Many parents wonder if homeschooled children will be prepared for life after graduation. After all, homeschooling does not have a set curriculum, and the traditional school environment can provide invaluable opportunities for interacting with other students and adults.
However, there is evidence that homeschoolers may be better equipped than many traditional students to meet the challenges of the real world.
1: Benefits of Homeschooling
Homeschooling parents tend to focus on skills that are important in the real world, like problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. Parents often tailor the curriculum to the interests of their student, which allows the student to pursue subjects they are passionate about and develop true mastery in those subjects, while sacrificing areas they are not strong in. Homeschoolers are more likely to be encouraged to follow their interests, develop their creativity, and pursue independent projects than their traditional school peers, who may have their interests neglected or stifled.
Contrary to popular belief, homeschooled children can be just as socially equipped as their peers in traditional schools or who learn remotely. Homeschoolers often join co-ops, partake in sports worship teams, and can take part in extracurricular activities and community events. Homeschooled students can also take advantage of digital tools such as Skype to meet and interact with other homeschoolers around the world.
Not only does this prepare them for the global economy and technology-savvy work environments, but it also allows them to make a variety of new friends.
3: Prepared for College
One concern parents of homeschoolers often have is whether or not their children are prepared to enter college. Research has consistently shown that homeschoolers can succeed in college, with some studies reflecting higher levels of academic success compared to traditionally-schooled peers. In addition, homeschoolers’ skills in organization, independence, and self-motivation can give them an advantage when it comes to studying and organizing study groups.
4: Help for Homeschooling Parents
Homeschooling parents may need assistance crafting a curriculum and teaching their children at home. This can be done by joining a homeschooling co-op, taking courses through the local school district, or finding a private tutor or mentor.
Local libraries can also provide resources and support for homeschooling families, as well as maintain a wealth of books that can be used in the home classroom.
5: Exposure to a Variety of Topcis
One major benefit of homeschooling is the variety of topics and subject matters that children can be exposed to. The traditional classroom environment is often focused on a particular set of topics, whereas homeschooling allows children to explore different topics and pick a wider variety of classes to take. This can help them prepare for college and the career opportunities that may come with it.
6: Extracurricular Opportunities
Extracurricular activities can provide invaluable experiences for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers can take advantage of sports, volunteer opportunities, drama, debate and more. Not only are these activities important in preparing children for college, but they can also teach important life skills such as teamwork and communication.
Homeschool co-ops often offer extracurricular activities, and there are other options for homeschoolers who may not be part of a co-op.
7: The Use of Digital Tools
Homeschoolers have access to digital tools that are making teaching and learning easier than ever before. There are digital tools like Khan Academy and Codecademy that can help students learn coding and computer science; Foreign Language Labs, which offer language instruction through videos, interactive games, and quizzes; Youtube, which allows students to take virtual field trips; and EdX, which is a platform offering free lectures and courses from top universities.
8: Extensive Online Education Resources
The internet has opened up a world of educational materials that homeschoolers can access. Many library systems have an extensive collection of online materials for homeschoolers, and homeschoolers have access to the same textbooks and materials used at traditional schools.
Additionally, homeschoolers can access materials from non-profit organizations such as Khan Academy and TED-ed, make use of MOOCs, and find supplemental materials and activities through sites like Scholastic and Sqoolz.
9: Alternatives to Traditional Testing
One of the drawbacks of homeschooling has traditionally been access to standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, and AP exams. However, the College Board has recently began offering the SAT at homeschooled testing sites, and many colleges and universities are beginning to accept portfolios of student work in lieu of admissions tests.
This makes it possible for homeschoolers to demonstrate their academic prowess while still having their achievements recognized.
10: Preparing for the Job Market
Homeschoolers must also consider their career options and take steps to ensure they are prepared for the job market. This may include participating in an apprenticeship or internship, joining professional organizations, attending networking and career events, and learning from mentors in their chosen field.
Additionally, many homeschooled students are taking advantage of virtual career fairs and going through the steps of creating a professional resume.
11: Getting Involved in the Community
Homeschoolers must be ready and willing to get involved in the community around them. This can include volunteering, attending local events and festivals, and taking part in political and social activities.
Being active and engaged in the community can open up opportunities, as employers may be more eager to hire a person who has already shown a commitment to their hometown.
12: Adopting Adult Responsibilities
Homeschoolers must adjust to adult responsibilities such as managing their own finances, paying taxes, and dealing with routine paperwork, as these are all important parts of the transition to adulthood. Most parents allow their homeschooled children to handle some of these adult responsibilities, such as paying for their own report cards, filling out college applications, and participating in job interviews.
13: Examples of Homeschoolers Success Stories
Many successful people have been homeschooled and have reached illustrious careers in a range of fields. Among the most famous of these are Nobel Prize winners S. T.
Joshi, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, novelist J. K.
Rowling, and actor Anne Hathaway. There are lots of other examples of homeschoolers achieving highly respected positions in society; from lawyers, to politicians, to entrepreneurs.
All in all, homeschoolers can be equipped with the skills needed to tackle the real world after graduation. With adequate planning and preparation, homeschoolers can benefit from the various opportunities that are available to them, and arm themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful well into adulthood.