Archive for the ‘College/University’ Category
23 March 2015
Few people know Evangeline Han, but this young ex-homeschooler has quite a few achievements to her name for a person so young. Currently studying at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) majoring in English and minoring in TESOL, this voracious reader was also one of the most active Wikipedia editors filing up to 10,000 edits beginning in 2009 when she was at the ripe old age of 15 years. She admits to a “love-hate” relationship with homeschooling, and it is a testimony that does remind families, especially parents, that homeschooling is a journey that requires serious attention to a roadmap. Read Evangeline’s tale for yourself.
Navigating homeschooling’s ups and downs
By Evangeline Han
Homeschooling was a journey filled with ups and mostly downs. I only appreciated being homeschooled after I finished my first semester in Oklahoma Baptist University. Now, I’m at OBU, and I can confidently say that if I weren’t homeschooled, I would be struggling in college classes. Nevertheless, my homeschooling journey was very rocky, and this is a little glimpse into it.
For most of my high school years, I had a love-hate relationship with homeschooling. The negative part about being homeschooled with American curriculum was that it made me different from my peers. The positives were that I had to be independent, responsible, and able to think critically. However, in my teenage years, I thought that this negative outweighed the positives.
It was true that I was able to communicate better with people from all age groups. I regularly attended a church youth group, and for a long time, the church my dad pastors mainly consisted of older folks. However, all this didn’t mean that I had friends.
In fact, I barely had any friends, and I never felt like I was able to fit in with my peers. Whenever I attended youth group meetings, my peers would be talking about public-school related topics I was ignorant about. Their school experiences were way different from mine. Not only that, only seeing them once a week didn’t help matters. I was never able to form any true, close, lasting friendships outside of my family, and this made me hate homeschooling a lot when I was a teenager.
When I think back on my homeschooling journey, I remember days and days filled with my personal lack of motivation and boredom. Although school is a hazy past for me now, there is one milestone that sticks out in my memory.
When I was about 17 years old, my parents realized that if we continue using Sonlight Curriculum, we wouldn’t be able to get a transcript that is recognized by local universities and colleges. At that time, studying in the United States was not an option because of the costs.
So, it was decided that I would stop using Sonlight curriculum, the only homeschooling curriculum that I actually enjoyed using, and use the Alpha Omega curriculum. They made a deal with a learning centre, whereby I studied at home and took my LifePac exams at the centre.
I saw this change as detrimental for two reasons. Firstly, I cringed whenever I saw the bill we had to pay for me to take my LifePac exams at the learning centre. The fees were always increasing, and I knew how tight finances were for my parents. I didn’t feel that the exorbitant cost was worth it, as I was only going to the centre to take my exams, and all the teacher had to do was grade them. Secondly, I was suddenly placed on an accelerated schedule. Because we had to change curriculums, this set me back, and despite the accelerated schedule my mom put me on, the change still resulted in me graduating a year later than my peers.
To be honest, there were many times I didn’t think this change was worth the struggle. Any student who has been a year or more behind in school will understand my feelings. When those my age were already in college taking Foundation programs, I was still in high school. Then there was also the uncertainty about whether I was able to go to college or not. My parents hope that by getting an “official” transcript, I would have better chances when applying into universities and colleges.
I took the SAT on June 1, 2013 and officially graduated high school on June 30, 2014. By then, we had found out that the SAT was no longer officially recognized as an entrance exam by local universities and colleges. On one hand, the part of me that had always been reluctant to go to a local university or college rejoiced. On the other hand though, I despaired of ever being able to go to any college. After all, I had always been told that college was the only way to getting a good job. However, by a miracle, God opened doors, and I was able to consider studying in the United States as an option.
In the month that followed, I scoured the Internet everyday for universities and colleges. I finally applied to four colleges and was accepted by all four, which was another miracle considering that it was already late, and the Fall 2013 semester starts in August. I chose Oklahoma Baptist University, and after a month filled with a flurry of hurried preparations, arrived in the United States.
