Monthly Archives: December 2014

And What About College – Your Emails

Few weeks ago I wrote a post about the book “And what about college”. That review was read by thousands of people who  bought the book from amazon and sent us hundreds of emails with their opinion about the book. I will publish a part of them below:

 

“As the mother of a teen who is currently knee-deep in the college admissions paperwork maze, I must say this book is a keeper! Cafi has compiled virtually a ton of practical, useable information all in one place. I imagine I could have found all this information on my own, but good grief! I really wonder how many years of research it would have taken me. . .

The book includes sections on almost everything you’d ever want to know about getting into college as a homeschooler. There are explanations of the different approaches to high school homeschooling; what the various Scope and Sequences really mean; the should-we-do-a-transcript-or-portfolio question; how to actually compose a transcript (the bane of my existence!); which colleges have admitted homeschoolers and why; pointers on applying to military academies, and even doing an “after the fact” curriculum and transcript.

There is also a wonderful Question and Answer section in the book, written in Cafi’s own clear, concise, and down-to-earth style. This chapter addresses many of the most common worries we parents of older home learners have, such as “How do we handle high school subjects in which we have no expertise?” and “Is it ever too late to begin homeschooling?” (“Never,” says Cafi).

This one’s staying on my bookshelf, because I know I’ll be referring back to again and again. If you’d like to borrow it, that should be no problem. Let’s see. . . I’ll probably be able to loan it out right after my youngest graduates from high school. . . in the summer of 2015.”

Anna

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“Reading Cafi Cohen’s And What About College? is like having your hand held by your best friend who knows something inside out you would love to know yourself. This is much more than a how-to manual; Mrs. Cohen not only answers all your questions but reminds you gently of all the questions you should have asked but forgot to. Cafi Cohen has written the indispensable book for college-bound homeschoolers. If your child is a teenager and thinking about college, this is the book to get – and the younger your teen, the better.”

Taylor R

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“Reading Cafi Cohen’s And What About College? is like having your hand held by your best friend who knows something inside out you would love to know yourself. This is much more than a how-to manual; Mrs. Cohen not only answers all your questions but reminds you gently of all the questions you should have asked but forgot to.”

Loren

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“As authors/publishers we understand a little of what it took to accomplish what you have. Yet you have done much more than most: you have placed in our hands something well written and valuable. Thanks from the Davis family and beyond us from the entire homeschooling community. We all will be better prepared because of the window you have opened into your family.”

Nicolle

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“Your book is a life and sanity saver. I spent a week this past summer with it at my side while I put together [our daughter’s] transcript, resume, course descriptions, and cover letter. . . . [Our daughter] met with the Director of Admisssions at Antioch so he could talk with her and look the stuff over for us. . . . His experience at Antioch has been — and also at Penn & Cooper’s Union when he was the admissions officer there who worked specificially with homeschoolers — that the materials from home schoolers were not nearly as well and clearly presented as [our daughter’s] is [based on your book].”

Hobert

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“Ordered your book and received it yesterday. I haven’t finished it yet, but the parts that I have read, skipping back and forth, gives me much, much hope. The curriculum “after the fact” recording system really helped as did the transcripts and information relating to certain colleges.”

Russ

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“Yesterday I received my copy of Cafi’s book and after perusing through it, I would say it is a ‘must read’ for those of us who are and will be home schooling teens through high school! Whether you’re lacking confidence (like me) or just need to know what ‘hoops to jump through’ to help your child get to where he/she wants to go, I think this will give the needed assistance. Thanks Cafi . . . . I think you have a winner.”

Abbie

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“I got your book in the mail today! I’m not done reading it yet, but I am already glad I have it. So many books on homeschooling deal mostly with younger children or with “newbies” to homeschooling. It is wonderful to find a practical resource with info I will NEED in the future. Even though [our daughter] is only 11, she is taking some 8th and 9th grade level subjects. After glancing over a few chapters of your book, [my husband] and I have decided to start keeping a current transcript . . . NOW. If we get into the habit of recording the important things now, hopefully we won’t miss any essentials later. Also, you have listed quite a few things that I wouldn’t have thought of including in a transcript . . . Anyway, the book is great!”

Jerome

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“It suddenly strikes me that we haven’t written you about the book. . . well, that’s probaby because [my wife] grabbed it out of my hands and started gulping it down, taking notes as she went. . . The book is being put to good use [for our our homeschool teenage daughter]. . . . Bless you for writing it; I hope that it is beginning to sell as fast as Bibles in Russia!”

