Monday, November 30, 2009

Some Considerations for Homeschoolers Seeking College

Happy Hearts at Home shared this article, as well as many homeschool resources, frugal living, coupons and more. Well worth the visit.


This article is just one of many shared by 'higher education' folks getting homeschoolers into their classrooms. Personally, I'm not all about 'higher education' in and of itself, but to each his own. What I did agree with in this article is that homeschoolers tend to be unprepared for that higher education...in terms of the methods of traditional schooling, such as those countless tests, written essays and large-scale term papers, and some schoolers even lack the plain everyday routine that traditional schooling lives by.

You don't do any favors to your children by allowing constant unrestraint, the building of habits that work against routine and structure, the lack of expectations and such.

And we have been having alot of all of that here for a while. It's not a child thing...it's a parent thing. Children are not natural rule-makers and followers. They have to be taught restraint, they have to be taught self-control and they have to be taught how to stick to routine and schedule. No matter how badly you wish to buck against that system, it's simply how the world operates. Every job, every one of those 'higher education' classes, everything they will do short of taking up homesteading in the most rural areas, will require them to conform to the schedules and routines of everyone else around them. Sure, we have 24 hour stores and even classes that are available 24 hours, but 95% of the common world runs on specific schedules and specific instructions, and sadly for most of us trying to release ourselves from it, life for our children just won't be rural enough to be free living and free from schedules and conformity on a pretty large scale.

Just some random thoughts...if those higher education folks are pointing these basic things out, maybe it's something to at least consider in your homeschooling endeavors, if you are trying to produce adults that are fully capable to take the world outside by storm.

College Professor Critiques Homeschoolers

copyright 2009 by Greg Landry, M.S.


I teach sophomore through senior level college
students - most of them are "pre-professional"
students. They are preparing to go to medical
school, dental school, physical therapy school,
etc.

As a generalization, I've noticed certain
characteristics common in my students who were
homeschooled. Some of these are desirable,
some not.

Desirable characteristics:

1. They are independent learners and do a great
job of taking initiative and being responsible
for learning. They don't have to be "spoon fed"
as many students do. This gives them an advantage
at two specific points in their education;
early in college and in graduate education.

2. They handle classroom social situations
(interactions with their peers and professors)
very well. In general, my homeschooled students
are a pleasure to have in class. They greet me
when the enter the class, initiate conversations
when appropriate, and they don't hesitate to
ask good questions. Most of my students do
none of these.

3. They are serious about their education and
that's very obvious in their attitude, preparedness,
and grades.

Areas where homeschooled students can improve:

1. They come to college less prepared in the
sciences than their schooled counterparts -
sometimes far less prepared. This can be
especially troublesome for pre-professional
students who need to maintain a high grade
point average from the very beginning.

2. They come to college without sufficient
test-taking experience, particularly with
timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a
high level of anxiety when it comes to taking
timed tests.

3. Many homeschooled students have problems
meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in
college. That adjustment time in their freshman
year can be costly in terms of the way it affects
their grades.

My advice to homeschooling parents:

1. If your child is even possibly college
bound and interested in the sciences, make
sure that they have a solid foundation of
science in the high school years.

2. Begin giving timed tests by 7th or 8th grade.
I'm referring to all tests that students take, not
just national, standardized tests.

I think it is a disservice to not give students
timed tests. They tend to focus better and score
higher on timed tests, and, they are far better
prepared for college and graduate education if
they've taken timed tests throughout the high
school years.

In the earlier years the timed tests should allow
ample time to complete the test as long as the
student is working steadily. The objective is for
them to know it's timed yet not to feel a time
pressure. This helps students to be comfortable
taking timed tests and develops confidence in
their test-taking abilities.

3. Give your students real deadlines to meet in
the high school years. If it's difficult for students
to meet these deadlines because they're
coming from mom or dad, have them take
"outside" classes; online, co-op, or community
college.
_______________________________

Greg Landry is a 14 year veteran homeschool dad
and college professor. He also teaches one and
two semester online science classes, and offers
free 45 minute online seminars..
http://www.HomeschoolScienceAcademy.com

1 comment:

LizBeth said...

This is a tough issue all the way around. Having taught in public schools, I've seen it from both sides now. I think I'll do a post about it after I retire.

Liz

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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