Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

Survey Results: Homeschool Graduates

Recently, AHEM sent out a survey asking those of you who have graduated students from your homeschool what they did next and what are doing now. We are happy to report that your homeschool graduates are thriving and are involved in some really interesting ventures.

Altogether we got 63 responses to our survey. Of these 37, or 58%, went on immediately to a four-year college. What about the others? In roughly equal numbers they entered the work force (13%), enrolled in a community college (10%) or took a gap year (11%). And there were a few with different paths -- we had one respondent each for: entered the military, enrolled in a trade school, did missions/volunteer work, started their own business, and worked as an au pair abroad.

Beyond the statistics, we asked you to brag about your graduates and to tell us what they have done that you or they are proud of. Not surprisingly, many parents took us up on this offer. Below are some of the inspiring answers we received.

Tell us more about your graduate's path. What have they done or are they doing that is fun or interesting or that they are proud of?

My oldest (18) enrolled in community college to save money and plans to transfer into a software engineering program at a 4-year college. He still enjoys his friends from our homeschool co-op so he attends with us and works in the study room doing his online coursework. He loves volunteering with Scouts-BSA and still takes part in Order of the Arrow. He is working on lifeguard training as that job will give him flexibility to work part time while attending community college locally. The transition into community college felt like the next logical step and they have been very supportive as he transitions into college-life. – Danielle C., Attleboro, MA

While homeschooling, she got into playing the keyboard and composing, which she continues. At college she is starting as a physics major. Seems to be adjusting well to living at college so far. – Anonymous

He has been published 2x. Now he works in the family business (a marketing company) as a content writer and social media manager. – Mel Brooks

He is an apprentice with Maritime Gloucester on the schooner Ardelle, under the guidance of 13th generation Essex ship builder Harold Burnham. In this program they learn to build, repair, and sail tall ships. By the end of their apprenticeship, they can sit for the Coast Guard small vessel license exam. – Anonymous

Since she was 15 she has worked with her sister who has a disability as a personal care attendant.
– Heidi Murphy homeschool mom 20+ years journey

My daughter graduated summa cum laude from college, where she focused on social justice and sustainability through landscape studies. Every summer she participated in an internship, which was a fantastic experience and a great way for her to understand if her interests and passions could be translated into useful and exhilarating work. During her time on campus, she worked for four years at the college's botanic garden, which was an amazing learning experience. Through these activities she forged close and deep connections with professors and professionals at the gardens. This, in turn, helped her to land a job at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain as well as a position at a small Boston nonprofit that advocates and educates on the importance of urban street trees. She is excited about the idea of contributing to open space planning in urban areas so that cities can be healthy, walkable, and filled with wildness, beauty, and nature for *all* of its citizens. – Anonymous

We have 3. The First two graduated from 4 year college. One is now working, 1 in grad school, 1 in year 2 university. – Anonymous

My son is a sophomore at Indiana University. He went in with a major in criminal justice and then added a second major in folklore & ethnomusicology. He told us he has always been interested in folklore but we think he is wrong. I blame too much D&D.   – mom of 4

My son flourished homeschooling. He taught himself all about botany and horticulture and is starting up his own business. He also is working on a class to teach with our town’s recreation department! – Jess from Foxboro

They are studying what they love: biology and music. – Patricia Zarate Perez mom of 2 girls who were homeschooled from birth to college and one boy who is following the same path

Finishing their degree at UMass Amherst –Anonymous

Went to RPI. It took a while to figure out his engineering major, but was willing to take classes for interest to figure it out. Dropped out after a few years for health issues, returned home, got work at Target to get a work "record" and enrolled in classes part time at UMass-Lowell. Graduated from there and got a job almost immediately in engineering technologies at ASML in March 2020 and has been there ever since - very happy with the work. – Anonymous

Explored many places in NYC on her own during college. Now excited to start work as a Certified OT Assistant. – mom of 3

My two oldest are at St John’s College in Annapolis, a Great Books school, where they study and discuss ancient books. My oldest is a contra dance caller, who has started up a regular dance at her school, and she travels to teach various groups to contra dance. This social folk dance is such a wonderful way to bring people of all ages together, and wherever she teaches, she gets new requests for more groups! –Elisa, mom of 6

Followed community college with a 4 year school in the Midwest - to explore another part of the country. Graduated and working productively. Learning Japanese for fun now. –mom of 3

