Providing homeschooled children with a balanced curriculum is key to college admissions. Admission officers want to see that students are capable of taking on a variety of subjects, so that they’ll be able to keep up with their peers in college classes. Harvard Admissions states that “there is no single academic path we expect all students to follow, but the strongest applicants take the most rigorous secondary school curricula available to them.” Although one of the benefits to homeschooling is that your child can focus on specific areas that appeal to them, it is also important to give them a comprehensive introduction to all basic subjects in your homeschool curriculum.
An ideal four-year preparatory program includes four years of English (with extensive practice in writing); four years of math; four years of science (including biology, chemistry, physics, and at least one advanced course in one of these areas); three years of history (including American and European history); and four years of a foreign language. Students who already have a distinct area of study in mind are encouraged to tailor their curriculum towards these interests. For example, engineering students should focus on taking advanced math and science classes. If your child already has some idea of the colleges they’re considering, it’s always good to go online and research the admission requirements for the particular schools. Chances are strong your homeschool curriculum can be adjusted accordingly to incorporate their interests!
Many homeschooled students decide to take college courses in conjunction with their core homeschool curriculum. If your child seems ready to attend these classes (either in a traditional community college setting or online), most schools offer a wide variety of courses which can help broaden your student’s knowledge base. Additionally, colleges look favorably upon students who have proven they can successfully tackle a college-level course—especially if they receive a high grade. These courses not only look great on transcripts, but they also might allow your child to start their college career with additional credits. College courses can simply be viewed as one more way to challenge your child’s brain, and could be an opportunity to introduce them to academics in a more social setting.