Not sure how far I’ll get today, I’m just going to jump right in. Here is the topic I most wanted to know about when the boys were young and we kept them out of public school. What about after?
How will this all work out? What happens to homeschool graduates? How will they get into a college? How will they get scholarships?
I know from watching the experience of hundreds of families – that the odds of a homeschool student moving forward into higher learning and a career that focused on a passion was much higher than those I’d seen of my public school friends. Sure, they’d start school, but loose focus, be ‘tired’ of school, drop out, and find ‘real’ jobs. Or have a degree that didn’t match their work.
I’d like to share my own experience so far for those of you looking for what happens after high school.
The photo above is part of my Senior’s personality. He’s helping a friend get lures out of a tree. He’s pretty high up, higher than the photo appears. He’s saving 4 dollars by getting a ‘free’ lure, and he’s the one taking the risk while others take photos.
Nate decided this year that he wanted to try to get proficiency credits for his high school experience. Last year he teamed up with the local high school to be able to attend the community college. He also took up the goal to graduate public school with his friends. This would mean earning proficiency based credits in Oregon, a few classes on line, and a few at the school. “Why”, I’d ask him? He wanted two things, one – to participate in the senior 2016 activities in town, and two, to have a short answer for “did you graduate?”.
People ask – when will you graduate? Where did you go to school? He found that if he said – I’m a homeschooler, I’m pretty much graduated, it started a long judgmental conversation from ignorant folks. If he answered, I’ll graduate from the local school, he’d be praised and get a pat on the back. Never mind that he’s only taken one class there, they don’t care about how well he graduated, just that he will. He assumed it would be the same for Universities based on the last year’s conversations.
This is where my homeschool mama’s heart was torn. At the root of our experience has been a delight directed unschooling method. Having the boys pick their own goals. Setting them up with the best resources available, and helping the fire grow that ignites in their desires.
For me, a local degree seemed so much ‘less than’ the last 12 years of experience held. His transcript is impressive, he’s followed a lot of passions. He and his friend tease that they ran out of things to study on their own, so they started college last year. It’s not far from the truth.
Nate has had a change of mind about the importance of the local public school piece of paper. He’s spent this month with quite a few college recruiters. He’s walked through a few campus visits and filled out applications.
Every. Single. Recruiter – said to quit focusing on the local school angle. He’d have a much easier time being accepted as a homeschooler. There are more scholarships available, and different benefits for it.
They are happy to work through his Oregon Associates Transfer Degree classes and line him up with what he’ll need to continue on to the Bachelor’s.
I really tried to listen to his story calmly without slamming a huge I told you so scream and dance onto the end. Ok. I did give a tiny jig and a bit of an I told you so. But it was more to myself. I realized I didn’t know if I really believed it would be that easy. Maybe the other kids had more money? Maybe they had huge SAT scores? (Nate has not taken the ACT or SAT , yet.) Maybe their college class grades were better? (He is a C/B student).
Nope. What we heard, time and time again, from admission staff them selves and from homeschool parents and students – Colleges want kids who want and need to be there. Period. They perk up to hear that that their campus is the connection between what my son desires to do – and how to get there to actually do it.
The scholarship offers and admission offers are flowing in.
One little aspect that is different for us – is that Nate is already working in his field of interest and has a one year internship lined up for next year. We’ve found several colleges that think this is great and have worked on plans to work around the year. Setting up the admissions now, for fall 2017.
So – as it has been – my #1 advice for learning – start with your passions, delights, and goals. Find amazing resources to learn more details. Move on when you have exhausted your curiosity. Continue to ask yourself what you want to learn. Really pray about being led to the best resource available. Parent and Teach without fear. Freedom!
So far – the rewards have been amazing, and we’re still chugging on to the last laps!