Home college Homeschooling: Will They be Ready for College?

Homeschooling: Will They be Ready for College?

by Kelly Crawford


Will Homeschooling Prepare Your Children for College? One Mom’s Perspective and Experience

College Disclaimer:

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

Related Articles:

Why Should I (and How do I) Homeschool Through High School? What Do They Really Need?

Rethinking Education: The Overrated College Degree Drives the System…& Apprenticeship




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Alicia September 16, 2022 - 3:38 pm

I REALLY needed to read this today!!! Thank you!!!!!

Kelly Crawford September 16, 2022 - 5:05 pm

Aww, Alicia, that makes me happy!

T September 18, 2022 - 3:57 am

Thank you for this challenging post.
I love the idea of relaxed homeschooling but the reality is in order to get a matric paper there are certain hoops to jump through, arent there?

There are certain subjects to cover to qualify for that paper, how do we do this?

Missy September 20, 2022 - 10:27 am

For others who are curious about “matric paper”…
*COPIED AND PASTED FROM WIKIPEDIA: A matriculation examination or matriculation exam is a university entrance examination, which is typically held towards the end of secondary school. After passing the examination, a student receives a school leaving certificate recognising academic qualifications from secondary-level education. Depending on scores or grades achieved, a student may then matriculate to university to take up further studies.*

It’s basically the equivalent to our SAT or ACT, however in the states the SAT/ACT is not required for graduation. There are other standardized tests that are required for graduation in the states, IF you go to public school. That said, the SAT/ACT IS required for entrance to most colleges, however, there are some colleges that are no longer requiring any tests for admission. They are actually looking at the whole child, not just how well they do while stuffed in a room full of peers staring at a piece of paper for 4 hours. Thank you pandemic for that little advancement in higher education thinking.

If the matric paper is absolutely required by law to not only get into college, but to even graduate from secondary school, then there’s possibly no way around it. My recommendation would be to find an expert in this field in your own area that can help you navigate the legalities while allowing you to pursue a more relaxed style of schooling. It is possible to cover the subjects required for the matric paper without having to do it the traditional way…while also giving your student the best gift… a love of learning! You’ll just have to get creative.

Kelly Crawford September 20, 2022 - 11:36 am

Thank you, Missy! And yes, my daughter took the ACT after high school, though we did a more relaxed version of school, and she did great.

Kelly September 19, 2022 - 11:57 am

I’m sorry, I don’t know what a matric paper is.

≫ ¿Estarán listos para la universidad? - October 5, 2022 - 8:31 am

[…] Fuente del artĂ­culo […]

Kimberly M. October 13, 2022 - 10:28 pm

I graduated 3 and 2 are in Bible college right now and they’ve done great! I used a more relaxed style as well. Not quite unschooling, but almost at times.

I’m homeschooling my 2nd set of kids and I chose to be a wee bit more structured. I follow Ambleside’s booklist and schedule -it’s the Charlotte Mason method, but only for my own sanity since I now have 6 under the age of 10. I’m also under the watchful eye of the state until they’re adopted. I love it!

Kelly Crawford October 21, 2022 - 1:50 pm

I used Ambleside for a while. I loved it too! You are a busy mom too!

D. November 17, 2022 - 3:17 pm

I would say I have a relaxed appoached to homeschooling in terms of limiting busy work and allowing the kids to learn about topics they actually enjoy. I want them to be decent in math, writing, spelling and comprehension and able to read well, but more than that is teaching them character- having an expectation that they do their work well and on time. I still struggle though with feeling stressed over attitudes or wondering if we are doing enough or if I’m even capable, as my patience is often at an all time low. My prayer continues to be that for all the failings I bring to the table, God would grow each of our kids to love and follow Him and consequently be productive citizens in whatever He calls them to.


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