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Questions about homeschooling

implicationsimplications Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited January 2011 in Home Schooling and College
I've always wondered how homeschoolers learn at home, especially if they're teenagers and are able to teach themselves. What's a normal schedule for a homeschooler? If you're homeschooled, do you follow a regular school schedule, as in set up your day so you start learning a specific subject at a specific time and then take a break and move on to another subject or is there no specific timetable so you get to learn whatever you want and do whatever you want. Also, do teenagers usually teach themselves (if so, how do they teach themselves) or do they have a parent or tutor who teachers them on a daily basis. It seems like it would be difficult to teach yourself, especially if you have no former knowledge of the subject. Say you've decided to teach yourself quadratic equations, how would you know what you're teaching yourself is right/wrong if you don't get to hand your work in to a teaching professional and if you have questions, who are you supposed to ask? Which is why I wanted to know what a regular day is for a homeschooler and HOW they learn exactly.

Lots of people say that homeschoolers do things other than study and learn all day. What exactly do homeschoolers do other than those study/learn and how would you incorporate that into your schedule? And in terms of social aspects, how would a teenagers make friends if they don't get to gain a network of friends from school. Other than school, it seems kind of difficult for teenagers to socialize with people their own age.

Plus when it comes to college acceptances, colleges don't just take public exams and test scores as the determining factor, but transcripts, attendance, coursework, extra curriculars or a student's rank at school. If you're homeschooled, you probably lack a formal school report, how would you appeal to colleges and what are the determining factors asides from your test scores.
Post edited by implications on

Replies to: Questions about homeschooling

  • BaseballFanatic123BaseballFanatic123 Registered User Posts: 896 Member
    1) I have a strict schedule I follow. STart working at 7:30, break at 11 for 30 minutes, work till 1:30. Lunch. Then finish the subjects i haven't done before, or normally i'm out doing EC's.

    2) I watch a lot of videos/documentaries/films in my courses, which is a great way to learn.

    3) Friends? Social Life? Really. I have NO problem with my social life. In fact, I would go as far as to say the friends I surround myself with are a good influence. For one, you get to know the other home schoolers in the area, many of which are very cool. Second, that's why you do EC's like 4-H, boy scouts, swim team, basketball, FBLA etc. I also meet a lot of people at my church. A lot of school friends here are very accepting of me: I go to the public school to help them do stuff all the time. In my town, we even have home school prom.

    4) That's why you need to umbrella under a local school or public school. I have a transcript, SSR, attendance and a ton of EC's. I don't have rank, but that's okay. I think my application is extremely solid for a homeschooler. Honestly, homeschooling allows you to study what you want as well as pursue EC's that you want.
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    There are probably about 8 major breakdowns in how things are done, with a near-infinite number of variations! And most of them can work well.
    What's a normal schedule for a homeschooler?
    My son was about 40% community college, 45% unschooling (mostly geeky stuff), and 15% Teaching Company videos.
    do teenagers usually teach themselves (if so, how do they teach themselves) or do they have a parent or tutor who teachers them on a daily basis.
    He taught himself a lot of stuff by reading, fiddling around with computers, and watching Teaching Company videos and the like. For actual skills such as quadratic equations or how to write an essay, he got it from Aleks.com or community college classes.
    It seems like it would be difficult to teach yourself, especially if you have no former knowledge of the subject.
    I agree! My son didn't do much of this (for skills) but did do a TON of it (for general knowledge). But many kids DO teach themselves skills like calculus.
    HOW they learn exactly.
    Everyone is different - it's true!
    What exactly do homeschoolers do other than those study/learn and how would you incorporate that into your schedule?
    My son likes learning all day (but not studying). Other things he did were writing a program for a teacher, tutoring in the tutoring center, playing with friends...
    And in terms of social aspects, how would a teenagers make friends if they don't get to gain a network of friends from school.
    He never had many friends in school and found most of his friends via common interest groups.
    Plus when it comes to college acceptances, colleges don't just take public exams and test scores as the determining factor, but transcripts, attendance, coursework, extra curriculars or a student's rank at school. If you're homeschooled, you probably lack a formal school report, how would you appeal to colleges and what are the determining factors asides from your test scores.
    Jasonvdm's comment that "That's why you need to umbrella under a local school or public school. " is true for SOME, not ALL; I would guess not even most. The Common App is set up to allow homeschoolers to explain themselves and their school situations.

    I created a transcript for my son. I doubt if they care about attendance (unless your high school notes it as a disciplinary problem). Coursework is covered by SAT IIs and APs, just as for regular high schoolers, or homeschoolers can take classes at online schools, community colleges, or independent mentoring relationships. Many high schools don't rank. Many posts by danas are about her kids as unschoolers; everything they did differentiated them from the rest! For homeschoolers, as for everyone else, your determining factors other than test scores and GPA are your essays, recommendations, and ECs.

