Are you homeschooling a college-bound student? If you are, it is vital that you read this article! Did you know that how well your student communicates (orally and in writing) will determine his success in college and his career? Numerous studies show a correlation between self-expression and success.

Effective communication skills are important for college entrance. SATs now require more writing skills. Some universities may even require an interview. There is quite a lot of competition for entrance into the top schools in the country, and they are not just looking at a student’s GPA! They want to know that their students are well-rounded and possess the discipline and drive to continue after the first few weeks of their freshman year to pay their tuition each year and eventually graduate. This is especially true for homeschoolers who have less documentation. You and your student will have to fill out those forms with eloquence in order for the universities to get to know your student’s qualifications and character.

Effective communication skills are vital in college classrooms. Students generally remember only about 25% of what they hear in class after 48 hours. Studies indicate that our listening memory range is usually 20-30%, but you need to remember at least 70% to pass the test! Students with ineffective listening skills don’t absorb very much of the material they learn in class. Their problems increase when they don’t respond correctly or appropriately in class because of poor speaking skills. Students who are confident enough to ask questions and discuss ideas in class learn more. Questions begin the thinking process and, when asked orally, they double your ability to remember the information. Learning is enhanced with each opportunity to express your ideas and gain feedback on them. Interacting in a small group as you discuss and argue your points increases your understanding of the concepts. A student who asks questions and contributes to the class discussion will also create an impression in the instructor that he is a good student and can expect to be treated accordingly.

Effective communication skills are crucial for students who will be attending a more liberal university. It has been reported by the more conservative media that some university professors are biased against conservative Christian values. Reports of professors giving failing grades to students who voice conservative Christian ideas in class or write about them in their papers are increasing. It is vital that students have the confidence to stand up for their beliefs as well as the communication proficiency to address people in a way that will minimize confrontation and even help Christian students share the love of Jesus.

Effective communication skills are extremely important to a student’s ability to ward off the worldly influences of the college environment, not only in social life—such as opportunities for drinking and dating—but also for confronting the liberal ideas with which many college environments are filled. Not only must our students be grounded in their faith, but they must be able to articulate their beliefs. When they are challenged—and they will be challenged—they must be able to express their reasons for their beliefs as articulately as their liberal counterparts.

Effective communication skills are an integral part of some classroom assignments. Many courses now require students to give presentations or speeches. One of my former students went to cooking school after graduating from homeschooling. She called me one day to thank me for preparing her for the presentations she needed to give in several of her courses! I was shocked to find that the culinary arts would require such intensive presentation skills. She was so grateful that she was comfortable and skillful enough to give them!

Effective communication skills are required for successful careers today! Studies show that people who enjoy public speaking actually earn higher salaries than those who don’t. Over 90% of personnel managers at 500 U.S. companies said that more communication skill is required for a successful career today. Harvard Business Review readers rated the ability to communicate above ambition, education, and willingness to work hard as the reason an employee would be “promotable.”

Most people regard communication skills as an elective—a subject they address only if they have time or money to invest. It is something that they pursue if their children are outgoing or have aspirations to be a lawyer. However, the art of eloquence is actually of vital importance to students entering college and the business world, and it is something that takes time to hone. If you are homeschooling a college-bound student, I cannot stress how crucial it is for you to begin their communication training now. It is the most important subject you can teach them next to the Bible.



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