Can you graduate early if you are homeschooled?

Many parents have been leaning towards homeschooling their kids, and this is even more so since the pandemic. Many people are finding that homeschooling provides certain benefits that traditional schooling does not. So can homeschooled kids graduate early from college? If so, that would be yet another benefit of homeschooling.

Homeschooling provides most kids with a learning environment that is more natural and fine-tuned with their own interests and abilities. Kids are able to learn anything and are not limited to only studying things that are suitable for a particular grade level. But for homeschooling to be successful, there needs to be an environment at home that is conducive to learning. What that means to each child and family can be quite different. So yes, with the correct home environment that encourages and supports learning, homeschooled kids can definitely graduate early from college as they are able to start college much sooner.

Free from Peer pressure
Free from Peer pressure

COMPETITION OR PEER PRESSURE

One of the most important benefits of homeschooling is the absence of peer pressure or competition. Some kids in traditional schools are subject to bullying from peers and this has become very common all over the world. Bullied kids develop a lower self esteem which haunts them later on in life. The longer a kid is subjected to bullying at school, the greater are their chances of developing psychological fears and paranoia. This can further result in depression and medical treatment which can further exacerbate the problem.

On the other end, a child who is homeschooled is free of any such bullying and is able to devote more time to studying and learning. There are many online resources available in the current times that can add some structure to learning. Even for kids who never undergo any bullying, the sheer absence of competition from other students can free up a child and give them more mental space. This in turn helps them to learn more quickly and comfortably.

SLEEP AND ENVIRONMENT

As for general health, from my personal experience with my child, I can certainly say that homeschooled kids have a more sound sleep and very few nightmares. Their overall health is also better as they are not exposed to unwanted germs or viruses from being in close proximity with many kids on a daily basis. Such improvement in quality of life and sleep also enables homeschooled kids to study better without unwanted stress or fear of exams.

MORE LEARNING RESOURCES

Traditional schools expect students to study from prescribed textbooks which can limit the amount and type of learning. Whereas homeschooled kids have more freedom to use a variety of online and offline resources. Even when homeschooled kids follow a prescribed board or curriculum, they have the opportunity to consult multiple sources of learning such as Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware and more.

Therefore, homeschooled kids are likely to have a greater breadth and depth of knowledge which can enable them to study multiple grade levels in parallel. All of this frequently results in homeschooled kids being ready for college much sooner than others.

JOY of CUSTOMIZED LEARNING

Kids shouldn’t have to approach learning new things with fear, or fear of exams, or fear of not being good enough. Most of these fears can be reduced or completely eliminated with home schooling for K-12.

Joy of Customized Learning
Joy of Customized Learning

When kids have fun learning, they tend to learn much more. Though children can also have fun in a typical classroom, most classroom learning is provided to many students evenly irrespective of their abilities and interests. But with home schooling, the learning is very focused and customized to the child’s own interests and knowledge. So a highly bright home schooler does not have the limitation of slow learning with a group of other average learners as in a school classroom.

RECOGNITION FROM TOP COLLEGES

Home schoolers have been able to gain admission to many top colleges, ivy leagues and the not-so-top colleges too. The key is find out what the child wants and then provide opportunities for the child in those areas. Therefore, ivy leagues may not be right for everyone, but if a home schooled child wants to attend an ivy league college, that is definitely possible. Many ivy leagues have been known to prefer home schoolers as home schoolers are able to easily handle the study pressure at any typical ivy league.

SOME WORDS OF CAUTION

Since traditional schooling has been around for a long time, there might be some challenges that homeschooling families might encounter. It is best to have a clear plan for how you will handle those before starting to home school so the process is more smooth for you.

Some of these challenges with homeschooling are as follows:

1) Socialization

Strangers and acquaintances may ask how the kids get to play with other kids. There are many homeschooling co-ops and groups where the kids can get together to play. Also, home schoolers have a broader range of friends of different age groups and are not always required to be with kids at their exact grade level.

2) Societal pressure

There might be some people who simply will be unable to relate to homeschooling. Just take this as it comes with the confidence that you are giving your child or children the best education that works for you and your family.

Study enviroment for Home schooler
Study enviroment for Home schooler

3) Parental worries

Initially, when a family begins homeschooling, there will be many questions and concerns. But gradually after meeting other homeschoolers and their families, a lot of the pressure will be off and you will get on with it comfortably. There are definitely more choices regarding which board exams or curriculum is right for your child and there are also school programs that can be taken completely online with or without tutor help.

4) Home environment

The most important aspect of homeschooling is the home environment which encourages and supports learning. Everything else can be easily figured out.

5) The Child’s nature or school background

If the child has previously attended a regular school and has just recently transitioned to home schooling, they may be more accustomed to being in a structured routine and with a fixed curriculum. Some younger kids might transition to home schooling more easily, but it all depends on the children themselves. Many older kids are able to adapt very quickly to home schooling and most home schooled children find the whole process to be exciting and full of joy.

Home schooling can work in two ways; either at least one parent needs to play a very active role as a guide or teacher, (or) the kid needs to be more motivated and be able to learn more independently. So depending on your nature and your child’s nature and schooling background, find a good home schooling method that will work for your family.

6) State Requirements

Many states in the US or other parts of the world have specific requirements and documentation that need to be submitted for homeschooling kids. Check with your state and country for your specific requirements and submit the forms and documentation within the required time frames.

FIND THE RIGHT COLLEGES FOR THE AGE LIMIT

To be able to effectively start college early, in addition to the student being college-ready sooner, the college also needs to be able to accept younger students. There are some colleges in the US that accept college undergraduates at an age such as even 14 or 16 and so on. Find out from individual colleges about their minimum age requirements for undergraduate students. Granite State college or Charter Oak might fit the bill as they have much more open admission policies. In any case, it’s always best to check with the colleges directly to be sure their policies have not changed.

CONCLUSION

For some students, graduating early from college is an important target or requirement but some others may be better off by starting college much later. So there is no win or lose in this and you can basically choose to start and graduate college whenever it works best for you. The whole purpose of this post is to introduce the possibility of graduating college early for those who wish to do so. The other purpose is to share some experiences and tips regarding homeschooling and its pros and cons as well.

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