    If you'll look at a current thread on college admissions started last spring you'll find out a whole lot more.

    Good luck!
  • florida1on1florida1on1 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    Well I home-school myself and I do it when I want to..and I responsible for me I don't have a mom and dad pushing me so if I don't get it done then well its on me. Social life well I don't have one really I am more of a keep to myself type.
  • anotherparentanotherparent Registered User Posts: 1,275 Senior Member
    I wondering why you are asking?

    It really depends on the family and the child. These is no one way to homeschool. In fact there is such an abundance of choice, that if I were starting now, I would probably be paralyzed by indecision. We are in our 13th, and last year of HSing.

    When my children were younger, we were pretty free and easy about some subjects, and pretty structured about others. As they got into high school we went with a traditional curriculum, with a combination of online and self study courses. Over half my daughter'c classes were AP courses. My son had slightly less, but that was because he needed more math than the AP classes allowed and because I did not think he was ready for AP English classes (that was probably not true)

    In deciding if they did online or self study, would depend on the quality of the options, and the strength of the kid. Take math - both my kids self studied Calc BC. My son used the textbook that Caltech uses for first year students. It was published in 1972, and there is no solution manual. This had me worried, but not my son. He is strong in math, and knows when he has solved a problem. My daughter also self studied Calc BC, but used Thinkwell, which provides answers, a good prep book, and some tutoring from her brother.
  • implicationsimplications Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    anotherparent - I'm asking because I've been trying to decide whether I should homeschool. I've done a lot of research but I'm still torn with questions because no one actually tells you how it works. I've been going to a regular school my whole life so I'm used to going to being taught in a regular school environment and I have no idea how it works for people who don't follow a school schedule. If I homeschool right now, I would probably be totally lost because I wouldn't even know what I'm supposed to be doing all day or whether I would even be able to go to university without going to a proper high school.

    Geekmom - Would it be more difficult to get into university if you don't do community college classes? Like If I were just to study at home all day, do you think it would be difficult to get into university? Also, regarding the recommendations, did you only have a recommendation written by you or did you also have to get recommendations from other people. And are recommendations and transcripts written by the parent accepted? Because I'm scared they won't be taken seriously since people might think parents could make things up if they wanted to (not saying they would but yeah :P)

    Another thing I wanted to ask was, if I were to homeschool now, would universities ask for reports and transcripts from when I was attending a regular school?
  • anotherparentanotherparent Registered User Posts: 1,275 Senior Member
    Schools want transcripts from each high school you attended, so if you were in a traditional school and then changed to homeschooling, yes, you would have to submit that transcript.

    It sounds like you will be doing this without much parental support? There are possibly charter schools in your area that can set you up, and then you would be enrolled in that school.
  • implicationsimplications Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    ^ Oh okay, thanks for answering :)

    Not exactly, my parents are usually busy with work so it would be impossible for either of them to teach me at home. I don't live in the US so I don't know what a charter school is exactly. I don't think it would be possible to enroll at a school around here and not attend. Attendance is mandatory for almost every school in my area.
  • BaseballFanatic123BaseballFanatic123 Registered User Posts: 896 Member
    Hey, my mom doesn't teach me either. Nor does my dad. I teach myself almost everything, through watching teaching company videos, online lectures or simply taking a college text book and studying. MY mom DOES grade my work, so you'd have to do something similar, or a complete online course.

    The great thing about homeschooling is that YOU get to choose what YOU want to do. For my application to Stanford, I got to explain why i liked home schooling. I know that it will look good, because in essence, I wanted to learn , and I wanted to teach myself.

    IT's a huge step, but if you feel it's right, then do it!
  • dearlydearly Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Everyone's homeschooling experience is different. For me, I mostly just taught myself and my parents monitored my progress. I woke up whenever I wanted and I started my schoolwork whenever I wanted. I took as many breaks as I pleased, I had a lot of control over what I learned and how I learned it, the list just goes on.


    "And in terms of social aspects, how would a teenagers make friends if they don't get to gain a network of friends from school. Other than school, it seems kind of difficult for teenagers to socialize with people their own age."

    People tend to think homeschoolers are antisocial meganerds that are infatuated with Lord of the Rings and all wear cullotes, but that's not true at all. I was homeschooled my entire life and no one ever knew it because I blended right in with everyone else. I was one of the most popular people in my town and had friends for miles, so I couldn't help but laugh whenever people asked me, "Wow, you're homeschooled? That must suck not having a social life." Haha. So, to answer you inquiry, we do all sorts of things to meet new people. I could honestly write an essay on all the options, but I'll touch on one in particular: homeschool groups.

    In almost every area I've ever lived in, there was ALWAYS a homeschool group. These homeschool groups were just large organizations where homeschoolers grouped together and did all kinds of neat things together like field trips, concerts, classes, etc.

