The Home Educated and the Post-Secondary World
Now that we have discussed student learning outcomes, let’s take a look at education from the post-secondary world’s perspective.
But, before we do, we should define what “post-secondary” means so we can all be on the same page. Let’s have a bit of fun doing this. To properly define “post-secondary,” we need to simply unpack it into its component terms and then establish what each means before reassembling them to clearly understand what we are talking about.
The first term is post. Farmers have no trouble understanding this term as describing something which is pounded into the ground upon which we attach some kind of restraining object such as rails or wire.
However, fencing is not involved as part of the “post-secondary” term we are defining. That post is more a matter of defining a position, particularly as coming after a specific event. What comes after war, for example, is post-war.
Understanding this greatly helps us as we now know that “post-secondary” now means something that comes after “secondary.” That leaves us with establishing what “secondary” means. It could mean “lesser” but that would not make sense in our present situation unless an “after a lesser” education can be understood. When is education lesser, or greater for that matter?
Nope, in our case, secondary means in second place, which then begs what is in the first place? This all makes sense when we use another term to denote something that comes first, especially when referring to a process, and that term is “primary.”
Now you have it. “Post-secondary” means what comes after what came first. Oh boy! That didn’t help much, did it?
Maybe we can make more sense of this “non-sense” by putting this within the concept of education. A “post-secondary education” must therefore be what comes after a “secondary education” which cannot be understood unless we clearly define what a “primary education” is.
So, if we can explain what a primary education is, we can move this definition forward to understand what “secondary” and “post-secondary” education is as well. If we define a primary education as the learning of the fundamental skills of academics, then it is not hard to understand that the next level of learning is to use what was learned in the first place.
Summarizing, if we understand that a primary education is the learning of foundational skills, then it is easy to see that a secondary education is when these fundamental skills are applied in higher learning.
Now that we know what a secondary education looks like, we can finally arrive at this over-used and under-understood term, “post-secondary.” It involves nothing more than the specialization of skills.
Now that we have finally got that straight, we need to understand that everyone finds their way to the post-secondary level of education. Everyone eventually finds their place and hopefully that is in keeping with their God-given gifts and talents. It may involve higher institutional learning or it may not.
Children who have had their primary and secondary education at home end up being the best students at the post-secondary level because they have not been confused in a system that must insist on conformity to make it work. At home, students are allowed to be comfortable in their own skin, so to speak, and so are often well acquainted with their individual gifts, talents, likes and dislikes.
If an institution of higher learning is part of their post-secondary education, home educated students often have the advantage of knowing exactly what they want. Admissions personnel need only know that prospective students have the background education (prerequisites) to be successful in the program of choice.
Since home educated students are not being encumbered with having to learn things that have nothing to do with who they are or in keeping with what they can do, they often start specializing in their education long before their grade school colleagues. Those advancing to college are often taking online college level programs at a young age.
Post-secondary institutions often need only accept home educated students as transfer students as they have already proven their abilities at that level.
For those of you who mistakenly believed that “post-secondary” meant college, there is no need to worry about your child’s options. Whatever each student’s post-secondary pathway, they get there earlier and often do better than those who went to school. After all, a home education’s learning outcomes are usually simply a question of expecting excellence.
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