Category Archives: Higher Education

Homeschooling and College Admissions

Thanks to for helping us get the word out about our “From Home Education to Higher Education” research! This article was posted on their site yesterday:



Homeschooling and College Admissions – a survey for homeschoolers AND for colleges! Genius!!

My husband and I made the decision to home school our two sons in the middle of their 1st and 4th grade years. It was the end of January, testing season was about to begin again, and we decided enough was enough – it was time for a change. So we jumped into the deep end, knowing instinctively this was the right choice for our family, but without any real plan of what we were going to do or how we were going to do it.

Read More…




Last Call. It’s Not Too Late!

Logo Survey-page-001 (2)It’s been very exciting around here lately. The first phase of our “From Home Education to Higher Education” research is winding down (though it’s not too late to participate, or invite your friends to participate here.)  We’ve heard from home schooling families in every region of the United States, and are looking forward to presenting their questions and concerns to college admissions officers beginning next week!

That’s right, we’ve already scheduled four interviews with college admissions officers beginning on April 13th, and will be sharing their responses, insights and recommendations for home schooled applicants very soon.  As we’re talking to admissions officers, we’re also inviting many more (we can’t interview everyone!) to participate through our online survey created just for them. If you know any admissions officers and would like to encourage them to participate, you can share this link with them:

We’re finalizing our list of interview questions for the first round of interviews right now, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you want to know!

And keep an eye out for preliminary research results — coming soon!

From Home Education to Higher Education: What YOU Want to Know

Logo Survey-page-001 (2)I can’t believe it’s already the end of January! These first few weeks of 2015 have been truly busy, particularly because we’ve been receiving so many new responses from homeschooling families on our “From Home Education to Higher Education” survey.  For weeks now, families from all over the country have been sharing their questions and concerns about the college admissions process with us, and we look forward to hearing from even more! If you haven’t already, please share the link with others in your homeschooling community and encourage them to participate. Here’s the link you can share:

Based on the ideas and requests we’ve received so far, we’re already preparing the admissions officers’ survey and interview questions.  As you might imagine, many of the questions parents are most interested in relate to one of two primary topics:

1.  The admissions process (including required and/or helpful materials)

2. Information and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships

 I thought you might be interested to know specifically what types of questions people are posing, so I wanted to share a quick sampling:

  • What are the most important things for homeschoolers to put together? Are there types of exams and classes that are preferable? (i.e., AP vs CLEP vs subject test for SAT).
  • How can we best communicate our academic experience, knowledge and life lessons so that you can apply them to your entrance requirements?
  • How best to document the different kinds of high school courses my child will take: Parent-taught, outside teacher through homeschool co-op, private tutor or class, community college.
  • If a student has chosen to homeschool for part of high school but does have some high school credits and community college credits, how is their transcript evaluated? What can our kids do in this situation to make sure that admissions officers get an accurate representation of their readiness for admission?

The other topic parents are concerned about is the admissions officers’ perceptions of homeschoolers, as reflected in these submitted questions:

  • How do you feel about homeschooling, personally?
  • Is there any negative stigma whatsoever to non-traditional applicants (online graduates, homeschoolers, etc)?
  • What would make you more or less likely to consider a homeschool student for admission?
  • What do you perceive as homeschoolers weaknesses? Strengths?

Such fantastic questions, and we’ll be asking all of these and more. I can’t wait!

Coming Up Next….

In the next post I’ll share the responses we’re receiving to another of the questions we asked you:

“If there were one thing you would like admissions officers to know about homeschooled students, what would it be? What do you think they need to know or understand about our students?”

Parents have shared some genuinely great ideas on this one. Stay tuned!

2015 Points of Light


Winter Stars

I love holidays, pretty much all holidays, but I have to admit that New Year’s is my favorite. Yes, even more than Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the 4th of July (my other favorites, in that order).  I particularly love the final build up to the new year, that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day when everything is done — all of the decorating, traveling, shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining — and it’s time to rest and recover, to pull back from the many details of the recent weeks, and to think about the bigger picture, the vision for what’s to come.  It’s like looking at a blank page, or a fresh new canvas, and imagining all the things you could write or paint in that space. Unlimited creative potential.

