The thought of your homeschool student graduating is an exciting one, but to many, the jump from the home classroom to college life seems daunting.
Perhaps you’ve been there to guide your child’s education since kindergarten, or maybe you started homeschooling later. Either way, you’ve always been there to nurture your growing student. The thought of your little one flying the coop can be anxiety-inducing.
For the hands-on parent, there’s good news: you can prepare your high schooler for higher education in your home school to ensure your student aims for the stars in college. It all starts with knowing how to do it.
Consider dual enrollment
I strongly encourage parents I know to consider dual enrollment. With this, their dedicated high schoolers will get the chance to take college classes along with classes at home. This opportunity was invaluable to my oldest son, because he was able to “get a feel for college” before taking the plunge and doing full-time college work.
Dual enrollment also has the benefit of providing high school and college credit hours so your student can be ahead of the game by the time freshman year of college rolls around. Chances are your local college offers classes at a discounted rate for high school students. This experience looks great on a college application, and can even help earn scholarships!
Teach healthy study habits
You can help your student develop study habits that will serve her throughout her college career. Dual enrollment helps immensely, but you can also allow your student to pursue her interests in addition to keeping up with the less-than-loved subjects. Ensure your student understands the benefits of keeping up with the high school workload, and she will thank you during her college finals.
You can rest easy: a quality approach to studying can seem like second nature to homeschoolers who have aimed for mastery in the classroom in the past. Homeschooling inspires an inquisitive approach to the world around us that is perfectly suited to the college environment.
Encourage realistic expectations — for you and your student
As scary as it may seem, college won’t be a nightmare. While the work can get intense or sometimes even overwhelming, it will allow your child to grow to be a better adult. It is true each new experience presents its own set of obstacles. Just remember the unique challenges your student faced with each new stage of homeschooling and how he overcame those obstacles.
Motivate your student letting him know that while college will in ways be a totally new experience, he can handle it. College won’t be like it is in the movies (luckily), but it won’t all be a chore, either, and your child won’t be without help. After all…
You’re still your child’s teacher (if he wants)
While no parent wants to butt-in to their kid’s college life, assistance on schoolwork can be appreciated — if your child allows it, that is. If it’s a class in your own area of expertise, you could be the best tutor your child could ever ask for.
Chances are, though, some material may be over your head. In that case, don’t panic — you can always provide help, even if your child just requires proofreading help on an essay or someone to aid with flashcard memorization before a French exam.
By providing the tools to succeed while still in high school, you can rest easy and trust your student to soar in the next level. College can be a wonderful experience, and your student will thank you for all your efforts when he’s donning a cap and gown.