Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Natural Learning, Intentionally: High School- Part III- Cum Folders, Home Education Style

             Intentionality has paid off in the high school years. 

Thankfully, I realized early in my son's eighth grade year I would play the role of guidance counselor for my homeschooled high schooler. Meaning? I would be the liaison between school (us!) and college, the keeper of all things official. Yep, me, until the student was 18 (that is the topic of another intentional high school blog). No qualifications or degrees, "just" the mom who was overseeing the learning taking place in our home. If I didn't keep the records, no one would. The records I kept would influence my student's post secondary career (no pressure, right?)

Not much time was lost in regards to recovering the undocumented or potentially important information we needed to begin compiling a cum folder for our high schooler; not many tracks to retrace. And in the end, retracing was worth the effort. The folder became a gold mine, one of those things you tell people you would grab if the house were aflame.

Wow! Me, the keeper of the "cum folder", the folder about which school officials threaten and gloat, at least in the high school I attended. When things got serious students got the "that will go in your permanent cum folder" lecture; the file in which all things which hold the keys to the future reside.

When my son was in eighth grade I began researching the NCAA requirements. It became evident I would need specific documents for eligibility.

No one I knew had kept a cumulative folder of high school records so this was new territory for me. And, not a naturally organized person I was determined to start THAT DAY!  I purchased a 3 1/2 inch binder and some colored-tab separators to help me keep his paperwork organized. Armed with plastic protector sheets and a hole-punch, I sat down to begin compilation of the "cum folder". I started labeling tabs I knew we would need, and then added, trial-and-error, along our journey. Years later, as we began contacting colleges, I added tabs for copies of applications (yes, this was before they were online), scholarship applications, acceptance letters, and financial aid notifications.

At the end of four years, when writing the first edition of Celebrate High School, I decided to include the major section tabs we found helpful, knowing parents who read the book may find our tab titles helpful as they complied the cum folders for their students.

What tabs did we find helpful?

  • Activities
  • Awards
  • Certificates and Certifications
  • College Admissions Requirements
  • College Applications
  • College Major Requirements
  • Community Service/Volunteer Hours
  • Dual Enrollment Documents
  • Financial Aid Applications
  • Financial Aid Offers
  • Grades
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Medical Records
  • NCAA Eligibility
  • NCAA Home School Core Course Worksheets
  • Scholarship Applications
  • Scholarships Awarded
  • Test Scores
  • Transcripts
  • Work Experience
  • Writing Samples
*Note: These tab titles are our most recent (based on our experience with three unique high school students) and will be included in the revision of Celebrate High School. Not all tabs will be needed for every student. This list has been updated since the most recent edition of Celebrate High School and my blog post dated 07/29/2013.

Revised edition due out July 2015!

*The information in this blog post is not intended as legal or educational advice. It is simply a journal of what worked for us. Parents are responsible to oversee their child's home education.