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Homeschool to College Transition: How Being Homeschooled Prepared Me for College

University of St. Thomas alumnus Elaine Revera writes about her transition from home school to college in Houston, Tx.

Elaine Rivera at George Ranch Historical Park.

Editor’s Note: Students who attended in-home schools typically have lots of questions about the differences between homeschooling and college. UST alumna Elaine Rivera talks about her transition from home school to college and why she felt UST was one of the best colleges for homeschoolers.

Reflecting back on my homeschooling experience as a child, I’ve realized there are many ways homeschooling prepared me for college that I thought I’d share and explain how it helped me while attending UST.

Since I was home schooled for the full 12 years, the most common question that I get asked is “Do you ever wish you went to a normal school? The answer I always tell them is no because I found that there were advantages of homeschooling. I do however wonder ever once in a while what it would have been like to have attended a public high schoo. Overall though I wouldn’t trade my home school years for anything. Although there are many homeschooling pros and cons, in my opinion there are more benefits of homeschooling than there are cons.

Don’t get me wrong, there are stereotypes about homeschoolers out there, and some of them are true. Homeschooling programs tend to get a bad rep for being introverts and being socially awkward but there’s a whole other aspect of it that people often forget or never think about.

Why is Homeschooling Good?

Independence.

The truth is, I liked being a homeschooled student because it gave me the freedom to create a schedule that worked with my extracurricular activities, and it allowed me to figure out what I needed to do to get things done on time, to the best of my abilities. It helped me become accountable and learn how to think independently, organize, and prioritize my tasks.

My favorite homeschooling benefits came from the freedom to follow my interests. My parents have always been a source of constant encouragement for me to pursue them, which has led to me be involved in orchestra, gymnastics, various types of dance lessons, guitar lessons, art camps and other extracurricular activities and day trips to museums, parks, and performing arts events.

Making the leap from home school to a university

Elaine Rivera participating in Jesse H. Jones Pioneer Days.

The Homeschooling College Learning Curve

A lot of my friends were involved in cooperative learning classes, which means they met at someone’s house to sit through structured “classes” about various school subjects. I, on the other hand, stayed home and worked independently.

Being a homeschooled student meant my mom was my primary teacher, but she always gave me freedom to figure out how I studied and what worked best. I didn’t realize it at the time, but her giving me that much freedom when I studied helped me tremendously when I attended college at 16, as a dual-credit student.

At the end of my undergraduate career, I realized how beneficial my home school program was, and how the skills I learned as a homeschooled student have been throughout my college career and various internships and jobs.

I decided to attend UST because I appreciated the small class size and the attention each student received from the professors. I was used to the one-on-one instruction, which was essential to my success when learning new material.

UST is also a home school friendly college environment. Not even halfway into my first semester at the University, I quickly realized the large number of homeschooled college students, and the similarities we shared. Many of us had a passion for reading, admiration for the liberal arts, and a dedication to fostering a positive, empowering learning environment for all students.

Overall, I didn’t initially realize how many homeschooling benefits there really was until I got into college. The opportunities, freedom and self-exploration helped me in my academic career and helped me create skill sets that most importantly, helped me get through college successfully.

I hope I provided some insight on how my home school program tremendously helped me get through college, and how UST ultimately helped me and made me feel comfortable getting through my college years.

Are you looking to make the transition from home school to college? Request more information from UST today!

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By Elaine Rivera, English and communication alumna

About the Author — Staff

AvatarThe University of St. Thomas is the only Catholic, liberal arts university in Houston, Texas. We have 35+ undergraduate majors including STEM, Nursing, Business, Education and Pre-Med. Located in a vibrant urban environment just minutes from downtown and the famed Texas Medical Center, we welcome students of all races and religions to our diverse and collaborative campus.

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