Tag Archives for " College "

Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?

Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?

How can homeschooled kids be prepared for college?

Have you ever found yourself asking that question?

OR are your kids getting older, and now you’re asking yourself, “Is my homeschooled child ready for college?”

That’s the position I was in just a few months ago!

I was sending my oldest off to college. She’d been homeschooled since she was 3, and I thought we had done a pretty good job.

(There were moments that I wondered … but I had this homeschool trick to keep me going.)

But even after all those years, I didn’t KNOW if she would be okay in college.

Sure - I had done a lot to help her be ready to apply for college. I talk about some of that in this post about making applying for college easier.

And I knew she didn’t need an accredited high school transcript, so we hadn’t worried about that.

But I still worried she hadn’t learned enough or she didn’t have the right life skills.

Would she be able to cook enough to feed herself well every day?

Would she get along with her roommates?

Would she know how to take a test?!? 

(Yep! I realized other than the ACT, she had never taken an actual test. I don’t know how I missed that one -- but our schooling focused on other ways to assess learning! Whoops!)

Then I found this AMAZING book called The Self-Driven Child.

I was reading it for other reasons -- learning more about how motivation in children works and how you can increase motivation in your homeschool.

(I created an entire course all about motivating your kids to want to learn that you can check out here!)

And tucked away in the back of the book was the BEST list of questions to ask yourself to see if your child is ready for college.

I recommend the entire book, but in today’s video, I’m sharing the list of questions with you!

This list of questions will help you fully answer the question -- “How do I know if my homeschooled child is ready for college?”

As for us, once I read through I felt MUCH better. 

And it turns out I didn’t need to worry. A few months in, and she’s doing great. And she DOES know how to take tests!

Turns out I didn’t need to worry so much after all.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Simplify preparing college applications (no matter how old your kid is)

Download my Master College Application List Template


Hello. This is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about how you can know whether your homeschooled kid is ready for college. I mean, how do you know, especially if they have not done a lot outside of your little homeschool community? Maybe they have taken a couple of classes, maybe they have even taken a class at the high school. You know it depends on your situation, but how do you know if your kid is ready to leave home, fly the nest, and actually tackle that college thing?

Well, today we are going to talk about those, a list of things that you can kind of run down to know whether or not your kid is ready for college. Now, what I am going to tell you is some of these things that I am going to talk about I actually made other videos for. So if you are watching this somewhere other than my blog, feel free to click on the link and check out the link to the actual blog posts. You can see the videos that go along with some of these topics.

Also, I just want to mention that this is a really interesting time period for a homeschool mom and the reason is you have kept your kids close right, and intentionally. A lot of us homeschool because we want to be more involved in our children's lives. We want to be more involved in the education. We want to be a part of the journey and we want to instill our values. We want to help them grow up to be successful adults in an environment that nurtures and respects them.

Regardless of all the reasons that you chose to homeschool, at some point you have to let your kids grow beyond the walls of your home. And that can be a really different experience because you have kept them close. It may be the very first time they've been gone for a long period of time, whether it is just a day by day thing, or they actually move away and go somewhere else.

And so when you start to think about this, it can bring up a lot of emotions, a lot of experience, a lot of thoughts about have I prepared them? Did I do a good job? Have I failed them? You know? And so what we want to do is help our children be prepared and be as successful as possible. We want them to be ready to leave as much as we have worked to keep them close. So what I want to do is just go down a series of questions you can ask yourself.

And all of these questions were listed in a book called "The Self-Driven Child." And I will leave a link to that, you know, down below or up above or wherever you are watching this video. It will also be on my blog. And that book had a whole chapter on your child's readiness for college. Absolutely recommend the book. It is fabulous for lots of reasons, but I loved this chapter in particular. I marked it. I actually found myself calling everyone I know and saying, you are not going to believe what I just found out. There is so much good information here. I wish I had had this years ago.

I am one of those people. So if you have a friend like that, I am sorry because we just get so excited when we find new things that we want to share. So I am excited to share this with you today. 

Okay, so lets talk about this. This is all about readiness and there is about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,nine questions, some sub questions that you are going to ask yourself. So bear with me. We are going to go through these one by one.

1. Does your child understand themselves?

Okay. So number one first question, does your child understand themselves and how they do things best? Do they understand how they go about moving through their day? Do they understand what they are good at and what they need help with? Do they understand themselves? Do they have a sense of self awareness? That is question number one.

