Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

College At Home

By Sam Blumenfeld
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #31, 1999.

Pin It

Sam Blumenfeld


As more and more homeschoolers reach the point in their education where they must decide whether or not to go on to college or a university, there are a number of factors to consider. First, you must determine if the career you are pursuing requires a college degree. If your goal is to become a lawyer, nuclear engineer, marine biologist, or medical doctor, attendance at a graduate school will no doubt be necessary. Entry to a graduate school may require four years of prescribed preparation at a college. Thus, it is wise to investigate well in advance what kind of preparation is needed. It may be possible to do a lot of the undergraduate work at home.

As many homeschoolers already know, you no longer need to attend a college in order to get a degree. There are now many accredited schools that offer bachelor's, master's, and even law degrees by home study. Modern computer technology has made home study a very convenient and effective way to earn a degree in virtually any subject area. For example, Auburn University offers an almost totally nonresident MBA and Master of Engineering degrees in such fields as aerospace, chemistry, computer science, and industrial engineering. The courses are taped in the classrooms and mailed to distance students who are required to maintain the same pace of study as resident students.

Regent University at Virginia Beach, Virginia, offers a Master's degree in business administration or management with only two weeks of attendance on campus. There is even an Electronic University Network, which uses the America OnLine computer bulletin board service to connect students with instructors, other students, and support services such as a library and student union.

The most comprehensive source book for what is available in off-campus programs is the guidebook written by John Bear and his daughter Mariah, entitled College Degrees by Mail and Modem (1-800-841-2665, $12.95 plus shipping). The Bears list one hundred accredited educational institutions that offer home study courses leading to degrees. These include Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University, Skidmore College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Oklahoma, and many more.

The Bears have also produced another highly useful book, Bear's Guide to Earning College Degrees Nontraditional (1-800-346-6322, $29.95 plus $3 shipping), which contains all the nontraditional alternatives, including those in the above book plus many more. They write: "Since the mid 1970s, there has been a virtual explosion in what is now commonly called 'alternative' or 'nontraditional' and 'external' or 'off-campus' education - ways and means of getting an education or a degree (or both, if you wish) without sitting in classrooms day after day, year after year."

And no doubt we shall see more and more such off-campus educational opportunities for several good reasons. First, it is no longer necessary to sit in a classroom in an ivy-covered building 500 miles away from home just to listen to a young instructor repeat knowledge that can be found in a textbook. Few full professors actually do any teaching anymore in person. They operate at the graduate level. For undergraduates, they may be available on video or a CD-ROM.

Second, attending college can be very expensive. A college education may cost as much as $30,000 a year. It is common for many college graduates these days to start out their post-school life with a student-loan debt of $120,000. That kind of debt can become a very heavy burden when one is getting an entry-level salary.

Third, not every homeschooler has to or ought to attend college. Basic liberal arts subjects, such as English literature and history, can be studied at home. Home businesses provide plenty of opportunities to develop work and entrepreneurial skills. Apprenticeships can be sought out for valuable work experience. Also, there are plenty of jobs for highly competent homeschooled high-school graduates whose knowledge is certainly equal to if not better than that of many of today's college graduates.

Most liberal arts colleges have become arenas of mindless social activities involving binge-drinking, partying, experimentation in sex and drugs, interspersed with boring classes taught by sixties radicals, feminists, and deconstructionists promoting their own political and social agendas. It makes no sense to homeschool and then waste your time and money at such an institution in order to be brainwashed by the humanists.

The best way for homeschoolers to gain the equivalent of a liberal arts college education is to read those books that the liberal professors don't want you to read. For example, if your aim is to become a teacher in a private school (public school teachers generally need a college degree in education), read those books critical of progressive education. There are dozens of wonderful books critical of the public school curriculum and the federal programs aimed at creating a dumbed-down population easily manipulated by a ruling elite.

Today's liberal professors teach evolution as fact. You can counter them by reading some of the very fine books critical of evolution. You won't have time to read those good books if you're at a college and forced to read only the politically correct books required by your professor.

The essence of homeschooling is educational freedom. Which means that you can choose what you want to learn, read the books you want to read, and choose a future career that reflects your own desires and talents. There is no reason why those principles should not apply to college level education. Look through the course catalog of a good university. Check out the courses you would like to take. Examine the books required for the course, and get books critical of that particular discipline. You will probably learn more by reading the critical studies than the mandated texts.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning University of Nebraska High School

Articles by Sam Blumenfeld

The Whole-Language Boondoggle

High School for Freedom!

Dyslexia: The Man-Made Disease

Teach Reading to the “Learning Disabled”

Uncle Sam Wants Your Child on his National Database

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Teach Reading to the "Learning Disabled"

Homeschooling and Charter Schools

Homeschoolers and Vouchers

The History of Public Education

College At Home

Learning from The "Old Dead Guys"

The Meaning of Educational Freedom

The Importance of Rote Learning

The Exodus Continues

A World Without Public School

The Benefits of Teaching History at Home

How to Tell Real from Phony Phonics?

Getting Started in Arithmetic

Teaching Arithmetic

Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching the Alphabet Sounds

Teaching Blends

Teaching Long Vowels

The History of Geometry Education

Never Bored Again

Learning Greek

How and Why to Teach Shakespeare

How to Get the Most Out of Homeschool Conventions

Forgotten American History: The Barbary Wars

Forgotten American History: God's Providence in the American Revolution

Forgotten American History: The Spanish-American War

Forgotten American History: The Great Awakening

Forgotten American History: Puritan Education

Colonial Education: The Free Market in Action

America Started with Educational Freedom

How Harvard Became Liberal

The Glory of the Alphabet

19th Century Communists & the Origin of American Public Education

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

It Pays to Know Your Legislator

Intelligent by Design

Teaching Kids to Enjoy Classical Music

Before Compulsory Education: The Private Academies

What Schools Teach: Then and Now

The Real Meaning of Easter

The Truth About Independence Day

The Benefits of Reading Biographies

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

The Purposes of Education

Why Homeschoolers Should be Book Collectors

How History Was Taught Back Then

The American Almanac: A Great Learning Tool

The Fun of Going to an Antiques Auction

Politics and Homeschoolers: A Primer

A Novel Suggestion

Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Why Homeschoolers Should Learn Public Speaking

The Presidency

Party Politics in the United States

The Road to an American Independent Nation

George Washington: Our First President's First Term

George Washington: Our First President's Second Term

Celebrating Flag Day

Popular Articles

Myth of the Teenager

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

University Model Schools

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Classical Education

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

The Charlotte Mason Method

Who Needs the Prom?

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Bears in the House

Getting Organized Part 3

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Start a Nature Notebook

How to Win the Geography Bee

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

AP Courses At Home

Critical Thinking and Logic

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Teach Your Children to Work

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Combining Work and Homeschool

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

Phonics the Montessori Way

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

Teaching Blends

The Gift of a Mentor

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Character Matters for Kids

The History of Public Education

Narration Beats Tests

I Was an Accelerated Child

Shakespeare Camp

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Laptop Homeschool

Whole-Language Boondoggle

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

A Reason for Reading

The Benefits of Debate

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Montessori Math