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From Home Education to Higher Education

gtchat 09262017 HomeEd

Families with gifted children are one of the fastest growing segments of homeschooling today. The choice to homeschool is no longer limited to those who make the choice for religious reasons as was common in the past. Along with that choice comes the need to know and understand how to approach the college entrance process. Our guest this week, Lori Dunlap, recently wrote a book entitled From Home Home Education to Higher Education from GHF Press which addresses the many questions asked by homeschoolers.

gtchat From Home Ed to Higher Ed Front Cover

Faced with roadblocks and not having needs met at their children’s schools; parents of gifted learners often turn to homeschooling. Families realize that their school’s approach to education does not fit with their goals for their child’s education.

According to Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, “Homeschool families are so diverse that any generalization is going to include misconceptions.” With regard to college entrance, many people think that homeschoolers will encounter more issues in transitioning to college than their public school counterparts. This line of thinking extends to believing homeschoolers will lack the ability to deal with schedules and routines in college which simply is not the case. Corin added, “In fact, they often do better because they are self-motivated and have not had their curiosity suppressed.”

How are homeschoolers viewed by colleges and universities? Lori explained, “Colleges and universities not only accept homeschoolers; in many cases they’re actually seeking them out! In researching my book, the most FAQ that came up from admissions officers was, ‘Where can I find more homeschoolers?’ Other hurdles included misperceptions in college admissions community including “Mom grades” on transcripts and academic “rigor.”

Regarding the college application process, Lori told us, “For any student, finding schools that are a good fit for their goals and interests is the most important part of the process. In applications, admission officers want to see how homeschoolers have taken advantage of the flexibility and freedom that comes with educational choice.”

With regard to what college admission officers are looking for, Lori said, “The first thing they want to know is if the student is academically qualified and can be successful at the school. [They are also] looking for variety and diversity; an area where homeschoolers can stand out with unique educational experiences. They want to know your “story”. Think of your application as a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Non-standard applications throw some of them for a loop. This is why SAT/ACT scores are still required for homeschoolers even at “test opt” schools.”

“Know your child. Help them set goals and steer their lives, but be ready to scaffold when needed.” ~ Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

There are some ways parents can help prepare their child to transition to college life. It was pointed out by many at the chat that perhaps the hardest part, but most important  for parents, is letting go. Corin reminded us, “Parents can listen to their student instead of pushing hopes on kids. The kid has to live with their choices. They should make their own.” Lori added, “To prepare, we need to give our students increasing levels of independence and appropriate responsibility as they get older. By the time they go off to college, they should have skills and confidence to operate as independently as possible.” A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


From Home Education to Higher Education 

About Lori Dunlap at Amazon

College Admissions for Homeschoolers: 3 Inevitable Questions

College Admissions for Homeschoolers: 3 More Inevitable Questions 

Forging Paths: Beyond Traditional Schooling

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories

Happiest Homeschooling Moments: A Reflection

From Home Education to Higher Education: A Review

Grateful for All of It, No Exceptions: Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness

Reflections in a Pond: Recognizing Giftedness in Our Children and Ourselves

Research: From Home Ed to Higher Ed

Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges – Review

Teach Your Own

Homeschooled Student’s Transcript Might Be for a Cat

Sprite’s Site: Socialization

Sprite’s Site: Socialization 2

Sprite’s Site: Qualified to Teach

The Uncommon Application

Cybraryman’s Homeschooling Page

GHF: Teens (and College)

GHF: US Public Education Policy: Missing Voices

Graphic  courtesy of Lisa Conrad.


Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories with Guest, Wes Beach

gtchat Wes Beach 05292015 graphic


Our guest this week was Wes Beach, the author of “Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories”; the latest title from GHF Press. Wes Beach is an author, a speaker, an educator with 54 years of experience, an advocate of alternative education and homeschooling. After years discouraged as a teacher in public schools, Wes founded Beach High School and continues to serve as its director today.

BHS exists to support young people who find that a traditional high school does not provide them with what they want or need. There are almost 1,500 graduates of BHS who, without benefit of a traditional high school education, have gone on to reach the goals they have chosen, including reaching the highest levels of formal education and entering the professions.from Wes Beach, Author Page on Amazon

Wes defined self-directed learning as “choosing goals and pursuing them in ways independent of externally imposed schedules and curricula. It uses methodologies similar to homeschool methods. Not all homeschoolers use self-directed learning, but many do.”

Self-Directed Learning details how to document the independent education process. According to Wes, this involves “Lots of details: course descriptions, reading lists, evaluative/explanatory narratives; anything that is scriptive and convincing.” Record keeping is imperative.  Wes added, “It helps to keep track of activities of all kinds on an ongoing basis. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget things. Learning outside traditional education requires more detailed transcripts – but can be more powerful, convincing, effective. Portfolios and references can be useful, too.”

Many self-directed learners avail themselves of opportunities afforded by community colleges. In addition to easing the financial burden of four year institutions, they also provide a way to take classes for credit that can later be transferred to four year colleges. As Corin Goodwin of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum pointed out, “Community colleges – and local universities – can be great for young asynchronous kids who are academically advanced but young.”

How do four year colleges & universities feel about self-directed learning and does non-traditional schooling put applicants at a disadvantage? Wes answered the question this way, “No. In fact, many universities actively recruit homeschoolers, particularly self-directed learners. Self starters are prized by colleges. One of my current SDL students applied to 30 (!!!) colleges and was accepted by 21. She’ll go to MIT.”

Self-directed learning has strong appeal for gifted students. Wes stated that “gifted learners appreciate the opportunity to pursue self-paced, high-level, in-depth learning; including esoteric subjects and unique approaches.” A full transcript may be found at Storify.



Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media    Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



Children in Charge: Self-Directed Learning Programs

Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree (Amazon)

Cool Colleges: For Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, Late Blooming & Just Plain Different (Amazon)

Doing School: How We Are Creating a Gen of Stressed-Out, Materialistic Miseducated Students (Amazon)

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where & Why It Happens (Amazon)

Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child via GHF Press (Amazon)

The Art of Self-Directed Learning: 23 Tips for Giving Yourself an Unconventional Education (Amazon)

The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium (pdf) Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence (Amazon)

Cybraryman’s Self-Directed Learning Page

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania (Amazon)

Rethinking Education: Self-Directed Learning Fits the Digital Age

Why I Choose to Unschool My Gifted Children

Forging Paths: Beyond Traditional Schooling

Deschooling: Shift Your Mind

Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade


Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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