Home School Letters of Reference
Home school letters of reference seem to create a lot of anxiety as many homeschoolers worry about gathering letters of reference for their college applications. Usually, traditional applicants supply a letter from a teacher who knows their academic progress and has had ‘arms-length’ interactions with them. However, homeschooled students shouldn’t worry that they don’t have these same types of letters from their teachers.
As Marlyn E. McGrath, director of admissions at Harvard, rather famously stated, “While we can make careful evaluations with required recommendations, we are happy to read helpful letters from people directly familiar with applicants’ lives outside the classroom.”
Additionally, Purdue (just to cite one specific example) notes that letters from a supervisor at a part-time job or religious leader are just as reliable as letters from teachers, coaches and guidance counselors in a traditional school. Finally, there are also schools that don’t even require letters of recommendation at all, which just means that other areas of the application will be much more heavily weighted.
So, in conclusion, if you still have time to develop strong relationships with a part-time job supervisor, religious leader or other similar individual, what are you waiting for? Start impressing these individuals and hope they will be willing and available for you in your senior year to write your home school letters of reference. With perhaps a bit of luck, they may even be receptive to writing specifically about the story themes and wow factors most pertinent to your applications!