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Van1998

I'm 18 And I Never Attended School

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There were some special circumstances that didn't allow me to go to school and now I'm 18 and have still never attended. I've got a pretty weak grasp on most subjects (science, math, etc.) I've actually put a lot of my time into learning math by using a website called Khan Academy, and I'm about half way through the 7th grade course on that website. I've also dabbled a bit in chemistry, but not too extensively. 

 

To get a bit more personal, I'm badly depressed about my position in life. My lack of an education has caused many problems for me, including breaking up a relationship I had with a girl that was on her way to college. Our positions in life were just too different, I guess. But anyway; I feel like for my situation in life to improve I need to tackle this issue and get a GED so I can attend college while I'm still fairly young. The problem is I don't know where to start or what resources to use. I'm hoping you guys on this board can give me some advice and guide me in the right direction, and if I was too vague with this post I'll gladly explain in more detail if its needed. Thank you all in advance.

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You could do a couple of things. First, you could contact your local school district. Even though you're 18, they will still enroll you to earn your high school degree or point you to adult high school or GED prep classes. These will be free. Another option is to take remedial classes at your local community college. These won't be free, but if you're close to college level, they'll be tailored to that cc's expectations for incoming students. If neither of these options work out, there are many home school high school options, but few are self-teaching so you'll need to find someone willing to sit down with you and help you out when you get stuck.

 

How are your English skills? It they're much stronger than your math, you may be able to start credit earning classes at a cc that don't require the minimum math score. For example, you need to be college ready in language arts for English Composition 1 but you won't need a passing math score to enroll. These rules vary by community college, so you'll have to contact your local school and see what they offer and require.

 

Once you know which subjects you'd like to self-study, we can help you more.

 

Good luck!

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You could do a couple of things. First, you could contact your local school district. Even though you're 18, they will still enroll you to earn your high school degree or point you to adult high school or GED prep classes. These will be free. Another option is to take remedial classes at your local community college. These won't be free, but if you're close to college level, they'll be tailored to that cc's expectations for incoming students. If neither of these options work out, there are many home school high school options, but few are self-teaching so you'll need to find someone willing to sit down with you and help you out when you get stuck.

 

How are your English skills? It they're much stronger than your math, you may be able to start credit earning classes at a cc that don't require the minimum math score. For example, you need to be college ready in language arts for English Composition 1 but you won't need a passing math score to enroll. These rules vary by community college, so you'll have to contact your local school and see what they offer and require.

 

Once you know which subjects you'd like to self-study, we can help you more.

 

Good luck!

I'm not close to college level though. I don't know the bare basics of most subjects.  My English skills are mostly self-taught, through basically trying to pick up on how everyone else writes. 

 

Maybe this is a better way to ask: What are the main things that I need to know to be at a high school level? I feel like if I could get to that level, I could handle college more-or-less on my own, but the journey to get to that point is very cloudy to me right now.

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There were some special circumstances that didn't allow me to go to school and now I'm 18 and have still never attended. I've got a pretty weak grasp on most subjects (science, math, etc.) I've actually put a lot of my time into learning math by using a website called Khan Academy, and I'm about half way through the 7th grade course on that website. I've also dabbled a bit in chemistry, but not too extensively.

 

To get a bit more personal, I'm badly depressed about my position in life. My lack of an education has caused many problems for me, including breaking up a relationship I had with a girl that was on her way to college. Our positions in life were just too different, I guess. But anyway; I feel like for my situation in life to improve I need to tackle this issue and get a GED so I can attend college while I'm still fairly young. The problem is I don't know where to start or what resources to use. I'm hoping you guys on this board can give me some advice and guide me in the right direction, and if I was too vague with this post I'll gladly explain in more detail if its needed. Thank you all in advance.

Hi, I'm just gonna cheer for you and say wow, self studying to grade 7 math is pretty impressive. Keep your chin up and set high goals. I have not done it myself but I'd think there is so much on the web that will help you to self study given time and patience and focus and sometimes access to the right materials whether it be through he library or What have you.