2. Can your child self-regulate?

Question number two, can your child self regulate? And what they mean what this book and this list means by self regulate is, are they able to make decisions independent of the people around them, that will be good for them? So particularly, are they able to self regulate against their peers? So if they have a friend who calls them up and says, "Hey, let's go to the restaurant at midnight", and they know that they need to go to bed cause they have a big test the next day. Are they able to say no because they know what is best for them? Are they able to regulate their own environment and be in control of themselves?

3. Is your child self-motivated?

Number three, is your child adequately self-motivated? Who makes their choices about school? So does your child know how to get things done themselves? Do they know how to pick their own classes? Do they know how to know what they want to take? Do they know how to track themselves and plan themselves? Are they able to make decisions about their education independent of you? Now, this does not mean that you completely are not involved. All it means is that they are able to take the lead and you are playing a supporting role. Because if they can not take the lead, then when they are out on their own, they will be lost. Because they will not be able to make those day to day educational choices that are so important in the college environment. Okay, so that was number three.

4. Can your child manage day-to-day living?

Number four, can they manage day to day living independently? Independently means can they do their own laundry? Do they know how to cook? Do they know how to take care of a vehicle if they are going to take a car to college. You are looking at, do they have the life skills to live on their own? And it is unfortunate how many kids go to college who do not have this. Now I do not think this is as much an issue in the homeschool community.

I think that my experience has been that in the homeschool community at large, we are really, really focused on making sure our kids have life skills. And we have the benefit that they have been home to learn those life skills while they are also getting an education. But I do think it is a good thing to ask yourself, do they know how to make doctor's appointments? Do they know how to, you know, get themselves to a doctor's appointment, have a conversation if they need to figure out information, all of that. Okay, so that's number four.

5. Can your child manage stress?

Number five, does your child have a healthy way to manage stress? College is stressful, life is stressful. And how does your child manage themselves when they get stressful? Do they do it in healthy ways? Like go for a bike ride or a walk or exercise? Do they do some kind of calming exercise, whether that's meditation or playing a musical instrument or reading or you know, anything that they do that is a really healthy way to calm down as opposed to watching television, eating, playing video games. There are some really unhealthy ways to manage stress that will not serve them well in the college environment. So just kind of being aware of your child and where are they with their ability to manage stress

6. Is your child burned out?

Okay. Number six is, is your kid burned out? This is a really honest question to ask. We can get in the mindset of, well, my kid is done with high school. It's time to go to college or whatever age they are and just think it is the next step to hit without taking a step back and saying, would they benefit from some time off? Would they benefit from that gap year that happens outside of the United States. Where they go out and they work or they do an internship unpaid or they travel or they do something else.

That allows them to just explore other aspects of their personality and who they are that is not educational. Do they just need a break where they go to work and they come home? How has their educational experience been so far and would they benefit from some time off? So number six is, is your kid burned out? I think it is a really great question to ask and sometimes the answer might be a little hard to come to terms with, but it is a great question to ask.

7. Does your child have adequate academic skills?

Okay, number seven, does your child have the skills they need to do the academic work? Now, hopefully in your homeschool you have been able to somehow navigate them to the place where they are ready to do college work. But you know what? Maybe you haven't, maybe you haven't. Maybe your kid has special needs. Maybe your family has been focused on other things. Maybe you have decided to homeschool in a really alternative way and your kid has a really great education, but maybe does not have some of the skills that are needed in a college level environment.

For example, reading large quantities or listening to large quantities of information. You know, really fast pace because college moves really fast. Do they know how to write at a college level or at a beginning college level? It is easy to track based on your experience at the end of college, so it is at the beginning college level. Do they know how to study for a big exam. These are skills, these are not knowledge. But if they do not have those skills, it might be beneficial to either do some remedial work, remedial when you are going to college, it is not going to feel remedial. But finding ways for them to pick up some of those skills before they start. If you sense that learning those skills on the fly is going to be kind of hard for them. So that is number seven. Do they have the skills to do the academic work required in the college environment?

8. Does your child know how to get support?

Number eight, we are almost done. Does your child know how to ask for support, academic or emotional if they need it? And do they know where to go to get that support? Do they know how to create that support around themselves? A lot of kids struggle in college if they do not know how to get to the academic advisement center. And it is called different things in different universities or colleges, but where they get support for disabilities of any kind. Do they know how to go find for that support and are they willing to ask for it?

