Yesterday, I spent over two hours sitting in the car outside the Flight Centre at Goulburn Airport. Inside this building, Imogen was doing her very first university exam. She has spent the last semester studying the unit Introduction to University Learning through an online course provided by the Open Universities.
During the long drive to Goulburn, Imogen and I had a chance to talk:
Imogen: I’m really enjoying university work. It’s good to make friends (online) and discuss the subject. I like the social side.
Me: Do you wish you could have gone to school? You’d have made lots of friends there.
Imogen: No. It wouldn’t have been the same. I want friends I can discuss things with, people who are interested in the same things as I am. It seems to me that school students learn what they’re told in order to pass exams. Uni students are learning because they are interested in the subject. They want to study. We’ve had some great discussions.
Me: Do you feel homeschooling prepared you for university work?
Imogen: Yes. I’m used to directing my own work. I learnt how to think. I’ve always worked because I wanted to and not because I had to, so I’ve had no trouble putting in the necessary work.
So I sat outside that tiny airport, surrounded by some rather desolate paddocks while Immy did her exam.
Two hours later she reappeared with a smile on her face and we were soon on our way home.
Me: How was the exam?
Me: Are you relieved it’s over?
Imogen: Yes. I wasn’t worried about the questions. I felt I knew the subject. I just wanted to get in there and see what exams are all about.
Me: Do you think homeschoolers are at a disadvantage because they don’t get to experience exams?
Imogen: No. It was fine. Anyway, I did that musicianship exam last year so I knew all about having to put my phone on the floor and what equipment to take and sitting at a desk…
Today Imogen starts her second university unit: Critical Thinking. It’s all part of her plan to be accepted into a university to study an Arts on-campus degree in 2013.
Can homeschoolers get into university? Yes. In particular, can unschoolers get into university? Yes. Is it difficult? No.
I will share more…
PS: Imogen is 17.