My husband did terribly in high school and when he left did awesome. So you may not have missed out on as much as you imagine.

This board is full of people getting advice on where to learn more about this or that topic (to help their students) so "the hive" may be very useful to you when you get stuck on something specific.

 

I don't have direct experience with getting a GED, but if it were me I'd get my hands on a test or list of subjects and start plugging away with focused self study, **especially hitting the things that intimidated me most (grammar? History? Reading? ) hard and early.

Lots of people are worried about starting their kids early enough on structured learning. But I've also learned plenty of parents out there believe that "late" learning is better. Sure you are an extreme case of lateness but that will give you an edge. find ways that you have advantages and focus on the good. Also if you have not already, self teach some skills & aids that help with memorizing etc so put time into skills that will help you retain more, read / understand faster, for example to focus on increasing your efficiency. My 2 cents!

 

Best of luck!

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Hi, I'm just gonna cheer for you and say wow, self studying to grade 7 math is pretty impressive. Keep your chin up and set high goals. I have not done it myself but I'd think there is so much on the web that will help you to self study given time and patience and focus and sometimes access to the right materials whether it be through he library or What have you.

My husband did terribly in high school and when he left did awesome. So you may not have missed out on as much as you imagine.

This board is full of people getting advice on where to learn more about this or that topic (to help their students) so "the hive" may be very useful to you when you get stuck on something specific.

 

I don't have direct experience with getting a GED, but if it were me I'd get my hands on a test or list of subjects and start plugging away with focused self study, **especially hitting the things that intimidated me most (grammar? History? Reading? ) hard and early.

Lots of people are worried about starting their kids early enough on structured learning. But I've also learned plenty of parents out there believe that "late" learning is better. Sure you are an extreme case of lateness but that will give you an edge. find ways that you have advantages and focus on the good. Also if you have not already, self teach some skills & aids that help with memorizing etc so put time into skills that will help you retain more, read / understand faster, for example to focus on increasing your efficiency. My 2 cents!

 

Best of luck!

Thanks for the vote of confidence. It took about 6 months to get to grade 7 math, the website I was using only goes to 8th grade math which is fine, but I don't know where to begin on high school math (algebra, I think).

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I'm not close to college level though. I don't know the bare basics of most subjects. My English skills are mostly self-taught, through basically trying to pick up on how everyone else writes.

 

Maybe this is a better way to ask: What are the main things that I need to know to be at a high school level? I feel like if I could get to that level, I could handle college more-or-less on my own, but the journey to get to that point is very cloudy to me right now.

I just read this in "the Well Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer earlier today. (I paraphrase)

Benjamin Franklin learned to write by copying out articles from newspapers, and (another great writer) learned to write well from copying out sentences from well written books at the library."

 

I'm sorry I don't know how to answer your direct question as I'd think the answer will be complicated, but even just taking a well written book and copying the words and style has helped people...

 

i googled "what do I need to know to graduate high school" and some standards websites came up.

Try scanning this link,

Obviously substitute "you" where they say "your student"

http://www.hslda.org/highschool/faq.asp

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I would check your local library for GED prep books. You have your whole life to self-educate so I would focus on getting the "check the box" requirements out of the way (GED, vocational training and/or community college). You don't need a 4 year degree to make a good living- there are plenty of trades where you will make more than many college graduates do these days.

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I would check your local library for GED prep books. You have your whole life to self-educate so I would focus on getting the "check the box" requirements out of the way (GED, vocational training and/or community college). You don't need a 4 year degree to make a good living- there are plenty of trades where you will make more than many college graduates do these days.

I will probably do that soon. and I know I don't need the whole 4 year experience, but for personal reasons I feel I have to. I'll never feel completely equal to everyone else if I don't, but that's getting outside the realm of education. Thank you for your help.