Looking back, I know that I would never repeat my homeschooling experience, not even if I was paid to do so. When I was a homeschooler, I was very sheltered and friendless. There were times when I didn’t feel Asian because my American education made me think differently from others my age in church and even my cousins. I craved friendships and a sense of belonging, and I never found them when I was a homeschooler.
Nevertheless, I would be doing my homeschooling journey an injustice if I don’t recognize the role it has played in my academic success here at OBU. Since I was already used to American education, it was easier for me to assimilate into the environment here. Although the first time I ever sat in a school class was my first day of school here at OBU, I didn’t feel the pains of adjustment that my international friends, who went to either public or private schools back in their home countries, felt.
Being homeschooled also taught me to work hard to get what I want. It has instilled in me an inherent sense of responsibility and initiative that comes along with the added independence of living so far away from home. Now, I prioritize my studies in a way I have never done before. The ability to think critically that I cultivated as a homeschooler has also greatly aided me. I finished Freshman Year with a 4.0 GPA and a place in the President’s Honor Roll. Now I’m in my Sophomore Year, and more comfortable with studying than I’ve ever been before.
Homeschooling is not for the fainthearted. It takes immense courage to pursue a journey that many are skeptical about. It takes even more perseverance to finish the journey. Throughout my homeschooling years, there was not one homeschooling family (homeschooling as in actually doing school at home) in Melaka who were our companions in the journey. We were pretty much by ourselves, and the constant questioning from well-meaning family friends did nothing to allay our worries.
Many times, I wondered if we were doing things the right way, and I’m sure my parents wondered the same thing too. However, now, I’m in a university in the United States, and one of my sisters is doing an online degree program with an American college. Two of my other sisters are still being homeschooled. I’d say we’re doing pretty well for people who didn’t really know what they were doing.
I am grateful I was homeschooled because it opened the door for me to gain new experiences. If I wasn’t homeschooled, I know that I wouldn’t be in the United States. I wouldn’t have the precious friendships I longed to have in my high school years, and I wouldn’t feel the sense of belonging I craved for when I was in Malaysia. In the end, all I can say about my homeschooling journey is that no matter how rocky and filled with obstacles it was, God worked it out for my good, to give me hope and a future.
About the writer: 21-year old Evangeline hails from Melaka and she has 3 other sisters . Her parents Pastor Samuel and Evelyn Han serve in a church. Currently at Oklahoma Baptist U, she is also the Uni’s Student Ambassador. You can follow Evangeline’s writings on her blog, Audacious Reader
14 May 2013
WOLSEY HALL OXFORD: LEADERS IN HOMESCHOOLING
Wolsey Hall Oxford is a home study college based in Oxford, England. We’ve been helping students in Malaysia and worldwide gain qualifications since 1894, and well over 750,000 have done so. Many have gone on to higher education or improved their career prospects as a result.Today we offer homeschooling courses for children of 11- 18 years,for the Cambridge International GCSE (IGCSE)and A Levels.
Our aims are:
- to provide caring support forour students throughout their home study courses,
- to equip our students with the skills necessary not just to gain good exam results but to succeed in school, work, and life.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Wolsey Hall system of learning has been developed over many years. It is a carefully balanced mix of course textbooks and online learning. Our state-of-the-art learning platform contains a range of resources which complement the course books, and serves as the primary means of communication between student and tutor.
We invite parents to become online observers of their child’s course. This means they’re linked to their child’s course via the online system.They have full access to the resources there,and to the feedback their child is getting from his/her tutors.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN A WOLSEY HALL COURSE?
Our courses include:
- Cambridge-endorsed course books,
- Access to our online learning platform, including web links and videos,
- Full support from tutors, with assignments returned within 5 days,
- Access to tutors via email and Skype,
- A Course Manager who will monitor your child’s progress continuously,
- Advice from our Directors of Studies within 24 hours.
WHAT CAN MY CHILD STUDY?
Wolsey Hall offers courses for families wanting their children to complete the Cambridge International GCSE (IGCSE) or A-level qualifications. We also offer courses for children aged 11-14 which prepare them to start on their IGCSE courses.
