One of the blessings of homeschooling in Florida is dual-enrollment for homeschoolers.
What does that mean?
It means that homeschoolers can take courses at local community or state colleges for free. They only need to purchase books.
Some homeschoolers graduate from high school at the same time they receive their Associates Degree from a local college.
What should you look at when you consider dual-enrolling as an option for homeschooling high school? What questions should you ask?
Am I willing to delegate this course to someone else or do I want to teach it myself?
As homeschooling parents, we have decided not to delegate the education of our children to a state or private school. So, when we think about various courses our children can take dual-enrolling, we need to ask if we are willing to delegate those courses. I chose to NOT delegate English, history, and biology courses of any kind to the secular school nearby. I wanted to teach those to my teens from a Christian perspective. However, I did have my children take Calculus, Spanish, Music Theory, Computer, and Photography as dual-enrolled students.
What courses does my teen need for the future that will be hard for me to provide?
My son finished Calculus as a junior and I couldn't find any homeschool courses for the next step. Dual enrolling was perfect so he could continue on in math since he was heading toward engineering. Julianna got a jump-start on computers by dual-enrolling.
Is my teen ready to be on a secular campus with adults?
After our first dual-enrollment experience, we realized what a culture shock dual-enrollment was. From that point on, my kids always dual enrolled with at least one other homeschooler. This gave them a like-minded friend among many folks who have vastly different values than our family. I also decided to wait until senior year for them to dual-enroll.
Will it help our family financially to get college credit toward their bachelor's degree while we only have to pay for books?
Our family didn't qualify for financial-need scholarships, so we appreciated getting some college credits for free. Other families found it more financially prudent to wait for college when the books were also covered with financial aid.
What teachers will they study under?
I realized that when my students dual enrolled, the teacher made all the difference. We asked around about the different teachers teaching the courses we were interested in. In our quest, we found an amazing Spanish teacher that all of my children took Spanish I & II from and later discovered she lives down the street! We build a friendship in the process.
Of course, there are more questions to ask, but for now realize you need to decide what will work best for your teen and family.
Some teens go into dual-enrolling full tilt. Others don't do any dual-enrolling and wait until college to take college courses.
Like our family, many homeschooling parents opt somewhere in between those two extremes, taking courses here and there to supplement their high school home education program.
We love teaching high school at home and have had a blast learning together with our teens.
If you would like to learn more about homeschooling high school, I wrote a book just for you. Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School equips parents to homeschool high school with joy and confidence. When you are finished reading this book, credits, creating courses, transcripts, choosing living books, making a four-year plan, and planning a high school graduation will seem much more do-able. You can do it!
Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick.
God bless you!