Resources for Parents of College-Bound Students Challenges for the college-bound student




Free talks & workshops

The sessions below were all recorded in July of 2021.

Videos on this page:


Eyes Wide Open — with Diane Speed

Five things every parent should know about homeschooling high school

Parents are often surprised when their homeschooled teen becomes unmotivated, angry, or uncooperative. — Up to that point, homeschooling had been a magical learning adventure marked by self-directed learning and effortless discovery. Parents wonder What happened? — What did I do wrong? This workshop will address common challenges when homeschooling high school: motivation, attitude, puberty, achieving high school requirements, and more. It will also provide solutions and insights that produce real results and homeschool success.

Date & time

Wednesday 14 July, 11 a.m. – 12 noon EDT

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You can view this session here:


Skill Drill — with Diane Speed

Three skills every student needs for college

High school is jammed with requirements for the college-bound high school student – 3 to 4 years of a lab science, 4 years of English, plus higher-level math, foreign language – not to mention standardized tests! But there are three skills that maximize all students' chances of success at college. Each of these skills hinges on higher-level thinking, maturity, and organization.

This workshop will discuss what parents can do to help their students develop these essential skills.

Date & time

Monday 19 July, 11 a.m. – 12 noon EDT

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Why Study Literature? — with Roy Speed

The true value and purpose of reading great works

When considering a literature course, what are the telltale signs that you're looking at high-quality instruction? For a literature course, is live discussion an important feature? Isn't asynchronous instruction perfectly adequate? How about a course calling itself "AP lit" — does that label tell you anything substantive about the quality of the instruction?

In this talk, Roy Speed gives parents a perspective on the various approaches to literature represented in the English courses currently available to homeschoolers. He has an unusual perspective on everything from dual enrollment to AP to working at your kitchen table to listening to "Great Courses" lectures or novels as audiobooks. Along the way he unveils the true value and purpose of studying literature — and the reasons so many English courses fall short.

Date & time

Thursday 22 July, 11 a.m. – 12 noon EDT

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Science in the High School Years — with Diane Speed

How to recognize high-quality science instruction

For many homeschooling parents, homeschooling science through the high school years is one of the most daunting challenges. It's also challenging for students, who must cultivate:

  • the analytical skills needed to deduce the meaning of data;
  • the verbal skills needed to articulate what the data means;
  • the imagination to perceive events that are invisible, e.g., occurring at the level of cells or molecules.

When studying advanced science, success comes to students who excel at all three things — analyzing, articulating, imagining. The effort requires high-quality instruction, with the student not just ingesting great quantities of knowledge, but performing the right activities, and receiving coaching on those activities. This session will offer concrete guidance on how to recognize instruction of sufficiently high quality. It will also address the importance of labs, research reports, and tests, as well as the benefits and shortcomings of AP science.

Date & time

Monday 26 July, 11 a.m. - 12 noon EDT

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Developing Your Student as a Writer — with Roy Speed

How kids learn to write—and what parents can do to foster the key abilities

Writing is not a single skill or activity, but rather, a tangle of many different skills and activities. What's more, for most kids, the key skills are acquired somewhere other than in a writing class. In fact, it's probably more useful to think of young writers as being cultivated rather than taught.

Roy Speed has been a writing consultant for more than thirty years, working with professionals of many kinds in large organizations; in the homeschooling world, he's been teaching writing for the last decade, and he brings good news: There's a lot we parents can do, he says, to foster the development of our students as writers, and in this session he shares what he's learned.

Date & time

Wednesday 28 July, 11 a.m. - 12 noon EDT

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about our speakers

Diane Speed

Diane homeschooled her two children from
pre-school through high school. She used an academic, college-prep program of her own design to meet high academic standards and, at the same time, address her children's individual learning needs. Both of her children received substantial academic scholarships to the colleges of their choice, and she attributes their exceptional performance in large part to their being homeschooled. — Since 2001 Diane has launched a number of homeschooling groups and services, including The Classical Kids Network (—launched in 2001) and HS College-Bound (—launched in early 2014. She teaches honors-level courses in biology and chemistry.

Roy Speed

Roy is a homeschooling dad and the author of The Writer's Guide to Grammar. He has a B.A. in English from Northwestern and a passion for history and for Shakespeare. In the business world, he's a writing consultant: he creates writing training and eLearning programs; one of his writing programs has been translated into seventeen languages and has become required training for more than a quarter-million employees around the world. He is also a sometime lecturer on business writing topics at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. In the homeschooling world, he has taught writing, literature, and history to students of all ages.

open for registration

Honors Chemistry With Lab

Homeschooling Fundamentals - Getting startedIn this year-long, honors-level class, each student acquires both a deep understanding of chemistry and an appreciation for its real-world applications. Each week comprises live lecture and live discussion enhanced by graphics and PowerPoint presentations. Students perform labs under the instructor's guidance and are provided with lab materials and worksheets to be completed at home.

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Science Intensives

Homeschooling the College-Bound StudentOur online science intensives are eight weeks long; each delivers in-depth, focused study of a particular topic in science, and they all include labs. Each is a standalone course that may complement nicely your at-home science curriculum. But you may also combine two or more intensives in whatever way suits your student's interests and needs. — You can even fashion a robust year-long science course complete with labwork.

Instructor Diane Speed will deliver intensives on the following topics:

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