There Are No Silly Questions
Homeschool Counseling FAQs
Why do I need a homeschool muse?
Been-there-done-that experience from a veteran homeschooler is often refreshing and helpful. We guide you, giving you information you might not have considered. We listen. We suggest. Some of our clients need some homeschooling 101 help such as setting up the school, completing paperwork, filing the CA Private School Affidavit, and navigating different methodologies before they gain the confidence necessary to stay the path. Others seek our services when it becomes clear that their child will benefit from a year (or more) of de-schooling and independent learning to overcome a difficult school experience. There are many reasons to employ a homeschool consultant, the primary one being assistance with getting all of the nitty-gritties planned out for you.
When should I start working with a consultant?
We work with families who have children across all ages. For high school, we suggest scheduling a first consultation by the time your student is in 7th or 8th grade. This helps with developing a meaningful four-year plan before your student begins freshman year in high school. However, we accept new consultations at any time during the high school years.
For samples of our elementary, middle-school, and high-school plans, please visit our Resources page.
Do you consult in person or online?
We have found that remote consultations carried out over the phone, email, and conferencing software such as Skype are usually adequate for most families’ needs. In-person consultations are offered at an additional fee, if our schedules are mutually convenient, to families living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California, as well as the Greater Washington D.C. area and the Chicago Metro Area.
What grade levels do you work with?
We counsel homeschooling parents who have children across grade levels, from preschool to high school. We also work with parents with young children doing high school level work at much younger ages. Similarly, we work with students who are 2E, very asynchronous, delayed in some learning skills, and students yearning to simply take a different pace or approach to learning. For college consultation services, we are flexible but do suggest starting the process when your child is in or at about 7th grade. We love working with parents and students who are juniors and seniors too.
Do you work with gifted students?
We certainly do. Our muses are well-versed with the needs of students who are academically advanced as well as students who have specific intensities. Gifted children need an appropriate level of challenge, sometimes, at a level much higher than their age-based grades, but without assuming that they can also produce output at the same level as that of a much older student. Homeschooling is a perfect alternative to the usually rigid expectations of more traditional and lock-step providers. We can advice on curriculum compacting as well homeschooling methods that might better engage an accelerated and/or exceptionally creative learner.
Do you work with twice exceptional (2E) students?
2E kids tend to struggle in traditional school environments for various reasons. Conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, and/ or learning disabilities can truly affect the way these children learn and mask their true abilities. Homeschooling offers a much more flexible way to fulfill their needs without frustrating them further. We understand the double-edged sword of high intellect and learning disabilities that prevent these children from achieving their true potential. We are very happy to work with you to fulfill your and your 2E child’s goals. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Can you help us if we have a child who wants to dual enroll in college while homeschooling?
Our muses are experienced with homeschool-college dual-enrollment. In California, we will also guide you through taking the CHSPE exam for students who want to take community college classes as an alternative to homeschooling.
What are your religious beliefs?
We welcome and are happy to work with clients from all beliefs. Our consultants approach education from a secular perspective.
College Counseling FAQs
Why do I need a college consultant?
Homeschooling parents are amazing at Do-It-Yourself projects. College applications however, is quite a different beast altogether when you are homeschooling a college-ready child while also overseeing the needs of your other children, a business, and/ or a home. Our experience helps us to bring fresh perspectives to your student’s journey while taking the burden off your shoulders with fine-tuning the college list, essay writing, preparing the counselor packet, and putting together that important official homeschool transcript.
When should I start working with a college consultant?
We suggest scheduling a first consultation by the time your student is in 7th or 8th grade. This helps with developing a meaningful four-year plan before your student begins freshman year in high school. However, we accept new consultations at any time during the high school years.
Should homeschoolers prioritize standardized testing?
Admissions committees assess applicants based on a number of factors. Homeschoolers utilize unique curricula that can make the GPA more ambiguous to adcoms as there are little to no historical references such as the ones enjoyed by traditional schools. This makes SAT and ACT scores that much more important. These scores make it easier to compare homeschool students with students from traditional schools. Simplify has paired up with TestRocker to offer our clients award-winning, online SAT/ACT prep created for students of all abilities.
Do you help my senior to edit college application essays?
Absolutely! All of our consulting packages of 5 hours or more include college application essay guidance. We also offer a stand-alone 5-hour package focusing solely on college and scholarship application essays.
Will you help my senior to practice for college interviews?
We would be delighted to. We are no strangers to interviews and understand how nerve-wrecking it can be for the more introverted students. We also work with more confident interviewees, offering them tools to address areas that they might not realize they need improvement with. Simply let us know your concerns, then relax. We are here to help.
Can homeschoolers get into elite colleges?
Homeschoolers can and have been accepted to elite colleges like the Ivy League schools, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford. This Crimson article, for example, reports about homeschoolers accepted to Harvard. Homeschoolers have a fantastic opportunity to shine in college applications simply for being who they are. However, as you already know, there are no guarantees in the college application journey. Many students have the necessary test scores, GPA, and extra-curriculars to catch the eye of admissions officers. What homeschoolers can do is to carve a path and tell a unique story that is completely their own. Like any student, a homeschooler should think carefully before placing all bets on reach schools like elite colleges. Our task is to help you and your child to draw up a realistic list of reach, match, and safety schools so that your child has the highest chance of being accepted to the college that fits them best.
Can homeschoolers get into University of California schools?
Certainly! Our founders’ children are just two examples of homeschoolers who have been accepted to multiple UC schools. UCs are becoming more and more familiar with various homeschooling approaches and have a UC Home-schooled Students web page dedicated to these students. Don’t let those a-g requirements worry you. We can help you to demystify the requirements and find pathways that are still UC-compliant without killing your child’s love of learning!
Can you help me to understand scholarships and financial aid?
Yes we can. For a quick summary about financial aid, be sure to visit our blog pages. This article on breaking down the financial aid alphabet soup might be especially helpful. Please be sure to highlight your financial aid concerns when we have our initial intake interview with you. Simplify’s consultants address both college and scholarship applications. We will be glad to point you towards scholarship resources that fit your individual needs and help guide you through the application steps too.
Our Students' Acceptances Include
- UC Berkeley
- UC Los Angeles
- UC San Diego
- UC Irvine
- UC Santa Barbara (including College of Creative Studies)
- Chapman University
- Loyola Marymount University
- Redlands University
- St Mary’s College of California
- Miami University
- University of Miami
- University of Denver
- Valparaiso University
- Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music
- Earlham College
- DePaul University
- Columbia College, Chicago
- American University of Rome
- Bard College at Simon’s Rock
- University of Oklahoma
Students have also been wait listed at Grinnell College and Wesleyan University and deferred early action at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.