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5 Ways Homeschooling Equips Students for Success in College


5 Ways Homeschooling Equips Students for Success in College

A recent article from Forbes highlighted homeschooling – but not in the best light. The writer, like many onlookers, was surprised to discover that the young five-time Grammy award-winning artist named Billie Eilish was homeschooled, and she credits much of her success to her unconventional education. He barely focuses on her success, however, instead using her story as a pivot to express his opinions about how homeschooling is “more a curse than a blessing.”

It’s no news that homeschooling continues to be devalued, despite its increasing popularity. It’s true that most homeschoolers probably won’t grow up to be world-famous pop-stars. Still, if they choose to go to college, they will benefit from the many advantages they have upon entering college that other students often don’t develop until years later.

At Sattler College we are not only open to homeschoolers we genuinely value them. I homeschool my children, our founder Dr Finny Kuruvilla who received his education from Harvard, MIT and Caltech homeschools his children and most of our board of trustees have also homeschooled their children. Why does Sattler College value students who come from homeschooling? Here are merely five among the many distinctions that help homeschoolers to thrive in college.


Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions to this rule. But when done well, homeschoolers learn autonomy from an early age. In the homeschooling environment, students are expected to take ownership of their studies, rather than being monitored every moment by mom or dad. Without being held to a strict 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule, they can complete their work at their own pace according to personal needs, whether that takes more or less than eight hours. Instead of being rushed to keep up or compelled to slow down at the pace of a class, they have the freedom to dedicate more attention and research to the topics they struggle with while moving ahead in the subjects they enjoy. Because of this, homeschoolers tend to be good time-managers, goal-setters and self-starters. They’ve had years of practice in finding the answer for themselves, which is an extremely valuable skill in college.


Another common criticism of homeschoolers is that they must not be socially well-adjusted because they aren’t hanging out with their peers every day in the classroom. But typically, what happens is that because homeschoolers do not live in an environment where peers their age are always accessible, they are more proactive in finding friends in their neighborhoods, churches, sports team, co-ops, etc. This not only makes many of homeschool students more outgoing, but they are better able to relate to and make friends with individuals of all ages since they are not stuck most of the day only hanging out with peers in their grade.


Indeed, homeschoolers often have more freedom in choosing how they want to spend their time than other students. While few of them are likely to spend hours per day focusing on one interest like Eilish and her brother evidently did, homeschoolers focus on outside activities in addition to their required academics. Interests like health, music, history , Bible or business can be incorporated into their daily schedule more easily as they are not burdened by homework. This helps many homeschoolers stand out when they are applying to college because they have had more time to devote time to extracurriculars that make them more well-rounded.


In tandem with the self-discipline that is gained from homeschooling, independence is a typical result of years of helping to choose one’s curriculum, find the answers for oneself and complete their work at their own pace. This skill is necessary in college. Whereas other students may be intimidated or unaccustomed to the process of selecting their own schedule or preferred classes based on skill set, homeschoolers have been doing this for years. They know what times of day they like to be in class and how much they can handle because they have grown up with the freedom of structuring their school days.


For children who are homeschooled in a Christian environment, their faith is interwoven into every aspect of schooling. Without fear of violating school codes or offending students of different backgrounds, homeschoolers can make Bible reading and prayer a part of their school routine, learn from Scripture-based curriculum and take theology or religion courses at any point in their education. They are accustomed to doing their own investigation, so when their beliefs are inevitably challenged in college, they not only have the tools it takes to learn more about the questions they face but a better foundation on which to fall back that they have spent years building.

Homeschooling isn’t for every family, but when it fits, it equips its students for life. It often requires more time, money and sacrifice than traditional education, but homeschooling is a holistic investment in a child’s future that will continue to help through college and beyond. At Sattler College we don’t just tolerate homeschoolers, we welcome you enthusiastically.

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