Onward from Unschooling: Our Niche within a Niche within a Niche

March 2003
by Alison McKee, Bittersweet House

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For most homeschooled students, the process of applying to college is complex yet rather straightforward. For a few homeschoolers who choose to “unschool” (the children direct the course of their own education), the task can be quite daunting. Our family has been faced with this job twice. Without a GPA, class standing or tons of traditional coursework, we had to find ways to document the fact that our children were, indeed, well prepared for college. No resources were available to help guide us. Everything we found just discussed how to write transcripts for homeschooled children who had grade point averages based on traditional coursework.

Unschooled children are children who do not use the traditional curriculum of public or private schools as the foundation of their learning experience. Instead, their unique interests become the foundation of all they do. Most often these interests aren’t the school subjects most of us are so familiar with.

We considered our situation and knew that we had no choice; we had to create a transcript that would truly reflect what our son had done during his homeschooling years so that he could go to college. From this experience, I published my first booklet, Writing Transcripts for Unschoolers. I took 50 copies to a homeschooling conference and was sold out at the end of a day. Comments I got from those wh*o purchased the booklet made me realize that it showed potential for becoming a good book.

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