Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting Your Homeschooled (and non-homeschooled) Kids Ready for College and Life

** I am transferring over a few posts from my homeschooling blog and combining them into one as this is really home for me so I will do all future homeschool topics here on sunnysimplelife.com.

I am going to share some of my many years of teaching homeschool and let you know how we prepared our homeschooled kids for college and life. Of course this is a lengthy topic so I will break this up into parts.

First off, I have four kids but two are older and college age,  one has graduated and is a RN. She had her degree at 21, and was the youngest to ever be admitted to the program. She was 18 by a few days. She was able to be admitted so young because she started junior college in 11th grade and completed all the prerequisite classes quickly. She never took a summer or winter term off. That was her choice, not mine. She knew what she wanted and wanted to get it done. Her sister is 20 and a mechanical engineering major. She is still in college.

At 21, our oldest  had a full time job making a nice living. But let me back up a bit and start at the beginning. My other daughter is still in college and works part time. She is a mathematics/engineering major and was just given a grant for science and mathematics to continue her schooling. We are thrilled and feel lucky to have kids who are motivated and independent and have their heads on straight. But kids becoming independent and motivated to do well does not happen in a vacuum. You as a parent must do your part. And then some just may depend on the kiddo but this is our story and I will share.

First thing to teach your kids in homeschooling and life: HOW TO WORK!!

So let's start at the beginning. In life when you are are homeschooling, you are around your kids a lot and they are home all day most days. To keep your sanity and to most importantly teach your kids about life and how to function in this world, they need to work. At a young age, about three, my kids were given chores. Simple things like bringing small trash cans to be dumped or setting the table but regular, everyday jobs you must do because you are a part of the family and you have to help.

No allowance was ever given for regular household chores. You did these because you lived here and you need to contribute. Extra money earning jobs were given that the older kids could do to get paid for their own spending choices. These could be lawn mowing, washing cars, harder jobs around the house etc.

This establishes a work ethic in children very young. They had to learn to do the jobs without complaining either. I would warn them but if complaining continued, they would be given extra chores. This may sound tough but honestly you enforce this once, you won't have to say it again. My youngest, who is six, is learning this fact right now. After four kids I am more patient about teaching this so I tell her, "this ain't my first rodeo kid!"

The same goes for doing school work. Seems like around first grade when school work became serious and we had to complete larger amounts of it, some of our kids would complain about things. Frequent reminders that a good attitude is needed and breaks when little ones are getting squirmy help to make things easier on mom and student. So first thing to teach kids is how to work hard without complaining. None of us are perfect but life is hard and learning to do a good job because that is what you need to do is so important. Many parents today are not instilling good work ethics in their kids.

Next time I will talk about what subjects you HAVE to cover in homeschooling in preparation for college and life. The list may surprise you.

Sharing with: Strangers and Pilgrims


  1. Amen to that! Abby started building her resume with a small part-time job for a neighbor in third grade! My friend designs childrens' shoes and Abby would help her pack the shoes in boxes and help at the sales she had from her home. Now she's 20 and just earned almost $7,000 this summer working full time in UT's financial aid office, and loved it. The other kids who weren't working sat around and complained about being bored. (seriously, we're talking 20 year olds here) You are right on, that they best way to raise mature, hard working children is to start young! I absolutely love knowing other parents who share our philosophy on this.

  2. I have always admired your mothering skills. You know what you're doing! And your daughters will benefit from your love and guidance.

  3. You never cease to amaze me Elaine.
    I don't know how you "do it all".
    Wishing you a great school year.

  4. Fabulous advice! A young mother I know was just wondering what kind of chores she should start expecting her 6 year old son to be able to handle. You had some great suggestions here, a more comprehensive list by age would be something I would gladly share with her. You are so right in expecting your children to contribute just as a part of the family, not for money. It's the best way to teach responsibility!

  5. We only home schooled our youngest daughter and then only through high school. She is in college now (2nd yr) on an academic scholarship and doing very well.One of her teachers just recently asked her if she had been home schooled. The Teacher said she thought she must have been since she seemed to be the only student in the class that could take the material and "self teach".

  6. We didn't home school, but taught our kids the same thing- tenacity and to have a good work ethic. All 3 of our girls finished 4 years of college, work and are focused on making a good life. All had good grades, and all got scholarships. You can never start too early, and ditch the tech, teachs them to be a bit lazy and not read actual books...

  7. I love this post! Teaching good work ethic is being lost in the new generation and your children have clearly been blessed by this type of home education! I started a series on the Blessings of Old Fashioned Work and this post is a wonderful affirmative to it. Thank you for sharing last week on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Please join us again in our new link up (it is up and running).... Have a wonderful week!