The transition from homeschool to college can be daunting, but there are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother. First, start by familiarizing yourself with the college’s admissions process.
Make sure you understand the requirements and deadlines and take the time to research different colleges to find one that’s a good fit for you. Once you’ve been accepted to a college, it’s time to consider your course load.
Adjusting to being a student in a large lecture class can be hard if you’re used to controlling your education. Make sure you give yourself time to adapt, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from your professors or classmates if you’re struggling. Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of all the College’s resources.
From clubs and organizations to tutoring services, there’s always someone willing to help you succeed. With some planning and adjustment, the transition from homeschooling to college can be smooth. Students might find these adjustments challenging, but those who have never attended a conventional public or private school might find them more disorienting.
Generally, homeschooled children do well in college, with some studies showing that they even outperform traditionally-educated students’ GPAs.
Are you feeling anxious about the change? If you’re a parent, maybe you’re worried about your kid. If so, try out these ideas and get ready for a rewarding adventure:
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1. Get involved in student organizations
Despite having more significant relationships with their families than their college-going contemporaries, many homeschooled students experience intense loneliness. However, starting a new family of friends is possible while in college.
Making friends with people in your dorm is a terrific first step, but if you need more structure to make new acquaintances, joining a sports team or other student organization can be a better option.
You’ll be able to connect deeply with other people who share your interests and pursue them in depth in a way that might not have been possible during your homeschooling years. You can find resources for this sort of thing at your school’s student involvement center.
Geneva College is an excellent example if you want to meet new people and get involved on campus, with over 200 events and dozens of student-run clubs.
2. Don’t be just a face in the crowd
It can be challenging for students who have consistently received individualized instruction to adjust to classes with many more students. Not even the private universities’ small class sizes occasionally put students at ease.
Visiting academics during office hours is a simple way to put your stamp on things. Your teachers are only interested in your success, so don’t be afraid to call out to them for help. In addition to easing the burden of college coursework, this strategy may also provide a solid recommendation for your post-graduation job search.
3. Connect with other homeschoolers
There are probably more homeschooled students than you think at University. A growing number of homeschooled kids are showing up at colleges and universities, especially those affiliated with the Christian faith.
You could join an online forum specifically for homeschooled pupils if you don’t run into any other homeschoolers in real life. You’ll get helpful feedback from others who have been where you are now, and you could even find a new, wonderful pen friend.
4. Take advantage of counseling and other services.
If these measures don’t help, you may consider joining a support group or talking to a therapist individually. University counseling services can help with issues as varied as homesickness and self-esteem issues, and they do so at a surprisingly low cost.
Attending support group meetings allows you to not only receive comments from an expert but also gain perspective and motivation from your peers. Keep in mind that you have many people rooting for your success in college.
5. Add Faith to your curriculum
Your life is about to change drastically, so it’s essential to have a solid faith to hold on to. Join a church that feels like home. Join a Bible study and learn more about God’s Word. Create some space in your schedule for prayer. These Christian practices are essential if you and your family adopt the faith of your new home and make it your own.
The transition from homeschooling to college can be much less daunting if you have a robust support system. As a result of this change, you will be better equipped to handle the difficulties of the working world after graduation. Perhaps this will motivate you to assist other homeschooled children encountering similar challenges.
6. Keep Detailed Records
Excellent organizational skills are essential for the demanding role of a homeschooling parent. In addition to the usual responsibilities of a parent, such as providing food, transportation, and clean home, you are also responsible for your child’s academic development.
This is a lot of information! As a parent, it might be easy to lose track of your child’s homework and extracurricular activities amidst the myriad of other responsibilities you have. However, keeping such records is maybe the most crucial thing you can do to prepare your homeschooled child for further education.
Report cards and transcripts are distributed periodically, and class schedules are designed and executed with great care at public and private institutions. When a parent is in charge of their child’s education from start to finish, they can attest to their child’s education quality and may not see the need for things like report cards and course outlines.
You won’t be able to recall your child’s every book and essay when it comes time to fill out college applications. Keep meticulous notes of everything to simplify your college application process. Please keep track of your child’s field trips to museums, summer reading lists, and extracurricular activities, including a description of each and the date and any grades they obtained.
Because homeschooling families follow various instructional approaches and course structures, it is essential to provide specifics about your child’s homeschooling experience.
7. Include Extracurricular Activities
The opportunity for your child to devote more time to pursuits that are important to them is a great benefit of homeschooling.
Your homeschooled child will benefit significantly from participating in extracurricular activities such as karate courses, charity work, and contests on their path to higher education. Make time for extracurricular activities if you haven’t already.
You can probably find something that will interest your kid at the library, the public school, or the community college in your area. Don’t be shy about asking if your homeschooled student can join the school’s clubs and activities; many public schools welcome homeschooled pupils.
Many colleges want to enroll students who have participated in various extracurricular activities, which is much easier for homeschooled students to accomplish. Don’t forget to document all of your kid’s extracurricular activities, no matter how minor they may appear.
8. Stay in the habit of reading and writing.
Providing evidence of your child’s reading comprehension and writing ability will reassure prospective universities that they will be getting a student who has received a top-notch homeschooling education.
