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
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