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You do realize that some schools have graduated kids who know zilch, right? Not saying it's the schools fault, but still. Like I said... My husband feels he got nothing out of high school. It wasn't until he left that he made any "life" progress even in coursework. So being equal to everyone else is a. Impossible and b. Not really what you'd want anyway, if you think about it :)

 

I think even if you finished a 4 yr program because you want to be "equal," you'd get that done and still have pain: the bar keeps moving. So don't look to be equal, look to be you, or look to be better :)

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I will probably do that soon. and I know I don't need the whole 4 year experience, but for personal reasons I feel I have to. I'll never feel completely equal to everyone else if I don't, but that's getting outside the realm of education. Thank you for your help.

 

Remember Eleanor Roosevelt's famous quote: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  Your ex-GF sounds like a snob and frankly, you're better off without her. College attendance doesn't make someone smarter or even necessarily better educated than someone who doesn't go. It just gives a piece of paper that CAN (but not always does) make it easier to land a decent-paying job.

 

Focus on improving your situation and don't worry about whether some snotty chick thinks the mere fact of attending college makes her superior. There are plenty of bachelor's degree holders working in crappy, low-wage jobs these days and they would've been better off attending trade school.

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Khan academy is free and goes beyond 8th grade math. Keep working through it and once you get through some algebra and geometry you will be able to take remedial math classes at a community college. I am guessing you can take a remedial English course at a community college as well and do so without delay. Once you have math skills in place, you will be able to tackle sciences and take more college course, but in the meantime just focus on math and writing and just read, read, read.

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Khan academy is free and goes beyond 8th grade math. Keep working through it and once you get through some algebra and geometry you will be able to take remedial math classes at a community college. I am guessing you can take a remedial English course at a community college as well and do so without delay. Once you have math skills in place, you will be able to tackle sciences and take more college course, but in the meantime just focus on math and writing and just read, read, read.

Do you have any idea what they require to get into those classes? Can I just show up and sign up, or would I need to give them a copy of my birth certificate or something along those lines?

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Do you have any idea what they require to get into those classes? Can I just show up and sign up, or would I need to give them a copy of my birth certificate or something along those lines?

 

It might depend on the college. At our community college, they have an online application system. I cannot remember exactly what was asked (and it might have changed since I applied 2 years ago to take enrichment classes) but I don't believe they require a birth certificate. They did ask for other forms of ID (IIRC, I had to go in person to show my driver's license). Check at your nearest community college. Maybe google them first to see if you can finish most of the application steps online. Ours does require a few more steps before you can register for classes, e.g. taking an online orientation (easy), taking an in person orientation (easy but tedious and required if you want to transfer to a 4-year college) and taking placement tests (but not all courses require these placement tests).

 

I agree about Khan Academy going up to higher levels. For personal enrichment, you can look up free, literature-rich curricula like Ambleside Online. Start at a level that makes sense to you and use your library membership to follow their plan. Or look up The Well Trained Mind or even The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer at the library for booklists and then check the books out according to your convenience from the library. I would suggest these for your free time/ on a commute (if taking a train/ bus) etc. while focusing on the community college/ GED route. You write quite well, you know! I think you could try for the community college English placement test for starters to see what happens. Ours allows a couple of tries at least (but I think they have to be taken about 6 months apart if you want to repeat the test to improve your score). Check with your community college. 

 

Welcome to the boards. So wonderful to hear about your goals and I think your good attitude will take you far. Good luck!

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I think the replies you've gotten so far are spot on. If you're wanting actual curricula suggestions as an option to GED, get it done sort of prep manuals, I would recommend a program called Teaching Textbooks for your situation. Khan Academy is helpful to a point (imo) but gets a little more convoluted as you work up in the maths. But if you can afford it, a self teaching video program like TT may at least help you out on the math issue. If you go to their website and try out the placement test it will give you an idea of where you are. http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/v/vspfiles/tt/Placement.htm

 

ETA- TT is pricey but is easily resold at a high value, especially if you buy used.

Edited by texasmom33

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I'm not close to college level though. I don't know the bare basics of most subjects.  My English skills are mostly self-taught, through basically trying to pick up on how everyone else writes. 

 

Maybe this is a better way to ask: What are the main things that I need to know to be at a high school level? I feel like if I could get to that level, I could handle college more-or-less on my own, but the journey to get to that point is very cloudy to me right now.

