When a notable ivy league school published an article that called for a ban on homeschooling, there was automatic backlash. Homeschool graduates throughout the years continue to prove that they are well equipped for post secondary education. Even professors have noted how impressed they are by homeschool graduates. The beauty of allowing students to flourish beyond four walls continues to garner attention and also proves that home education is effective.
The transition into post secondary can be daunting for many students regardless of their previous educational experience. Before completing high school, some students feel pressured to choose a career and decide which post secondary program to pursue. Making such an important decision can be difficult when they have not explored their passions and interests beyond the classroom. Home educated students typically have the flexibility to discover various pathways as part of their educational journey. This natural extension of the homeschool curriculum often leads to a smoother transition into post secondary life.
“I don’t feel prepared to leave high school at all, in any way, shape or form…I’m absolutely terrified of the future.” (age 16)
“Everything I learned in high school is going to help me in my studies, but in terms of more life skills, I feel like I learned those by myself or with my parents or my friends outside of school.” (age 18)
“The preparations kind of ended once the applications were in.” (age 19)
On the contrary, another student who experienced world-schooling with her family said she felt prepared for post secondary school,
“I already had been managing my own schedule. I knew how to self-study so while many of my peers were really struggling to maintain their own classes, I was doing OK. . .”
Although there is a natural adjustment period that many students will experience, professors still seem to take notice of the homeschool graduates. Dr. Jay Wile, Ph.D. (author of several science books published by Apologia and Berean Builders) was among a select group of professors who shared their impressions of home educated students. Among those surveyed, “all of the professors agree that homeschool graduates make excellent students.” said Dr. Wile. Furthermore, it was noted that these students’ reading and writing skills exceeded that of their publicly educated peers. The survey results also indicated, “Homeschooled students are less likely to expect things to be given to them for little effort. They also tend to be more respectful, mature, and open-minded.” One of the anonymous respondents revealed how their family was personally impacted, “I have been so impressed by my homeschool students that I pulled my son from public school.” Dr. Wile also added that it would be beneficial for homeschool graduates to share their experience to help break the stigma of home education, “it would go a long way towards destroying the ignorant stereotypes that exist among both students and faculty at many colleges and universities.”
Although Dr. Wile recommends that homeschool students should have some classroom experience before post secondary school (for example: to help with note taking skills), he says it should be in moderation, “…that should represent only a fraction of their academic experience, because many of the real benefits of homeschooling (developing the ability to learn without a teacher, developing strong relationships with parents and siblings, experiencing the freedom to explore the “rabbit trails” of a subject, etc.) can only occur in a traditional homeschool setting.”
The positive reputation of homeschool graduates is also due to the parent educators who remain dedicated to giving their children a well rounded education.
Here are some suggestions to home educators from post secondary school professors:
Emphasize & encourage reading
“Read, read, read, read…encourage lots of reading. College success comes from lots of reading and independent studying.”
Build on time management skills
“Help them learn to manage their time well. Waiting until the one-month mark to start studying for a unit test is too late.”
Be intentional with independent learning
“Let the student follow a schedule and only intervene for help. Put off grading for a while to see how motivated the student can be without immediate gratification of feedback.”
Follow a regular schedule
“Prepare them to strictly follow schedules, manage their time for study, and get them up to speed on academic literacy.”