March-April 2010 Selected Content
Interview - Mary Nix
An Interview with Jake Nix
As I prepare to write this interview, my youngest son, Jake has just arrived home from college for the holidays. He spent his first year at the local community college, so this past fall was his first time living away from home. His Dad and I are proud of he and his brother for their many achievements, but most of all we enjoy having them around. We are thankful to have Jake home for the next month.
This semester Jake has made the DeanÕs List with a 4.0 and he has humbly been attributing much of his success to the independent study habits he developed while homeschooling. He has been looking back and seeing how those habits have helped him at a variety of jobs and now at college. Our discussions prompted me to ask him if he would consider being interviewed about our philosophy of interested base learning and I was delighted when he agreed.
I began by asking him how an interest based learning approach helped to prepare him for college?
Jake: Homeschooling and more specifically interest based learning helped me to realize that my education was my own responsibility. Following my own interests from a young age helped me develop independent study skills, critical thinking ability and helped me to develop a thirst for knowledge, not just the ability to learn something so I could pass a test.
Mary: When it came time to enroll in college, did you have any trouble getting accepted into the local community college or then when you applied to Bowling Green?
Jake: None whatsoever. I attribute that to keeping good records and having a good transcript to share with them. When I transferred to Bowling Green, they looked at my successful previous year at the local community college.
Mary: You always told us you wanted to go to college. What did you do to help prepare for that ahead of time?
Jake: I decided to start studying for the S.A.T. as a freshman by borrowing books from the library. Once I found one I liked, I bought it and studied a bit of it at a time. I have also always enjoyed reading a lot of literature. Reading has helped me to this day because it greatly improved my cultural understanding as well as my ability to articulate my thoughts.
Mary: You earned some of your credits through the The College-Level Examination Program¨ (CLEP). Do you recommend that to others?
Jake: Yes, but if you want to use the credits at a specific college they should make sure the college accepts CLEP credits because each school has different guidelines.
Mary: Can you tell me a little bit about the CLEP Program? How do you prepare for it?
Jake: I took the College Freshman English Composition CLEP Test. I prepared by purchasing a study guide, reading it and then following the instructions from cover to cover. I also took a couple of the practice tests ahead of time. On test day, I visited a local college that sponsors the test, and sat down and took the test on the computer. I liked it because I got my results right away and knew that I had passed. Doing this saved me time, money and it made for a much easier transition for me into college. By taking the CLEP tests, I was able to acquire the credits for the only two English credits my degree requires.
Mary: What is your major and why did you pick it?
Jake: IÕve liked working with numbers for as long as I can remember. My current major is a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual specialization in Accounting and Management Information Systems. I chose these because I like working with numbers and computers.
Mary: Over the years youÕve attended many homeschooling information meetings and I remember your discomfort when some parents would ask you multiple questions since you were in the midst of it. Now that you are an adult, what advise would you share with those parents today?
Jake: I would tell them to encourage their childrenÕs creativity, find something that they are interested in and let them go nuts. I would also encourage them to read as much as possible (or listen to books on tape) and to explain why they should take their own education seriously.
Mary: Do you think that our interest based learning philosophy helped to build these study habits?
Jake: I believe an interest based learning approach did help because it is much easier to build good habits when you are doing something you enjoy.
Mary: How did you achieve this?
Jake: By talking about it in our family and understanding that a well-rounded education would help me pursue my interests even further. I understood at an early age that I had to apply my good study habits to all subjects.
Mary: What did you like most about being homeschooled?
Jake: The freedom it gave me to learn about what interested me in addition to what was necessary.
Mary: Did anything irritate you about homeschooling?
Jake: People assuming that because I am homeschooled, I was locked in a basement and had no social life. I have a lot of friends and have never had a problem with socialization. If anything, homeschooling has helped me with my social life by putting me in culturally diverse situations that have helped me to understand how to get along with many others.
© 2010, Mary Nix