On the first day, God created light and it was good. On the second day, God created the heavens between the separated waters, and together the light and the heavens were good. He continued with each day’s creation being deemed good until the sixth day. On the sixth day, God created land animals and then man, male and female, in His image, to rule over all of creation. All of His creation was very good.
Should You Enroll Your Homeschool Student in a High School?
Being created in the image of our creating God, it’s inherent in us to desire to make good things into more good things, and more good things into very good things.
This is why no parents will ever raise their children with the goal of making them worse than they are themselves. If our life is good, then we want our children’s lives to be very good. We work hard to provide a very good life for them; we make decisions about their education that will empower them to provide very good lives for themselves as they reach adulthood.
Choosing to homeschool your child was probably a difficult decision to provide them with a very good education. As your student grows older, you’ll be faced with another hard decision—choosing what is very good for your child at the high school level.
Should you continue homeschooling or should you enroll your high school student in a traditional school? Many parents struggle with this question because they know college looms ahead, and they want their students to have good opportunities in high school to get them there, opportunities like sports, extracurricular activities and clubs, and accredited academic records. Without a resume filled with these opportunities offered by traditional high schools, how will your homeschool student get accepted into a very good college?
Colleges Love Homeschoolers
Whether your definition of a very good college is one that has great sports or academics, is public or private, is Ivy League or a military academy, admissions departments at major colleges are now so familiar with homeschooled applicants.
Consider the University of Notre Dame, a private school known for both its academics and its sports. On the evaluation criteria page of their Office of Undergraduate Admissions site, they specifically address the requirements for homeschooled applicants because homeschooled students regularly apply—and are regularly accepted—to attend there.
If you are considering a college known especially for its academics—MIT, for example—you will find the same thing. On their admissions site, they have an entire web page addressed specifically to homeschooled applicants, starting with “MIT has a long history of admitting homeschooled students, and these students are successful and vibrant members of our community.”
Perhaps you want your child to attend an Ivy League school. Princeton offers advice for homeschooled students to prepare them for their application. Or, if your child is considering a state university, they all welcome homeschool students.
A service academy may be the route for those planning a future in the U.S. military. The Naval Academy’s admission site includes a page to instruct homeschooled applicants. Like some others, it also emphasizes the fact that “there are no additional requirements for home scholars.”
Homeschool High School Transcripts Made Doable
As you consider the possibilities of higher education for your child, you’ll notice that colleges and universities require transcripts to evaluate each potential student. But don’t be deceived that your student can only receive acceptable transcripts through a traditional school.
Classical Conversations provides two means by which you can create professional, credible academic transcripts for your homeschool student. One of these is Janice Campbell’s Transcripts Made Easy. This book clearly explains the how and why of homeschool high school transcripts. It tells you exactly what to put on a transcript, from how to calculate credits and grade point averages, to recording credit-by-exam and dual credit classes. It also teaches you how to create a high school diploma.
The second option we offer is AcademicRecords.net, a homeschool transcript service. On this site, you simply put in your child’s academic information and the site generates a transcript for you. This can be a great alternative for parents looking to save on time.
While your student doesn’t need to attend a traditional high school to receive a professional transcript, you will have to put in a bit of work and record keeping to track grades and credits, whether you choose to use Transcripts Made Easy or a homeschool transcript service like AcademicRecords.net.
How Homeschoolers Can Find Extracurriculars
Of course, college acceptance boards want to see more than just good transcripts. They want to see a well-rounded student who is involved in extracurricular activities.
Here again, it would be incorrect to think the best way for your child to get involved in extracurriculars is to attend a traditional school. With a little effort and research, you can find several very good opportunities and activities for your child.
Here are just a few ideas of extracurriculars your homeschool student can get involved in:
- Take a church youth group leadership position
- Get involved in a scouting organization
- Play an instrument for a local band or orchestra
- Act in theater productions
- Volunteer at soup kitchens, animal shelters, pregnancy centers, or Habitat for Humanity
- Join a local art, chess, book, or cooking club by searching online through a website like Facebook or Meetup
What About Sports?
Now, you might be concerned that your homeschool student might miss out on playing sports if they don’t attend a traditional school. After all, physical health is a very good thing!
However, if your motivation for enrolling your child in a traditional high school is simply so they can play sports, you may want to reconsider. For one, it’s easy to think of sports as a free trip to college through athletic scholarships. And second, there are plenty of ways today that homeschoolers can play high school-level sports, whether through a homeschool team playing high schools, a club team, or at their own local high school team.
Homeschooling High School Is a Difficult Decision
This much is true: there are hard decisions we have to make in life. If your child is soon to be in high school, consider your options. Can they really not receive all the opportunities you want them to have if they continue on being homeschooled? More often than not, although it may require researching opportunities in your area, there are ways homeschool students can receive the same quality transcripts, extracurriculars, and sports as they would if enrolled in a traditional high school.
This post was adapted from an article by Matt Bianco, published on Thursday, 31 March, 2011.