At some point, even homeschooling parents have to watch their children leave the nest. I sent my first-born off to college last year, and despite my overbearing attempts to communicate as much as we used to, he is enjoying his first leg of college life. Homeschooled teens have distinct advantages that prepare them for college, but they also face unique financial, social and educational challenges. If your homeschooling a child who's about to go to college, put your student in a position to succeed and feel comfortable in this new environment. College-level material, various financial aid sources and in-person college visits can put your student in position to succeed.
The chance to provide an academic advantage was one of the main reasons I decided to homeschool my children. They are able to move forward in areas in which they excel and spend more time addressing their weaknesses. My college son has already been exposed to many of the concepts he's studying in 100 level courses — a head start he wouldn't have received in the public school system. Along with this advantage, however, he also had some catching up to do. Students from more conventional schools largely make up the college population. For that reason, colleges help freshman transition from the public school experience to the university experience. My son was well-equipped to handle the workload, but it took time to get used to fresh grade structures and teaching styles.
I recommend giving your high school senior a taste of college classes before he leaves home. A number of reputable providers offer resources for online education, where your student can learn from a new teach and earn lower-level credits. Not only can your student get ahead, she'll also get a feel for the ins and outs of college academics.
One of the common misconceptions about homeschooling is that our kids don't socialize. Parents are surprised when they learn that my kids learn and hang out with fellow homeschoolers in a number of different settings. When my son went to college, I didn't worry about his ability to make friends, especially because he had already begun on our campus tours. These intimate tours provided a chance for my son to see a number of colleges and get to know his potential classmates. Like the people within them, schools have different personalities. My son made friends on each of his five tours, but once he found a school that seemed to fit his personality, he was sold.
Public schools have counselors to guide parents and students through the financial aid process. As homeschooling parents, we have to explore various options on our own. Start by filling out a FAFSA with your student. This electronic financial aid form will provide grant and loan options from the government. Private scholarships can help homeschooled students pay for college. My son earned a scholarship based on his SAT scores and won an essay contest that covered the cost of his books.
Author; Nicole is a stay at home mom that enjoys free lance writing during her down time. She currently home schools two of her children and her other is in public school. She is also happily married with two dogs named Moose and Bronx.
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