Read Lucille’s GED Success Story after being homeschooled from birth.
At the end of Lucille’s grade 9 year, her mom took her to a homeschool curriculum expo in Cape Town and told her to look at the curriculum options she could choose from to get a matric or equivalent.
Having followed an eclectic mix of curricula for many years, Lucille was reluctant to switch from the curriculum products she loved to a comparatively boring text-book based system to earn an international school leaving certificate, which would take two to three years to complete and cost at least R20 000 per year.
She decided to do the GED®. Her mom explained to her the pros and cons of each of the options, but she replied, “Mom, I know I will succeed, whether I study at university or not one day. I want to continue with our chosen curriculum and then write the GED®.”
She already had a mail order business running that she had started at age 13, selling Afrikaans homeschool workbooks.
At age 16, she had also just started a new business, coaching gymnastics to a group of 4-8 year olds.
She started studying for the GED® early in 2015 and finished writing her tests in May that year, scoring above the 90th percentile for all 5 subjects* and in the 99th percentile for 3 of them! She earned her matric equivalent in 3 months!(*The old 2002 GED® test series had 5 tests, the new 2014 GED® test now has only 4.)
Percentile rank of 99 means that 99 percent of graduating high school seniors earned the same score or lower.
Lucille was able to dedicate the rest of that year to a lot of training for gymnastics and she qualified to represent South Africa in double-mini trampoline at the international Region 5 gymnastics competition in December 2015. During this time she also studied for the SAT – the American college entrance tests.
The day before the leaving for the gym competition, Lucille wrote the SAT and qualified for a letter of foreign conditional exemption from Universities South Africa.
However, since she wasn’t yet sure if she wanted to apply to university and what direction to pursue, she decided to take a gap year in 2016. She spent a month visiting her grandparents and received a month of free tuition in sewing and dressmaking from her grandmother.
Meanwhile her gymnastics club grew from one to two classes and she got hired to coach gymnastics at her old club too. She also judged at various district and provincial competitions.
During this time she planned to travel and work overseas, so she put up her profile on an au pair website and within a short time she had a couple of prospective families lined up. She finally decided to take up the offer of a family living in Switzerland. A recognised high school diploma was one of the requirements, which her GED® credential satisfied.
She sold her homeschool supply business and wrote the NBTs so that she could apply to a local university for 2018 as she intends to work in the health industry. In addition, she paid for her own driving lessons and passed her driver’s licence the first time, three days before her flight to Switzerland in December 2016.
She spent 2017 living in Switzerland and attended French classes at a language school. She toured Paris, France and Italy and other places of interest in Switzerland during the weeks when she had leave. By completing her GED® at age 16, Lucille has enjoyed all this life experience, while other learners her age were either still in school or still pursuing matric courses that take a lot longer to accomplish.
Update – September 2017: Lucille, now age 19, was accepted at Stellenbosch University to study a degree in Sports Science.
Pics below from left to right: Rhine Falls, Pisa, Venice
Update – June 2018
Lucille decided not to attend university in 2018, but rather to travel some more in Europe. She is again working as an au pair for a family in Brussels, Belgium and travelling whenever she gets leave.
In May, we joined her and visited Paris and Moscow together. She has also visited Frankfurt and will be travelling to the Netherlands and to Spain in August to investigate the option of studying at a Spanish university in the near future.
Pics below from left: Leuven in Belgium, Paris, Moscow