I even like that the beginning of the new year coincides with short days, long nights, and cold temperatures — it feels like an invitation to hibernate, to recharge, to dream.  If I were a wild animal, I’d definitely be a bear. During the dark months here in the Pacific Northwest, I light lots of candles in the house, and have beautiful paper stars that I hang in the front window until the first day of Spring. The soft light and subtle warmth inspire me and light the way.

So, now that we are fully into January, I’m putting pen to paper (or rather, “fingers to keyboard”) as I think about and plan the year to come, and I’m particularly excited about several projects, my “points of light” for this year.

“From Home Education to Higher Education” Research

At the top of my list is a research project I’ve begun in partnership with the Oregon Home Education Network.  We’re updating some research conducted in 2004 about perceptions and admissions rates of home schooled students applying to college. Before surveying and interviewing admissions officers, however, we decided to invite homeschooling families to help us shape our research, and in just a few short weeks we’ve had a tremendous response! Families from every region in the country, with the exception of the Mountain region (so far!) have shared their thoughtful questions, concerns, and recommendations with us. I’m so encouraged by the responses and ideas coming through, and know that the results will be rich and useful to everyone in the homeschooling community. If you haven’t had a chance to respond yet, or want to invite others in your community to respond, the “From Home Education to Higher Education: What Homeschoolers Want to Know” survey is still live here.

We’ll begin distributing the online survey to Admissions Officers across the country in early February, and will begin conducting personal interviews toward the end of February. Updates, summaries, and interesting insights will be shared here, so stay tuned! The final (and free!) comprehensive report will be released in early summer on this site and on the Oregon Home Education Network site.

“Emerging Options in Education”

Another project I’m working on this year is an online course called “Emerging Options in Education”, where I’ll be describing all of the new and innovative educational options available to students of all ages these days.  This goes way beyond homeschooling! The course will include descriptions of and links to some fantastic programs and organizations, along with a discussion of K-12 and Higher Education trends that will shape how we learn in the coming years. I truly believe we’re at a tipping point in education, which is exciting, but also confusing for many. I’ve written about this shift already in a prior post, “The Big Education Shift — Are You Ready?”, and this course is designed to help you get ready!

A Podcast? (What do you think?)

Finally, I’m toying with the idea of starting a podcast connected to the “From Home Education to Higher Education” research. In short, I would love to record the interviews I’ll be conducting with university admissions officers and make them available to the homeschooling public. One of the ideas expressed by several homeschooling families is that they would like more direct contact and specific information about admissions for homeschoolers at different institutions, and I’m thinking this might be a good way to connect applicants with those making admissions decisions. Would this be of interest to you? It will take some work, so I want to make sure there’s enough interest before I invest too much time. Let me know!

On the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the year of the ram (or sheep) which signifies gentleness, connection, and creativity. It sounds like a great year to me, and this is exactly what I hope for all of us as we begin to paint the canvas of 2015.


From Home Education to Higher Education — What Do YOU Want to Know?

7K0A0879It’s been a while since I’ve written because I’ve been working on a new project. I’m very excited to finally announce that Teach Your Own has partnered with the Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN) on a research project focusing on college admissions for homeschoolers!

Our goal is to find answers to all of your questions about applying to college, and to provide a list of the best and most helpful resources to help you through the process. These will be provided in a FREE final report that will be made available to homeschooling families across the country who are considering college as an option.

 Before we begin surveying and interviewing admissions officers, though, WE NEED YOUR INPUT! What questions and concerns do you have around college admissions? We’re collecting all ideas and requests here:

This will only take about 10 minutes of your time, and your participation will help shape our research. Please spread the word (and link). Thanks for your help!