From Homeschooling to College

Three years ago, I was being homeschooled by my parents. But like all high school students, I came to the end of that first stage of my education and was faced with the question: where do I go from here? I chose to continue my education at Magdalen College in Warner, NH. I'd like to share with you what it is like to be a student here and how homeschooling prepared me for college.

Magdalen College’s Program of Studies is based upon a thoughtful examination of the Great Books. My homeschooling curriculum included excerpts from the Great Books and was an excellent introduction to reading authors such as Plato, St. Augustine and Shakespeare, authors I encounter daily in my tutorials (classes) at Magdalen. Homeschooling taught me to be independent and responsible for my work, and prepared me well to participate fully in the Socratic dialogue, which is at the heart of every tutorial. The critical thinking my parents nurtured through homeschooling comes to fruition daily in my tutorials, from Nature of Man I to Geometry, from Comparative Cultures to Astronomy.

The community at Magdalen is more than an institution — it is an integrated way of life. It was a natural transition from my family to Magdalen. In everyday activities, from campus service to choir, from sports to study groups and play rehearsals, I learn to work cooperatively while developing perseverance and a sense of responsibility. In a supportive environment, students get to know one another better by sharing in each other’s daily trials and successes.

As a Roman Catholic college, Magdalen takes the faith seriously in classes and daily student life. I was glad I had a well-rounded experience of studying the faith at home. At Magdalen, faith is not just one part of my life, it penetrates every aspect of living and learning. Daily Mass and evening Rosary help students at Magdalen grow in unity as members of Christ's Mystical Body.

My days at Magdalen are a gift. Throughout the challenges and the fun times I have grown in faith and in friendship, and with each day I learn something new. I chose to attend Magdalen because I believed it was a place where I could develop intellectually, spiritually and morally in ways that would prepare me to live my adult life well. Already I see wonderful changes taking place in myself and others. Through an integrated Program of Studies, faith and friendships, responsibility and respect, Magdalen encourages each of us to live up to our true potential.

To those of you starting to consider college, or even those with a number of years ahead of you, I urge you to make the most of your homeschooling experience. Study well and take advantage of the excellent curriculum which homeschooling can offer.

God bless you in your homechooling endeavors, and I hope you will consider seriously the intellectual and spiritual opportunities Magdalen College has to offer. There is really no place quite like it — just come and see for yourself. Until then, keep working hard at the task before you — I see now that every effort pays off!

Jolene Walker is a junior at Magdalen College. She is a native of New York.

To request more information about Magdalen College or arrange a campus visit, call 1-877-498-1723 toll-free, or visit the College’s website at

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