One stereotype of homeschoolers is that they are nerdy geeks lacking social skills. Yet colleges vigorously recruit homeschoolers. What do the colleges see in homeschool graduates that the rest of society is missing?
My own two homeschoolers were sweet, wonderful, nerdy kids. And they both earned full tuition scholarships to their first-choice universities, graduating completely debt-free. How does that happen to normal teens?
Colleges aggressively recruit homeschool graduates to greedily grab the best applicants. Eager to elevate the academic excellence on campus, colleges attend homeschool conventions, advertise in homeschool magazines, coordinate homeschool college events, and partner with homeschool businesses. They want quality applicants, and that’s what homeschoolers can provide.
Why Colleges Recruit Homeschool Graduates
There are six reasons why homeschoolers are recruited by great colleges and universities. The reasons are an encouragement to continue with the challenging work of homeschooling through high school. The results can be excellent.
1. Homeschoolers Are Creative and Independent Thinkers
Homeschooling produces eager minds and a love of learning that continues into college. Freed from one-size-fits-all mass education, students can enjoy the learning process. Love of learning will continue into adulthood, leading to adults who are eager to further their education. That’s a valuable commodity for colleges.
2. Homeschoolers Have Genuine and Passionate Interests
Home education can help students develop passionate and unique interests. We call it delight-directed learning, and it’s a cornerstone of home education. Homeschoolers can complete a quality education in less time, allowing them more hours of the day to pursue their own interests. We can fan the flames of unique interests, developing a deep and varied resume, even during the high school years. The unique mix of a homeschooler’s activities can improve the chances of college admission and big scholarships.
3. Homeschoolers Demonstrate Mature and Responsible Behavior
Education at home takes place under the watchful eye of parents and is not divorced from character training. Parents continue to shape and mold their children daily and incorporate skills for adult independence regularly, without a conscious effort. Dishes, laundry, and other chores can be incorporated seamlessly into life. Empathy can be encouraged, and entitlement nipped in the bud.
4. Homeschoolers Are Motivated and Self-directed Learners
The best college students are self-directed and self-motivated. Most home educators eventually lose the ability to teach some advanced subjects like math, or science, or literature. While the common response is parental panic, the practical result is actually self-teaching. Given the tools of quality curriculum, video tutorials, and an answer key, normal students can learn how to learn effectively. These skills are highly prized by college recruiters. Studies show that home education is successful regardless of the parental level of education or state regulation.
5. Homeschoolers Have Social Skills Beyond Their Age Group
While the common question may be “What about socialization?” the result of home education is a student capable of working with people in any age range. Only within a school system will a student socialize only with others the same age. Homeschooling encourages, even forces, students to look beyond age segregation for friendship. Instead, they interact with all age groups, even those much older or younger. Socialization does not mean knowing about the latest pop artists or current movie idols. Socialization means they will look someone in the eye when speaking, shake hands firmly, and engage in conversation with others who don’t look, dress, or act like them.
6. Homeschoolers Achieve Quality High School Education
Most importantly, colleges are looking for educated applicants. Homeschoolers out-perform public school students on academic achievement tests. According to research from the National Home Education Research Institute, home educated students score in the 87th percentile in reading, 82nd percentile in math, 84th percentile in science, and 85th percentile in social studies. While each individual child may not score that high, the safe environment and personally tailored education allows each student to thrive to the best of his or her ability.
How Homeschoolers Provide Excellence
Homeschooling produces truly well-educated kids—who often become better educated than their public school counterparts. Their self-teaching skills not only provide homeschooled applicants with better test scores, but more importantly, an eagerness to learn. Colleges love homeschool students! Current events have proven homeschooling is an education that you can take with you, through any economy, through any crisis, and through any relocation. Homeschooling is not only a gift that we give to our children, but also to the universities and employers in their future.
Copyright 2020, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.
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