Most universities and
scholarship boards require applicants to submit a letter of recommendation from
a teacher. This can be tricky for homeschoolers since colleges do not want
letters from parents.
When my daughter
began her college application process, she had never completed a class outside
the home except for an online dual enrollment course through Liberty
University. She was enrolled in classes her senior year but barely knew the
instructors when she started applying to colleges. My daughter ended up asking
for letters of recommendation from her ballet instructors and mock trial
It’s important to
begin thinking early about letters of recommendation and which teachers you
want to write them. Plan for your child to ask for the letter toward the end of
the course or immediately upon completion of it. It’s vital that you ask for
this letter well in advance of the application due date.
Although your child
may feel awkward asking for a letter that highlights what an outstanding person
he is, instructors do not mind writing these letters. My husband and I, as well
as our mock trial co-coach, have written many letters of recommendation for our
homeschool mock trial team members.
When requesting a
letter, it’s important that your child reminds the instructor of his
achievements both inside and outside the class. It’s also nice to include with
the letter a resume of your child’s activities, jobs, and accomplishments.
If there is something
specific the college or scholarship committee needs the instructor to do (such
as fill out a form on the website) let the instructor know. One scholarship
letter I wrote needed a great deal of information about the student’s leadership
qualities. Consequently, that was the focus of my letter, and the student
received the scholarship over hundreds of other applicants. If the
instructor is required to mail the letter of recommendation to someone
specific, send him a stamped envelope with the proper forwarding address.
of recommendation can be very affirming for your child. Though he will most
likely never have the chance to read the letters, he can be encouraged knowing
that important figures in his life believe enough in him and his
accomplishments to boldly recommend him to his college of choice.