What you REALLY Need to KNOW to Apply to College -

Summary:  Going from homeschool to college just takes planning, and here is my guide to college for that, with a free download on college entrance requirements, validating the homeschool transcript, and how to make a 4 year homeschool high school plan for your teen who is homeschooling to college.

As homeschoolers, we are already experts in planning. We have searched for and chosen curriculum each year for our kids. We have decided on which subjects to focus on and how to teach them to our kids. 

Planning for high school, with college in mind is really no different, except for one important thing.....Now your teen has their college entrance entrance requirements to fulfill.  How to find out your teen's college requirements is discussed in depth in chapter one of my book, "Researching and Getting Started".

I made it into this FREE download...just click here

Some bloggers suggest that all we need to do is to check the college websites for their freshman entrance requirements.  

Is that right?

Actually the answer is that is a good start 

There are just two more pieces of information that are important to have.  And they are not hard to find....!

It is also important when preparing for college to also:

1.  Find out if there are any special homeschool requirements for your likely colleges, and many colleges still have them, but they are not hard to deal with and.....

2.   Check to see what the colleges require re testing -  SAT or ACT - and also - Do they also require the writing portion of the test or not?

Most colleges still do require the SAT or the ACT, but there are many that do not require the writing portion.

And if they don't require that writing portion, then your teen doesn't need to do it!  We did not need to do the writing portion of the SAT, and that was great news for our teen!

More on that is in the FREE download mentioned above. Just click here

This download includes

- how to research college websites 
- the typical requirements for different types of colleges 
- tips for finding out about homeschool requirements
- how to find out what test is required SAT or ACT, or none!
- whether the writing portion of the SAT or ACT is required or not!  

Once you have this information from my free download, then you have all 3 pieces of information that you need for your teen to apply to college.

When we had that, we were ready to make a 4 year plan for our high schooler.

Making an Overall High School Plan

With our list of admission requirements in hand, we sketched out what our high school years might look like.....with our best guesses of what we wanted to do when.

Our overall plan was flexible, and revised and reworked every year, as life happened.  Yet it was a helpful guide for us, and ours looked something like this:


My Teen's Requirements:
4 English
2 Sciences with Lab
3 Math with one Math-oriented Science in Senior Year
3 Social Studies
2 Foreign Language
+ Electives to equal 24 - 26 credits

My teen's first day on campus.
 9th grade
World History
English (lit and composition)
Science - Physical Science (good prep for bio next year)
Math - Algebra 1
Elective - Photography
10th grade

Foreign Language - Spanish 1
Science - Biology with Lab
Math - Geometry
English (lit and comp) - We chose the novels 

Take the PSAT for test taking practice
 11th grade

Foreign Language - Spanish 2
 US History 
Science - Chemistry with lab
Math- Algebra 2
English- We did American Lit (fun to do with US History)
 Elective - Art Drawing

Take the SAT or ACT first time
12th Grade

Science - Physics - for special interest
 US Government - for my teen's interest 
English - We made our own in British Lit
2 Electives:
College Planner (see end of post for info)

Take SAT or ACT again if needed

(We did SAT prep and retook it)

Your plan could be similar or entirely different from mine, depending on:

1.  Your college choice's admission requirements

2.  Your college's extra homeschool requirements, if any  (Do check this and ask Admissions if it is not listed)

3.  Special requirements for prospective math/science majors  (They usually need 4 years of math, and 4 years of science)

4.  Your homeschooling style, your teen's goals

5.  Your teen's interests 

How We Managed Stress re Preparing for College

Building in the fun.

To be honest, this whole preparing for college thing was overwhelming to us at first. What we did to combat that, was first to build in the play....like go to the zoo.  Teens still love that too!

Then secondly, it also REALLY helped me to plan ahead and lay out a tentative overall plan for the high school years.  

And it was very tentative, that helped us a lot too!  We made lots of time for fun and going to the zoo!

Making this flexible 4 Year High School Plan helped us in these ways:

1.  First, if I had this plan to follow, I would be less likely to forget a requirement or two, and have to scramble in senior year, to fit it in. 

2.  Secondly, it freed my teen to focus on building her interests, because our core studies were already set in mind and on paper.

3.  It gave us confidence to push forward, and enjoy the high school years.

Our Homemade College Planner Course

My teen was  a big part of our planning.

Did you notice the elective called College Planner that I listed above, in Senior Year?  

First let me mention that you don't have to do a course like this. We just did it to give my teen credit for all her work preparing for the SAT.  

We gave her credit for her work doing that and just made a very simple homemade course called College Planner.  We included her work on:

SAT prep
Studying college websites
Visiting colleges
Taking any career tests or interest tests
Working on her college essay
and more.

We called it College Planner and each of my teen's colleges accepted this credit.  That was such a help during the busy senior year!  But you could do it junior year, whatever works for you.  

We just estimated the hours spent on these activities, and described them briefly in her course descriptions.  More on course descriptions are in my book.

Then we put our planner away....

Aiming towards college, step by step, allowed us to prepare for the college admission process, while keeping our focus on our nurturing homeschool style, front and center! 

Have you seen my NEW High School Guide yet? 

Purchasing my book also helps me to continue blogging about high school and college topics, to keep us all up to date on the latest news re homeschooling to college.

Have you seen Tricia Hodges's video courses in art yet?

Taught by a master artist, and offered by Tricia Hodges, mom of 5 blessings who are all homeschooled.  

This is a full one year course, ideal for your teen who is interested in art.   Get your fine arts requirement done (for college bound teens) with this easy to use video course!  

Perfect for independent study! No need for a long list of supplies. Just get some paper and some chalk art pastels and you are ready!

Thanks for stopping by!  


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh schoolcollege, special needs/2e and wrote - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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Copyright @ BJ's Homeschool 2017
Updated 2019 

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