 

I agree with the others that your English skills are very good.  Honestly when I went to college, I saw a lot of other kids who weren't writing as clearly as you are.  Perhaps you might not have the experience writing essays/research papers but you definitely have a good grasp on the basics of the English language.  My son is enrolled at our local CC and we had to send in a copy of his transcript.  Obviously that is something you won't have at hand but you definitely aren't the first person to be in that position.  I think it would be a good idea to contact your local CC and see what they can offer, you might not be as far off from being ready as you think you are.  Even if you choose not to attend there I think they would give you some good information about things you could work on until you are ready to take the next step.

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Reading your OP, I am reminded of a movie, maybe others can help with the title.  A fairly uneducated guy suddenly gets lots of money.   The actor had also been the husband on Rosanne.  His wife was a cute blonde, also fairly uneducated.  They go to some hoity toity party in either NYC or DC.  The wife makes some mistakes.  Like someone refers to her husband as the Secretary of Treasury, and she think the husband is an admin. assistant.  The other women are talking about Tocqueville's "Democracy in America".   She has no idea about the book.  

 

So, the husband hires someone, I think a professor, to give her wife a quick education.  Some stuff happens (it is a comedy).  She read the book that the other women made fun of her about.   Then later she wants to discuss it with one of the women.   That woman is then shocked that someone had actually READ the entire book.  She hadn't actually read it.   They just knew enough to talk about it.   I suspect that many of the people around you are like the women at the party.  

 

 

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Your English skills look very good indeed.  And getting through 7th grade in Khan gives you a foundation in arithmetic and some basic beginning algebra as well.  I'm assuming that by saying that you've never attended school, you mean that you've never attended a brick and mortar school.  A building doesn't really mean anything.  Of course, not having anyone teach you directly (which I also sort of assume from your posts?) makes things much harder but I admire your dedication to learning on your own.  In some ways, that determination and dedication to learning will serve you a lot better than being spoon fed information. 

 

A lot of community colleges have programs for adult learners that by-pass a GED (which can have some stigma attached to it) and go directly to an AA degree.  You can add on to your education from there.  You are only 18 and many are in a similar situation as you are (including many who attended brick and mortar school).  I would call the community college to see what is available. 

 

 

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Reading your OP, I am reminded of a movie, maybe others can help with the title.  A fairly uneducated guy suddenly gets lots of money.   The actor had also been the husband on Rosanne.  His wife was a cute blonde, also fairly uneducated.  They go to some hoity toity party in either NYC or DC.  The wife makes some mistakes.  Like someone refers to her husband as the Secretary of Treasury, and she think the husband is an admin. assistant.  The other women are talking about Tocqueville's "Democracy in America".   She has no idea about the book.  

 

So, the husband hires someone, I think a professor, to give her wife a quick education.  Some stuff happens (it is a comedy).  She read the book that the other women made fun of her about.   Then later she wants to discuss it with one of the women.   That woman is then shocked that someone had actually READ the entire book.  She hadn't actually read it.   They just knew enough to talk about it.   I suspect that many of the people around you are like the women at the party.  

 

That's Born Yesterday. The original was a George Cukor movie from the 50s and then it was remade in the 90s with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson as the professor (I'm totally serious!)

 

 

Here's the link to the IMDB if you didn't believe me about Don Johnson:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106466/

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You might talk to this fellow:

 

http://beachhigh.education/guidance/

 

He has a great deal of experience in helping people with unconventional educational backgrounds turn what they do have into a transcript, as well as helping steer you to meet your own educational goals. He comes highly recommended by a friend of mine.

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If I were you, I would go down to the community college and make an appointment with a councilor. They will help you figure out what you need to do to get accepted. If they end up recommending a GED first, they will guide you to the right place.

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I'm not close to college level though. I don't know the bare basics of most subjects. My English skills are mostly self-taught, through basically trying to pick up on how everyone else writes.

 

Check with your community college system anyway. For example, our local CC system has "high school completion" programs, some that require tuition, but many are free for those under age 21.