Do they know how to recognize when they are struggling in a situation and ask for help from a tutor to take advantage of the writing lab? Schools nowadays provide a plethora of opportunities and support, but the kid has to know how to take it and they have to want to actually go get help. The kids who get help are very successful in college, almost across the board. The ones that do not often struggle. So does your kid know what they need and do they know how to find that? Do they? That is number eight.

9. Can your child manage complex social environments?

Number nine, can your child manage a social environment that is complex? College is a complicated social environment, even more than a high school environment. And if your child has been homeschooled, this may be an area where they have less experience than their peers. Do they know how to handle a large group of people that are all the same age who are jockeying for social position? Do they know how to socially interact and have conversations about topics that are outside of the academic arena?

Do they know how to handle, the romantic relationships that are inevitably going to start happening once they are in a college environment? Do they know how to date? Do they know how to say yes? Do they know how to say no? Do they know how to protect themselves? Do they know how to put themselves in safe places versus unsafe places? These are things that we maybe do not think about when we think about going to college. We think about the academic side. But is your child socially prepared to go? And if they are not, how can you help them prepare? And I think that, in the end, is the real question.

If you see a deficit in any of these areas, what can you do to help improve your child's chances of success? And that may mean taking a break before they actually start the college experience. And only you and they are going together to know how to do that. Now remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. You do not have to say a hundred percent a hundred percent a hundred percent for your kid to be able to go.

My oldest daughter just went to college. We could not say 100% on all of these, but I felt confident enough and I am going to say "enough" because there were moments where I was like, I do not know. I hope she is going to be okay, but she is thriving. She is thriving, and it turns out that she is okay that she is navigating these. The social thing has been a little bit trickier for her. The academic one, she is doing great. I am actually surprised because some of the academic skills that she is doing in college are not the ones that I thought we had practiced at home, but it turns out she had picked them up along the way.

But we had done life skills, we had worked on emotional regulation. We had worked on a lot of this even if we were not at 100%. The other thing is, and I have said this a couple of times, but I am going to say it again. Do not push your kid if they are not ready. That is the number one recipe for failure in college and you do not want that for your kid. Nobody has to go to school at 18 there are so many routes to success.

Some take you through college, some do not. And if you head through college, not everybody has to go to college right out of high school. Not everybody has to do college early. Some people do college at 20, 21, 22 after they have done something else for a couple of years and that is okay. That is okay. As homeschoolers, we are used to tracking differently, taking all different alternate paths. Do not let yourself get trapped in this idea that now that you have done this alternate path up to 18 or whatever age your kid is, now you are going to just jump into the normal rhythm. You have so many choices.

So this is the list. I love this list because it is so comprehensive. It is so much bigger than just, can your kid do a certain type of schoolwork? It is a holistic approach to how do you launch a child into adulthood, into a supportive environment where hopefully they can thrive. 

I hope this list has been helpful. If you want to check out more videos about different aspects of this, then go ahead and make sure that you head over to my blog if you are not there already. Watch those other videos. 

And I have other resources that are available for you as a homeschool mom, no matter what age your kids are, and I make these videos every week because I want you to be confident. I want you to be successful, and that is why I make those resources. I am ToriAnn Perkey. Thanks for joining me. We will see you next week.

Save for later by pinning to your favorite Pinterest board!

Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
Prepare to apply to college as homeschooler

One simple trick to do NOW to simplify applying to college (even if your kid is only 7)

It loomed large in my mind … college applications for my kids…

I wasn’t worried whether my kid could get into college. I had already done tons of research and figured that all out. (I’ll make another video about that some other time.)

Prepare to apply to college as homeschooler


No … the idea that at some point I would have to help her fill out a college application.

And I remembered my college applications from years before -- lots of lines and boxes. Late nights and desperately trying to remember four or more years back …


Then a friend of mine recommended I do something so simple -- so easy -- and I know that applying to college is going to be just a little bit easier.

And now I’m sharing it with you ...my Master College Application List plan.

AND -- when you finish watching, grab my free template that I made just for you to go along with the video.

Simplify preparing college applications (no matter how old your kid is)

Download my Master College Application List Template


Hello, ToriAnn Perkey here!  From my homeschool to your homeschool, let's talk about how you can make applying to college for your homeschooler just a little bit easier even if your kids aren't even old enough that you're even really thinking about college -- 6, 7, 8, 9.  I'm going to teach you a simple trick that's going to make those applying years so much easier right now.

