Will My Homeschooled Child Be Prepared for College?
“How do I get my homeschooler into college?” is another question. Let me answer that one briefly. How do you get your kid into college? Good records, educate them well, and get them really prepared to do well on their SAT and ACT. If you do that, you’re going to be in good shape.
But the question at hand is a little different. Does homeschooling actually prepare kids for college? Our experience was yes, quite well. All five of our kids made it to college and made it through. They’re all college graduates and are doing well in life, post-graduation.
Let me give you three reasons why homeschooling prepares kids for college.
Number 1 is the skills developed in homeschool. In a homeschool context, your kid isn’t getting passed over when they’re struggling with a concept or subject. They aren’t just moved along to the next grade. If they have a problem with math, you can slow down and help them really understand the lesson before moving on. If there’s something challenging with their reading comprehension, you can slow down to make sure that skill is developed. It’s the same with writing, especially the method we used. If they write every day, you get to constantly give your student feedback to improve, tweak, and grow that ability to write. These skills come in handy for college, especially when they’re concrete and instinctive to your student after years of working on them.
Number 2 is discipline. We know this statistically and practically: homeschoolers are just more disciplined, on balance, than kids who’ve come up through mass education. Part of it is because in a decent homeschool, your kid sits down, they look at their work, they say, “I don’t feel like doing this today. Oh well.” And then they get to work anyway. Homeschooling done right teaches your kids discipline about homework and about getting their work done on a day-in day-out basis. I remember my daughter Laura would, most semesters, call from college and say: “Oh thank you so much for what you taught us.” I would ask, “What did we teach you?” And she’d say, “Well it’s finals week, and because I’ve done my homework all year long, I just need to review some things. I’m ready to go. But all my friends are panicked, because they’re trying to learn the whole course in a week.”
Number 3 is assessment. I’m going to argue that after years of homeschooling, your child will have a clearer self-assessment of what they’re interested in and what they can do. And what they might like to do. That doesn’t mean they won’t need career counseling and advice, but there’s an advantage of them getting in tune with their own talents and abilities and motivations from the freedom that homeschooling allows. That, I think, serves the homeschool student well in college.