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Your English skills look very good indeed.  And getting through 7th grade in Khan gives you a foundation in arithmetic and some basic beginning algebra as well.  I'm assuming that by saying that you've never attended school, you mean that you've never attended a brick and mortar school.  A building doesn't really mean anything.  Of course, not having anyone teach you directly (which I also sort of assume from your posts?) makes things much harder but I admire your dedication to learning on your own.  In some ways, that determination and dedication to learning will serve you a lot better than being spoon fed information. 

 

A lot of community colleges have programs for adult learners that by-pass a GED (which can have some stigma attached to it) and go directly to an AA degree.  You can add on to your education from there.  You are only 18 and many are in a similar situation as you are (including many who attended brick and mortar school).  I would call the community college to see what is available. 

I guess I should have clarified: I am legally home schooled, but my parent's never actually made me learn anything beyond very basic math (I couldn't do basic division at the start of this year) and very basic English (I honestly don't know what a verb, noun, etc. are). The first 17 years of my life basically consisted of me sitting in my house watching TV and playing video games. I'm very far behind.

 

And could you elaborate on what an AA degree is? I've never heard of anything you could get in place of a GED, but I would like to not have to explain why I had to get a GED to people in the future.

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I guess I should have clarified: I am legally home schooled, but my parent's never actually made me learn anything beyond very basic math (I couldn't do basic division at the start of this year) and very basic English (I honestly don't know what a verb, noun, etc. are). The first 17 years of my life basically consisted of me sitting in my house watching TV and playing video games. I'm very far behind.

 

And could you elaborate on what an AA degree is? I've never heard of anything you could get in place of a GED, but I would like to not have to explain why I had to get a GED to people in the future.

 

An AA degree is an Associate's degree.  It is a 2 year college degree.  Our community college has a free program (as Janet said above) that is geared for high school drop-outs that helps you to finish high school and also get that two year degree.  I've known homeschoolers who struggled for different reasons (learning disorders for example) who were still able to take advantage of that program even though they technically did not drop out. 

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Check with your community college system anyway. For example, our local CC system has "high school completion" programs, some that require tuition, but many are free for those under age 21.

 

Our community college offers remedial reading, writing and math classes (middle and high school level).

 

Here's an actual course from my local CC:

 

Reading and Writing -  Advisory: Upon entering the course it is recommended that the student be able to read commonly used words and sound out words of more than two syllables. This course will introduce students to text-based reading and writing at four levels below transfer. Upon entry, students should be able to identify sight words and sound out unfamiliar words. Students will learn skills in order to increase vocabulary through context clues, to understand basic level appropriate texts, to think critically about those texts, and to respond in writing about their thinking at four levels below transfer. 

 

Seriously, that's how basic the courses get.  There's also the equivalent of a middle school math class (Decimals & Fractions).  

 

Obviously not every CC will offer the same types of remedial courses, but all offer some.  They'll almost certainly have courses that meet you where you're at, because you're not "rock bottom" in your math or English skills (regardless of how you feel).  You're not giving yourself enough credit.

 

Talk with a counselor at your CC.  See what's available.  You come across as an intelligent, articulate person.  I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised.  You were not schooled, but you are better educated than you realize.  Schooling is not equivalent to education.  

 

In the meantime, try working through a high school book list.  If you don't have time to sit down and read, audiobooks are a totally legitimate way to get your "reading" in while you work on other stuff.  Also, check out youtube videos to catch up on history and science.  I do this for myself (college grad) to learn and re-learn all the stuff I missed the first time around (or just forgot).

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Most community colleges have an adult education program that will help you to either get a High School Diploma or study for the GED.  They don't really have prerequisites other than you don't have a High School Diploma and want one.  I really think that would be your best course of action.

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Our community college offers remedial reading, writing and math classes (middle and high school level).

 

Here's an actual course from my local CC:

 

Reading and Writing -  Advisory: Upon entering the course it is recommended that the student be able to read commonly used words and sound out words of more than two syllables. This course will introduce students to text-based reading and writing at four levels below transfer. Upon entry, students should be able to identify sight words and sound out unfamiliar words. Students will learn skills in order to increase vocabulary through context clues, to understand basic level appropriate texts, to think critically about those texts, and to respond in writing about their thinking at four levels below transfer. 

