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How can an unschooler get into college?

First, it is possible.  It's happened often.

Second, if an unschooler truly wants to attend college, he/she will most likely pursue experiences-- volunteer work, employment, reading, etc.--that will facilitate college admissions. An unschooler is perhaps better prepared for college than any other teenager--he/she knows how to learn, is self-motivated, is independent, and knows how to handle personal freedoms. Colleges and universities like that kind of applicant.

Third, not everyone needs to go to college. There is a fascinating essay by a grown homeschooler called Happily Unscathed: A Life Without School, or Avoiding the Public School System for Fun and Profit

The following sites contain lots of information regarding college and homeschoolers.

Cafi Cohen's site <this link is no longer available

Cafi wrote the book And What About College? for homeschooled teens. The first chapter is on her website, along with other articles (by her and by others) available on the internet.

Karl Bunday's Learn in Freedom site

Karl has a whole list of colleges and universities that admit homeschoolers, along with a college FAQ. Scroll down his opening page till you see the highlighted words "colleges admit homeschooled applicants." Click there, and it takes you to his college resources.

Jan France has a whole list of books about the subject at <this link is no longer available

How do you handle chores and household responsibilities? Do you follow your unschooling philosophy there, too? Do you do all the work?
I will admit that keeping the house clean can be a problem.  Most people send their kids away for the day--they can clean in the morning and the house stays clean.  We don't have that luxury.  Instead, we have the luxury of creative projects and books strewn from one end of the house to the other--and the reassurance of happy, creative children.  It is a trade-off.  I don't think you can have a really clean, perfect house and have your kids home all day.

Mostly, I just ask for what I need done. It usually gets done. Sometimes, they present other options, or they have input I hadn't considered. They are usually quite willing to help. We don't have assigned chores; everybody just pitches in. If I really want something done, I either do it or explain to them what needs to be done. I think because we don't "require" them to help, they see it as their own choice, and they are more likely to agree with us. If they don't, then we re-evaluate the situation. Does it really need to be done? When? Can it be done a different way?

I have to find a level of clutter that I can live with.  Right now, if the kitchen and living room stay presentable, I can survive the rest.  We are in very small quarters.  All three girls are in one room, and it is difficult to keep things put away. I do ask  them to clear a path to the beds at night, in case someone needs to walk thru. Other than that, they can do what they want to in their own room.  Do I like their room messy? No. So sometimes I clean it--not very often though.

I know it sounds pretty far out. I thought so too, initially. But it really works for us. It doesn't happen overnight, and it takes lots of soul-searching. We used to have to constantly ask ourselves, "will this matter next week? next year? in 20 years?" Now it sort of comes naturally. We do get frustrated at times, but usually a family meeting where all can express their feelings takes care of it.

Children want a happy, well-running home as much as we do. They know from experience that a harried Mom is seldom a happy Mom. :-)

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1998 Amy Bell  

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