Homeschooling Gifted Children (page 3)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Dec 8, 2010

What About College?

The later high school years should be structured with college applications in mind. These years may be managed in a variety of ways. Some students remain in homeschooling and receive no diploma. Others choose to reenter public school during high school to align themselves with peers and obtain a standard diploma. Others select a combination that will take advantage of Advanced Placement courses or other academic and extracurricular offerings.

Limited research suggests that the home educated do well in college (Sutton & de Oliveira, 1995; Galloway, & Sutton, 1995). Furthermore, homeschoolers may find the unique experiences and abilities gained through homeschooling make them attractive to competitive colleges. Check with the colleges of interest to determine if they have specific application requirements for homeschoolers. When standard high school student transcripts are not available, colleges may need other information to make an informed decision. SAT scores may be given more weight, since they are a way of comparing a homeschooler to the general college-bound population. Transcripts from community college courses taken during high school years can be useful. Letters of recommendation from persons who have worked with the homeschooler in tutorials, apprenticeships, community service, and social activities may prove very valuable. A detailed description of unique homeschool courses, in-depth independent projects, competitions, publications, and community service activities will help a college understand the quality of an applicant's homeschool education and recognize the student as a competitive applicant. An interview, when offered by a college or university, is particularly important for homeschool applicants.

Where Can Families Get Information?

This digest has an accompanying bibliography (EB18) that provides a wide variety of resources. The following resources and others cited in their bibliographies are another place to start. There are many parent discussion groups on the Internet that discuss homeschooling issues. Groups such as TAGFAM and TAG-L are listed on the ERIC EC website>. Or, seek out a local homeschool support group. You can find one by checking with state organizations listed in some of the magazines and through some of the Internet sites listed in EB 18. Other sources include libraries; state and local boards of education, especially state or local gifted advocacy groups; La Leche League; and religious organizations. Be sure to look for groups that match the underlying philosophy that attracted you to homeschooling.


Galloway, R. A., & Sutton, J. P. (1995). Home schooled and conventionally schooled high school graduates: A comparison of aptitude for and achievement in college English. Home School Researcher, 11(1), 1-9.

Galloway, R. A. (1995). Home schooled adults: Are they ready for college? ED384297.

Lines, P. M. (Oct. 1991). Estimating the home schooled population. Working Paper. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Research and Improvement. ED 337903.

Lines, P. M. (1995). Homeschooling. ERIC EA Digest No. 95, ED381849.

Montgomery, L. R. (1989). The effect of home schooling on the leadership skills of home schooled students. Home School Researcher, 5(1), 1-10.

National Home Education Research Institute, (1997). Strengths of their own: Home schoolers across America: Academic achievement, family characteristics, and longitudinal traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute.

Ray, B. D. (1996). Home education research fact sheet IIb. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute.

Shyers, L. E. (1992). A comparison of social adjustment between home and traditionally schooled students. Home School Researcher, 8(3), 1-8.

Sutton, J. P., & de Oliveira, P. (1995). Differences in critical thinking skills among students educated in public schools, Christian schools, and home schools. ED390147.

Taylor, J. W. (June, 1986). Self-concept in home-schooling children. Home School Researcher, 2(2), 1-3.

U.S. Department of Education (1994a). High standards for all students. <>

U.S. Department of Education (1994b). Prisoners of Time. <>

Note. The Home School Researcher is published by the National Home Education Research Institute, P.O. Box 13939, Salem OR 97309. 513-772-9580. URL:<>.

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