Saturday, August 20, 2011
Homeschooling: What We Wish You Knew (Part 5)
So, it seems that inquiring minds want to know if it is possible to attend college if you are homeschooled. Well....can you?
We wish you knew that, YES! Not only can you attend college, you can even get scholarships!
Now, if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know that I do not have any children that are old enough to be in college. My oldest is in 10th grade, middle in 7th, and youngest in 4th. However, I DO have several friends who have kids who have graduated from homeschool, AND college, so I have asked them about their experiences.
None of them had any trouble getting accepted into college. The schools they applied for did not act like it was a "problem" that they were homeschooled. As long as they had a high school transcript (which the parents made and signed themselves) they were all set. They also had to show ACT/SAT scores. *Depending on the type of college you are applying for, you may not need to take the SAT, but you do need the ACT.
Their children had to do the same interviews and essays that any public school kid applying would have to take.
That's it! There wasn't a big fuss made about the fact that they graduated from a "home school" versus a public one. None whatsoever.
But, were they really prepared for college academically and socially?
I have homeschooled my daughters from kindergarten, but when I started thinking about homeschooling all the way through high school, I started to panic. Could I really do it? What about those higher grade, "harder" classes? HOW was I going to teach those?
I did what I always do when I face a homeschool problem. First, I prayed. I asked God to give me wisdom, because at times, I feel like I don't know anything about this at all!
Next, I called up my homeschooling "veteran" friends who have been there. I asked them what they did with their kids. They told me about what they used in high school to help their kids prepare for college, and how they were now doing just fine with their college classes. They reassured me that, I COULD successfully homeschool my girls through high school.
There are many different options available for when your child is in high school, including, taking some classes at the local college. Several of my friends children have done just that, and they have passed with flying colors! They were able to take the classes that they needed for high school, at the college, and then they qualified for high school AND college credits.
Your children can also take certain classes through the high school. These are not "core" subjects like Math or English, but they can take things like foreign languages or other electives. In our community, they have a "career" center, where students can attend classes and on-the-job training in certain fields. Some examples are the medical field, farming, culinary arts, business administration and technology, and education, among others. Homeschooled students are welcome to participate in this program, and many of them do.
We wish you knew that most of us actually WANT our kids to go to college, and encourage them to do so! By planning out their high school years, they are able to be academically prepared to attend college, graduate, and go on to pursue the career of their choice. Homeschoolers are expected to meet the same class requirements as their public school peers.
Back to those "harder" high school classes. Like I mentioned, your child could always take them at the local college. But, if you go the more "traditional" homeschool route, complete with textbooks (curriculum), most of them are VERY detailed. They basically tell you, step-by-step, EXACTLY how to go about teaching a subject.
Since my girls struggle in Math, and I am not a Math whiz, I buy a curriculum that is computer based. There is a "teacher" that explains everything online. It is very handy, and makes Math more enjoyable for the kids.
Also, another option would be to get a tutor for the subjects that are hard to teach. We did that with my oldest daughter this year for Algebra. You can often find someone who is willing to tutor kids in just about any subject.
I asked one girl I know, who has just recently graduated from college, how she felt being homeschooled prepared her for college. She told me she felt like she was actually MORE prepared than many of the other college freshman. Why is that?
Most homeschool parents I know teach their children to work independently. At first, in the lower grades, that isn't always possible. But, as the child gets older, they eventually learn how to work more on their own. By not having someone always telling them exactly what to do, and when to do it, they learn that they must be responsible for their own work....just like in college. I do not mean that the homeschool parent is not involved. We are just involved in a different way.
She felt like she was more mature than her college peers, and was better able to communicate with adults. She also said that she felt her "social skills" were just fine!
We wish you knew that we are not making our kids emotionally crippled, or stupid, or so naive that they are going to be taken advantage of out there in the "real world". By homeschooling, we don't have to deal with all of the "drama" that is involved with public school. I went to public school. I remember vividly what it was like. Do I have fond memories of school? Ummm....not so much.
I was very smart, and was often made fun of because of it. I was called "Teacher's Pet", and made to feel like I was inferior because I got good grades.. My parents did not have a lot of money, so I didn't always have the "coolest" clothes. I wore glasses, so I was called "Four Eyes". I was tall, and skinny, and had big feet, so I got made fun of for that. I was shy, and it was hard for me to make friends.
Sure, I did well academically. But, what about socially? I feel like public school did not help my self-esteem, and in fact, made me hate who I was. I loved school for the "learning" part of it, but the rest of it was not my idea of a good time.
The older I got, and the more we moved around, I feel like I came out of my shell, and figured out how to be more social. However, if I had been homeschooled, I would have been spared all of that earlier trauma. I could have focused on my education, without all of the drama that public school provided.
I realize that not everyone has/had the same experience that I did with public school. Hubs went to public school, and he had a totally different experience than I did.
All that to say, that I can only go by how I see my girls growing up, compared to how I did. They are confident, self-assured young ladies who are excelling not only academically, but socially. They have many friends, but they also get "good grades." I feel like homeschooling has allowed them the freedom to be who they are, without being constantly ridiculed and ostracized. They still have to deal with mean kids, and they are still made fun of at times, but it is not every day.
By homeschooling, you do "shelter" your children a bit more, but in all actuality, is that really such a bad thing? Maybe you wish you had been a bit more "sheltered" during your growing up years. I know I wish that I had been....