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Five Ways Being Homeschooled Helped Me Excel in College

Five Ways Being Homeschooled Helped Me Excel in College

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“Throughout high school, I had encountered many naysayers who questioned whether homeschooling could adequately prepare me for college, from the overly nosy hygienist at my dentist’s office to the local high school admissions counselor, who refused to give scholarships to homeschooled students.”
“Throughout high school, I had encountered many naysayers who questioned whether homeschooling could adequately prepare me for college, from the overly nosy hygienist at my dentist’s office to the local high school admissions counselor, who refused to give scholarships to homeschooled students.”

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Jun 04, 2014
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Five Ways Being Homeschooled Helped Me Excel in College

By Rebekah Bell

The summer of 2009 found my dad and me embarking on a 1,200-mile trip across
prairies, through deserts, and into a suburb of Los Angeles, where I would be
attending a private university. During the twenty-four-hour trek from Kansas to
California, I had plenty of time to mull over the typical questions that college-bound
students ask themselves: Will I make friends? Will I be good enough for the
program? As someone who had been homeschooled through high school, there was
one more lingering thought: Will I be as prepared as my public-schooled peers?

Throughout high school, I had encountered many naysayers who questioned whether
homeschooling could adequately prepare me for college, from the overly nosy
hygienist at my dentist’s office to the local high school admissions counselor, who
refused to give scholarships to homeschooled students. Their skepticism made me
wonder if homeschooling could truly prepare me to be a well-adjusted, competent
college student.

It’s been a year since I graduated from college, and I can officially say that the
skeptics were wrong. Homeschooling not only prepared me for college, but it also
enabled me to excel. There are five reasons why this is true:

1. Homeschooling taught me to value learning.
One of the main things my parents emphasized while home-educating my siblings
and me was that learning is an enormous privilege and responsibility. Education
should never end when a person receives a diploma but rather continue to deepen
throughout his lifetime.

Homeschooling not only taught me about worthwhile subjects such as math and
history, but it also taught me about the necessity of cultivating a learning-centric
mindset and growing daily in “knowledge and depth of insight” (Philippians 1:9).
1


Homeschooling is not a money-back guarantee that a student will value learning. It
affords an opportunity to partake in a challenging and rewarding form of education,
but students must consciously choose to be good stewards of this gift.

Because of homeschooling, I learned to appreciate the gift of learning, which meant
that I took my education seriously in college. Rather than complaining about general
education requirements, I enjoyed the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of the
world in which I live. Hard work and dedication have continued to pay off as I pursue
my current goals.

2. Homeschooling taught me to be self-motivated.
Being homeschooled enabled me to actively participate in my education. Rather than
having a teacher who set all deadlines for me, I was responsible for completing
projects on my own in a timely manner. Instead of waiting for someone to tell me
what to do, I took responsibility for my own growth.

This mentality of initiative and independence served me well on the collegiate level. I
finished assignments ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute, which
meant I turned in high-quality work instead of half-hearted attempts. I met with
professors to gain feedback and insight as I considered career options. I pursued
internship opportunities outside of my college rather than waiting for someone to
offer me a dream position.

Parents can encourage their students to be self-motivated by encouraging them to
take an active role in their schooling. Students should work to cultivate a mindset of
initiative that will continue to guide them throughout their lives.

3. Homeschooling taught me to think for myself.
In the midst of a society that pushes people to conform, the ability to think for one’s
self is an incredibly important asset. Homeschooling taught me to think critically,
deeply, and analytically about the world around me. I learned to value the pursuit of
truth above my previously held convictions and ideas and to critically analyze what I
believed and why I believed it.

College is a wonderful marketplace of ideas in which students will be exposed to
lifestyles and belief systems different from their own, and it can stretch and expand
students’ horizons by introducing them to new ways of thinking. Rather than being
pressured by groupthink, the critical thinking skills I had gained through
homeschooling enabled me to think for myself. Instead of believing something just
because everyone else did, I was able to figure out why I believed what I believed. I
learned not to accept everything just because I read it in a textbook or heard it from
a professor but rather to become a student dedicated to seeking truth.

4. Homeschooling taught me to work hard.
During high school, I completed difficult coursework instead of choosing subjects I
knew would be easy for me. I sought out classes that were challenging and
stimulating. This practice equipped me for the world of college academia.

Homeschooling taught me the importance of striving for excellence rather than
settling for good enough and trained me to be diligent in things both big and small. I
was well prepared for the creativity required in film school because of the countless
hours I had spent making movies on my own.

Homeschooled students should strive for excellence in their current studies. Those
interested in attending college should also study hard to prepare for standardized
college admissions tests.

5. Homeschooling taught me to achieve my goals.
Homeschooling provided an environment in which I could delve into the topics I was
interested in and allowed me to dedicate significant time to pursuing my personal
interests and hobbies. It enabled me to travel to speech competitions, complete
internships while in high school, and work at a part-time job.

High school students should think about what they want to achieve and how they can
work toward these goals. They should take responsibility through planning ahead:
writing down a list of goals, developing character traits, reading books about certain
topics, or shadowing a professional in the area they are interested in.

Homeschooled students who are diligent about valuing learning, being self-
motivated, thinking for themselves, working hard, and achieving their goals will find
themselves well prepared for the rigors and challenges of collegiate life.
From cow pens to California, Rebekah was raised in a homeschooling family in the
Midwest before moving to Los Angeles to study film. She is passionate about writing,
traveling, filmmaking, and teaching public speaking to homeschooled students.

Endnote:
1. THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright 2014, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally
appeared in the Annual Print 2014 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the
family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or
read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the
magazine on your mobile devices.

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