I wish I'd known this trick when my kids were little, but I didn't get started until a little bit later. So, I want to save you some grief and some pain because the reality is applying for college is a big deal, and it takes a lot of work, and colleges are looking for way more in your homeschool kids than just what classes they took. They want to know about their leadership. They want to know about their extracurricular. They want to know about the kid. They want to know if it's the kind of kid who's really going to fit into their school environment. 

And because of that, there are applications across the board regardless of what school you're trying to get into are going to be asking questions about a variety of different topics and if you wait until your kid is 16 to start applying for college and you're trying to remember everything that your kid did that you could put on this application, talk about freak-out zone.

So, right now no matter how old your kids are, I want you to do this. I want you to create a master document either in Google Docs or Evernote or wherever you keep these kinds of lists, and I want you to start just writing down the things your kids do.

Now, you don't have to do this every day or even every week, but I recommend you put a reminder on a calendar or a phone, and look at it at least once or twice maybe three times a year. And as your kids get older, probably you want to do it more often.

Now, what do you put in this master doc? What do you put in this document? Because you're going to use this document when it comes time to apply for college. Years and years later, you're going to use the things on this list to fill out this master application.

So, what do you include on the list? Well, here are some ideas of different categories to include, and I'm going to include a link with this video, and you can download a free PDF that's going to walk you through all these steps as well if you would like that. I want to give that to you because ... well ... it's super fun to make that kind of stuff.

Okay.  So, what do you need in this? Well, the first thing I would put on the list this master list -- the master college application list -- is the books that your kids have read.  Now, if your kids are anything like mine, I'd assume that they're such voracious readers that the list would be hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books long. You do not have to write them all. What we're looking for is the classics. The ones that are going to show that they're well read, they're well educated and that they have really kind of moved through a variety kinds of literature both fiction and non-fiction.

If they have certain magazines they read regularly ... Popular Science or National Geographic or whatever ... you can include those there as well. So, you're looking for a list of books and other things that they read that are classics. If you have certain religious books that your kids are reading on a regular basis, I would include those as well.

The second thing that you want to put down is activities. What are the things that they've done? These are activities in a school setting like with a local homeschool co-op or maybe if they've gone part-time or extracurricular things like orchestra or rock climbing or dance or whatever your kids have been doing that outside of academia that makes them more well-rounded. You can list those, and you can list the years that they've been doing them because that way you can show that they did it for 5 years or 2 years. That's just going to be information that's going to be helpful. So, I just list the year they start and then it just keeps going from there.

You can also list the leadership positions they've had, whether they've had a leadership position in like a student council setting in your school co-op, whether they've had leadership at church, whether they've done it in the community, whether they volunteered somewhere -- we can talk about -- volunteering can go in a couple of places, but you can certainly put those down. 

Any service opportunities -- this is where volunteer would go in two different places. If they cleaned up something. If they did an Eagle project … that's a huge one! But if they're engaged in any kind of service even small service projects, write it down. You can use potentially that later, and you don't know, so you're going to write it down now.

Any classes that they've taken -- you don't have to get super detailed but starting in about 7th grade, I would start writing down. And I recommend that you just write down every class that your kid is in. And if you are radical unschoolers and there's no classes, then you want to describe what school looked like in a way that you can kind of remember the major projects they were engaged in or the major activities that you did as a family so you have some kind of transcript building material later on.

You want to write down another category is awards and achievements. If they're given an award because they win a contest or because they win something at an event, any awards, any achievements, if the local community honors them in some way, you want to write those down. Any jobs that they've held. Any entrepreneurial type things that they've done, you can totally include those. And those are just some of the categories that I recommend. 

So I would go through, and I just would create bold headings and then I would just be plugging stuff in. It might be totally empty if your kid is 9 or 10, but as they get older -- 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade --you'll start to fill those in. And if you see a gap, then you know that might be something you want to encourage your kid to do so they come across as more well-rounded when they are getting ready for the college application process.

So, once again this is just an easy simple way to make the applying part so much easier. I have a free PDF that you can grab at the link below or above wherever it is so that you can access this information so you don't have to … like if you're listening this in a place where you can't scribble that down … and I'll have some details about the different categories and some examples. 

I think it's going to be super helpful. It's going to make your life so much easier. Go do it right now.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I give you these tips and tricks and resources every week so that you can be a super successful and confident homeschool mom.