 

Seriously, that's how basic the courses get.  There's also the equivalent of a middle school math class (Decimals & Fractions).  

 

Obviously not every CC will offer the same types of remedial courses, but all offer some.  They'll almost certainly have courses that meet you where you're at, because you're not "rock bottom" in your math or English skills (regardless of how you feel).  You're not giving yourself enough credit.

 

Talk with a counselor at your CC.  See what's available.  You come across as an intelligent, articulate person.  I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised.  You were not schooled, but you are better educated than you realize.  Schooling is not equivalent to education.  

 

In the meantime, try working through a high school book list.  If you don't have time to sit down and read, audiobooks are a totally legitimate way to get your "reading" in while you work on other stuff.  Also, check out youtube videos to catch up on history and science.  I do this for myself (college grad) to learn and re-learn all the stuff I missed the first time around (or just forgot).

Thank you for thinking I'm not totally at the bottom. And if the classes can be that basic I'll definitely give them a shot. 

 

But there's something else: Pre-calculus/calculus genuinely terrifies me. I feel as if I've hit a proverbial wall in my math skills and can't seem to make anymore meaningful progress, and calculus seems so much more difficult than anything I've had to deal with yet. Is calculus as difficult as it seems or does it become easier when you've got a better understanding of Algebra and Algebra II?

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Whether you will need to take (or will want to take) pre-calculus and calculus will depend on what you want to do in life.  Many degrees do not require it.  But yes, if you have a good understanding of Algebra and Algebra II, then pre-calculus won't be so hard. And then if you have a good understanding of pre-calculus, then calculus won't be so hard. 

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Thank you for thinking I'm not totally at the bottom. And if the classes can be that basic I'll definitely give them a shot. 

 

But there's something else: Pre-calculus/calculus genuinely terrifies me. I feel as if I've hit a proverbial wall in my math skills and can't seem to make anymore meaningful progress, and calculus seems so much more difficult than anything I've had to deal with yet. Is calculus as difficult as it seems or does it become easier when you've got a better understanding of Algebra and Algebra II?

 

Why on earth are you studying calculus right now?  Dude, take a breath.  If you've just finished 7th grade Khan Academy (well done, btw) complete the next step in math: pre-algebra.  Don't get ahead of yourself.  You'll need solid courses in algebra, geometry, and trig before tackling calculus.  And no, once you have the proper foundation in math, it won't be as hard.  You're smart and motivated.  You can do this.  Just take it one step at a time.

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I guess I should have clarified: I am legally home schooled, but my parent's never actually made me learn anything beyond very basic math (I couldn't do basic division at the start of this year) and very basic English (I honestly don't know what a verb, noun, etc. are). The first 17 years of my life basically consisted of me sitting in my house watching TV and playing video games. I'm very far behind.

 

And could you elaborate on what an AA degree is? I've never heard of anything you could get in place of a GED, but I would like to not have to explain why I had to get a GED to people in the future.

 

 

I doubt you're as far behind as you think.  Your grasp of grammar certainly isn't.

 

Honestly?  I'd be curious what happens if you go to your local CC and take the placement test cold, no practice, no classes. There is no cost.

 

Will the local community college let you take classes without a GED or diploma.  If they will - go for it.

 

An AA (Associate of Arts) or AS (Associate of Science) is a two year degree.  Then, if you choose, you can transfer that to a four year college to finish up your four year degree - your bachelor's.  Yes, the counselor at the CC should be able to help.

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Why on earth are you studying calculus right now?  Dude, take a breath.  If you've just finished 7th grade Khan Academy (well done, btw) complete the next step in math: pre-algebra.  Don't get ahead of yourself.  You'll need solid courses in algebra, geometry, and trig before tackling calculus.  And no, once you have the proper foundation in math, it won't be as hard.  You're smart and motivated.  You can do this.  Just take it one step at a time.

