Making the Transition from Homeschooling to College

Parents and teachers alike can list several benefits and drawbacks for students being homeschooled during primary and secondary education. But what can a homeschooled student expect when they begin attending college?

Of course, attending college for the first time can be exciting and stressful at the same time, but for homeschooled students, these emotions might be magnified. By being homeschooled, these students are not used to the same type of teaching or the same environment as students who were educated in a traditional school. For example, homeschooled students are not used to learning in large classrooms filled with many other students. This can mean added distractions and added pressure to stay focused. With a much larger teacher to student ratio in college, homeschooled students may also feel overwhelmed and isolated, as they are less connected to their professors and have had less social interactions than non-homeschooled students. Also, those who were homeschooled are generally used to having their parents’ or tutors’ supervision, as well as an enforced study schedule. This can leave homeschooled student unable to manage their study time effectively in college and to also rebel without their parents’ watchful eye.

On the flip side of this argument, it is proven that homeschooled students can be better prepared academically for college than those who attend public or private primary and secondary schools. According to this study, Academic Statistics on Homeschooling, by the Home School Legal Defense Association, students that are homeschooled actually outperform their public school counterparts by 30-37 percentile points in all subjects. These statistics might indicate that homeschooled students are more advanced in their studies, which would leave them academically better prepared for college coursework. Also, many homeschooled students have already overcome any learning or studying disabilities they may have thanks to the hands on teaching of their parents or tutors. Many traditional students only discover what study and learning environments work best for them when they enter college, like studying in a quiet library versus studying with peers in a group.

While there are pluses and minuses to being homeschooled early in life, it can leave those students ill-prepared for the independence and rigors of college life. Taking steps that ensure their success like maintaining a strict study schedule, joining a formal study group, meeting with professors and teaching assistants and simply being aware of their potential hurdles, can really ease the transition from being a homeschooled student to a well-adjusted and successful college student.

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