Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homeschooling through high school

You would think by 10th grade all the homeschooling decisions had been made.  Obviously, we are homeschooling and we did decide to continue throughout high school, so what else is there to do. . .Ah, college testing.  This very morning DD is taking her PSAT's.

I don't know about you but choosing homeschooling over public schooling for day to day education became a clear cut decision, but I have always been nervous about how this choice would affect the ability of my children to get into college.  Certainly colleges are much more open to homeschoolers than previously, but as a parent we don't want to do anything that will inhibit our children from reaching their dreams.  It seems as we reach the high school age, I am faced with these decisions quite frequently:

Does she take the standardized testing?
Do we enroll in college early?
Should she get her GED?
How carefully do I keep her transcript?
Do we adhere to the traditional standards of four years of English, two years of a foreign language, etc?

Eeeek!  Each of these answers may make or break choices that she wants to make in the future.  I have scoured many homeschooling books, talked to homeschoolers, read blogs, and even talked to college admissions officers, but it seems everyone has a slightly different opinion of how you "have to do it".  So we are left back where we were just trying to make the best decisions that we can.  And so as I said, today she is taking her PSAT's.

I must tell you that as we were studying for this test, I remembered all the reasons that I object to traditional schooling.  This test isn't testing your knowledge; it is testing your test taking ability.  There are 500 page books to teach you all the hints and tricks they use on these tests.  And we won't even get into the idea of timing a test.  But we decided to go this route, because one, it gives her an opportunity for the National Merit Scholarship and two, I think for some schools the SAT's are still very important, especially for a homeschooler who cannot show traditional grades. Now we may get farther along this path and start taking college classes at the community college which will allow her to transfer to a state school and therefore invalidate the whole SAT process, but then I figure, what is the harm. 

Homeschooling through high school should probably be renamed to homeschooling into college.  On the positive side, DD's own accomplishments during high school will hopefully speak louder than any official transcript.  The trick will be to find an admissions officer who is willing to listen (and a pocketbook to pay the bill ; ) ).

1 comment:

Andy's Bethy said...

Things have changed a lot since my day. In some ways I think that schools are more open, because more and more homeschoolers have come through the system and proven that we have what it takes. On the other hand, they know now what they are looking for, and have definite standards about how it should be presented.
State colleges wouldn't even consider a homeschooler when I first started college, so I went private all the way. However, the sister 6 years younger than I transferred into a state school with no trouble. I am sure they have gotten even better now.
As much as I hate them, standardized tests seem to be very important. Why, and what in the world their use is, I don't really know... but the scholastic world seems to hold them in high regard.
Good luck with all these choices. I remember!