My daughter graduated from Brown University, receiving many awards and honors, including a Fulbright grant to teach in France for a year. She then got a master’s degree in education at Brown and taught during the COVID pandemic at a Providence public school. She also tutored students in English online during COVID. She then moved to Denver to teach in an after-school program teaching leadership skills and community engagement. The program used the lives of Nobel Peace Prize recipients as models, showing students how they grew up being engaged in their communities. She also worked with student groups at the History Colorado museum. She led groups through the museum's various hands-on activities. She also taught English to immigrants at Public libraries. Currently, she has been teaching with 2 international groups. She has led GAP semester and summer students to 4 South American countries, France, and Germany. (Besides her native English, my daughter speaks French, German, and Spanish.) In the summer, she teaches at Brown University’s Summer Leadership Institute which teaches courses with a leadership focus to high school students from the US as well as other countries. The students develop projects to implement in their home communities. She has also been involved in community organizing with many groups while at Brown and after. For example, she has had a major role in training other young people to work on climate crisis activities in the Sunrise movement. She is also a musician and has played in many wind symphonies, pit orchestras, and ensembles as well as singing with the Spirituals Project while in Denver. My daughter continues to be an advocate for self-directed learning and recently joined a non-profit group exploring alternative education models. – Proud mom from Central Massachusetts!

He was fortunate enough to get a dream job at Cornell Lab or Ornithology that includes extensive travel to birding locations after graduating college. –Amy D.

My first graduate graduated during Covid so her classes were all online for a dental assistant program. Once she completed her program she could not do an externship because of the restrictions during Covid. When the rules were relaxed she took a job at a dental office that was willing to take her on and give her hands-on experience with that dental office. They paid for her license as well. – Anonymous

Very proud of being a CIT at a sleep away camp that they have been going to since they were 9 years old. Continues to write and play music daily. – One and Done :-)

This student seemed determined to prove Dad's thesis that even life in a closet at age 18 would result in additional maturity. That is, he went on a final music tour, applied to colleges, and worked at a Walgreens for the remainder of the year. It must have done the trick, because he woke up in his first semester of college and decided to double major in math and philosophy. Despite COVID, he completed college in four years, including a semester at his college's campus in Italy. He has spent the past few months job-hunting and has just landed a position with a county in Texas that will allow him to stay near his older brother. – Mom of 6, 3 homeschool grads

Went onto a biblical gap year program. Will get to go to the Holy Land as part of this program. Very excited for this part of his journey. – Michele C. West Springfield MA

My daughter is a zoology major at University of Wyoming. She is hoping to become a wildlife researcher or maybe a wildlife vet. Her room has been the epicenter of the first bedbug outbreak the school has had in 5 years so we are hoping she pivots to larger animals before we let her back in our house for the holidays. – mom of 4

After graduating a year early, this student spent two years teaching high school math in Micronesia. He is math-y and wanted to experience a different part of the world, do some good, and do math. Then he went to college, double majoring in math and physics at a school where the liberal arts core might as well have been a third major. He went to seminary for a semester, couldn't abandon the science, and left for grad school. He's within a year of his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and he's applying for a teaching job at his alma mater. He doesn't expect to get the job, but he's using it to accelerate the completion of his Ph.D. Who knows what's next for him? Certainly not this mom!  – Mom of 6, 3 homeschool grads

Our graduate worked and traveled to Europe first year, enrolled in Community College for 2 years and transferred to Clark University with a scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s in English summa cum laude and is now going to Simmons University for Masters program in Library Science while doing all this working at libraries which is her passion. So very proud of her hard work. – Tracy B.

My son wanted a small liberal arts college, and has been making the most of that environment by making lots of friends, joining the Ultimate Frisbee team, and taking a wide variety of courses to figure out what he wants to major in and pursue. – Hilary from Medford

My daughter went to Rhode Island School of Design and majored in textiles, specifically weaving. She is currently working full-time and also trying to build her art career weaving tapestries. She is going to Iceland for a month to use specific textile equipment there and has won a couple of emerging new artist awards, one based on New England and one for artists with disabilities. As  a part of the latter one of her pieces will go on tour and be displayed at the Kennedy center in DC. – mom of 4

My homeschool graduate is continuing their love for theater lighting design as a sophomore at Tufts. They are also continuing their interest in psychology and maybe pursuing a combination study of film, psychology and theater. – Carrie Gwynn

I have several graduates. One is working for the Scripps institute in La Jolla and applying to Veterinary school. One is working in his father's business, and one is still in college. – Leyla from Cambridge

My son went to a small liberal arts college. He majored in math with minors in Classics and Dance and is currently in a PhD program for math. He has a lot of dietary restrictions but since starting grad school and not being in a dorm anymore he has learned to cook for himself and now in a house of 5 math grad students (imagine those dinner conversations) he is the only one who cooks and they are all terribly impressed. – mom of 4

