Homeschoolers Not Barred from Tertiary Studies
© Beverley Paine
I'm often asked if homeschoolers are able to get into university or college: "One of my concerns is that if I decide not to register and my children decide to want to pursue their tertiary studies, can that still happen?"
Entrance selection criteria may change considerably between now and when your six year old will be ready for university. I know the wheels of change turn slowly, even in this electronically aided world and that not a lot has changed in the last couple of decades, except perhaps that more universities are open to the idea of accepting home educated students, and some overseas institutions actually advertise for them... There is already a private university based in Sydney actively seeking homeschooled graduates.
Homeschooled students who wish to gain entrance to tertiary studies at the moment consider the options available to them and take the path that best suits their needs, or the compromise that will get them what they want or need. This often involves either doing years 11 and/or 12 at school, through distance education, through TAFE or a private college; approaching the university faculty direct with a portfolio and talk their way in; enrolling in Open Learning University (available for students aged 11+) and working toward a degree, or through 'bridging' subjects. Some students chose to work through certificate 1-4 at TAFE or accredited colleges. This is also a legitimate path to university.
Homeschoolers have the advantage of thinking of the traditional high school years as a gradual transition from a prepartory curriculum (covering the basics which allows students to be self-directed competent life-long learners) to selecting and trying out subjects and courses that match their talents, learning styles and passions.
A child who is really keen on cooking and has a creative flair at the age of 12 could be specialising a lot sooner than her schooled peers. A well designed homeschool curriculum won't ignore and will integrate important areas of learning not obviously related to the interest, giving the child the opportunity to move to something else if she desires at the age of 15. However, should she continue with her passion for cooking by the time she is 16 she could well be studying at certificate 2 (apprenticeship entry level) and gaining valuable work experience through employment. By the time she's 20 she will already be working competently at a job she loves while her uni student schooled peers are beginning to realise they have chosen the wrong uni course because they don't know what they really want to do!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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