Have you been poking around online, looking for the right way to start your homeschooler’s college search - only to feel more overwhelmed?
It’s easy to think the golden ticket is Google.
Or the Fiske Guide.
Or your own alma mater.
But the answer is right in from of you.
Take a peek over your computer screen.
Yup. The answer lies in that kid who’s probably scrolling through their phone right now.
This may not be easy.
In fact, if they’re like most teenagers, it’s may just sting.
You see, your kid needs to start the college search by going existential. They need to question who they are and what motivates them.
Quite likely, it’ll be the first time they’ve asked themselves questions like these. But answering in a thoughtful way will create a transformation that will totally wow them.
(And the admissions officers at Harvard or Knox or Reed.)
So how are you going to get their Kierkegaard on?
Make your homeschooler’s college search a thoughtful and personalized one.
It’s Monday night at 7. Your homeschooler is sitting cross-legged on the floor as they hand you over a paper filled with ramblings and musings about who they are.
You take a sip of your chamomile tea and the two of you chat about the ideas that light them up, the values they hold dear, and the future they imagine for themselves.
You can’t help but look at that kid of yours with wonder and say to yourself, “They’re gonna be just fine.”
That Monday night should be every Monday night. Same time. Same place. Same positive energy. Schedule it. Follow through with it.
My most successful familes (making it through this process without giving their kids up for adoption) have regular “college chats.”
And on that first Monday night (or Tuesday night or Saturday morning), tell them that the college search starts with them and ends with them.
So, before you open a new tab and head over to College Board’s Big Future, print the following questions out. Tell your homeschooler you’ll discuss at next week’s “college chat.”
Eric Furda, former Dean of undergraduate admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, encourages all students to start with the Five I’s when starting the college search. I took the liberty of using the Five I’s but inserted the questions I ask every new student about to start on this journey.
Related: Your Homeschooler’s College List. What You Should Know.
Related: How to Jumpstart Your Homeschooler’s College Search
The college search shouldn’t start with brand names or rankings or stats.
And the college search shouldn’t start with random scouring of the internet.
You have an opportunity to start a conversation with your homeschooler. And to have a real conversation, you need to listen more than you talk.
Listen to what they say about who they are, what matters most to them, and what they imagine their future selves to be.
Teach them to listen to their inner self as it guides them through this next chapter of their life.
Treat this process the way you’ve always treated your homeschooler and homeschooling.
Let’s finish what you started.
Which question resonated with you most? Share in a comment below!