I get many calls from families trying to decide whether they should homeschool high school or if they should revert to a more traditional method. Of course a question like this is multifaceted, but there are huge advantages to choosing the path less traveled. Families who do a good job with high school find that home school college admission rates are exceptional at competitive colleges. Why?
1.Those who homeschool high school have more flexibility in their scheduling.
Students aren’t tied to traditional school dates or interrupted by a bell every 45 minutes. They can concentrate on a difficult subject for hours if need be or move quickly through material and not be forced to wait on slower classmates. They have the option of total immersion by studying one subject at a time and thus moving through it extremely quickly (like undergrads at Colorado College). On the flip side, they can study a fascinating subject for years whenever they have time to go back to it. They can split up subjects and choose to study some during the normal school year and others over the traditional summer break. This flexibility pays off in many ways.
2. Homeschoolers can choose to back off heavy academics for a short time to concentrate on an extracurricular project.
I’ve known high school students who singlehandedly manage large legislative races, build state-wide organizations from the ground up, or orchestrate huge fundraising events for a cause they believed in. In the process, they developed incredible leadership abilities and were standouts in the college admissions process. Scholarships flock to students who have a proven leadership track record, especially when that leadership grew out of a personal commitment to a cause.
3. Nontraditional students can delve deeply into research or specialized classes or working individually with a mentor.
This flexibility can allow homeschooled students great latitude to develop incredible skill sets and accumulate specialized knowledge that can far surpass the average college freshman, in fact sometimes rival college professors. This makes them highly desired by colleges and great candidates for departmental or merit scholarships.
4. Homeschool for high schoolers can allow students to pursue both a rigorous academic education and follow a pre-professional schedule in dance, music, or the arts.
Most students at this level of performance have very mediocre academic skills, but I’ve worked with homeschoolers who excel both artistically and academically.
A homeschool high school education will not look like what is found in the brick and mortar building down the street. And that is a good thing because most kids in the traditional building look pretty much alike. Colleges are looking for unique students who will make up an interesting freshman class. Homeschoolers can fit that bill nicely.
Jeannette Webb is the founder of Aiming Higher Consultants, a firm dedicated to helping students gain admission to great colleges. She has a heart for assisting parents as they train their children for excellence. Jeannette works to empower families to make thoughtful choices for their younger children, to confidently navigate the difficult high school years, and then ace the college admissions process.
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