Homeschooling and college
As children grow out of their little pants and are ready to begin their teens, many parents wonder if they should continue with the homeschooling program. They fear that colleges may not give equal opportunities to a child educated at home.
Many fears of this kind were put to rest when 2 homeschooled boys got admission into Harvard. Harvard does not require a high school diploma for gaining admission to their degree program. Many colleges are more interested in the knowledge and behavior of the homeschooled children rather than their high school diplomas. In fact, other things being similar many colleges prefer homeschoolers because of the diversity and richness they bring to their college life.
Admission requirements may vary. While some colleges require the child to appear for the SAT, others may need a general equivalency diploma. And some may not care for any tests at all. The criterion may vary depending on the college that you wish to apply to. But, college courses really do not require any high school background or special training.
It is common to come across parents who frantically try to shift out their homeschool children to high schools because they fear unavailability of college admissions. But college admissions are open to all educated individuals, regardless of whether they are educated at home or at a public school.
Homeschooling and the family
According to the National Center For Education Statistics, almost 1.1 million children underwent homeschooling in 2005 alone. That’s a lot of children. Once upon a time, homeschooling used to be a radical statement – something like a declaration of independence. It was the conservative Christians who advocated homeschooling in the ’80s and legalized it in every State. But the typical homeschooler of the day is not religiously motivated.
Recent surveys indicate that parents are actually quite fed up of the public school systems where much of the learning is superficial and compulsory. They are also concerned about negative school environment ranging from drugs and abuse to negative peer pressure. As a result, we have a surprising mix of people who form the homeschooling world of today. They cut across all religious and regional borders. Their main aim is providing meaningful and productive learning through a method that strengthens the bond between the various members of the family.
All these families have one thing in common – a long enduring commitment to the sanctity of childhood. The children in these families are accorded a primary position. Many believe, and rightly so, that homeschooling allows parents to bring up children in a more natural and nurturing environment. Public schools can make one nervous, diffident and downright mean. Children who get schooled at home are protected from these damaging negative influences till they reach an age where they can handle it.
Homeschooling draws the whole family into the almost religious task of schooling. Everyone is put to work. The parents together form a bond with the children. Any experience can be turned into an educational experience. Both the parents are aware of exactly what is going into their child’s head. Parents also have greater control on the kind of religious and moral values that the child imbibes. Even watching a movie together can become a learning experience. Trips to the libraries and other places become educational as well as recreational.
A homeschooling family is primarily dependent on the income of one earning member. That means that often spending has to be curtailed and proper planning of expenditure is a must. This helps to bring the family members together and everybody gets involved in the process of saving money.
Having a parent at home to supervise, to nurture and care for the children brings with it a lot of love and caring. Even your husband chips in and there just is no room for boredom. Yes,
problems do crop up, and there are a lot of misgivings in your mind. But when you know that your kids can always count on you, and your kids know it too, then homeschooling becomes a richly rewarding experience.
Homeschooling the teenager
As children start maturing into adults, parents feel insecureabout homeschooling. Many parents then discontinue the homeschooling process and happily hand over the reign to outside authorities. But is this really necessary?
Is the strictly compartmentalized education provided in schools a better option? If social concerns are worrying you, look for interest-oriented associations, clubs and societies. These offer a lot of support for leaders, opportunity for shared experience, and foster a sense of belonging. Make up your own group or share this responsibility with someone else. Home education support groups provide fantastic opportunities to meet your child’s needs. This is the best way to develop intelligent, self-motivated, healthy and able young people.
If the growing burden of some of the higher level Math or Science seems to be beyond you, enlist the help of someone who knows more. You can even barter your own services and thus save some money. With homeschooling becoming more and more popular, support groups will have innumerable resources that help you find the right teacher for your child. The underlying principle that guides homeschooling is this: any child has the innate capacity to grow, develop and achieve its full potential. All it needs is the right environment and all the right answers. Be there to provide these and think twice before you turn over this responsibility to a third party.