Carol

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“Just wanted to drop you a note about how much I loved ‘And What About College?’ I’m a 16-year-old homeschooler. . ., and I’ve just finished the application process myself. . . Although I’d finished all the [applications] before I read your book, it was . . . comforting to know your family went about things in a similar way and did just fine. I’m recommending your book to every teen homeschooler I know [who’s] considering college. . . thanks for writing it!”

Santiago

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“I got your book on Monday and read it cover to cover. I plan to spread the word about it as I believe it would be very helpful to any homeschooling [family]. You did a great job of covering all the aspects of college admission for homeschoolers. I especially like the copies of your kids’ transcripts; they’ll be really helpful in guiding us in creating ours. . . .I’m glad to have my own copy as I’m sure I will be using and re-reading it many times over the next two years!”

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“I am the Mom of 1-1/2 year old twins. My husband and I are considering homeschooling for religious reasons as well as educational. I found your book at the library and wanted to tell you, it helped me so much. It answered all of my questions about college, and about the process of getting in. I was mostly nervous about my kids having difficulty getting in somewhere being homeschooled, but now I don’t feel concerned. I am going to buy your book, and keep it for when my kids get older, so that we can plan our curriculum accordingly and start early. Thank you so much for writing it, and for all of the information that was in it. I especially liked the essays your kids wrote, and their highly impressive transcripts. I am thrilled with the potential my kids have, and hope we can pass on to them our love of learning. I am a RN and my husband has a bachelors in physics and math, so I think we can hit the subjects that are needed between the two of us. Thank you, it was very encouraging. I passed the title of your book on to my sister who homeschools and a friend.”

Esteban

Review: And What About College?

Okay. If you’re home schooling kids that are in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, it’s time for you to read this book. Really! It’s not too early to start thinking about that college decision–whether or not to have your kids go, where to go, why to go, how to get there. My oldest is 10, and I bought this book–mostly because I felt that I needed more vision of where my kids might be headed. They may want to go to college, and so keeping high school records is basically a necessity. College is not a foregone conclusion; but if that’s what they want, I need to know how to guide them until they are a few years older and can read this book for themselves–which is what any student contemplating college should do!

But what about those of you whose students are already out of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade? Is it too late to expect any help from this book? No way! Even the Cohens didn’t start record keeping in 8th or 9th grade with their oldest. Here’s an excerpt from the book: “Do not despair if your student is partially through high school and you do not have … records. college eduTwo states where we homeschooled … mandated that homeschoolers only keep attendance data. And that is all we did. As we learned, you can recoup. It is work, but it can be done.” The book can help any student contemplating college even if they’ve only got one year of high school left. First off, Cafi Cohen has some credibility. Her two children were home schooled from middle school through high school, and then they were both accepted into their first-choice colleges! Good for them, huh? Her style of writing is friendly, definitely not patronizing, and encouraging. She doesn’t portray what worked for her family as the only approach. She portrays it as “an approach” to home schooling and college acceptance–her experience is offered up not as “Thou shalt,” but rather as “Here’s a few ideas.”

Cafi tells us what she calls “the good news”–that there are many advantages for home schoolers applying to colleges. She starts in on the jargon in the second chapter with Advanced Placement, CLEP, student-devised majors, GED, block programs, and back-door admissions. Many little tidbits of information are scattered throughout the book. Here’s one gem: Focusing only on academics in the transcript is not enough. (Cafi elaborates on this in the book). This kind of information is invaluable and hard to come by. It’s great that we can learn from Cafi’s and her children’s research and trailblazing.

Here’s a list of some of the topics covered in “And What About College?” 

– home-based high school–which approach and/or curriculum?

– your school’s scope and sequence and how it meshes with college admission requirements

– college admissions testing–PSAT, SAT I, SAT II, ACT, NMSQT

– record keeping, transcripts, what can count for credit, how to grade if you assign grades

– how to help the student find the right college (insightful, practical considerations)

– filling out the application–lots of great advice from someone who’s done it!

Just over one third of the book is appendices. This is the nuts and bolts section with examples of transcripts, resumes, and cover letters. There’s a four-page appendix on how to apply to a service academy and a list of selective colleges that have accepted home schoolers. There’s also a helpful booklist, a list of websites, and a college planning checklist–a thoughtful addition.

As you can see, if you’ve stayed with me this long, Cafi’s book is a great handbook for college admissions preparation. It was a relief for me to read it! It helped me to refine my game plan. If you have any concerns about helping your child along the road to college, this book very well could make the trip smoother by helping your student around roadblocks that might get in the way.