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When Your Homeschooler Hits College Age

When you first decide to homeschool your child, it can be overwhelming. All sorts of questions abound: what should we study; how; am I qualified? After you’ve gotten yourself into a routine, though, many of those uncertainties seem to fade away as you and your child discover the world together. However, after you’ve been at it for a few years, you’re bound to notice that your child is reaching the age where people start asking about college.

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That opens up a whole new can of worms for a homeschooler, and a whole new set of questions pop up. Will my homeschooler get into a good college? Will admissions officers look negatively on the homeschooling experience? Will my child fit in with the other students who are coming from a traditional school environment? The list is practically endless!

However, as most homeschooling parents are pleasantly surprised to discover, homeschooling doesn’t work against your child when it comes time for college. In fact, many of the nation’s top schools seek out homeschooled students because of their diverse learning experiences and broad knowledge base! The admissions process may be a little different for homeschoolers, who may or may not have completed many of the standardized tests that are offered in traditional school settings.

Many of the top schools take the time to interview every student they are considering for acceptance. An interview is the best place for the homeschooler to shine. It’s a chance to show all the knowledge and skills that are gained from homeschooling and it’s also the best place to show the independent thinking and maturity that often results from staying out of the traditional school setting. Since homeschoolers tend to be surrounded by adults more than children, they often demonstrate an ability to relate to the college environment more easily than a traditional student who has been indoctrinated in deference to authority and obedience to random rules designed to handle the herd.

The fact is, the college life is a lot different from a high school atmosphere. Most courses a student will take throughout their postsecondary education require few prerequisites that don’t come directly from the college experience. A high school course in history is quite different from one in university: high school courses are designed to teach facts and basic skills, while a college course is designed to teach theories and independent thought.

The one aspect of the college admissions process that your homeschool student may miss out on is some of the scholarship opportunities. Many of the sports or club scholarships require participation in a high school environment. However, there are many scholarships available that aren’t tied to these activities, or will accept participation in community teams or clubs as equivalent. Make sure that you put the same effort into researching your college applications that you do into creating your homeschool experience.

Kim Yonkers has been home schooling her three children for several years. She also works as a freelance writer for [link no longer active] – a site that provides information on home schooling curriculum, home schooling methods and more.

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