Thinking about an umbrella school next year? The grass may not be greener on the other side, as one mother so clearly demonstrates in her blog question.
I just read about your transcript help. I am so overwhelmed. Last year my son applied for and got into a very competitive performing arts public high school. The problem? They refused to "count" his 9th grade work and insisted he redo the 9th grade!
He begged me to enroll him in an umbrella school so he would have a "real" transcript so he could feel some sense of assurance he'd get into a good college. He is interested in Rice University. I actually had called Rice before I re-enrolled at Clonlara. I mainly was asking them how important an "official transcript" was as oppose to my making one and creating a portfolio for him. I know they focus on standardized test results too, so the transcript feels like a formality to me. He said it was, but anything that made it easier for them (an official transcript) was better. So I paid the money (to Clonlara) to do a "review" transcript for his 9th grade year and I paid for his last year. And I just signed up for this year (actually for he and his brother). But I am NOT happy with it. They are making changes this year and the paperwork is horrible.
I dread, dread, dread dealing with all of that. I keep telling myself, "well it keeps me organized" but really, I slacked off last year because I figured their "official" transcript was what was going to count anyway. But I feel like I am just paying a diploma mill. I don't even know what Clonlara's reputation is among colleges, or if they even have one. My frustration is that I have very high standards for their education and I am not happy with Clonlara's standards. My frustration is that I am still bound by stupid policies and paperwork that take up time that I could be spending doing other things (like homeschooling...).
And I'm embarrassed to say that I hadn't even looked at their graduation requirements until a couple of weeks ago! How did I miss that? They only require 22 hours and only 2 of these in math and NO foreign language credits. Of course we are doing much more than that - much more. We are aiming for 4 years of math, science, English, and social studies and 3 years of foreign language. I just need the assurance for my son that my homemade transcript will carry MORE weight than Clonlara's. Do you honestly think that could be the case?
I know you are busy but I desperately need to make a decision soon. I hate the thought of losing the money I've already paid to Clonlara, but I would love to have my homeschool freedom back.
I think the real problem is the word "official." YOU provide an official transcript. Clonlara provides an accredited transcript.
A homeschool transcript can say "official transcript" and be official - just like mine did. It just wasn't accredited. When they talk about not having an official transcript, they mean you'll provide a portfolio of work for them to review, with no homeschool transcript at all. What he was asking for was for you to make a homeschool transcript - not asking for an accredited transcript. At least that's how it sounds to me. Here is a blog post, different issue but same concept: The Difference Between Accredited and Official Transcripts.
The fastest and easiest way to solve this problem is to call Rice University. Go to their website, try to find their homeschool admission policy, and then call to speak to a admission representative. Explain that you can either get a poor education using an accredited program, or homeschool independently and provide a superior education. Find out their policy. That may be the assurance that your son needs and give you the freedom to do what you want to do to educate him well.
Then you can read together this article: Homeschool Accreditation: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Your transcript may not carry MORE weight than Clonlara's. However, a better quality education WILL carry more weight than a lower quality of education. Focus on helping your children learn in important and meaningful ways, then you can be more successful.
If you want encouragement along the way, and more detailed help, then consider the Gold Care Club. If you need help with your transcript, then the Total Transcript Solution will help.
Get our new FREE training webinar, “Grades and Credits and Transcripts, Oh My!!“ It will really help you get a jump on your high school record keeping.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Lee was responding to a homeschooler who's experience was not as positive.
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Clonlara is an accredited educational institution with decades of experience assisting homeshoolers. Homeschoolers using Clonlara's services have been accepted to all kinds of private and public colleges, including Ivies. Clonlara is certainly not a "diploma mill." As to their standards for graduation, they are minimum standards, just like every accredited institution has minimum standards - you can certainly choose to go above and beyond those requirements.
Yes, homeschoolers can apply to colleges and/or try to get back into the brick-and-mortar high school system without using an umbrella school. However, that's no reason to make false accusations against an accredited umbrella school ("diploma mill") just because one doesn't like the paperwork involved with the umbrella school.
Thanks for the info, Lee. My daughter, a rising senior and in her second year of homeschooling, had a momentary whim to return to public high school. I called her former high school and spoke with the guidance counselor, who told me that all the (dual/concurrent enrollment) college classes my daughter has taken--and passed--while being homeschooled over the past year would NOT be counted as high school credit, because ours is not an "accredited" high school. Nevermind that my daughter's friends in the public high school are taking those same college classes and receiving high school credit for them!
Bottom line: if my daughter were to return to public school she would have to repeat 11th grade--yet in the "real world" she has completed a year of college credits and she now has sophomore college status!
Thank goodness my daughter's desire to return to public high school was fleeting and she appreciates the advantages of being homeschooled. Not only that, she has been contacted thrice this month by colleges admission reps who were not only receptive to home educated students but actually stated they (the homeschool grads) had better success in college than the "traditional" students!
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