College Prep for Homeschooled Students
Fitting your unique child into a standardized world
More than 500,000 teens are home educated across the U.S. today. Many homeschooled students will apply to colleges and universities. Some colleges have special requirements for homeschooled students. Contact colleges where your student may be interested in applying. Start checking early. Eighth and ninth grade are good times to begin gathering college information. Colleges are eager to discuss what it will take for your student to qualify. Most colleges have adjusted for this homeschool group of adolescents, but you should also prepare your teen for the college process.
Prepare a thorough high school transcript
It is the educator’s responsibility to prepare a transcript for students, and home education is no exception. Don’t shy away; tackle it head on with good record keeping and a detailed transcript (get transcript help here). A thorough transcript will be needed to prove your child’s high school work to any higher learning institution, and will also be needed for scholarships and other opportunities coming your teen’s way soon. A high school transcript may also be required when joining the military or applying for jobs.
In some ways, your children are steps ahead, but in other ways, they may be behind. Many public and private schools “teach to the test” to prepare their students for standardized testing. You should prepare your homeschooler to know how to take different kinds of tests: multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, short answer essay and longer essay tests. Filter in SAT and ACT prep material as your student gets closer to taking college entrance exams and state tests.
Many colleges allow students to “place out of” lower level courses by scoring high on placement exams, such as Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP or DSSTs. Students need to prepare using the materials suggested for each test. College credit may be given for tests passed; however, colleges are selective on which tests they will give credit. Do not assume all colleges will credit every test; check with them. All tests taken and passed may also be included on your student’s high school transcript for high school credit. There are fees associated with the tests, so if your student is not confident of the material, have them take the class instead. Click for further information on CLEP or DSSTs.
Classes away from home
Consider having your student take homeschool co-op classes or, if mature enough to handle the environment, take local community college dual credit courses. It helps many students to learn how to be accountable to someone besides mom or dad before hitting the full-blown college scene. It also tends to help when experiencing a teacher who does not agree 100% with your family values, if mom and dad are around to help sort through and discern the different positions and worldviews that are taught.
Take the necessary steps to prepare your students for post-high school graduation, whether it be a community college, university, other job training, job, or wherever God is calling them. Cherish the last years of home education, and be proud as your students achieve their goals and even surpass you the teacher.