This post is sponsored by Carson-Dellosa. All opinions are my own.
As homeschoolers, our main job is to make sure our children are prepared for college if and when they choose to go. Homeschool college prep is an important part of any homeschool journey.
My oldest is just finishing up fourth grade this year, but I am already feeling the pinch of college prep. In fifth grade, things start to get real. There are only eight more years of school before college, which sounds like a long time, but it will go by in a flash.
Homeschool College Prep in the Elementary Years
College prep should be started well before high school. We’re preparing for college by implementing the following steps.
We started planning for college when our eldest was about four years old. Back then, our biggest future thought was how we would pay for college. We started saving money for college and have tried to put a little money aside each month to cover college expenses. Even with all of the advanced savings, we will not be able to cover the entire cost of college, which is why we’re prepping in other ways, too.
One of my favorite ways to save for college is by opening a 529 savings account, which is an investment account that works similarly to a IRA retirement account. The value of the account grows over time, allowing you to receive a higher amount of money by the time your child attends college than you would have if you had hidden the money in a sock drawer.
Carson-Dellosa is offering a giveaway to help you kickstart your college funding by depositing either 2,000 or 1,000 into your child’s 529 account. The giveaway is only open until May 31st, 2016.
Texas does not require yearly standardized testing, and for the most part, I don’t believe tests are the most accurate guideline for a student’s ability or knowledge. However, to get into college, and certainly to receive scholarships, homeschooled students must know how to take tests and excel at testing.
Starting this year, we begun spending some time learning how to take tests. I taught Monkey how to look for obviously wrong answers, how to skim chapters for key phrases, how to identify what might be on a test, and other test-taking skills. We also use test practice time as a way to help her get used to sitting still and taking a test quietly without any teacher help.
While I don’t believe that young children necessarily have to learn everything required by the state for each grade level, once fifth grade rolls around, I believe it is important to be on grade level. This helps make school easier, and it also prepares a child to enter a traditional school environment either at the college level or before. Not every parent homeschools through high school, and the more students are on or above grade level, the easier the transition will be.
What does your homeschool college prep look like?