Parents that want their children to attend selective colleges often push their children to load up on advanced and AP (Advanced Placement) courses in high school to impress admissions committees. Unfortunately, the public school education model is one that artificially distorts the learning process by forcing children to learn subjects through defined curricula (even though they rarely learn anything), at a certain times during the day, and over the span of the school’s academic calendar – if the school offers those subjects at all. Such an environment doesn’t typically induce a desire to learn within a child; often times they go through the motions in order to appease their parents or in pursuit of the ultimate goal of many high school students – to gain admission into a certain college.
Homeschooling parents provide their children with the freedom to pursue their interests and ultimately self-direct their own learning. Unlike in standard 20-30 children classrooms where the adult spends much of their time worrying about maintaining control, a homeschool child wanting to go off on a tangent on a particular topic that they are interested in does not spell disaster. Children at home are much more likely to enjoy their education because the education is tied to their interests. If a parent feels the need to focus on a topic that is not of interest to the child, or particularly challenging, the learning can take place in the secure and loving environment of home, stretched out over time, whereas in the school environment kids risk being stigmatized as ‘stupid’ or ‘slow’.
By having a home education that is well-aligned with a child’s interests (and unique learning style), a child can invest the necessary time and energy into the college admission hurdles known as classes (AP, community college classes, etc.), even if they aren’t thrilled about them. Further, an education built around their interests and love of learning will allow them to build a portfolio of work that public schools can rarely compete with. Finally, the all important SAT is often a much simpler test for homeschoolers who typically have excellent reading and vocabulary skills from their habit of reading, a lot. Homeschool students have tremendous advantages in the college admissions game.
Not only are homeschooling children freer to learn in ways that are meaningful to them, providing them with a superior education to anything they could receive through public schooling, their motivation to engage in that learning will remain intrinsic as opposed to being coerced by adults. Their path to college is made simpler in various ways, of which I have only spoken to a couple. But most importantly, their love of learning will not only improve their chances of gaining acceptance into that dream college, but it will also give them the motivation and skill set necessary to excel in college, and to lead an independent and more fulfilling life long after the formal academic experience has passed.