We are finishing up our last week of The Science Celebration of 2017 so the focus will be a little different this week. We are going to start out addressing common questions and concerns about the sciences. One of those questions that come up is: should my child dual enroll for dual credit? Dual enrollment is talked about quite a bit, but it isn’t always the best choice. This is a guest post from Vicki at 7 Homeschool Sisters about dual enrollment and options for homeschoolers. I would say that most of these apply to any high school students.
A Fork in the Road.
A panicking homeschool mom contacted me. She realized that a number of her teens’ co-op peers were taking courses at the local community college or online college courses. When planning homeschool high school, she and her teens had decided that they had other priorities for grades 9-12 so were not including dual enrollment. Now the mom was having doubts. She asked me:
- Can you really successfully homeschool high school without any dual enrollment on your teens’ transcripts?
- Will your teens be college-attractive without completing college courses during high school?
- Will you be letting my teens down, causing them to fail, if they don’t include college courses in their high school experience?
There’s Not ONE right way.
I was happy to encourage her! This is what I told her:
There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. We are homeschooling our teens so that we can create an educational experience that is best for them, individually.
Some teens need to push into college courses. That is fine. But it is not the only way to be college attractive.
The homeschool high schoolers who have not chosen dual enrollment have done so for one or more of these reasons:
- Time to develop interests and abilities. If they spent lots of time earning a good grade in a General Education college course, there would not be time to do this. College courses are intense and time-consuming.
- Rather take powerful Honors-level or AP-level high school courses. They enjoy the richness and depth of high school level courses.
- Don’t want to risk getting a less-than-stellar grade and sink their college GPA while still in high school. In many cases, the grade on any college course is included in the college GPA, even if taken in high school.
- Parents don’t want to pay for the courses. In many cases, high school juniors and seniors can take college courses at a discount. However, books and fees are not discounted so the expenses can add up.
Alternatives to Dual Enrollment
If your homeschool high schoolers are not strongly interested in taking college courses during high school but still want a college-attractive transcript, here are some tips for success:
- Level-up courses in your teens’ areas of academic strength. Make sure that at least some core courses each year are Honors or AP level. Check com for how-to posts.
- Show academic rigor on the transcript. There are how-to posts at com to get you on the right track with how to show rigor on the transcript.
- Use electives to develop an interest or ability. Don’t waste electives, they add the “sparkle” that catches college admissions officers’ attention!
- Show service mindedness and community involvement on the transcript. Make sure your teens are involved in extracurriculars and service opportunities.
- List competitions. Competitions show drive. Drive is another “sparkle” on a high school transcript that can catch an admissions officers’ eye.
My homeschool mom-friend was able to take this information and build her teens’ high school experiences to create beautifully college-attractive transcripts WITHOUT any dual enrollment. That was what was best for her family. Doing what is best for our teens is what homeschooling high school is all about!
Vicki Tillman usually blogs at 7 Sisters Homeschool.