How to Begin Preparing Your Homeschooled Student for College
The high school to college transition is a test for many teenage students. In order to truly begin preparing your homeschooled child for college, you should first consider your role in your student’s eventual success. The ways in which you prepare him or her can partially dictate how your student and his or her application appears to an admissions officer. You can equip your homeschooled teenager for college by considering the following guidelines for success:
- Build autonomy and initiative into your lessons
Both you and your homeschooled student can benefit from promoting a learning environment of autonomy and initiative. College presents a new level of freedom for students, and some individuals may find the combination of classwork, social life, and distance from family challenging. To limit stress during this transitional period, ensure your student has risen to the level of academic responsibility that is necessary for college success. If you have not utilized exams in the past, introduce these now, as many college courses include several tests. Continue to emphasize projects and research assignments, and assess your child’s ability to independently manage classwork and other personal responsibilities. Once your student reaches college, he or she will be solely responsible for meeting a variety of stringent expectations—the months that remain are an ideal opportunity to practice this endeavor.
- Address ACT/SAT prep
Preparing for the ACT or SAT is a central part of every high school student’s journey to college. It is thus important to take the necessary steps to prepare your child for his or her preferred exam, including introducing the different types of test questions (essay, grid-in, multiple-choice, etc.). Begin by incorporating broad skills into your day-to-day curriculum (such as reading texts for evidence or composing an essay with a clear sense of organization), and then complete targeted ACT/SAT lessons as exam day approaches. Utilize a variety of resources, including written guides and practice tests, videos, student study groups, apps, and so on. Remember, too, that each college has specific ACT/SAT requirements, so do not hesitate to contact admissions offices if you have questions.
- Take a course outside of the home
Eventually, all homeschooled students must learn to be accountable to not only themselves, but also to the people they work with. The real world is rich with individuals with different worldviews, values, and opinions that diverge from our own—and this includes future professors and employers. To truly prepare your child for college, consider participating in classes outside of the home. For instance, many community college credits are transferable, and they can serve as an indicator of a student’s readiness to take on the challenges they may face in college.
Many students begin planning for college as soon as late middle school, and there is no reason for the case to be any different for a homeschooled learner. Preparing for college is largely the responsibility of your student, but there are certainly guidelines for success that parents can follow to help ready their children for their college and professional careers, and the steps above are an excellent place to start.
Sasa Afredi is a contributing writer for UniversityTutor.com, the world’s largest global marketplace for finding independent tutors.