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Homeschooling and Unschooling questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

I hadn't really given homeschooling much thought until I found these boards, and I find what I am reading very interesting!

My question is-Do homeschooled children have problems getting into college? I haven't seen this issue addressed. I have a feeling that many of these homeschooled kids are actually more prepared than their traditional counterparts, but in a world of SAT scores and grades, I was just wondering how that works.

My second question is about unschooling. From what I understand, where I live, homeschooled children must pass a competency test every year. How would being forced to take a test based on certain curriculem from the local school district effect unschooling?

I don't know that I have what it takes to homeschool, but I can definitely see the advantages of it.
post #2 of 8
Hi Rain. Yes, homeschooled kids get into college. Each college has its own admission criteria, so it depends a lot on which school the student is looking at. Some families prepare transcripts, some use portfolios. Colleges also look at essays and interviews and experience. Some homeschooled kids begin community college at a young age and then transfer into a 4 year college. Homeschooled kids can take the SAT's. From what I've been reading lately, colleges are more and more open to homeschooled kids because they see them as independant, motivated students.

As far as other standardized tests go, each state's requirements are different. Some have options to testing. Where I live, we are not accountable to the school and we do not test. (My opinion of standardized tests makes this a non-issue for us anyway.)

Here's a good starting place for more info: http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschool...s/research.htm
post #3 of 8
Yes, Yes, Yes, Homeschoolers go to collage! Cafi Cohen even wrote a book about it called "And What About Collage". In it she talks about creating a "home-brew" transcript. It's really good information, although if your children are young, be aware that htis is an area that is likely to undergo major changes as the number of homeschoolers in the country increase.

What I have also seen recommended in a lot of places is to contact the individual schools that you are interested in during your child's early high-school years to get a better idea of what to learn and how to present yourself.

Home Education Magazine occasionally has stories about what older students are doing, and they even had a column for a while called "unscholler in collage" (that is until he left collage to continue his unschooling career - he still writes the column under a different title - very interesting reading.)

So far as unschooling in states with stricter regulation - the answer is yes, it can be done, and you can bet there are unschoolers all around you doing it!

It is important to make contact with local organizations to find the information you are looking for - the climate is different in every state, and sometimes even from district to district! Call every contact you can find even if the organization does not seem like it would suit your needs - you never know who will point you in the right direction. Especially in the unschooling community, sometimes the groups are smaller and not as visible, but they do exist.

You do need to read your state's laws yourself - it can be dangerous to rely on other's interpretation of the law in any area. But, with that said, as you talk to more people you will probably find that most people sort of comply in the same way - KWIM? For instance, for an unschooler, it may be possible to have a portfolio evaluation in lieu of testing.

ooh - this is long, I'll leave you alone now. But do search for support groups everywhere - on like, health food markets, bookstores, libraries. . .you'll find lots!

post #4 of 8
Here is a link to Cafi's homepage, which has tons of info about getting into college.


What state are you in? The laws vary widely from place to place. There are, however, unschoolers in every state. Many unschoolers follow the rules where they live and find that they don't conflict with their philosophy at all. For some, that means taking the test (frequently, their children do quite well). Some unschoolers ignore the law, don't register, and don't comply with regulations like tests. Others enroll their kids in an umbrella school -- the parents keep records about what the kids do and send them to the umbrella schools, who then provide transcripts. This allows the family to legally bypass all state regulations because the child is technically enrolled in a correspondence school.
post #5 of 8
From what I've read, many colleges (especially some of the best), love getting homeschooled kids, for a number of reasons I guess. (I know, real specific there!)

As for tests, I think in many states testing is just every 3 years - which isn't that bad, even for an unschooler. Also, I know in PA you can totally waive tests for "religous" reasons. Even once a year, if you had to do it, wouldn't be that bad as long as you don't place importance on it and aren't teaching to the test.

And honestly, if you want to homeschool/unschool - you DO have it in you!
post #6 of 8
Dan Greenburg deal with the "College Question" in Free at last. If you are interested in Unschooling at all, follow these links.

this site to look at some online chapters


Hope this helps

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!

I am going to check out all the links, and read the Cafi Cohen book. I want to get as much information as I can. Ds is still very young so I do have plenty of time, but I think the time to start is now. I do think that the numbers of homeschoolers will increase, hopefully in my area!

I want to be prepared, because you just never know. Even if I enroll ds in school, I could end up pulling him out and homeschool him anyway. I wouldn't rule it out. It is a very good option to have!
post #8 of 8
I have 2 "unschooled" sons in college. I was amazed at how easy it was and how well they are doing. Teaching kids to love learning will hold them well in whatever they do in life.
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