Again I guess I should have clarified: I'm not actively studying calculus right now, but knowing that something that seems so difficult is on the horizon is very intimidating to me. It's hard for me to find the motivation to study the level of math I'm currently at when I feel like I'm headed for near-certain failure once I get to that point. 

 

But if it's not as hard as it seems once you have a better understanding of the more advanced maths, then I'll trudge on.

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Honestly?  I'd be curious what happens if you go to your local CC and take the placement test cold, no practice, no classes. There is no cost.

 

 

I was thinking Van was ready for the placement too but didn't suggest it because at our CC it costs $65 (can be skipped if you ACT/SAT scores less than 2 years old but that option still costs money too) and wasn't sure they were ready to spend the money just to assess their level yet. Hopefully Van lives where the testing is free

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I'm sorry if I don't sound too grateful for all the help. I really, really am. I appreciate all of you guys suggestions, you've all given me much more in the 14 hours this post has been up than anyone else has in my entire life.

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Again I guess I should have clarified: I'm not actively studying calculus right now, but knowing that something that seems so difficult is on the horizon is very intimidating to me. It's hard for me to find the motivation to study the level of math I'm currently at when I feel like I'm headed for near-certain failure once I get to that point.

 

But if it's not as hard as it seems once you have a better understanding of the more advanced maths, then I'll trudge on.

I have a friend who began college at the age of 40 and continued on to law school to become a successful attorney. You are not heading to a near certain failure. Trust me. Once you start working one level at a time on math in CC, by the time you get to Calculus, it isn't going to seem all that daunting. A journey begins with one step, said somebody much wiser than me.

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Van, if you asked your parents to fill out the FAFSA (form needed to obtain financial aid for college) would they be willing to? Will they be supportive at all of you trying to pursue college or will they try to block your way?

 

If you qualify for aid (many people do) community college may be free or nearly so.

 

What is your current employment situation/living arrangements? Do they allow room for you to pursue further schooling?

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And not every degree requires Calculus! I have a bachelor's and a master's and never took calculus. I'd not let fear of calculus hold you back at all--just keep walking a step at a time.

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Hey Van... you and I can tackle Precalc together! I am just starting myself (for the third time... but the third time's a charm!), and I am 46. Slow and steady... 

 

I love so much of the advice you have gotten already. I don't think you have anything to lose to make an appointment with a counselor if you have a community college nearby. Maybe that path will be open to you immediately.... maybe there will be intermediate steps to take... but at least you will know and can start rowing in that direction.

 

Keep on chuggin! There are many valid paths in this life, and you are already on one. :)

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I wanted to point out that you use grammar quite well.  At some point you will want to learn to label the parts of speech (nouns, verbs etc.) but learning to label them isn't nearly as important as being able to put words in their proper places which is all that applied grammar means. 

 

http://www.dailygrammar.com/

 

https://www.englishgrammar101.com/

 

are two free online sites that specifically address grammar. 

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This website offers free curriculum: https://allinonehighschool.com/

 

I agree with the advice to make an appointment with a counselor at your local community college rather than work toward a GED. More information will give you an idea of what you need to learn and what you need to do!

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Van, if you asked your parents to fill out the FAFSA (form needed to obtain financial aid for college) would they be willing to? Will they be supportive at all of you trying to pursue college or will they try to block your way?

 

If you qualify for aid (many people do) community college may be free or nearly so.

 

What is your current employment situation/living arrangements? Do they allow room for you to pursue further schooling?

I'd imagine they would be willing to sign it. And they're honestly pretty indifferent to the whole thing. I'm more-or-less doing this independently.

 

I'm unemployed right now, I've never applied for a job because I think the complete lack of any formal education would 1: look fishy from a legal standpoint, and 2: would put me at a distinct disadvantage to anyone else with a formal education. And I live with my parents, they have told me that I could stay with them for free as long as I need to, so that's one plus.

Edited by Van1998
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This website offers free curriculum: https://allinonehighschool.com/

 

I agree with the advice to make an appointment with a counselor at your local community college rather than work toward a GED. More information will give you an idea of what you need to learn and what you need to do!

