appointment with your Simplify consultant to create a college shortlist and an application checklist. Start planning college tours.
  • Gauge your teen’s comfort level with rigor. Do they want a mix of regular, honors, AP, or college-level classes? This is a good year to complete a few more AP classes.
  • Start shortlisting colleges that your student might want to apply to and plan college tours if possible.
  • Depending on your student’s goals, start preparing for them to retake the SAT and/ or the ACT. If your teen is willing, sign up for more SAT subject tests.
  • Competitive STEM majors will want to aim for advanced math and lab science classes.
  • Encourage your student to find leadership opportunities.
  • Keep scaffolding time management and note-taking skills. Introduce self-care skills e.g. cooking and laundry.
  • Find a truly fantastic summer opportunity for your student to spread their wings.
  • Start working on the transcript and keep updating course descriptions.
  • Think about and fine-tune senior year plans.
  • Make sure your junior gets enough rest and has downtime.
  • If your student wants to re-take the SAT or ACT for the last time, do so in the summer before senior year or as early as possible in the fall. This will be their last chance.
  • Take time to understand college application portals. Create counselor accounts and take note of what admissions officers ask for.
  • Track all application deadlines, including deadlines for scholarships.
  • Encourage your teen to get started on their college application essays by late summer. Once school starts they won’t have as much time.
  • It’s time for Letters of Recommendation. Have your teen reach out to those who will write their letters in the late summer/early fall.
  • Complete the counselor package: your course descriptions, preliminary transcript, school profile, and counselor letter.
  • Support your student as they complete their college applications.
  • Apply to colleges by the deadline. Triple proofread everything before hitting the submit button.
  • Remember to send in the midyear transcript.
  • Wait for decisions.
  • Your teen will take final AP exams if any in May.
  • Make sure that your student’s graduation date is updated on the transcript.
  • Be sure to send any requested documents, such as the final official high school transcript, college transcripts, and test scores, by the posted deadlines to the college your student will attend.
  • Celebrate!! You did it!!

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