Ready for College?

Updated 9/26/2022

Do you sometimes feel that you’re the only one with a homeschooled high schooler who isn’t enrolled in community college as a concurrent student or early graduate? You aren’t alone!

Being able to start college early is a great benefit for the teens who are both academically and emotionally ready, and very motivated to move on to their chosen field of study. They shouldn’t be held back just because of their age, and that’s an advantage of homeschooling.

But not all high schoolers are interested in college yet – they are content learning independently at home, and a decision to enroll early just because others are could have negative consequences.  The teen might get discouraged and soon decide college will never be right for them, and if they aren’t ready, they might also get some poor grades that will hurt their chance of transferring to a university when they are older.

If you are considering early college enrollment, look for the following success indicators:

  1. Your teen is very motivated and asks to go to your local community college because they are ready for studies more advanced than high school.
  2. Your teen is mature enough to attend classes without you and can communicate directly with teachers and classmates (and you are ready to let them).
  3. Your teen understands that the college will issue grades and that a good GPA will be important if they want to transfer to a university.

Proceed cautiously and consider waiting if you are contemplating early college primarily because it’s what everyone else seems to be doing. Your teen may want to be with their friends (at least until the first term paper is assigned!) and you may be feeling a bit of homeschool parent peer pressure if it seems like sending your teen to college is the preferred path to take.

If you feel that your child will benefit from a few more years of homeschooling with you, then do that and ignore what others are doing. It’s not a race to see who can have the youngest child start college, although sometimes it feels like it!

As always, do what is best for your child, and know that there are lots of others doing the same thing. There’s so much to learn during the high school years, and college is just one option available.


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.