Visit http://wolseyhalloxford.org.uk/, or email our Director of Studies, Peter Newell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
14 September 2012
We received news that the meeting with homeschoolers on Sept 19 at Methodist College is now cancelled as John Chopka is ill and is not able to travel.
However, Messiah College will still be represented at the AEO fair at Hilton KL as some Messiah parents have decided to man the booth in John’s absence. They would be happy to meet up with any homeschoolers and parents who may have any queries on education in the US and Messiah.
Contact Lim Yuet Khim for further information or to confirm attendance: email@example.com or sms 012-3001348.
14 September 2012
Messiah College is back once again in KL in conjunction with the annual AEO tour.
This year Messiah will be represented by its Vice-President of Enrolment Management, John Chopka. This will be John’s third visit to KL so he is not entirely new to our country.
If you are a highschooler/homeschooler looking to further your education in the US, bring your parents and come talk to John. Please contact Lim Yuet Khim for further information or to confirm attendance at: firstname.lastname@example.org or sms 012-3001348.
21 March 2012
Posted by DAVID BC TAN under: College/University.
Who would have thought that social media is helping to enrich the college experience? Then again with close to 800,000 users on Facebook, not realising its huge potential for learning and education would be a mistake in this day and age. Take a look at the infographics below. Tell me what do you think.
Created by: Online PhD
4 October 2011
THIS IS THE SEASON WHEN REPRESENTATIVES from college admission offices visit to present their campus programmes and talk to prospective students and their parents. If you are exploring education in a reputable christian college in the US, look out for the following visits in Penang, Ipoh, and Kuala Lumpur.
Look out for visits from:
Please contact Teresa 012-2782341
Information on the visits may be obtained from our NOTICES page.
3 October 2011
I DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE IMPRESSION that purchasing a curriculum is like sitting for the final year exams. Nevertheless, in this follow-up to my previous post on Curriculum, I have devised a chart that outlines 5 steps to choosing the right homeschool curriculum to put things in perspective. Think through the Big Picture basics of Worldview, Circumstances, Learning Goal, Methodology, and Curriculum as far as you are able before whipping out a credit card, and you’re off to a good start!
WORLDVIEW: The first place to start is also the heart of a curriculum choice. A worldview is simply one’s belief system or inner conviction about reality, morality, and the purpose of life. Whether religious or not, well-articulated or fuzzy, everyone has a worldview. It’s what shapes your values and influences the decisions you make.
A lot of popular homeschooling curricula are Christian in worldview – ACE, Alpha & Omega, Abeka, Bob Jones, and Sonlight. Although less common, curricula for other faith communities such as Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist, are beginning to find their way online and into bookstores. Just Google to find links to suppliers and publishers.
Understandably, you might find these curricula a bad fit if you are not particularly religious. But as homeschool becomes an acceptable education option, more diverse and secular curricula have become available. Among these are Waldorf-inspired Christopherus Homeschool, Calvert School, K12 which combines online and offline tools, and Time4learning.
CIRCUMSTANCES: What’s your family situation and needs? Are you parenting a gifted child, or one with learning differences such as dyslexia or autism? Is your child diagnosed with developmental delays? If you’re in any of these situations it is imperative that an appropriate curriculum is used.
Consider also the number of children at home. What are their ages? Will you be teaching one or more children at the same time? What’s their learning style? Preschoolers and very young children require a different learning experience from an early teen or high schooler who needs more sit-down time.
Remember, you left traditional schooling to get away from cookie-cutter learning, so don’t tie yourself in knots comparing your circumstances with others. We’re all different. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is you get to make your own rules, determine your own learning material. And why not? After all, who knows your child better than yourself?
LEARNING GOAL: There are two aspects to a child’s learning goal, heart and head. Of course, I use these words broadly to encompass character (heart) and academic (head) development.
A child’s education should include social skills towards adult maturity and growth of character. These are values drawn from your worldview, faith-based or secular. Although more will be caught than taught, responsible parents will make it their aim to nurture ethical and moral integrity through modeling and teaching.
