The most common educational hang ups are a result of the unquestioned authority of government over parents in education. This seemingly universal acceptance leads us to believe that unless the government has approved of our education, we have no education, no passport to the post-secondary level, and no hope for the future.
Somehow not getting a high school diploma has been equated with educational “suicide”! This is an urban legend. Please understand that a high school diploma is simply NOT necessary to advance in life.
The one and only thing that can be said of this diploma is that it took at least twelve years to get. No other guarantee given or implied!
If and when a diploma is requested by either an employer or a post-secondary institution, simply assure them that you have been well educated at home, that you are able to meet challenges head-on and that you complete what you have started. These three assurances are what is being sought for by those who request it.
Now that we have dealt with the myth of having to have a diploma to advance in life, let me repeat myself again by emphasizing the importance of not going to any institution of higher learning unless it is absolutely necessary. Many of these places are bastions of Godless, unbiblical, anti-Christian philosophies and political beliefs. Proceed with caution, if you have to.
Should you desire or need to go to a post-secondary institution, be sure that you are properly equipped with a defensible Christian worldview. You will need to be able to stand on your own spiritual two feet or you could be sucked into a godless vortex.
When you have understood that you do not require a diploma and have determined that you need or want to go to an institute of higher learning, and you are spiritually prepared for what will come your way, you will need to proceed with applying for admission. Before doing this, there a few things that you should know.
Several years ago, when we were just starting to advance the acceptance of unaccredited home educators into the post-secondary arena, I became involved with the admission process of a 25 year old student. He had been home educated, completing a program of high academic rigour and had been in the work force for several years when he decided to apply for admission to a two year technical program.
Unsurprisingly, the institution rejected him for not having standard high school credits. He then asked to see the registrar to ascertain what could be done to fix the problem.
I had a good relationship with the registrar at that time so he contacted me for advice.
It turned out that he was not nearly as concerned about the student’s academic qualifications as he was about his having been accompanied to the interview by his mother, who had dominated the conversation. He wondered if the student was mature enough to handle what was needed for success.
Really? Was Mom needed to defend her twenty-five year old son or was she defending her decision to home educate? Neither was or is necessary.
There is a moral to this story. Unless you are prepared to do the entire admission process by yourself, without the need to have your parents back you up or defend you, don’t even start.
Speaking of interviews, let me make a few suggestions for success, aside from advising you to go to it alone. A well dressed, self-confident person who knows what he or she wants, is bound to make a good impression. Be firm, yet considerate.
Insist on speaking to someone who understands home education and be prepared to back your claims to being qualified with a transcript, a portfolio or some other proof of proficiency.
Now what should you do if you are not accepted? For starters, don’t take it as a personal rejection. Failing to gain admission can be for any number of reasons, most of which can be fixed.
If the problem is not having prerequisite courses, get them. If it is because they don’t understand home education, help them. If it is because the program is already full, plan to remind them enough times to make sure you are part of the program next year. In the meantime, go get some work and earn some money towards the education you want, without amassing debt!
Accept rejection as a challenge to try harder next time. However, let’s not omit the possibility that rejection is the hand of God protecting you from doing something that is not in keeping with who you are or what you can do.
We have seen many an example of broken hearted students later being thankful for having not been accepted in a career in which they would have been miserable.
The most common mistake home educated students make is failing to make their home education known when they are applying. The second one is just giving up if initially rejected.
If you really believe that this is what you want and that it is in keeping with who you are, don’t take no for an answer. Persistence will eventually win. Just don’t quit.