Denise (Anderson) Boiko ’82 was a nervous but proud first-generation college student when she arrived at Mount Saint Mary’s in 1978 — the daughter of South Dakota farmers transplanted to Southern California. The shy student’s life was transformed by her Mount experience: “It was in those small classes that I learned the confidence and skills I could apply after college.” With the education and inspiration she received at the Mount, she went on to homeschool both of her children from K-12. However, when it came time to apply to colleges, she found there wasn’t an easy place to find out how to do so as a homeschool family.
Inspired to help others in the same situation, Boiko published “Homeschooled & Headed for College: Your Road Map for a Successful Journey” in 2009, followed by a completely revised second edition in 2019.
“Navigating college admission is challenging for a homeschool family,” she says. “For example, traditionally enrolled students have a transcript of classes and a high school counselor to write a recommendation. For the homeschooled student, a parent must prepare both the transcript and a counselor letter about the student. Many parents feel ill-prepared to do these tasks.”
The 440-page book takes families step by step through the entire college prep process, along with providing scores of insider tips and several sample transcripts and other documents to guide parents. It is a compilation of resources Boiko started collecting when her daughter was in middle school.
Years have passed since then. In college, her daughter followed mom’s footsteps as a biology major, graduating from Stanford University and becoming a pediatrician. Her son received an engineering degree from USC and works in the tech industry.
Boiko has since directly helped about 150 college applicants and taught more than 1,000 homeschool students in group academy classes. She has also been featured on podcast by the Institute for Excellence in Writing on the topic of college admissions for homeschoolers and also on another podcast episode for the Homeschool High School Podcast by Seven Sisters Homeschool. Her book is available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble and at www.HomeschoolRoadMap.com.
“Especially since the pandemic has brought many new families to the decision to home school, I want parents to know there is help available,” Boiko says. “I love to get the word out about college preparation for homeschoolers.”