I saw this blurb from a Yahoo loop. A homeschooling parent who is closer to a college decision copied some passages from Stanford University’s homeschooling policy (quotations mine):
In particular, we would like to hear [in your application] about…what, if any, choices you had to make to accomplish “this type” of education. With “ little other quantitative information available,” standardized test scores (SAT Reasoning Test or ACT) for home schooled applicants may take on more significance than they might for our other applicants.
Anything you can do to support your application with “standard credentials” will help to reduce any lingering uneasiness we might have about admitting a student lacking recent “formal” educational experience…
We do not care which activities you have chosen; we just hope that you have made full use of your opportunities to contribute to your personal growth and sense of community…
Although other parents contributing to this thread actually spoke very highly of Stanford and its early commitment to higher acceptance rates of homeschooling students (than of students from other types of schools), I had to admit that the language sounds somewhat insulting. It sort of reminds me of one of the questions I often get asked when I tell people that we homeschool: “How do the kids feel about that?” Funny, I’ve never heard anyone say “I stopped sending my kids to public school because they didn’t like it”–that is, unless they decided to homeschool. When our kids were in private school, my only qualifications were 1) were they learning, 2) were they safe, and 3) did they have at least one friend. I figured out a while back that if I held our homeschool to the standard that they had to have fun every second, I was setting myself up for failure.
Anyway, I’ve not done the research myself (Stanford isn’t on our list), but I’d love to compare and contrast their expectations on the applications of traditional public or private school students. I have looked as a point of curiosity at several of the larger HBCUs (history Black colleges and universities) just to see if any have homeschooling policies. I found such a policy at Spelman College (a prestigious all-girls college in Atlanta), requiring that homeschoolers take the SAT II subject tests in addition to the SAT or ACT. I wonder how much additional work it might take to get the oldest into my alma mater.
Anyway, after all the years you spend trying to make your school yours, and after all the research and the adjustments to tailor your school and give your kids the best education you can, it all boils down to someone else measuring whether you’ve done enough. Bummer. I’ve taken my first stab at putting together a course listing and associated credits for next year:
Great Books study (history and literature)—1 credit
Character –1/2 credit
Logic –1 credit
Foreign Language –1 credit
(spring semester) Home Economics—1/2 credit
(fall semester) Costume and Fashion in Ancient History –1/2 credit
I still need to fine tune, to research more, and of course, to pray. My daughter needs to pick a “top 3” on her list of colleges so that we can make sure that we’re on track with what they look for in freshman candidates. This exercise seemed simple enough, but the gravity of the decisions began to overwhelm me. I’m still hoping for a definitive word on what qualifies as a ½ credit versus a whole credit. Is there value in changing the electives around? Will I go to hell for not giving Bible more credit (smile)?
God bless you.