Preparing Homeschooled Kids For College

Homeschooling may well be full of ups and downs, but we need to remember that like all education, it is only a means to an end. And for many of us the next stage for our homeschooled kids is the big step to college. It’s not uncommon for parents (and young people) to view this milestone with anxiety and concern, but in fact the evidence is that homeschooled kids are actually very well placed to make a real success of this transition.

Homeschooled kids are well prepared for transition

Firstly, bear in mind that homeschooled kids probably already have many skills that colleges particularly value and require. Qualities like flexibility, self-discipline and motivation which are all part and parcel of homeschooling will translate well into higher education. Homeschooled students may also have had an opportunity to study their favourite subjects in more depth than a school student would have been able to do, particularly in a large class. For these sorts of reasons, colleges nowadays are very unlikely to be cautious in offering places to homeschooled applicants. Indeed, prestigious institutions like Harvard and Princeton are happily accepting homeschooled students and are even actively seeking them out!

Brush up on the extracurriculars

It seems then, that it is all good news. But ensuring your child gets their chosen college is somewhat trickier. It’s true that nowadays colleges are open to homeschooled applicants but there is no substitute for obtaining the required grades. So maybe you do need to sweat a bit over those ACT or SAT scores! Parents should also think about extracurricular activities your kids may or may not be involved in. Any homeschooler will know the idea of their children being socially isolated and ill at ease with new people is a myth but it is a great advantage if students can cite some extracurricular experience where they interacted with large groups. Sport (especially team games) is one obvious area but music, charity fundraising or environmental projects all offer a chance to impress an interviewer too.

Consider studying abroad

And while you are thinking of college applications you might want to consider studying abroad. It may seem like a big step, but there are many advantages such as mixing with people from all over the world, the chance to learn about a new culture and maybe even learn a new language. Many homeschooled students are used to experiential learning and will certainly be able to take advantage of the graduate programs a new country has to offer.

As with any big milestone, it’s a bittersweet moment when any child leaves home. But when your homeschooled son or daughter sets off for college, you can also be pretty proud of an educational job well done.

What advice you would add to this list? 




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

20 comments on “Preparing Homeschooled Kids For College”

  1. That’s a really great post, and really made me think about making sure my children are prepared. I hadn’t considered all that goes into college admission other than academics.

    • There is a lot to ensure your kids are ready for college. I can remember spending many hours with my counselors getting prepared for my college education back in 1997. I can only imagine it being worse now.

    • It actually takes less time than many people may realize. For the amount of time I use to spend in helping them with their homework, their entire day of school work is done.

  2. These are some great tips! My kids are not homeschooled but they are in a private school and we’re starting to look into college applications for my oldest. It’s amazing all the things that need to be done to be competitive.

    • Preparing for college is a hard task in our world today. Students have to compete to get into the colleges of their choice. It’s based on so many factors.

  3. My husband works for the county school system in our area so we don’t homeschool, however that may change come middle school years, we will see. Those seem to be the toughest transition for kids IMO. I love that schools like Harvard gladly accept homeschoolers!

    • That is such a blessing to hear too as a homeschooling parent. I can understand why you’re contemplating the decision. It’s NOT a decision to take lightly. I honestly would LOVE to be able to send my kids off to school, but it’s not an option for us.

  4. I would think that homeschool kids would have additional research skills that are needed for college. There is a wealth of information on the Internet and you can find several different ways the material is being taught.

    Now that colleges are offering online classes, this would be a great option for homeschool students too. I got my degrees online and loved it.

    • I received my associates degree through Devry University online too, and also loved it. I’m only 8 classes from finishing out my bachelor’s degree, but first I need the funds to do it. You’re right I do think homeschool kids are at an advantage in my book, but I try not to stress those opinions to much.

  5. My daughter in law studied abroad and she loved it. I think that would have been an awesome thing to do too. It’s def a great opportunity.

    • It does sound like a great opportunity. I’m sure many people who have done it will tell you how much it helped shape their lives in a positive manner.

  6. These are some great tips. I am strongly considering homeschooling my children and I need to look more into it. I wish I would’ve studied abroad, homeschool or not.

    • Homeschooling your kids is such a great experience. There are days when you wonder why in the hang you decided to do it, but the good days far outweigh the bad! (It’s like a marriage though, that first year is pure HELL!)

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