Save for later by pinning to your favorite Pinterest board!

Prepare to apply to college as homeschooler
Prepare to apply to college as homeschooler
create college transcript with master list
Homeschool college prep tip

Want college-bound kids? … Do THIS before anything else!

Do you want your kids to go to college?

Or do you have dreams of them becoming an entrepreneur?

I certainly did.

Homeschool college prep tip


But over the years, I made one crucial mistake that made my oldest not care about what she did after high school.

In this video, I talk about the mistake I made and what I did to fix it.

My only regret is that I didn’t start fixing it sooner!

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

Register below to watch my FREE CLASS

Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hey guys! It's ToriAnn Perkey here! From my homeschool to your homeschool, I want to tell you the number one most important thing to do if you want your kids to go to college. And it's probably not what you think it is.

Because I know that when I first started thinking about the whole, "How am I gonna get my homeschool kid into college?" I started thinking in terms of ACT, SAT scores.

Or I started thinking about, "Well, do we have to have grades? Do we have to have a diploma?"

I started thinking about what subjects do we have to cover and can my kids get a scholarship?

I had all of these questions rumbling around in my mind, so I started researching like crazy. And it wasn't until after I'd done a bunch of research that I realized I was skipping the most important question. And in order to understand this, I have to tell you a little story.

So in our homeschool, I think it's really important that my kids have a choice. That there's lots of alternatives to being able to be a successful adult and college is only one of them. And so for years and years and years, when we would talk about college, to my oldest and all my kids, we would say, "You can go to college if you want, or if you want to do something else, you totally can."

Because I totally believe that's true. And for a long time I thought I was doing my kids this amazing service because I was opening up their horizons and making it possible for them to do all sorts of things. And then what I noticed was that my oldest started to say ... I would say, "Do you wanna go to college?" and she'd say, "Not really." And I'd say, "Okay, so what are you gonna do instead?” “Yeah, I don't know." 

And I realized that in my desire to make sure that she knew she had options, I had actually created this place where she had no vision at all. And I also know that even though there's lots of options, college really is kind of the gateway to a lot of opportunities unless you have something else in mind. 

So I started to change the way we talked about it. And I started to say, "You need to go to college, unless you have another option. You need to go to college." And this shifted everything. Because once we started having this conversation, my daughter started to realize that she needed to think more about college.

And when she started thinking more about college, then we could start saying, "Okay, what do you see? What kind of college would you wanna go to? What kind of experience do you wanna have? And I can see you in college, and I can see you doing this, and I can see you doing this. And … oh … you're really gonna enjoy this."

And then we would also talk about entrepreneurship. We talk about these things. And her mind went from, "I don't know" to "Huh. Well, I think I would do this if went to college, and I think I would wanna study this." And she changed the way she could see herself in the future.

So what's the number one thing you need to do if you want your kids to be college bound? 

You need to set a foundation that says, "I see you in college. I see you being successful. I see you studying different topics. I see you making friends. I see you launching into a beautiful, successful life." The number one thing you have to do is create vision. Create a vision of what they're going to look like in college and that they're going to college. 

And you can create a vision that they'll also be entrepreneurs. Or you can create a vision that they're going to be living whatever dream that they have. If they start to express a different dream, you can totally support that and talk about that.

But if you don't have vision, and your kids don't have vision, then it doesn't matter. All of the other research you're gonna do about SAT and ACT and grades and diplomas. I can make a totally other video about How to Get Into College and whether any of those things are important.

We can talk about that later.

But before you can research that and have it mean anything ... have any value ... you have to have a vision that you're going.

So don't make the same mistake I did. Make sure that your kids know that college is definitely where you want them to be unless they have another plan. And that's how we talk about it all the time now. You're going to college unless you have another plan.

And it shifted everything in our home, and I know that it's making a difference for my younger kids, and they're talking about it sooner. And they have a different sense of where they're headed more so than my oldest who really did feel kinda lost for a while. Because I wasn't helping her create the vision. 

So create a vision of where you want your kids to end up. And then help them get there by doing all the other things that move them in that direction.

Alright, I'm ToriAnn Perkey. And I make these videos every week so that you can be a confident, successful homeschool mom.

Save for later by pinning to your favorite Pinterest board!

Homeschool college prep tip
Homeschool college prep tip
Homeschool college prep tip