Homeschool Extracurricular Activities
In regards to homeschool extracurricular activities, homeschoolers are no different from any other college applicant. Homeschooled students should get involved in outside activities either in their community or in connection with a specific school. Individuals should follow and develop their passions in whatever areas their interests lay. Colleges look at non-academic criteria to see evaluate crucial traits including maturity, social facility, leadership, and other talents. Admissions officers also note the time period or level of commitment that the student devotes to a particular activity—it is far better for a child to be devoted to one community service organization for years rather than many activities for only short periods of time. Admissions officers are also wary of students who ‘pad’ their application with many activities in hopes of looking impressive.
Depending on where you live, there are often homeschooling networks which organize social events for students. These events can include community service outings or non-academic endeavors that can exhibit the child’s interest in particular topics and easily qualify as homeschool extracurricular activities. More recently, several states have ruled that students must be allowed to participate in public school extracurricular activities even if they are homeschooled. If your child is interested, this could be a great way for them to take part in sports teams or clubs such as drama or band.
The reason colleges look at extracurriculars in the first place is that they think they can gauge what kind of person that student is by how they choose to spend their free time. These activities can demonstrate that the individual made a difference in their community through volunteer work, or that they expanded their horizons and acquired additional, non-academic skills. Some college admissions officers also recommend adding work experience to applications, because it shows that the student can handle responsibility outside of an academic schedule. Jim Bock, the dean of admissions at Swarthmore College, stated in an interview with MetroKids, “We value work. There are a lot of great skills that come from working.” Bock also noted that applicants should “list everything you do because it tells your story.” Homeschooled students should use their extracurriculars as just one more way to show colleges that they are a well-rounded person.