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
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
http://www.concentric.net/~Ctcohen/ <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?
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. :-)
back to Unschooling
© 1998 Amy Bell
This article may be printed for your personal,
non-profit use. Please include this notice at the bottom of each
copy. If you would like to distribute this article, please