Homeschoolers’ Most Challenging Spaces to Fill on College Applications – Part II - Leadership
In a previous post I introduced one of the two spaces that can be challenging to answer when a homeschooled student fills out a college application. You can read that post here.
Like the first space, the second one is only challenging because most of us aren’t aware of it. But with advanced notice and preparation, it is an easy space to not only fill but also to become a place for your homeschooler to shine.
The space is often called “positions of leadership,” asking students to list opportunities they have had to lead groups of people or to direct projects and activities.
It is likely that your student is already doing things that he or she can enter in this space. But knowing that this spot needs to be filled will give your student an opportunity to really stand out.
How, you say?
Well, first think about what your student is already doing. Does he play a sport? Did she go on a mission trip? In any of these activities, were they coordinating projects, leading, or training others? Keep a running list of these.
This blank spot also gives you an opportunity to think outside the box when you plan your high school course work for your students. With the flexibility in a homeschooler’s schedule, you can let him or her explore something they love to do or discover a new interest. So brainstorm with them…what do they love to do for fun? Do they like sports, video games, crafting, making movies, art, music? Think about encouraging them to do something creative in those areas. If they like crafts, they can put together a summer craft camp for younger students (either paid or as a ministry). If they enjoy studying film, why not have them create a film club? As “president” of their club (give the club an official name), they can coordinate monthly meetings where students gather together to watch a film and then spend time discussing the themes, cinematography, and other components of that film. How about organizing a fund-raiser for a worthy cause that is important to them?
All of these endeavors require leadership and coordination. And those are the traits that colleges are looking for. Additionally, if you plan ahead, many of these activities can either coordinate with coursework for school or can even qualify as a course in themselves. The film club, for example, can coincide with a literature study if the films are dramatizations of the books your student is reading for a literature course.
And if you have a student who is not college-directed, you can see how these endeavors will also be beneficial for them in whatever they do. By providing opportunities for your students to have leadership positions, you are preparing them to be leaders in their community – those who will be proactive when they see a need – those who will step up and serve others.
So don’t be concerned about your students being unprepared to enter a college environment or the career world. As homeschoolers, we aren’t just training them to get a good score on their SAT exams; we are working to help them become mature young men and women, ready to become godly leaders and servants within our community. By giving them lots of opportunities and exposure to lead and coordinate projects, we are mentoring them through this awesome process so that they will be prepared for whatever God has for them as adults!