What do I want to remember for the next kid’s college applications?

All 5 college applications are in.  We should start hearing back from them in 3-5 weeks.

Even though all the colleges Ben was applying to said they’d take the Common App’s Homeschool supplement, it was not after all a waste of time to make all those lists and documents I’d read that I’d need.  Because so far, 2 of the schools have wanted me to send in their own homeschool supplements as well as the Common App’s one, and having already made the lists, I just had to re-format them.

Not that I didn’t grumble a lot.

As someone who has dabbled with HTML, CSS and web design (for one whole website whoop-de-doo) I was not impressed with the navigation structure of the Common App.  I was constantly getting lost, or filing questions (which they did respond to quite quickly).  If I Googled “How to add a referrer on the Common App” or other problem, there were often tutorials on homeschool blogs.  Thanks homeschol bloggers.  I think the problem is that 18 year olds are either too polite to complain about non-intuitive web design, or that they are so web saturated that all designs are intuitive for them.  Or perhaps, that the students are not the customers, the colleges are the customers, and the colleges don’t have to navigate the application side of the website.

Why was I getting lost if it was Ben’s application?  I had to set up an account as his math teacher, and as his councilor; and it’s also quite possible I was helicoptering too.

So, for M; keep a list of all the books he reads for school and for fun.  Scan copies of the letters from the Superintendent of School’s Assistant’s office indicating that our curriculum fulfills Massachusetts case law.  Describe how our courses are organized and graded.  Make a standard looking transcript even if the “Mommy Grades” are suspect.  Make a list of extra curricular activities, and also organize it as a resume (Ben’s has come in handy this week while he’s been pavement pounding in search of a job, now that marching band season is over and he has time to work.)  And re-write my philosophy of education and description of Ben’s experience so it actually reflects M’s experience (No, I’m not starting over from scratch, though in 5 years, it may be a good idea.  In which case, I’ll grumble a lot.)  Try harder to get organized with dual admissions classes at the local community college – we should have more vehicles by they to drive to Fall River for math classes, and even if I do think more highly of the lit classes at Good Company Tutorials, try for the community college, because it seems like it weighs more with admissions officers.

I liked Lee Bin’s books, and the Well Trained Mind’s chapter on documents, Transcripts made Easy had the wrong formula for GPA, though I didn’t catch on for a while – GPA is more like taxes than math.  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  I know the Inga Cannon material is classic, but I forgot to look for it.

And next time, if the process is driving me crazy, remember I can always look at the class rank page and laugh.  Because, yes, they really did want to know class rank.

That part will probably make sense in 5 years.  But there will be something else to laugh about.

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