Students in public and private institutions must read a substantial body of literature each academic year, giving them ample opportunities to hone their story and essay writing skills. Even though not every kid loves to read and write, providing plenty of reading and writing assignments throughout high school is crucial.
Colleges look for students who can handle the rigors of their curriculum, which often includes extensive reading and the composition of in-depth essays, as well as those who are well-rounded and informed. Giving reading or writing assignments related to the student’s interests can help sway even the most averse reader or writer.
Some teachers have found that giving students the choice of completing their reading/writing assignments in a foreign language is a great way to mix up their routine. Check out our blog post if you’re a high school teacher needing to be recommended reading material for beginning Spanish students. In addition, our Spanish courses for high school students will encourage them to try their hand at creative writing in a new language.
9. Expand Your Child’s Social Circle
Things to do in college besides study. The transition from high school (whether public, private or home school) to college is dramatic. Your child will be exposed to individuals from various walks of life, experience large (and small) class sizes, and participate in multiple extracurricular activities.
Your homeschooled teen may find these transitions challenging if they were not given many opportunities to interact with peers during their high school years.
Limiting issues in social life include frequent relocation, a packed schedule with extracurricular activities, or an intense interest in learning. But if you want your homeschooled child to succeed socially at college, they must have many friends and acquaintances to call on.
There are various options available to you, such as enrolling at a community college, joining a co-op, or getting involved in community events.
Intercultural activities are another fantastic option for exposing kids to new people and ways of life. Traveling during the summer or spring break, enrolling in a study abroad program, or taking a cross-cultural studies course online are all excellent alternatives.
10. Make Sure to Meet All the Requirements
Research the admissions requirements of various institutions early on if you plan on enrolling your homeschooled youngster in one of them. Your child must meet specific needs at most universities, especially if they have their sights set on a particular major.
It’s tough to predict what your child will want to study in college when they’re a freshman, but you don’t want to have to scramble in their senior year.
Please give them a solid grounding in math, science, language, and history for four years to ensure they have the most opportunities after graduation. Most people take two years to learn a new language, but starting early is better to master the basics.
11. Consider AP Classes
Your homeschooled child can now attend University without taking any Advanced Placement courses. However, the possibility of Advanced Placement courses and exams should not be overlooked.
There is only one AP exam every year, and its dates are set months in advance, giving you plenty of time to study. The College Board website serves as the portal for test registration. Creating an AP-level course is the most challenging part of preparing for AP examinations at home.
Fortunately, the College Board provides materials like practice tests, review questions, and more to help your child prepare for the real thing. The AP examinations are very time-consuming and demanding, so it’s essential to start preparing early if your child is interested in or compelled to take AP classes at the University of their choosing.
12. Schedule SAT or ACT Exams
The SAT and ACT are similarly time-consuming and demanding as the AP tests. Most universities need applicants to have passed at least one of these tests before they may even consider their applications.
It can be challenging to decide which exam is best for your student, but you can compare the tests below to see which fits their needs best. Once you’ve decided on a test, you’ll need to devote at least a year studying for it.
Standardized testing can be complex for pupils who are not used to taking tests at home since some questions are intentionally tricky.
13. Community College
In addition to AP classes, enrolling your homeschooled high schooler in community college courses is a great way to prepare them for the next step on their educational journey. Because of the adaptability of homeschooling, your children can simultaneously fulfill high school and college graduation requirements.
Young adults can benefit from taking a few college classes while also receiving a taste of what life would be like beyond high school.
14. Search for Colleges
When preparing a homeschooled student for higher education, one of the most rewarding activities is exploring potential universities together. There are several factors to consider, such as your preferred major, the school’s location, and its overall reputation.
There is something else for homeschooled youngsters to consider: how universities evaluate their applications. Homeschooled students tend to be well-rounded, making them attractive to admissions officers. Instead, click here for a directory of recommended homeschool-friendly institutions.
15. Prepare for the Transition
It’s essential to start thinking about the next step once your homeschooled child has been accepted to the University of their choosing.
Homeschooled students may be better prepared for the challenges of higher education than traditionally schooled students (thanks to their more flexible schedules and increased levels of independence), but there are still issues to consider.
For homeschoolers, classes and co-ops tend to be quite intimate affairs, and homework or tests may not even be assigned. While many college courses will be identical to one another, others may have hundreds or even thousands of students, especially in the general education curriculum.
Your pupil may struggle to adapt to this classroom’s lack of human connection. Students used to a different learning environment or methodology may find the class requirements, grading schemes, and instructor styles unfamiliar and challenging.
The transition from homeschool to college can be a big one, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition with ease. First, take some time to research colleges that offer programs and majors that align with your interests and goals.
Once you’ve narrowed your choices, contact the admissions offices and schedule some campus visits. This will allow you to get a feel for each school and see which one is the best fit for you. Next, start thinking about how you’ll pay for college.
Many homeschoolers are eligible for scholarships and grants, so explore all your options. Finally, begin preparing for the academic rigors of college by brushing up on your study skills and taking practice exams. With some planning and preparation, you can make the transition from homeschool to college smoothly and successfully.