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Homeschooling from the Heart: A Letter from College

Ever wondered if homeschooling your children will prepare them adequately for college? How will your child handle the academic, emotional, and peer pressures of the formal education environment? Formal studies have shown that homeschoolers’ academic abilities often equal or surpass that of their peers, but there’s nothing like a letter home to get a glimpse of a real student’s experiences!

Dear Mom and Dad,

Girl Writing a Letter

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve called. College is crazy busy! You should see the amount of homework they give us for British Literature and Biology! Between assignments, volleyball practice, and work, it’s all I can do to fit in time to eat and shower. And sleep? Ha! I’ve forgotten what it’s like!

But I wanted to send you a quick hello. It’s amazing what you start appreciating once you’re in college. Stuff I never knew I’d need to know is now what’s helping me get by!

As a kid, I always kind of wondered what it would be like to go to a “real” school—you know, sit in a classroom with a “real” teacher, give reports, have classmates, and stuff like that. Sometimes I wondered if any of the things we did while homeschooling would really matter once I finally made it to college. And now that I’m here, well … remember all those trips we made to the library, coming home with armloads of books? You’d be surprised how the random things I learned in all that reading have come in handy. And remember the many times we sat at the kitchen table, me dissolving into frustrated tears and one of you patiently explaining some math concept for the zillionth time? You always told me not to let my frustration raise mental walls. That advice still comes to mind when I’m doing French homework. Sometimes I get so lost! But just when I’m most ready to quit, I remember you saying that I’ll never understand if I give up … so I grit my teeth and try again.

Have to say dorm life is interesting, but somehow I feel better prepared for it after sharing a room with my sisters for all those years. Some of my roommates get so upset, arguing over the stupidest things—one’s tuna fish making the room stink or the other one hogging the sink and mirror for hours while getting ready in the mornings. Not that any of us sisters were much better (there was always that race to be first into the bathroom!), but you never allowed us to be rude to each other. And now that I’m living with roommates who carelessly leave their stuff on my bed and turn off the lights while I’m still reading, I’ve realized (and I can’t believe I’m saying this!) how thankful I am that I’ve already experienced a lot of this with my siblings. Life at home taught me how to get along with people. Not that I don’t still get frustrated with my roommates! After all, my siblings drove me absolutely crazy sometimes too, but they were great practice for this “real world.”

Well, guess I’d better get going. I have only 30 minutes between my morning and afternoon classes to grab lunch at the dining hall. (And did I ever mention how much the food here makes me miss your cooking, Mom? Seriously!) But I love you guys. Thanks so much for being there and for teaching me how to work hard. I think I’m having a much easier time adjusting to the schedule and load here than a lot of the other students. It’s surprising how many of them have problems focusing on their homework and balancing their schedules. They spend their time hanging out with friends and then complain about bad grades and how hard their classes are—it’s like they never learned how to just “knuckle down and do it.”

Miss you all so much—a constant ache inside—and think about you every day. Absolutely cannot wait til Christmas vacation brings me home to you! Keep praying for me. Sometimes I think it’ll take a miracle to get me through, but I know I can make it with God’s help. After all, if I can survive homeschooling with our crazy family, I’ve got the tools I need to survive anything! *wink*

Love to all,


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