Homeschool Graduate Q & A

In CategoryHome Schooling, Navel Gazing

Are you guys bored with this subject? I quite like it, but if you need more Real Housewives talk, let me know. I will watch more teevee if you demand it.

I’m a giver that way.

I do want to answer all the questions even though I have doubts as to whether I have anything relevant to offer the homeschoolers of today.

So, let’s carry on!

Jessica asked:

I would love to know what your college application process was like. Did you take the SAT? Did you have an “official” transcript from high school? Do you feel you got more out of the college experience because of the freedoms you had to learn at home?

I want to answer the last question first, because I have something to say before your eyes glaze over at the sight of all this boring text and you click over to Dooce.

Without a shadow of a doubt, there is one thing I know being homeschooled gave me: immunity to peer pressure.

Being homeschooled gave me the chance to become…settled within myself. I had time and space to think. I didn’t have a bunch of rules given to me by my parents; I had opinions that were my own, developed away from the unceasing influence of teenagers. (Nothing against teenagers, but they are not known for their stellar decision making skills.) Somehow, not only was I confident in my positions on drinking, sex, and drugs; I truly did not care what anyone else thought of them, and didn’t hang out with people I knew would be a bad influence. Looking back, I am amazed and grateful at how relatively unscathed I grew up. I believe that being homeschooled gave me the gift of strength.

So, homeschool moms – while we all have doubts about which grammar program is the best, let’s try to remember the intangible lessons we are teaching our our kids. Lessons that can’t be graded or written on a progress report, but which are quietly shaping our children. And on those crappy days when we realize we haven’t done math in six weeks, let’s cling to the knowledge that we are doing other things that are even more important.

(Copy that last bit into an email and send it to me the next time I whine about being behind, okay?)

Next question – the college application process was painless. I did not have any trouble, and that was twenty years ago (gah! twenty!) In Colorado, we take the ACT, so that’s what I did. I called the university I was applying to, found out when they were giving the test, and spent half a day filling in little ovals. As I mentioned previously, the math section kicked my butt, but it didn’t keep me from getting into the school. We homeschooled under what was called an “umbrella school.” Basically, it was a private school somewhere in Texas. We were completely independent, but sent them my grades and they created a transcript for me. So my transcript read as if I went to high school in Texas. 

I realize this is very little help to people who are now preparing high school transcripts for their kids. I have a few friends who are in the midst of this process right now. One has a son in art school and a daughter presently doing the music school audition circuit. I have asked my friend about the process and she said it’s no big deal. When her son was applying for art school and they asked for a transcript, she told them “well, he was homeschooled,” and the school said, “oh, okay,” and moved onto the next question. Seriously, I have tried to get more information from her about this, but that’s what she said – the school didn’t even bat an eye. Her daughter is a gifted musician and has already gained entrance to a lot of fancy colleges – Oberlin College, Johns Hopkins University, The University of Denver, Rice University – and is currently auditioning to be accepted into the music schools associated with those universities (The Peabody Institute, The Lamont School of Music, The Shepherd School of Music, etc.)

I know of another homeschooler who never went to public school a day in her life. She was not a great student and did not score out of the ordinary on the SAT. Out of the 6 or 7 schools she applied to, she was admitted to all but one WITH SCHOLARSHIPS TO EVERY SINGLE ONE. A full ride to The Colorado School of Mines! Do you know how hard it is to get into the School of Mines? She did not attend because she did not want to be an engineer, BUT STILL. Her story just flabbergasts me.

My good buddy, Other Deb has a daughter (M) who has been accepted into the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, as a Dean’s Scholar. This, according to Deb, is a BFD. All materials for application were due by December 1. Two weeks later she was accepted into the university; a day later the acceptance into the Honors program was sent. Most applicants will not even be fully-reviewed for another month or two and may not even receive acceptance until spring. Other Deb is pretty busy right now figuring out how to fill out all the stupid paperwork required to send her amazing daughter off to school, but I have prevailed upon her to write us a guest post in the future telling us exactly how the whole creating-a-transcript/applying-for-college process went for them. M is the very first homeschooler to be accepted as a Dean’s Scholar, which just ups the awesomeness even further.

So, let me conclude by saying to all you homeschool moms who are worried about college: Stop It.

Ta Da! Problem solved! You’re Welcome.

If anyone has any more questions, let me know. If I don’t know the answer, I will make something up. This is my solemn vow.