School has now started. That said, if your teen is in his or her final two years of high school, then he or she is probably gearing up for college. While writing the perfect entrance essay and having high test scores will certainly help your home schooled child get into the college he or she wants, an area that your child should definitely not neglect is establishing strong relationships with third parties—these people might just be able to provide some strong letters of recommendation and increase your child’s chances of college acceptance (both traditional and online). And no, if you are your child’s teacher you will not be eligible to provide a rec letter—college admission officers will consider your opinion biased (this is why family members are typically not allowed to write rec letters). Instead, your child should start fortifying relationships with the people listed below.
If your son or daughter has any sort of part-time job, this includes anything from working at a retail store, fast food restaurant, or working in the neighborhood as a lawn mower, babysitter or pet sitter, then your child’s employer can definitely provide a great rec letter if your child is/was good at their job duties. Employer rec letters are excellent because it shows that your child has a strong work ethic—a quality that is needed to succeed in college.
If your child volunteers at an animal shelter, homeless shelter or food pantry for example, he or she should be able to ask his or her volunteering director or group leader for a rec letter when the time comes. Rec letters from volunteer directors are always welcomed because it demonstrates that your child knows how to give back to the community and is truly involved in more endeavors that just school work.
Coaches/Instructors/ Troop Leaders
If your child plays for a club sport, a dance company or is involved in a national organization like the Eagle Scouts for example, then his or her coach, instructor or troop leader should be able to provide a pretty good rec letter, especially if your child has been involved with the organization/sport for several years. College admission offers typically favor rec letters from these sort of sources because not only does it show that your child is a well-rounded student that is concerned with more than just his or her studies (colleges don’t like one-dimensional students), but these sources usually can easily demonstrate your child’s sportsmanship, dedication, and strong will.
If your child missed all opportunities to establish strong bonds with individuals, their last resort can include turning to people who have known your child for quite some time even though they might not know them on a “personal level” exactly. We’re talking about turning to people who may be able to pull some weight without having to say too much simply because their title, such as your child’s long-time pediatrician, dentist, or church pastor.
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.