Homeschooling Your High Schooler with Heart Series: Part 2 – Parent and Teen Talk Homeschool College Prep with the NAHC
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Here’s a hand to help you homeschool college prep and take the pressure of the college process off your shoulders as a parent: the National Academic Homeschool Competition (NAHC). It’s a friendly academic competition for teens that exists to support homeschool families with college prep, SAT and ACT prep, and college financing. The Old Schoolhouse® and the College Options Foundation are teaming up again this year to host the second annual National Academic Homeschool Competition, giving homeschooled students an exclusive opportunity to put their knowledge to the test on a national level.
The NAHC is a virtual competition comprised of two rounds leading up to a final championship. Students compete right from home! There are three age divisions: 12–14, 15–16, and 17–18. Prizes and awards are given to the top finalists in each age division. The NAHC tests are designed similarly to the SAT and ACT, so teens are familiar with the format and types of questions they will see on standardized testing. With NAHC experience, students can test confidently and significantly improve SAT and ACT scores. Plus, it’s an impressive extracurricular addition to your student’s transcript and college application.
The Old Schoolhouse® talked to a teen participant from last year’s competition to find out just what it’s actually like to participate in the NAHC. His mother also shared her perspective on the experience. Aaron Vogler was in eleventh grade when he participated in the first NAHC at age 15. Here’s what Aaron and his mom, Heather, had to say.
A Student’s Thoughts on the NAHC
TOS: Before the NAHC, did you already have college goals or plans?
Aaron: I was already taking dual enrollment classes through a college but unsure of what major I would pursue after high school.
TOS: What motivated you to participate in the NAHC?
Aaron: The competitive aspect of it.
TOS: About how much time did you spend preparing for the NAHC?
Aaron: Several hours a week.
TOS: Which part of the preparation did you find most helpful?
Aaron: The practice tests.
TOS: Which division did you compete in?
Aaron: Ages 15–16.
TOS: Which rounds did you compete in?
Aaron: All three.
TOS: Did you win a prize or award? If so, what was it?
Aaron: Yes, a wireless keyboard!
TOS: How long did each round take to complete?
Aaron: Around 35 minutes to an hour.
TOS: Did anything surprise you about the NAHC?
Aaron: I was surprised with how difficult the math questions were.
TOS: What was one benefit of the virtual competition format?
Aaron: I could do it on my own time.
TOS: Do you feel better prepared for college after participating in the NAHC?
Aaron: A little bit.
TOS: Will you be competing next year?
Aaron: Yes, I am planning on it.
TOS: Would you recommend participating in the NAHC?
Aaron: Yes, but I am hesitant too because it then increases the competition!
TOS: Is there anything else you would like to share about your NAHC experience or anything else you would like other homeschooled teens to know about the NAHC?
Aaron: Be sure to take the practice tests. They help!
A Parent’s Perspective on the NAHC
TOS: How did you learn about the NAHC?
Heather: Through The Old Schoolhouse®.
TOS: What made you want your teen to participate in the NAHC?
Heather: I know he likes to compete, and this was a unique opportunity unlike any other.
TOS: What was your main take-away from having your child participate in the NAHC?
Heather: The NAHC is an incredible opportunity for a teen to put their knowledge to the test and see if they are adequately prepared for the SAT, ACT, and college admissions process before going forward and actually taking those tests or applying to a college.
TOS: What was the greatest benefit of the NAHC to you as the parent?
Heather: I am now able to see where there are gaps in my teen’s math and vocabulary skills and can now address these gaps with the tools provided by the NAHC.
TOS: Do you feel your child is better prepared for college after participating in the NAHC?
TOS: Do you think the NAHC potentially saved you money?
Heather: Yes, the NAHC helps save money in so many ways. If my teen does well on the SATs and ACTs that will open up doors for discounted or in some cases free college, additionally, other resources are available to help with financial decisions for college through the NAHC.
TOS: How much involvement should parents expect?
Heather: I recommend that the parent look through the resources within the Total College Success resource and see which portions you want your teen to focus on the most to prepare for the NAHC test. There are some recommended resources that could be purchased ahead of time to prepare. You will also find suggestions for how to properly study for the NAHC. Skimming this ahead of time as a parent would be beneficial if you wanted to implement any of the suggestions into your homeschool routine.
TOS: Would you like your child to participate again?
Heather: Yes, he is planning on participating in the next one.
TOS: Would you recommend the NAHC?
Heather: Yes! As I talk to parents of teens, I find that many of the colleges that they are looking at are test-optional but extremely expensive. They are considering taking the SAT or ACT even though they are not always mandatory. They could receive a significant amount of financial aid if they score well on these tests. I have been letting them know about the NAHC and how it can prepare their teen for what is ahead.
TOS: Is there anything else you would like to share about your NAHC experience?
Heather: The NAHC is a wonderful resource to add into your teen’s homeschool routine! It is a win-win situation with all of the knowledge gained throughout the process.
Thank you, Aaron and Heather, for giving a glimpse into your NAHC experience. Thanks too, to CTCMath and Colorado Christian University for sponsoring the 2023–2024 National Academic Homeschool Competition. Will your homeschooler participate this year? The NAHC is open to 12–18-year-olds. Register beginning August 1, 2023, for the competition which begins November 1, 2023. Your registered student receives access to college prep materials including Total College Success® software that teaches parents and students everything they need to know about life after high school. Find out even more about this worthwhile homeschool college prep opportunity. Visit NAHCRegistration.com.