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  1. #1

    Default How many homeschooled kids are on track for college at 18?

    I was just reading the gap year thread - planning way ahead for us, as we are just getting ready for kindergarten. It brought to mind a question that I have been thinking about off and on for a while: do most kids, learning at a pace that is right for them, find themselves finished with high school level curriculum, and ready for college at around seventeen or eighteen?

    My plan is to try to keep up with my kid, not moving on before material has been mastered, but also not going intentionally slowly just to keep the grade level down to what is typical for age. I don't know if my kid will be ready to take the SATs at fourteen or at twenty.

    Do most homeschoolers apply for college at the same age as everyone else? If so, is that because the public school system is magically right about the age at which everything should be done, or because parents take steps along the way to make sure their homeschooling is at about the same level as public school for their kids' age?
    Last edited by MelissaPA; 08-23-2016 at 06:59 PM.

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  3. #2


    Our family's viewpoint was to finish high school at the same time as their age mates. The kids sometimes feel different enough in how they were schooled (yet thankful they were homeschooled) that going away to college at a younger age just felt weird to them. Plus, as their mom, I didn't WANT to send them away to school yet. However, they did not want to do a gap year either. They wanted to "get on with it already!!"

    They did take SATs the first time kind of early--9th grade for dd and 8th grade for ds. This was to score well enough to take dual credit classes locally at a satellite campus of a state school (which they did). They took the SAT a second time junior year, as they would have if they were in ps. We liked having them take dual credit while still in high school. It was only one or two classes a semester. They could get used to professor expectations and pacing while still being supported at home. And they earned credits that ultimately ALL transferred to their official post-high school university. (That doesn't always happen, though.)

    So both kids started college at 18, both a couple months shy of their 19th birthday. So we did the "normal" thing.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3
    Senior Member Enlightened lilypoo's Avatar
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    Apr 2011


    I can only speak for my family and community members, but my homeschooled daughter completed her high school curriculum at about 16.5yo and took the college Accuplacers at our local community college and enrolled in her first classes (she took a six month break) that summer right after turning 17yo. My son, who is in his senior year of public high school (homeschooled through 8th grade) and will be turning 18 in February and graduating in March, will be 18.5yo when he starts college next fall. I also know many families who homeschool where the kiddos have started college classes at 14-16, either concurrently with their high school curriculum, or because they've finished early. I have a 10yo and 11yo who are ahead of grade level and if their pace continues, I think they'll complete everything by 16yo and thus could start taking college classes, even part-time. We're also considering looking into early admission at 14 but I'm not sure I want then on campus that it'd have to be online classes I think.
    Michele, home educating since 2003

  5. #4


    Tech is in first grade, and is ahead in places. We'll be doing like inmom though and doing dual credits at a local college. BUT, he will not be entering college full-time until he is 18. If current interests holds, there is a local college that will be near us that offers dual credits for homeschoolers AND offers both an airplane mechanics degree AND a robotics. Both of which fascinate Tech and will probably be what he winds up going with. If I can talk him into holding off until he is 21, even better. :-)

  6. #5


    This has been useful. Thanks! Dual credits are a good idea. If we use the early or mid teen years to knock out some of the core curriculum at a local college, then my kid won't have to travel before age 18, and can then focus on a major at the University that is the best fit.

  7. #6


    I have an 8 year old and I have no idea where he will be when he gets to high school age. From his mentality towards things it will probably be one of these things:

    Start college while in high school
    Say F-it and get his GED and go to work.
    Homeschool high school with his general age group and go to college or work
    Or he might surprise me and decide that he wants to go to high school and college.

    My goals are pretty basic. I want DS to be able to read, write, do math, and to be a decent human being when he leaves the house. Everything else is a bonus.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Evolved
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    Sep 2013


    A gazillion likes Mariam. And I needed to read your reply this afternoon!

    Right now, DS wants to be a survival guy and build a house in the forest. Or live in a RV-kinda van. And so far, we can still visit him.

  9. #8


    I am a very strong believer in a four year college education. I say this as the daughter of parents who both have PhDs and a wife of a plumber who has only technical training. My husband has had a great career but the labor is taking its toll on his body and I can see how he feels trapped in a job with not much else he can do without a large leap and retraining. He is stuck.

    The purpose of college is to prepare your child for the next 50-60 years, so not only can they get a job when they graduate, but so they can get a job 20 or 30 years later. College is for learning not only academic skills, but also for developing a personal and ethical identity, for becoming independent, for learning how to think and solve problems at a higher level. These are life skills that are typically learned around 16-22 years old. These are critical years.

    But here is the thing. There is a college for every kid. I think that when people think college, they are thinking about their local university or the big names. They think they must have specific SAT scores. They think that their kid needs to be on top of all subjects. This is not true. When your child finishes your high school, then you can look at where she is, find a place where she fits, where she will feel most comfortable, where her academic abilities are a match, and where she will be pushed to do better. (I am using she because I don't know the gender of your child.)

    In my family we have been all over the place, with my sister starting at 15 (and saying it was the best thing she has ever done). I used dual credit as a high school student and starting at a typical age. My older son just went off to college as an academic superstar (non homeschool) and did dual enrollment as well as traditional high school. My homeschool son may or may not do DE and may not be academically at the top of his game because he has learning disabilities, but we will find him a place where he fits, because to me college is more than academics. It is the first step to adulthood, it is a place to learn to think, and a place to learn who you are and who you will be. He will go when he is 18, like his age mates who do not homeschool. He won't be academically as far along as his brother but that is OK, he does not need to be.

    My husband came from a different country and lost his chance at a college education and regrets it to this day.

    Let your child learn at her own pace and don't worry, because if she (or he) wants a college education, it is about finding the right fit when she is done with high school, not about cramming as much information into her head as possible, by a specific point in time.

    And sorry if your child is a he!
    Mom to two boys
    14 year old/9th grade homeschooler
    Non homeschooled son heading to Reed College this fall, and proudly wearing his Reed/Atheist t-shirt.

    I spend a lot of time sitting in an ice skating rink - still

  10. #9


    Wait a second.....when did this turn into a discussion about the merits of college vs. no college?? That's a discussion I LOVE having.

    But back to the OP question....there are as many varying outcomes as there are varying families. Just like there is a wide variety of public school early, college right "on-time", college later, and college never. These are all pretty comparable, percentage wise, to public school....I would guess.

    Point is that homeschooling won't shut doors that you hope to remain open for your child.....there have been many trailblazers ahead of us.

    I know we worry, cause that's what we parents do, but it's kind of pointless to plot the course to another person's life. And they have a lot of years ahead in childhood/young adulthood to surprise you with who they are... That can be the fun part! Enjoy it, cause it goes faster than you think!

    ETA: Oh, and that "gap year" thread.....I think some of that was just parents rambling on about how we wish we had been able to explore at that age
    Last edited by muddylilly; 08-27-2016 at 04:23 PM.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  11. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by muddylilly View Post
    Wait a second.....when did this turn into a discussion about the merits of college vs. no college?? That's a discussion I LOVE having.
    It was an introduction to the concept of college being important (my true belief) but that college will meet you where you are, and you don't need to be in a specific place to get there. In other words, you don't need to worry about getting your kid to a specific place. There will be a place for your kid in the end, if you want your kid in college.
    Mom to two boys
    14 year old/9th grade homeschooler
    Non homeschooled son heading to Reed College this fall, and proudly wearing his Reed/Atheist t-shirt.

    I spend a lot of time sitting in an ice skating rink - still

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How many homeschooled kids are on track for college at 18?