Today I finally got myself down to the community college to speak to an advisor regarding my kids. I didn’t have a huge number of questions, but the questions I had were significant enough that it was keeping me from being able to firm up a plan. You know, when your kids are at school, the need for parental involvement (and knowledge) can be less important since there are guidance counselors and teachers your children can turn to for college guidance. That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter if parents are involved – of course it does! – but if your child is homeschooled and you don’t get involved, they’re really on their own. So I needed to get some clarity so I could better guide them.
Of course, since the winter semester begins really, really soon (as in tomorrow or the next day), the place was packed. After I signed in to see an advisor, I went to wait in a room with at least thirty others. Whew! I used the time to read through all those handouts that I had picked up, which helped me focus my questions. They will allow students in 8 – 10th grades in for up to two classes a semester, but they have to be labeled gifted and talented, and I’m not interested in trying to jump through the hoops to get dd labeled for that (besides the fact that I don’t really care for labels like gifted). They allow early admittance for 11th and 12th graders, but they still would be limited to taking 2 classes a semester and as high school students, we wouldn’t be able to apply for any financial aid. At about $600 a class, paying the full costs out of pocket for two children would add up very quickly!
My initial thought was to enroll each of them for the winter semester for a couple of classes to ease them into college, but that’s not worth the effort involved at this time. So after considering all of the options, I asked the advisor if they officially graduated at the end of this year, if they could be admitted as full time students in the fall. She said that it was fine, that once a child has a high school diploma, they aren’t concerned about his/her age anymore.
This doesn’t make a huge difference to their homeschooling schedules, which will pretty much stay the same except that I’ll increase the science and history for them so that they have the full amount of required credits for high school graduation. It does mean I need to get myself in gear to start organizing the paperwork – I don’t enjoy officially documenting all that we do! But I’ll need to put all my notes together for their official transcripts. I’m also thinking that they can both look into earning credit by examination between now and the fall if they are so inclined, and then when they enter, they’ll have some credits under their belts. That will help them maximize their time and energy.
Though this isn’t written in stone and things can (and probably will) change somewhat, it’s nice to have a direction to move in. Now dd13 is asking me to help her get started on college preparatory work – yikes!