Home-schooled students adjust to life in college
BY CALYN SHARP
OU News Bureau
There were almost 45,000 home-schooled children in Michigan during the 2010-2011 school year.
“I know about 10 students who were home-schooled that now attend OU,” said Brianna Budny, a senior and communications major at Oakland University. “There might be more students, but it’s hard to tell.”
She explained many home-schooled students transition from a community college to a university, so they won’t necessarily have their secondary education on record.
“Contrary to popular belief,” Budny said, “home-schoolers are not weird and we can’t pick each other out in a classroom.”
Jacob Cayanus, a communications professor at Oakland University, said observation is one of the subtle differences between students who were home-schooled and the students who attended a traditional public or private school.
“Traditional students tend to have an apathy when in the classroom,” Cayanus said. “They take notes, but they don’t really care what is going on in class.”
Cayanus explained that home-schooled students take a different approach to learning, and that not many are willing to admit they haven’t really had a traditional schooling experience like their peers did.
“Home-schooled students tend to check out others’ reactions before they react to something in class,” he said. “This fades over time as the students become more comfortable in a traditional classroom setting.”
Brianna Budny said actually having to sit in a desk in a classroom with other students versus learning at home with her siblings was one of the hardest adjustments.
“I agree with what professor Cayanus said about home-schoolers,” said Brianna Budny. “When I sit in class I try to soak up everything I can before I comment on anything. I’m not sure why, but I do.”
“Learning with my sister, Brianna, was interesting,” said Jason Budny, a freshman at Macomb Community College. “When I was being home-schooled, I was able to learn at my own pace. If I understood something I could progress quickly, if not I was able to ask my sister for help.”
He agreed with Cayanus’ statement about home-schooled students taking a more serious approach to learning.
“I feel like most of the time, I care more about his classes than my friends who went to public schools,” he said.
Jason Budny said he is in the process of transferring to a bigger university — one where he would live away from home. It doesn’t scare him, he said, because his parents raised him to be independent and take care of himself.
“The hardest change was when I went away to school actually realizing the amount of freedom I actually had,” said Amanda Jaczkowski, a Central Michigan University sophomore. “I had to adjust to not having my family and friends around. I made new friends and learned to live on my own.”
Jaczkowski said another part about adjusting to college was paying attention in class. She was accustomed to working at her own pace, and realized that working at the pace of others could be difficult.
Brianna Budny agreed.
“I started taking college courses during my senior year of high school,” Brianna Budny said. “This let me adjust to working at a different pace, really to working with other people.”
Budny said that while she enjoys being a college student and in classes with her peers, she likes that she was home-schooled.
“I loved being home-schooled,” she said. “I would never change my schooling experience. I had fun, and I learned a lot.”
She said she respects her parents’ decision to home-school their children.
“My parents weren’t happy with the school district we lived in. So they decided to teach my siblings and I at home,” she said. “I don’t think being home-schooled has made my transition to college any harder or easier, it has just given me a different perspective on the world around me and I’m grateful for that.”
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