Will Homeschooling Prepare Your Children for College? One Mom’s Perspective and Experience
Before I answer if your homeschooling will make your children ready for college, my college disclaimer:
I am not a fan of going to college just because you have graduated high school. It doesn’t make sense to me to accrue debt and waste time without a clear focus and reason to attend college. Outside of the STEM careers, the world we live in offers SO MUCH opportunity for business/learning/training/online work–that college should be considered one tiny option of many.
Furthermore, I think secular colleges increasingly have a social agenda that our young adults must contend with at their most impressionable age.
Homeschooling: Will They be Ready
Having said that, my anecdotal experience in the homeschool world says, “Yes, your child will be ready for college” if he or she decides to go that route, AND if they are not, catching up is not difficult.
We have taken a very relaxed approach to homeschooling. So I have wondered if my children will be prepared, should they want to/need to go to college. I know from speaking at homeschooling conferences, this fear is largely what drives our methods and causes the most stress.
I’ve had many friends whose children have gone to college, thrived and even gotten scholarships, but they mostly followed a traditional curriculum.
Our College Experience
My second daughter is entering her second year of pre-nursing school. She is at the top of her class in virtually every subject. Recently a professor in her Literature class noted on one of her projects that she had accomplished exactly what he was looking for, and that he may use it as an example to the class, but it was probably “too advanced” for most of the other students to match.
She had little formal English curriculum. We didn’t diagram sentences, write essays, etc. She did a couple grammar books when she was younger, and we do copy work at every grade. If she comes across something she’s unsure about (citing a reference, for example), a quick search provides the answers. I have trusted the process, and the process worked, at least for her. Keep in mind many students just aren’t geared for college and that is OK! I have several I believe would not thrive simply because of their interests/learning bent.
I’ll also add that Alexa is a very hard-working and determined young woman, whatever she sets her mind to do, and that has probably been the single attribute that most affects her success.
Seeing how well she is doing has certainly given me the confidence to continue our relaxed method, and let go of the stress of “what if.”
I’d love to hear from any of you who homeschool with a relaxed approach. What are your pros and cons?
(To read more about how we do relaxed homeschooling, grab my book, Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling.)
The single most influential book for me that determined our schooling philosophy: A Different Kind of Teacher, John Taylor Gatto