Marshall is a senior at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is a happy, successful, curious student of history and philosophy who benefited tremendously from the freedoms and resources afforded by homeschooling. He plans to apply to graduate programs at Cambridge, Oxford, and a few here in the states. We homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school (with select online and in-person college classes during high school years). We started in Massachusetts with AHEM's guidance, without which I don't think we could have been successful. AHEM was the most well-run, informative, supportive homeschooling resource we ever encountered. Homeschooling got more challenging after we moved to Delaware around middle school age, but I kept up with AHEM news and tips through email, which helped tremendously. I can't thank all of you at AHEM enough for inspiring our path! – Ann C., now in PA by way of MA

Ian completed 2 internships (DC and in RI) during college. He LOVED living in DC for the summer. He is graduating from college with a double major in December. What's next? Maybe law school, maybe not. He needs a minute to consider his next steps. The world is his burrito. – Melissa R.

Now she is attending the art academy of Cincinnati. Graduating this coming spring! – Elisa T.

Spent a year after college preparing for music audition; spent three years earning two master's degrees in piano; spent two years working full-time as a professional pianist. THEN COVID HIT, so retooled as a programmer. Now works long-distance for a university development office as part of their website team. – Mom of 6, 3 homeschool high school grads

Because he had taken numerous dual enrollment courses, he continued with community College and got his associates and then transferred to UMass Amherst. He is a junior there now and doing very well! – Amy A.

Both in management positions and have their own part-time business. – mom of 2

My home educated graduate just started a third semester at Tufts and is working hard there, but feels well prepared academically compared with peers who attended institutional schools. Since my kid has joined activities as disparate as e-sports and dance—while doing an engineering major and making great progress on completing liberal arts breadth requirements— I feel like we successfully checked off the “well rounded” box. – willo from the North Shore

She graduated a year early and scored very high on the military ASVAB test which allowed her any military job she wanted. She chose combat medic and has gone on and passed all her training and is now currently deployed and on her 3rd year in the military. – Kerri, single mom of 5

The first is trying to discern what direction she wants to take after graduating from university. The other has transferred to university and has a clear vision for what she wants to do, consistent with her lifelong interests and experiences - psychology, education and art. – Former homeschool mom

My daughter is a nanny for 2 different families. She loves working with children! She gets paid to play. She is also very involved in her local church, Living Faith Boston. She is on the praise team where she sings and plays the ukulele. – Becca T.

Award-winning classical music composer. Has had her music performed and commissioned around the US and internationally. – Noel from Cambridge

She is a freshman studying wildlife ecology and conservation. She is adjusting very well! She took many dual enrollment courses (29 credits) and feels well prepared. She got into every college she applied to, including relatively competitive schools (Mount Holyoke, for example) and all without following a traditional path (no public school, no SATs, etc.). – Amy A.

I have 4 kids who "graduated." One has an associate's degree, three have bachelor's degrees, and two have MBAs. The youngest two started their own welding business (One MBA, one AD) and have 11 employees. One is a senior sales engineer (who is homeschooling his children) and one had a successful career as a project manager (now home with her children and homeschooling). – Deb F.

One is playing baseball in college, aiming to play professionally. One went to Hampshire and is away for study abroad this year in Greece, then Ireland. – Arlington family

My oldest has wanted to work on the railroad since he was a small child. His father and grandfather both worked for the railroad. When he graduated he went to work full-time for a local railroad. – Proud mama

Too many pieces to count but we are unschoolers who do not value “traditional” views of success. We value wholeness as a human and they’ve got that in spades. Other things will come. – Teri D.

My son was a competitive dancer and heavily into the performing arts. He applied and was accepted to NYU, Amherst College and AMDA. He was a bit concerned that he was going to be behind his peers because he was homeschooled. He took the fast track at AMDA in NYC and is currently finishing his second year, in just 1 1/2 years. He has straight A’s, 100% attendance and excelling. He found that not only was he on par with his peers but better prepared for living on his own, from cooking to cleaning, grocery shopping, managing his time. He is living his dream life and I could not be happier for him. – Anonymous

My daughter was homeschooled for high school. She started taking community college courses while still homeschooling, and transferred to a state university as a sophomore in what would have been her freshman year if she had stayed in public school. She got her bachelor’s degree in 2021 and is now working in a public service position. – Michelle from Marshfield

Both of my graduates entered the workforce, started businesses, saved money, and remained debt-free. They have options. They travel and can choose to take time off to pursue their varied interests. – BowClan

He is the first boy to have escaped drugs and/or jail when going through puberty. He went directly to college. The first male to do so in our family since Slavery. Engineering Major. – Homeschool Grandmother