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The Daily Tar Heel

Students from home school adjust to life at UNC

UNC no longer tracks the number of students coming from homeschool environments.

But at last count, in fall of 2010, only 22 enrolled at UNC, entering into a very different environment at a university with almost 30,000 students.

Sophomore Claire Lingenfelter was homeschooled her entire educational career, except ninth grade, but she said she never felt isolated or alone during her experience.

“I think the whole homeschooling socialization is a myth,” Lingenfelter said

She took part in a ‘co-op,’ or a group of five to 10 families that met once a week and had different mothers teach various subjects. Lingenfelter said she appreciated the classes because they included students with different perspectives.

“We were all in there together, and I felt I learned how to relate to kids of a lot of different ages,” Lingenfelter said.

Andrea Felder, associate director for recruitment at UNC, said homeschooled students go through the same application process as everyone else.

She said the only real difference is homeschooled students must have their parents submit a detailed statement describing the courses their child took throughout high school.

“They continue to contribute to the campus community and the more information they provide, the better off they are,” Felder said regarding whether homeschooled students were at a disadvantage when applying.

Current statistics are not available for the number of homeschooled students admitted because the University switched to a new system. About 2.2 million students in the country are homeschooled, according to the National Home Education Research Institute.

Lingenfelter said she tried regular schooling in ninth grade but found herself bored academically and felt her middle school curriculum was more challenging.

“You can work years ahead in something you excel in,” she said. “You have more choice in what you want to study.”

Freshman Emily Reckard said that once she reached a certain age, she found that she loved everything about being homeschooled.

“I enjoyed being homeschooled, and it gave me freedom to pursue other interests and have fun,” she said.

Reckard said when she decided to attend UNC, she was not nervous about attending a large university because she had already experienced a college setting after being dual enrolled in a local community college her senior year of high school.

Lingenfelter said though her education might be different, her academic experience was the same, saying the added lessons in self-discipline have adequately prepared her for college.

“It’s definitely not easier to get good grades. I struggled as much as anyone to get those A’s.”

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