Homeschool Swimmer Goes to Harvard

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 107: Homeschool Swimmer Goes to Harvard. This post is running concurrently on Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Podcast Homeschool Swimmer Goes to Harvard

Homeschool Swimmer Goes to Harvard

Join us for a fun interview with homeschooler, Jake Johnson, and his mom, Suzanne, Sabrina and Kym (who have been some of Jake’s teachers at the local homeschool group classes).

Jake gives brief explanations for:

  • Swim ranking in high school
  • His recruiting adventure
  • His experience choosing Harvard (and Harvard choosing him)

His mom tells their homeschooling stories:

  • Their choice to homeschool highschool after some years in a private school and why
  • The ways homeschooling gave Jake more time to train in his swimming “career”

How did they recognize the gift and that they needed to invest in it:

  • Early love of swimming (even at age 3, Jake loved swimming)
  • Early showing of potential/naturalness/speed at swimming
  • Developing passion and work ethic from early childhood through high school
  • Recognition on national leader boards
  • Continuous love of the swim-meet and networking process (peer swimmers and coaches nationwide)

Why homeschooling gave Jake time to develop his swimming skills:

  • It gave him flexibility to travel
  • It gave him better time to balance academics and 6-9 practices/week
  • It helped him develop time management skills
  • It helped him develop communication skills as he worked with homeschool group classes’ teachers when he needed to be absent
  • It helped him develop self-management (knowing when to give his phone to teachers, so he didn’t
  • It helped him manage priorities (balancing academics/swim/friends/church)
  • It helped him learn to “tough through stuff” when necessary

Jake and his mom’s tips for NCAA swim athletes:

  • Travel to national and junior national competitions through high school
  • Work to be on national leader boards
  • Keep feeding the passion
  • Keep having fun
  • Make sure all courses are Level 3 (College Prep) and up
  • Set up a portal at NCAA eligibility center
  • Make sure all courses are NCAA approved
  • Learn how the recruiting process works, talk to NCAA and to coaches BEFORE high school
  • Keep up with NCAA communication promptly
  • Do research on the schools that are watching your athlete
  • Visit interested colleges, at least by sophomore year

Not all professors at Harvard love homeschoolers. After a well-publicized attack on homeschooling by a Harvard professional, we answered her complaints in this post. However, Harvard’s own Human Flourishing project answered that professor with research that showed homeschoolers were well-adjusted and engaged.

Need info about levels? Read these posts on how to handle levels for your homeschoolers.

How to Handle Credit Levels on Homeschool Transcript 

Watch this interview with Jake on Swimming World

Join Sabrina, Kym, Jake and Suzanne for a helpful chat!


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Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 107: Homeschool Swimmer Goes to Harvard

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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