For many students, the transition from high school to college can be daunting. But for homeschooled students, that switch comes with an even potentially deeper set of challenges.
That was the experience initially for Education major Lexi Jasen. “I was very used to doing my own thing,” said the senior who will graduate in May 2015 with highest of honors. “My mom gave me a lot of control as far as planning my own curriculum and my schedule, as long as she approved it. But she gave me a lot of freedom. She knew I would be very responsible and I would get it done.”
After homeschooling through high school, Jasen began her college experience at UW-Sheboygan before transferring to UW-Green Bay.
“It is very different to have your own expectations and then to adapt to multiple professors with different expectations for different classes,” she said, “But honestly, the hardest thing for me is the actual sitting in class. I don’t take notes. I’m a doodler. Notes don’t help me at all. That’s not how I learn.”
Jasen turned to her UWGB faculty members for guidance.
“There are some professors, especially in the Education department, who have really gotten to know me and that has been wonderful.”
Their support motivated Jasen to become an active participant in her own learning and to the betterment of those around her. She is a mentor in the Phuture Phoenix program, serves as the president of UW-Green Bay’s Student Wisconsin Education Association and is in the process of creating an honor society for the Education department.
After graduating this May and completing her student teaching, Jasen hopes to find a position as a teacher and one day open her own charter school.
“I want to do something fairly similar to the Phantom Knight charter school which I’ve worked with through Phuture Phoenix,” she said, “They are very project based and inspire independent learning — very similar to how I learned — and I know there are many other people out there like me. My goal, eventually, is to give students more of a say in their learning, because then they’re going to be more motivated to do it and more interested in it.”
Jasen feels other homeschooled students can be just as successful if they speak up and ask for the help that they need.
“The homeschoolers that I know and grew up with are kind of like me and they know how they learn and they now what they need in order to succeed. The more I communicated that with my professors, the more successful I was in those classes, and I think that that is something a lot of people are really hesitant to do.”
Photo and story by Katelyn Staaben.