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Homeschooling - Grades and LoRs

wishingstonewishingstone 7 replies3 discussions Forum Champion
Hello everyone! I am new to the CC―registered just a couple of hours ago actually―and a bit confused at the overflowing information here, so if I'm doing something wrong in any way or am posting in the wrong place, please, feel free to let me know! :)


To introduce myself, I am an international homeschooler in grade 10, wondering about the ways of applying as a homeschooled―and international!―student to the colleges of the US.

I have attended public school―in Canada―during 8th and 9th grade, which also leaves me wondering if it will be all right to get LoRs from grade 9 teachers, or, if it becomes necessary, grade 8 teachers. (And also if it would be okay to get both letters from English teachers, since I'm planning to major in it.)

And even after the problem of LoRs, the situation still leaves me without any counsellor. How do the other homeschoolers fill the counsellor's section of the Common Application? I am not in any homeschoolers' organization or anything, so maybe this makes things become a bit more complicated or difficult. But there hasn't been that many around where I live, where the idea of homeschooling isn't yet well known.

And also, the grades. What can I do to prove my academic skills? Will SAT and just the tests they require be good enough? Should I take more subject tests than they ask? Will AP tests help? What about the qualification exam for college admission of Korea―my country? They're supposed to prove that I studied enough to graduate highschool where I live, and they do have scores.


Sorry for the flood of questions, but I somehow couldn't find the homeschoolers' policy in some of the schools on my wishlist, and I need to know what kind of tests I should study for in order to get good grades on them. X)

Thank you very much! The time zone is different here, so I will return in the (my) morning. :)
4 replies
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Replies to: Homeschooling - Grades and LoRs

  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 11 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    wondering if it will be all right to get LoRs from grade 9 teachers, or, if it becomes necessary, grade 8 teachers. (And also if it would be okay to get both letters from English teachers, since I'm planning to major in it.)
    Both these options are probably specifically prohibited by many colleges. They want recent letters, and letters from teachers in a variety of subjects. Will you be taking any classes at a local community college or high school? Maybe you can substitute letters from some kind of mentor or employer?
    How do the other homeschoolers fill the counsellor's section of the Common Application?
    Usually the parent does it - I did.
    And also, the grades. What can I do to prove my academic skills? Will SAT and just the tests they require be good enough? Should I take more subject tests than they ask? Will AP tests help? What about the qualification exam for college admission of Korea―my country? They're supposed to prove that I studied enough to graduate highschool where I live, and they do have scores.
    All of the above! Colleges want outside verification. Many home schoolers are insulted at the thought that they should have to have extra testing, but it didn't bother me and my son at all - he just took loads and submitted them all. Your college qualification exam may not have a place it fits on the application (or it may, in "other tests" or something), but you can still mention it in the "additional information" section.
    I somehow couldn't find the homeschoolers' policy in some of the schools on my wishlist
    Try harder - most colleges (at least that we looked at!) do have them.
    I need to know what kind of tests I should study for in order to get good grades on them.
    My recommendation is lots of SAT Subject tests, and/or AP tests taken in Junior year or earlier, and/or community college courses.

    Good luck! :)
    edited May 2013
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  • marblingmarbling 4 replies0 discussions
    If you were my child, I would tell you to get Letter/s of Recommendation from an adult who knows you currently. Do you take any sort of outside class, or volunteer, where you have a teacher or other adult willing to write you a letter? As you will be applying when you are in (or almost in) 12th grade, I don't think that a letter from someone who taught you 3-4 years ago is a good idea. You really need someone who knows you now, even if they are not actually teaching you.

    As the parent/instructor/counselor, I filled out anything for the counselor. I also wrote a lengthy counselor letter that also laid out our homeschool philosophy and subsequent journey (which really blended together well).

    Your academic skills will be shown in your SAT/ACT test scores, along with any SAT II/AP tests you take. The latter are probably more necessary if you are aiming for colleges with tougher admission standards. I don't think that your Korea test scores will help, but if they are really good, you can include them as one more measure of your accomplishments.

    It was our experience that being a unique homeschooler gave my D a definite edge in the admissions process. Good luck to you!!
    edited May 2013
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  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo 9 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    However, being an international, you must understand, places you at a disadvantage at many schools, particularly if you are in a country that is over-represented in college applications/admissions. (And I don't know if Korea is one of the over-represented countries but I'm guessing it is) Be sure you have safety schools on your list (including Korean schools).

    GeekMom had great advice. :-) Also, doing something really, really well so that you're regionally or nationally recognized is probably a good thing to do, in all seriousness.
    edited May 2013
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  • wishingstonewishingstone 7 replies3 discussions Forum Champion
    Thank you everyone for all your wonderful advice! I woke up in the morning and found all these replies on my questions, and I was all surprised and happy. :)

    I do attend an English class and the mentor, I think, will be willing to write me the LoR, but I don't think my volunteering supervisor would qualify... (For one thing, she's Korean, she barely speaks english, and I never saw her write anything) I'll have to look up a bit more for that.

    I'll have to look up a bit more for the APs, too, but I'll be definitely taking more subject tests. (Should look up writing contests also)

    Thank you for all your advice, again! :D
    edited May 2013
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