An academic goal looks at the end of a child’s typical homeschooling journey through Grade 10. Is it college? Is your son a likely candidate for Pimp My Ride or is he a botanist in the making? You will agree that not everyone is academically inclined, so wise parents will not insist their child aim for Oxford and Harvard when she has a thing for dance and fashion designing, for instance.
Meanwhile, young children would do well to focus on reading, spelling, phonics, writing, vocabulary, and numeracy as their learning goal in the early years. Give some thought to your child’s learning readiness too, as the brain’s ability to master and apply different concepts do not all appear at the same time!
If the US is your goal, two college admissions tests are SAT and ACT, with SAT the more popular. Practically all homeschooling curricula originating in US claim to prepare students for these admissions tests, although requirements will vary from college to college.
Admission into private colleges in Malaysia and in Commonwealth countries is better served by IGCSE O-Levels, however. Note that popular US curricula AOP, ACE or Sonlight DO NOT adequately prepare you for the IGCSE O-Levels exams which qualify you for local private colleges (and those in Commonwealth nations).
Although they may equip a student intellectually and provide some foundation in grade appropriate subjects, they are not O-Level exam-specific in scope. You could simply opt out of US-based curricula for one that is O-Levels based, or aim at a minimum of 18-month prep in O-level exam subjects after Grade 8. (More here in the Resources page)
A note of caution: It’s fine if academic goals are not too clear when a family begins homeschooling. In our family, we did not talk about college until our boys were past 15 or 16. We simply felt sure that the environment they grew up in and their love for learning would equip them intellectually and sufficiently for whatever course they would finally pursue – when they were ready. In any case, it’s okay if a child isn’t cut out for college and indeed, not everyone needs a college degree! (Read this)
NEXT POST: Methodology and Curriculum Choice
19 September 2011
INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR CINDY BLOUNT OF MESSIAH COLLEGE hopes to meet with homeschoolers (high school age) who wish to explore tertiary Christian education in the US. Parents and students may also raise any questions regarding admissions requirement, types of schools, financial aid, etc. Feel free to pass the word around to homeschoolers and students from learning centers..
Date: Wednesday Sept 21 2011
Place: Mosaic Community Studio
2nd floor Centrepoint, Bandar Utama
[Download map to Mosaic Studio here]
Please contact Lim Yuet Khim for further information.
Email or call to confirm attendance at:
email@example.com or sms 012-3001348.
Messiah College is a Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, located in Grantham, Pennsylvania. The College is committed to an embracing evangelical spirit rooted in the Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan traditions of the Christian Church. Its mission is to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.
17 September 2011
Posted by DAVID BC TAN under: College/University.
IN RECENT YEARS, HOMESCHOOLING HAS SEEN A RISE IN POPULARITY, with more and more parents deciding to educate their children not at a traditional school but at home, typically with a parent as instructor. But just like traditional classrooms, homeschool doesn’t last forever, and homeschooled students at some point will have to get ready to move on to college. Things are easier for homeschooled college students today, but in the past, these students were plagued by difficult admissions, culture shock, and more. Now, homeschool students often enjoy easier admission, better college performance, and even the opportunity to enter college with several credits already earned. Read on, and you’ll find out more about what the homeschool college student experience is like today.
1. HOMESCHOOLERS OFTEN ENTER COLLEGE WITH MORE CREDIT
Homeschooled students are able to work at their own pace, and as a result, students have the freedom to move significantly faster than those in a traditional classroom. Michael Cogan, a researcher at the University of St. Thomas, discovered that homeschool students typically earn more college credits before their freshman year than traditional students, with 14.7 credits for homeschoolers, and 6.0 for traditional students. Earning college credit before freshman year can save thousands of dollars and shave time off of a degree. The 14.7 average credits for homeschoolers represent a full semester of freshman year, which is typically 12-15 credit hours.
2. HOMESCHOOL STUDENTS DO BETTER ON THE SAT AND ACT
Perhaps benefiting from personalized test prep, homeschool students typically score higher on standardized college admissions tests. The homeschool average for the ACT was 22.5 in 2003, compared with the national average of 20.8. The SAT was no different, with a homeschool average of 1092 in 2002, and a national average of 1020. ACT and SAT scores are very important for college admissions and even financial aid, so doing well on these tests is vital to a great college experience.
