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Homeschooling Teens

Lynn Hogan Answers Your Homeschooling Questions

Q. I'm considering homeschooling for my twin sons who start high school next year. My concern is that this will end up hurting their chances of attending a prestigious college. Both my sons play sports, and I've been informed that college scouts look more at high school athletics rather than club teams. Both my boys are bright and currently get good grades. How will homeschooling affect the college process?

A. My daughter was a senior last year and we have spent the 2 years before that looking at schools and talking to college representatives. Even five years ago, many schools were not as supportive of homeschooling students as they are now. As more and more students get into colleges, the support for homeschooling students increases. There are still some schools that will tell you that homeschooling students do not do well in social situations, etc., but those are primarily schools that generally have had a limited interaction with homeschooling students.

I have found some things to be true. Often schools (even representatives from the NC State system told me this) prefer the ACT to the SAT for accuracy in testing. It doesn't hurt to have your high schoolers take both and then send the best grades (depending on whether they score better with the ACT or the SAT) to the school of their choice. The ACT is a little more subject specific and includes science instead of just math and verbal skills.

As far as collegiate sports, if your students have an outstanding talent, they will probably have as much opportunity as any student attending a smaller high school. College scouts can only visit so many schools. A video tape of a player's best highlights in games is almost a necessity when contacting prospective colleges. You can contact the schools that they are considering and see what would be encouraged and/or required to give them the opportunity for "equal consideration".

Overall, the college process for homeschool students is starting to become similar to the process for non-homeschoolers. Most schools are aware of homeschool applicants, and some private schools even give scholarships based on how many years you have homeschooled. Most state schools are familiar with homeschooled students. Some colleges do have special "hoops" you jump through to be considered, but those schools are slowly "coming around". Here is a site that lists colleges that are considered "homeschool friendly"

By the way, Harvard and Yale are on that list.

In order to prepare your students, I would recommend that they do the best they can on the SAT and ACT tests. (Kaplan has a great computer program to help your student get ready for these tests.) I would write a professional transcript and grade your students fairly. I would also get professional looking letters of reference from someone that knows your students well as individuals. I would make sure that your students have community activities, work activities, if possible, as well as well thought out essays on their applications. Also, you would want to check out the schools that they are considering and make sure that you have covered the amount of courses that they desire. Some schools want 3 lab sciences, some require only two, some schools want 2 years of foreign language, and some do not require any.

With the proper preparation, your students should have no problem getting into the college of their choice (assuming their national testing results meet the requirements and you have covered the high school credits that the school requires.)


Lynn Hogan is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of eleven years from High Point, North Carolina. Her first child has graduated and is attending a Christian liberal arts college in Tennessee. Lynn is still homeschooling her 10th grade son. She is the owner of the Unit Study Helps website (www.unitstudyhelps.com) and editor of the Homeschooler's Notebook, a free weekly e-mail homeschooling newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, send a blank e-mail to join-hs-notebook@ds.xc.org

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