    Yes, classes! I'm in college now and whenever people find out I was homeschooled, they'll ask me, "So how does it feel to be in a classroom? Was it hard for you to get used to at first?" I try to resist rolling my eyes.

    Most homeschool parents are highly, highly educated and they use this to each other's advantage by offering classes. One parent may have a Masters in mathematics, another may be a surgeon, another may be an artist, etc. I had math classes taught by real math professors, a human anatomy class taught by a nurse, and all kinds of other classes. The children and the parents decided on when to have the classes and at what times, and the students could attend whenever they wanted. If I missed two weeks of my anatomy class, it wasn't a big deal. The classes were offered for people who wanted to take them and if I suddenly decided I didn't want to take them, it wasn't a big deal at all.

    So I had an unbelievable amount of homeschooled friends, and being friends with them introduced me to more friends, which introduced me to more, etc. I also had a ridiculous amount of public and private schooled friends who I met in all kinds of ways, such as through my youth group or sports I played.

    I find it a bit annoying when people assume that you're unsocialized if you're a homeschooler. It's as if they think public/private schools are the only option for socialization and people who graduate such schools are doomed for a life of eternal loneliness because they're no longer in them. Public/private schools are not the only source of socialization. Homeschoolers socialize pretty much the same way everyone else in society does: by networking.

    Universities and college have no problem accepting homeschoolers. We take SATs and have school transcripts just like public/private schoolers do.

    In summary, homeschooling isn't as odd as it seems to be. It's great. I had plenty of friends as a homeschooler, a fantastic education, and an unbelievable amount of memories...including a formal graduation with caps, gowns, the local TV station, reporters, a professional photographer, a DJ, catering, and everything! ;) Oh, I even had a yearbook! lol.

    All in all, homeschooling is whatever you want it to be. If you want to stay home all day, never open a book and never socialize with the outside world...that's your choice as a homeschooler. It's also your choice to have a great education, make tons of friends, have freedoms most of your peers don't have, etc.

    I hope that answers most of your inquiries. I apologize if my post seems a little sporadic; my brain is fried from finals and lack of sleep. Haha.
  • IThinkICan100IThinkICan100 Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    This is my first year being home schooled. It is a bit of a change. Both of my parents have never home schooled us (my bro and I) before, so they are not as use to it either and tend to be a bit less strict!

    My parent work pressing schedules so most of the time I am doing independent studies. Some people look down upon this but it really is an effective method for me, at least. My dad lays out reading, home work, etc and I do them. Although, I do have a math and science teacher. Two days a week I go to the library and she teaches me Calculus and Physics. My teacher is a friend so she has been helping me with getting ready for college and ACT/SAT prep (A HUGE PLUS)!

    As to the common home school stereotype? There are some home schoolers that tend to be strange, but, for the most part, every home schooler I know is pretty average. As of me? This year I'm taking it easy because last year was extremely pressing, so I've had the tendency to be a hermit this past year! I personally still have friends from my previous high school, but making friends is pretty much the same across the board. In fact, you'll probably make better friends being home schooled. You can also join home school networks and co ops to gain social-ness.

    College? Since I've been to regular school up until now (my Junior year), I have a transcripts and all the other crud. I'm not too sure on how home school and transcripts work but. for the most part, I think colleges are pretty lax on that subject (with home school students). You can get a hold of a college adviser and they will answer that to a tee. For the most part, getting myself prepared for college is just about the same as if I were in regular high school.

    Right now I'm primarily getting ready for my ACT next month. My dad has diverted a lot of my attention towards studying for that because it is so crucial to getting into college. That's always nice!!!
  • IThinkICan100IThinkICan100 Registered User Posts: 233 Junior Member
    Oh and BTW, a lot of states are setting up online high schools. It's a 100% free and they do all your transcripts/legalities that you'll need for college.
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    Sorry I'm so late - I hope implications is still around...
    Geekmom - Would it be more difficult to get into university if you don't do community college classes? Like If I were just to study at home all day, do you think it would be difficult to get into university?
    You have to show that you've learned in some way, either by test scores, essays, recommendations, or something else. If you study at home all day and learn your stuff, your SATs and ACTs will show it. Of course, you will also have to explain why you sat at home all day instead of getting involved with the world. And for some schools, that would be fine. Many colleges are numbers-driven and will accept just about anyone with decent numbers. Others will be perfectly happy to have a megageek who has no social skills but has written awesome books or computer programs or whatever.
    Also, regarding the recommendations, did you only have a recommendation written by you or did you also have to get recommendations from other people.
    By me and by a few of the community college teachers. Other homeschoolers use community people they've been involved with, bosses, etc.
    And are recommendations and transcripts written by the parent accepted? Because I'm scared they won't be taken seriously since people might think parents could make things up if they wanted to (not saying they would but yeah :P)
    Of course they would. That's why colleges take the whole package into account. If the parent says "this student is the next Einstein", there had better be test scores or other recommendations to support that.

    Good luck!
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