3. HOMESCHOOL GPAS ARE CONSISTENTLY HIGHER
As a homeschooled student, you work on a flexible schedule. Young children may rely greatly on their parents for scheduling and instruction, but high schoolers typically become more autonomous in their studies, learning key skills for success as independent students in college. Research indicates that this time spent learning how to study independently pays off, as homeschoolers typically have higher GPAs than the rest of their class. Homeschool freshmen have higher GPAs in their first semester at college, with 3.37 GPAs for homeschoolers, and 3.08 for the rest. This trend continues with an overall freshman GPA of 3.41 vs. 3.12, and senior GPAs of 3.46 vs. 3.16, indicating that homeschoolers are better prepared for college.
4. HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND COLLEGE
Homeschooled students seem to be more likely to participate in college-level education. As reported by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, more than 74% of home educated adults between 18-24 have taken college level courses. This rate is much higher than the general US population, which comes in at 46% for the same age range.
5. HOMESCHOOLERS ARE EVERYWHERE
Patrick Henry College is one college that specifically caters to the homeschool population, but homeschoolers are increasingly accepted in a wide variety of colleges and universities. In fact, homeschoolers are now in over 900 different colleges and universities, many of them with rigorous admissions. Some of these colleges include Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, and Rice University.
6. HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO GRADUATE
Making it to college is one thing, but actually sticking around and graduating is another. Students who have homeschooled will typically do better than other students, with a slightly higher retention rate, at 88.6% vs 87.6% for traditional students. Graduation rates show a higher disparity between homeschoolers and the national average, with 66.7% of homeschooled students graduating, compared to 57.5%.
7. SOME COLLEGES ACTIVELY RECRUIT HOMESCHOOLERS
Homeschool students have proven themselves to be so outstanding that several colleges have begun to actively recruit them. Boston University, Nyack College, and Dartmouth are among them, with a Dartmouth College admissions officer recognizing, “The applications [from homeschoolers] I’ve come across are outstanding. Homeschoolers have a distinct advantage because of the individualized instruction they have received.”
8. HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS ARE VERY LIKELY TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE
Research and probability indicates that homeschooled students typically do very well in college, not just academically, but socially as well. Skills learned in homeschooling translate very well to the college campus, with strong self-discipline and motivation. Colleges recognize this advantage, including Brown University representative Joyce Reed, who shares, “These kids are the epitome of Brown students.” She believes they make a good fit with the university because “they’ve learned to be self-directed, they take risks, they face challenges with total fervor, and they don’t back off.”
9. HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS ARE OFTEN NOT REQUIRED FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
Although traditional students will typically be expected to submit their high school transcript, homeschooled students usually do not need one, submitting other information instead. Sixty-eight percent of US universities will accept parent-prepared transcripts. Others will take portfolios, with letters of recommendation, ACT or SAT test scores, essays, and more, allowing homeschooled applicants flexibility in admissions.
10. HOMESCHOOLERS CAN PLAY COLLEGE SPORTS
As long as they meet standardized guidelines, homeschooled athletes can be awarded freshman eligibility to participate in college level sports. The number of homeschooled students participating in sports is growing as well, with up to 10 each year in 1988-1993, and as many as 75 students in the late 90s. Homeschool waiver applicants are typically approved, and in the 1998-1999 school year all applicants in Divisions I and II were approved, indicating not only an increased interest in college sports from homeschoolers, but an excellent openness in participation.
You can read the rest of the article “15 Key Facts” here.
This article was posted by Carol Brown
1 December 2010
Quite a few people have been asking about IGCSE and how a homeschooler can sit for these exams. Thanks to a homeschooling mom, I’ve uploaded a simple FAQ that should help you understand what your homeschooler has to do if he or she is thinking of next steps after high school. Go to our RESOURCES tab and click on Homeschool and IGCSE.