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Struggling to Find the Right Colleges for Your Homeschooler?

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 front of you.

Let’s make the homeschool to college search easy

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 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 you.

(And the admissions officers at Harvard or Knox or Reed.)

So how are you going to get their Kierkegaard on?

girl in ripped lack jeans doing the college search on the computer

Make your homeschooler’s college search a thoughtful and personalized one.

Imagine this.

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.”

Keep the conversation going

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.

  • Remind them that it’s not about brand names or rankings.
  • It’s not about what their friends are doing.
  • It’s about who they are and who they want to be.

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.”

  • Because finding the right school isn’t easy.
  • But it’s a lot easier when you start with what matters most.

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.




  • How do you see yourself and how do others see you?
  • What are your finest qualities? Your most conspicuous shortcomings?
  • How have you grown or changed during your high school years thus far?
  • What kind of person will you be bringing to a college community?


  • How do you think? How do you approach learning?
  • What has been your most stimulating intellectual experience in recent years?
  • How has homeschooling shaped the way you view learning and education?
  • How hard do you work in high school?
  • How do you learn best? What methods and styles of teaching engage your interest and effort the most?
  • What kind of community will benefit from your intellect?


  • How has homeschooling allowed you to live or think differently than those in school?
  • What ideas continually swarm around in your head and heart? About you, people, and the world?
  • What events/experiences have shaped your growth and way of thinking?
  • How will those ideas make waves on a college campus?


  • What do you love to do in your free time?
  • How have you taken advantage of homeschooling in pursuing your academic or extracurricular interests?
  • What do you think you missed while homeschooling? What are you looking forward to when attending college?
  • How will your passions add to a college community?


  • What motivates you?
  • What values are most important to you?
  • What kind of person would you like to become?
  • If you had a year to go anywhere and do whatever you wanted, where would you go and what would you do?
  • How will your values manifest themselves in a college community?

Remember This

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.

With passion.

With purpose.

With possibility.

Let’s finish what you started.



Your Turn

Which question resonated with you most? Share in a comment below!


Lisa Davis Fearless Homeschoolers

I'm Lisa Davis, Founder of Fearless Homeschoolers. As a professional college admissions consultant who's worked with hundreds of homeschool families, I believe you should know exactly how to go through the homeschool to college journey without second guessing yourself. Join me and I'll show you the way...

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