So I've gathered from the responses on here that a GED is not the way to go, at least if there are other options available to me. That's very useful to me because I never knew there were alternatives, thank you all for that bit of information.

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Van, I'm in a different country, so I'm no help with college admissions and such. Things are different here.

 

But I just wanted to pop in and say that you're clearly intelligent, motivated and self-driven. These are incredibly powerful tools you have in your favour, whatever path your life takes from here. 

 

I wish you all the best. 

 

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I guess I should have clarified: I am legally home schooled, but my parent's never actually made me learn anything beyond very basic math (I couldn't do basic division at the start of this year) and very basic English (I honestly don't know what a verb, noun, etc. are). The first 17 years of my life basically consisted of me sitting in my house watching TV and playing video games. I'm very far behind.

 

 

For grammar: Painless Grammar.  You might be able to find a copy at your library.  If anything is confusing, pause, go to youtube, find a video on he topic.  If you're really, really confused do a search for the topic and add the phrase "for kids" (e.g. nouns for kids).  I do this all the time when I have to learn something new that's confusing me.  I'm 45 and a college graduate, fwiw.  

 

I'm not going to comment on the non-schooling except to say that it hurts my heart that that has happened to you, but you are doing an amazing job getting yourself up to speed and ready for the next step.  Onward and upward!

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Van, I'm in a different country, so I'm no help with college admissions and such. Things are different here.

 

But I just wanted to pop in and say that you're clearly intelligent, motivated and self-driven. These are incredibly powerful tools you have in your favour, whatever path your life takes from here. 

 

I wish you all the best. 

Thank you.

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It is a HUGE step that you are asking for help.  The motivation to further your education alone is far more than many of the students I current attend college with have.  

 

I'm back in school at 40, 20 years after a high school graduation.  (And back then you only had to have Algebra I or so to graduate) I started over in math, starting with a College Math class (which is about 8th grade level mathematics) and am now in my 2nd calculus based course.  If my old brain can do it, you can too!  

 

You already write far better than about half the students I've encountered in college.  The fact that you can reason, read well, and write coherently will get you very far.  

 

Definitely make an appointment with your local community college and find out what your options are. Your education is wide open to you right now.  Don't let a slower start stop you :)  

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First of all, I bet you have gained more knowledge than you realize.  Just reaching out for help says a lot about you and your desire to catch up with your education even though it might be difficult says a lot about your character.  There have been cases that surface every so often where someone was not educated and then in their mid to late teens they were able to get an education and they caught up so fast.  It's really incredible what a person can do when they put their minds to it.

 

Second, have you looked into whether there are external diploma programs in your school district?  My mom's best friend is retired now, but until last year she was an external diploma teacher.  She had students from 16 to 84.  Yes, 84!  All of those people were high school dropouts and were able to get their high school diploma (not exactly a GED through that program).  Some of them came to her not knowing how to do simple addition.  She's in Maryland and I don't know if all states have programs like that, but if yours does that might be a really good path for you.

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You are an exceptional fellow, and I wish you well!

 

As you seek the best way to continue learning, I would encourage you to look through a library copy of Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World. This is elementary level, she also has a high school one too.

 

Yes, I did go to college - but this children's narrative of history has helped me much better understand history. Understanding history will help you understand literature. Reading a children's or high school level narrative history will help prepare you for college history. 

 

You are a good communicator with your writing here in this post. You will probably grasp lots of concepts much quicker than you think. The people in the above posts have given you wonderful suggestions of how to get started with where you are. You have motivation, discipline, a dream, and determination. This positive attitude is a gift of God. I wish you well as you seek advise and check out realistic options for your future.

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I'm sorry if I don't sound too grateful for all the help. I really, really am. I appreciate all of you guys suggestions, you've all given me much more in the 14 hours this post has been up than anyone else has in my entire life.

Stick around here and keep us updated, reach out when you have questions, read other threads as parents post issues they come across teaching their own kids: you will get a lot from "the hive" here! It really helps knowing others out there even in cyberspace can sympathize. Edited by Shred Betty
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