You have made it through the elementary and middle years and now you are either entering or exiting the high school years or somewhere in between. Don’t panic it’s only beginning! I say that because we are now entering college as a full-time freshman, no longer a dual enrolled student. I will say, keeping records was a life saver for us, I think that is why I stress the importance of being organized and planning. If you have a college driven student, who is willing to put in the time and efforts and your state allows dual enrollment, I can not express enough on how helpful it can be to you and your family and possibly saving you money in the long run. I say possibly cause every state varies. Our state unfortunately does not give funding to home school students for dual enrollment so we paid out-of-pocket. However, if you put the price of a semester against the price of a good curriculum course it may just save you even more considering your gaining your time of not teaching that class and can put your focus on another class you have always wanted to teach or doing something you otherwise may not have scheduled time for, The greatest perk here is you’re getting a college credit as well as satisfying your home school credit. *always check your state for what applies to you* below are some helpful links.
I battled early on in the high school years about accreditation and transcripts, at one point I was so stressed about it and would hear things such as: what if you mess up his college chances?, what if you this and that…?? UGH!!! I was in tears almost to the point of throwing in the towel. Until one day I overheard a friend of mine talking to another lady and said everything she paid for to have accredited at a particular agency the college said it wasn’t needed. The other lady said she accredited with one child and not the other and the college entrance was the same process. That got my wheels to turning, better yet, it put a little spark back in my step. Accreditation wasn’t as big as the world was making it out to be, Still not completely at ease, I just started calling all the colleges that my son was interested in attending only to find out that it was not even a factor, the real key is grades, transcripts, and making sure that your child really did the work! The process to entering college is a little like this; you can reach your destination several ways, every door you walk thru will lead you to the same place, the only difference is some paths may have a couple more turns. Also, If your child enters community college through dual enrollment or enters after graduating (typically your core classes are what you study first) then, after 30 credit hours your high school classes are not even factored into the college entrance process. Be prepared to do a lot of leg work, you usually get told many things in the process that you either didn’t need to do or pay for. Always ask the same questions to multiple personnel to see if you’re getting the same response *I know your thinking that’s crazy but it has literally saved us lots of time and money! Remember no one is going to look out for your child better than you!!! Our experience from several colleges has been; they want you to attend, but, the staff is really only concerned about paperwork and money, they leave the teaching up to the professors, so if left to their own devices your child will take many classes he/she may not have needed, and that equals big bucks in the end. My son was given a breakdown of classes that totaled 60 credit hours, after talking to the university he was transferring to (after core classes were taken) all he needed to take was 31 credit hours. the other 29 credit hours would not transfer for his degrees he was going for. So now you know why I said do your leg work. No, I am not bashing colleges, I am merely stating that each person in the college has a job, they will not always be able to give you the correct information.
- Start planning for college earlier than his/her senior year.
- Meet your Childs advisor, make sure he/she understands what your child needs and is on the same page.
- Stay involved, you’re not just a paycheck to the college. Know what you’re paying for, excessive overpaying can be a hardship to some, and to others that money could be better used as a donation elsewhere to the college or other organizations.
The long-awaited day when your babies are no longer babies, they have grown into young men and women ready to leave the nest for college. This is the time they usually relinquish their independence a little and need mom and dads help, don’t worry, they quickly gain it back! 🙂
Love what you do, and keep raising strong men and women of faith!