Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #4: Something New

This week's topic at Homeschool Memoirs is "Something New": "This week I hope you’ll share something new you’re using, why you’ve decided to use it, and if you have used it how you like it. Make sure to include the publishing information and where you got it from so others can look into if they like."

Here's the thing: I'm not really doing anything new this year. I'm doing Sonlight Core 4 with my younger two, with major additions/subtractions, but I've done it before with my oldest. Pretty much everything we're doing is listed here— and pretty much none of it is new to me, anyway. Now that doesn't mean that teaching and learning isn't fun, but this year I find myself at the "if it ain't broke" place. Everything we used worked well last year, so we're continuing on with the same things.

But here's a new factor in our program, so I'll talk about this a bit. My 15-year-old is taking his first class at our local community college. If you aren't familiar with this practice, it's called "dual enrollment." Basically, he's taking classes that will earn him high school credit and college credit simultaneously. Requirements for being a dual-enrollment student vary from college to college. At our local community college, high school students have to take the ACT and score at least a 19 in each subject area. Other colleges require just a transcript. Our local community college has somewhere between 400-600 dual enrollment students, so he's by no means the only high schooler taking classes.

This semester he's taking Music Appreciation for his fine arts credit. We thought this would be a gentle introduction to college courses. So far he's enjoying it tremendously. Tomorrow he'll have his first exam, so I guess we'll see how he's doing after that.

Supposedly the biggest advantage in dual enrollment is that it allows students to get a jumpstart on their college careers. I don't really think about it like that. I see this as an opportunity for Jesse to get a more thorough study of subjects that I would not necessarily teach at such depth. That he gets college credit is a bonus but not a driving force.

Because our state has a lottery (in which those making the least amount of money spend their small earnings in the feeble hope of winning $23 million), our community college has a fantastic grant that pays for most of one class ($330) per student. So basically, the average high school student can take a college course for about $30 plus the textbook (which could be over $100). Not a bad deal!

See Memoir #3 here: Routines
See Memoir #2 here: Agendas
See Memoir #1 here: All About Me

Got something to say about your own family? You can join Homeschool Memoirs at any time!


  1. Sounds like a great idea. I hope He does well.

  2. The dual-enrollment program rocks. As far as the lottery goes, I always liked this:

    "The lottery is nothing but a tax on the mathematically impaired."

  3. Yep, Groovy Girls has been fun. It was started up by a good friend of mine because she didn't want to put her little girl in brownies and because she thought the start-up for AHG was too expensive and involved. Even though this is our third year of doing it, I still "toy" with the thought of doing AHG some day... :)

    The dual enrollment thing sounds awesome! Hope his exam goes well. I'm sure he'll do fine since he was able to score so well on his ACT.

  4. Your situation sounds a bit like mine. My youngest is enrolled full time at our community college in a program called "Running Start." Homeschoolers get "free rein" and can take whatever courses they want and earn their AA or whatever. The public school kids are more controlled. They have to take things that are "dual" like what you're talking about to earn h.s. credit at the same time.

    I like the freedom the state gives homeschoolers, but then WA state is a very liberal homeschooling state, thank the Lord!

    Oh, and a big HOORAY for Sonlight, and why would you try anything new if you're using Sonlight? I found that they changed things all the time to introduce the NEW. Fun, fun!

  5. Duel enrollments sounds really cool - did you worry at all about him attending the college at 15? Maybe I'm just overprotective! :D

  6. gavin and I both look forward to him taking a class next school year at the local community college.

    It's good to have something that works each year and stick with it!

  7. so, the guy's cabin that we went to on norris lake? he actually WON the tn. lottery with a friend. they split it and live the life of luxury.....

  8. PS- thanks for the meme idea! I had fun

  9. Regarding Your Comment: I think Ki finally got tired of me starting neat projects and before he could finish and feel complete, I'd be off on the next fun thing or lesson.

  10. I am really interested in doing this with my high schooler. I need to check it out.

  11. We are considering enrolling our daughter in the local community college next semester.

    It's a great way to get a jump start on life!

  12. Thanks for stopping by! Sounds like a wonderful program - dual enrollment. Have a great weekend.

  13. That is awesome that he is able to take part in a great program! Hope it goes well for him!

  14. Wow, I'd never heard of dual enrollment. Of course, I've not thought that far ahead since my son is only nine. But it's sounds interesting and I'll keep it in mind.

  15. That's neat. Thanks for stopping at my blog. I love your Friday Fine Arts concept. We always fell to the way side with this too that is why I bought this so easy to use program.

  16. Thanks for commenting on my post! Isn't it great though when we actually find something we like so much we stick with it for another year. I am thrilled!! :)


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