Spring is in the air! The bradford pear trees are starting to blossom here in Georgia, and homeschooling parents throughout the state turn their attention to next school year! LOL After all, it's so much nicer to think about a fresh start with a new school year than it is to continue to drudge on through a year that is close to being over but not close enough so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
The first important item that I've got to consider is the PSAT for Austin. He will be in 11th grade next year and it's time for him to take this first important step towards college admissions. Now, we aren't certain if college is in his future plans at this time (at least, not in the traditional, 4 year university sense), but I would rather he have these tests taken in high school so he has them if he needs them! The PSAT is offered only one time per year, in the fall. The testing is done at local high schools and a homeschooling friend of mine told me which school allowed her daughter to test with them when she took it a few years ago, so I will contact that school.
In preparation for the PSAT, I need to look into getting Austin accommodations for his special needs. The deadline is in August, so I have plenty of time. There aren't any direct instructions for homeschoolers, at least not that I see, so I will have to contact the college board and ask for assistance. I will be sure to document my experience so that it can hopefully help someone else.
Another preparation step I am taking is to sign Austin up for a group testing experience - in this case, the ITBS, since it's offered easily for groups of homeschoolers. Austin has done the ITBS before (as well as many other tests for his LDs) but he has always been alone. For the PSAT, especially if he is denied accommmodations, he will need to be able to handle the distractions of people being around him making noises (shuffling papers, tapping fingers, even just breath or pencil sounds). He will also have to adjust to being still for a long period of time. He uses motion to self-regulate so this will probably be his biggest challenge. But I have no doubt he can handle it, with some advanced preparation!
I am also going to have Austin take his first outside class next year! In Georgia we are fortunate to have many programs for homeschoolers to take group classes for a fee, but many of these programs list stringent academic requirements or the student will be put on "academic probation." I do not want that sort of pressure for Austin, especially for his first class experience. Luckily, the lady that did some testing for us a few years ago (former homeschool mom and Georgia homeschooling advocate) offers classes in her home! Austin has chosen a Speech/Debate class (surprising!!) and I have contacted her to see if she feels her class would still be appropriate for him!
Riley will be a high schooler next year as well, and she and I have been having discussions about her future as well. But that is a topic that requires a post of its own... maybe this evening or over the weekend!
For now... it's time to work on THIS year's work again! ;)