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Who should your child ask for letters of recommendation?

As your teen nears the end of his homeschool program and gets ready to apply for college, he'll need to compile letters of recommendation. Although you are his primary instructor, and thus have deep knowledge of his academic abilities, you shouldn't be the only one to write a letter of recommendation for your son. While your opinion is valued, college admissions officers expect to review letters reflecting several different aspects of your son's life so they can better determine his true readiness for college. Here's who he can ask:

If your teen is mentored by a community member as a part of your homeschool program - for example, a doctor because he's interested in pursuing a career in health care - he should ask that individual if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation.

Work supervisors
Does your teen hold a part-time job? His supervisor could provide a valuable perspective and speak to qualities like responsibility, teamwork and industriousness that your son possesses. Plus, colleges love to see applicants with jobs - it demonstrates important time-management skills.

Other co-op parents
Many parents who homeschool their children choose to join co-ops in order to collaborate on curricula, specialize in certain subjects or give their kids the opportunity to learn alongside other homeschoolers their age. If you belong to a homeschool co-op, your son can ask one of the members who has known him for a long time to write a letter of recommendation.

Group leaders
If your son participates in extracurricular activities - like Boy Scouts of America, 4-H, youth group or community theater - he could ask his group leader to write a letter of recommendation. This individual can provide a perspective on your son that's very different from the one you can offer as a parent and homeschool instructor.

Does your son play sports? If the answer is yes, his coaches may be willing to write letters of recommendation. These are great people to ask, as they can speak to how your son has matured over the years. In addition, participation in sports looks great on college applications - it demonstrates valuable skills like leadership and teamwork, and shows that he's well-rounded.

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