Friday, January 23, 2015

Best Of Both Worlds - Starting College At Early Ages


When my kids started High school, I knew being creative was in the cards. My oldest son wasn't homeschooled but I wanted him to experience more from his highschool to college experience.


Even though your child attends traditional school, you can still benefit from some of the practices of homeschoolers.

Have your child explore the following: Career Shadowing or Trade Training through High School, Dual Enrollment in Community College (take classes over the summer or leave early from high school to go to College Courses - or take courses online for credit), CLEP or AP testing, career certification.

Since now I homeschool my younger kids, we are so grateful and excited to have the ability to further customize the high school to college transition.

Including the noted ways to gain College Credit while in High School: (CLEP Test, AP, Dual Enrollment) our kids can also start career exploration.


I must say, prior, to signing my kids up for Community College courses, I really had to help them find their place in that new setting because they were a younger student. Neither one of my girls wanted to walk onto ANY college campus at 14 yrs old when those kids around them were 3-6 years older. So, I augmented their entry by giving them online courses where they felt more comfortable interacting with older peers.

Community College is a great place to do that. In most cases I began my kids studying for the CLEP test, College Accuplacer Exams, and AP exams to gain college credit while at home. Then we would start several ONLINE courses through the Community College.

LIVING ON CAMPUS isn't something that should be pursued, I feel, until the student is 18 years old. It's an experience that isn't a play on how successful your kid will be in college. Truth is, most students are fighting to get off campus after their Sophmore year.


Sliding into new 2nd semester schedule

Field Trip! at SkyZone with our Umbrella Group got our 'signing' done. Which is required by our state and Umbrella group. Basically we meet them 2 times in the year to jot out what curriculum we are working on with our kids and checking on our school year. My husband took the kids to all their signing events this year and last. I'll be taking them to the one in February though. My kiddos had a blast meeting with other homeschoolers.

Work this week (only 4 days of school)

Speed Racer, 6th grader


He is more independent with doing his online work now. This has taken some bribary on my part. We lock up all game controllers and TV controllers during the day. When they are finished all of their work, they check out their games and controllers. Once bedtime hits, all electronics get locked up again.

Therefore, Speed Racer is getting his work done online before I get home. Then when we work together, redirection is just a reminder of what he won't be able to do if he doesn't finish his work.

Fractions and Decimals is still a challenge for him. So now we do the following (1) IXL review of fractions - 10 min drill (2) Drill sheet of 5 fraction problems (3) Writing out the steps daily.

Thursday was meltdown day (we are down to one every other week) which isn't bad considering how we started off. Also, I think it's completely normal for kids to have off days once a week, because hey, momma does. This time we didn't use the calm down list. I just took video games away and had him do an in-room time out (because I needed a time out too!).

Tiger Lilly, blended 9th grader

Tiger Lilly finished her 1st College Course: English Composition. Yippee!

Friday was the last day, but she turned in her assignment on Thursday. Now she will be starting 3 college courses on Monday (Interpersonal Communication, Sociology, Art Appreciation).

Also, she finished up some exploratory courses I found for her on Udemy (Sociology, Communication through Body Language).

She started her computer courses online with Currclick (Web Design) and working on her Python project for Landry. Her online Animation course with is going well and she showed us the first portion of her little animated movie.

Digipen sent her an art package with (1) a t-shirt (2) Art kit with clay, colored pencils, drawaing pad for her online Animation workshop she is taking with them.

She started Pre-Calc, but I have her doing Clep Professor review of Algebra prior to her taking the Math Accuplacer at the Community College so we can see what math she will be able to take in the Fall.

She did have a Thursday freak-out when she noticed the paper she turned into her professor in her college class got her a 55% because it wasn't persuasive enough. She pleaded with the professor to re-submit once she clarified what the professor needed, and thankfully the professor gave her a chance to re-submit the paper, though she wouldn't be able to make a 100% on it. So Tiger Lilly will be working on this all day Friday (around her field trip).

She made the Dean's List at the University! She's still just 17years old (I homeschooled her from 10th grade, then she got her AA degree, now she's at a 4 year college).

Well even though Rose was given the job as a Physical Therapy Tech, she decided to decline it. The tricky part of her meeting the required 800 hours or hands on medical related work for Physician Assistant school made her really want the job. However, she is taking 21 credits this semester.

We talked and she decided to volunteer at a Senior Citizens home, or get a job that she works weekends only in order to focus on school during the week. She's also looking at Computer Programming type summer internships. At this moment, she's feeling out her options.

Her ultimate goal - save enough money to fund her own graduation trip of 2 months in Hawaii (I'd like to be like her when I grow up, lol!)


Meals. Horrible week for us. Another fast food week since I haven't seemed to find time to go to the store. So I did get meat. Put it in the refriderator and haven't seasoned or frozen it for next week - yet.

Cleaning. Did not get done. Even though I had a day off and got home early.

Work & Life Balance. This isn't working out too well. The day job is going well, it's the side work that's starting to pile up. I'm having my husband move my 'work at home' desk down to the basement where the kids do school so I can work while they are working. I used to work on the laptops but now both kids use them for some of their classes.

Lesson Planning. On a roll, with the exception of having to revise them due to our spur of the moment planning for our field trips. I hadn't realized I missed 2 of the mandatory trips and signing events for my Umbrella school.

Rest. Got none! Even though I was off, I had a lot of things to do to prep for the coming semester. I worked on our budget, got the cost for books (college kids books), did their fasfa (financial aid forms) with them and then still didn't finish some things. I must have only gotten 4 hours of sleep Tue-Fri. I can't wait to sleep in on Saturday.

Marriage Check Up. Date Night didn't happen, but this weekend was hubby's birthday so I snuck his gift in his dresser. Bless the man because he conducted class for me on his birthday and told me to go to bed early.


  1. My oldest is planning on starting dual enrollment in fall. He and I are both very excited about it! we figured he could start "easy", with an art class, and we'll work up from there. In the meantime, he'll be doing an online course in computer science from edX/Harvey Mudd.

    And I so need to work on my work & life (& homeschooling) balance!

  2. I think the CLEP and dual-enrolment route that are available in the US is fantastic! We don't have that here in the UK so it's more difficult to be flexible, although that's what we would love to do. I also agree with you that, even with early admission to community college, it's best for the young student to still stay at home because the social lives of the more matured students there may not be something that you'd want your children to be exposed to. :-)

  3. I think you all do brilliantly, especially given how little sleep you are getting!

  4. wow...that kinda tired me out thinking about how my three ones will be in highschool at the same time someday...I better rest up!

    I hope you find that balance today! Enjoy the week.

  5. It is tiring at times. But with college classes at least there is free tutoring available. I'm kinda used to my wacky schedule as I just do it and don't contemplate how I'm doing it.