A Student Shares his transition experience...
Thoughts from a GCS senior who made the transition from Home-School to GC in seventh grade...
Structure - I wondered if the days would seem long, but, really, they did not. The novelty of feeling "official" going to school kept me going pretty easily. I also enjoyed the specialized instruction, and how each teacher had their own way of taking information and bringing it around to a bigger picture. I learned pretty quickly that I had to be more responsible for myself. My parents weren't aware of all my assignments, so they couldn't remind me about what was due. The structured days really helped me, personally, with my organization skills so I could take on this new responsibility, and the teachers helped me make the transition as well. Personally, I loved it.
Social - I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, plus I was accustomed to being around adults most of the time. I did go to co-op and enjoyed it, but for me, it just wasn't enough. I figured out over time that I was more socially awkward than I thought. Even so, the transition was really pretty easy, and I've worked hard to polish my social skills since I've been here. I had to learn to relate better to a community of kids that were my age. I guess, in home school language, it was like going to co-op five days/week, except my mom wasn't there.
Academics - I learned a lot of information in home school, but truthfully, I didn't retain it as much as I got older, because I was just memorizing it instead of being a part of a discussion that helped me tie it all together. It may be different for other kids. I hear a lot about critical thinking skills, and I can see that I have really grown in this area since I have been here. What I learned at GCS from teachers that were specialized in their field, is how to take that information and pull it together in a bigger picture. It helped me to understand and/or process a whole concept, especially in history, science and literature. Math, well, we were already struggling with higher math concepts at home, so it was a lot easier to be taught by a "math" teacher.
Post Secondary - I feel ready to go on to college. I scored well on my college boards. I have been accepted to and plan to attend Texas A&M University. I'm really glad I made the transition from home to GCS when I did. I feel it was the perfect time for me, and that being at GCS has prepared me well for college and adulthood.
Visiting First - I think it helpful to visit first. I didn't, but I was up here with my older sister sometimes. The school has Fast Forward Day every year or sometimes we have prospective students that come into for a Shadow Day that they scheduled through the office. They are paired with a student in class for the day. It would give a prospective student an idea of what life at school will be like, and I was very excited to start attending GCS. Even though I have a lot to look forward to, I will miss being here with this close family of friends and teachers.
It is common for GC to be a next stop for Christian home-schooled students. As is the case with other transfer students, we ask for academic documentation similar to a transcript that is signed by the home-school parent or teacher, whoever facilitated the teaching. It should include academic records, accommodations (if any), and any behavior incidents or issues that are noteable. We use this information to determine where the student fit into the academic schedule of the school. Any outside testing that has been done is helpful as well.