And What About College?

I recently re-read And What About College? for at least the third time.  It’s one of my favorite homeschooling books.  It’s basically a practical guide for homeschoolers on how to deal with the college admissions process.  Besides offering advice on how to record-keep and put together what they call a “home-brew” transcript, it also offers a schedule for standardized testing, choosing which colleges to apply, and filling out all the other paperwork.

In some ways, high school and college seem so far away for my kids.  My oldest just finished 2nd grade.  But then again these first 8 1/2 years of her life have seemed to fly by, and preparations for college really need to start in 8th grade.  If you are planning to homeschool through high school, as we are, I don’t think it’s really too early to even start doing general planning for high school.

In some ways it’s very exciting to be putting reading lists together and thinking about which subjects encompass a basic college preparation program.  I have some definite ideas of what I think is important for my kids to study, especially in the realms of Language Arts and History.  On the other hand, the realization of how much control for my kids’ education I will have to voluntarily relinquish is kind of scary.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t still be accountable to me to actually do things, but it would be in their best interest if they are allowed to offer more input about the what, how, and when of studying certain subjects.  They will have to try to discern what they thing God is calling them to do with their lives, and they will have to take the responsibility for doing the work without Mom standing over their shoulder all of the time.

Re-reading this book has made me realize that when Bailey reaches 8th grade, we will probably need to schedule meetings at least once a month to discuss high school and college.  We will need to set up short-term (Freshman year) and long-term plans for her high school education, go over how to document everything she is doing for her future transcript, and be prepared for the actual procedures of getting into college (if that is where her path seems to be leading).  I’m also compiling a list of non-fiction books that I think are important for her to read and discuss with me before she starts high school, including this book and Do Hard Things.

I want her high school experience to be amazing, but not necessarily in the way teens are told to expect by pop culture (proms, dating, and football games).  I want her to really start to own her education.  I want her to see God’s hand in her life.  I want her to embrace not just the freedoms of adulthood but also the responsibilities of adulthood while still under the guidance of us, her parents.  I want her to learn from her failures and enjoy her successes.  I want her to have the opportunity to do positive things that I would never have even thought possible with the “well-schooled” mentality I had as a teen.  I want her high school years to not only be the culmination of her previous 8 years of formal education, but also an open door leading to the rest of her life.  This goes not only for my oldest but all of my children.

I have no doubt that I will re-read this book at least a couple more times before I hand it over to Bailey in five years, but I know those five years will probably go by in a flash.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my time with my big girl as we face the perils of 3rd grade.

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4 Comments on “And What About College?”

  1. Melissa Says:

    With Paytine entering her junior year, I can see first-hand how quickly it will go by. Ten years has flown – it’s never too early to start preparing.

  2. barboo77 Says:

    Paytine is going to be a junior??? Wow!! Of course, the flower girl from my wedding just graduated high school and will start at WKU in the fall, and my nephew just turned 21. It really does fly by.


  3. I’ll have to remember to look for this book. From what I’ve learned, its really not a big deal to get into college for home-schooled kids – colleges don’t care where you learned, just that you have an education 🙂

  4. barboo77 Says:

    Yeah, I’m really not worried about my kids ability to get into college. The whole point of the book is really to talk about the added responsibilities for the college process that homeschooling parents/students have to take as opposed to those usually handled by guidance counselors in schools. I remember what grueling and stressful process it seemed like at the time…whom might make for an interesting blog post. 😉


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