Over the next few months, I’m going to so something I’ve never done before! I’m going to pull excerpts from Homeschooling for College Credit second edition and share them here! I have several favorite sections that I refer to time and again, and I am thrilled to share them with you. Today’s section is from Chapter 2: Thirty Ways to Earn College Credit
Let’s hit the ground running. I want to jump right in and get you thinking about all of the potential credit sources available to you and your child. By the time you are reading this book, there may even be new sources available! (spoiler- there are!) It’s important to know that not all credit is created equal. I like to consider credit through the lens of “transferability” because most of us want this credit to work towards a degree. As such, we’ll start with the most transferable, and wind down with improbable transfer options. Since improbable credit still transfers into at least a small handful of accredited colleges, they’re included too.
It’s not enough for credit to transfer somewhere. Credit has to transfer into the program your child pursues. Still, there are about 5,000 excellent accredited colleges for your child to choose from, so to limit yourself to one or two seems too narrow. As you consider college credit, I would encourage you to look at what it brings to your homeschool as well as what it may contribute to their college later. In many cases, you can bring in many college classes or exams that are fantastic opportunities for a high school student—and have nothing to do with what they end up using in college.
There are essentially 2 ways to earn college credit:
1. Taking a course worth college credit.
2. Taking an exam worth college credit.
As their high school guidance counselor, you have a different duty than most—you’re coordinating their high school program while also doing some preliminary college advising. This role can feel overwhelming, but I want you to stay focused on one task: providing the best K–12 opportunity you can. If you keep that in mind, it makes choosing when to, and when not to enhance your curriculum by injecting college credit.
There are some questions you’ll want to keep in mind as you decide whether or not a specific college credit opportunity is right for your teen. Sometimes college credit opportunities present themselves as being more expensive than what you were planning, or they displace something already in your curriculum— those can create quite a dilemma. Let’s stay on track:
1. Would I use this course as a homeschool curriculum even if it
didn’t transfer into their college later?
2. Would I teach this subject / have them study this subject if it wasn’t worth college credit?
3. Does this credit still work if my teen’s target college changes?
4. Does this credit still work if my teen’s target major changes?
5. Does earning this credit fit into our homeschool budget?
6. Can we lose this money if our teen fails the class/exam?
7. If they fail, is the score/grade confidential or public?
8. Does earning this credit save my teen money?
9. Does earning this credit save my teen time?
10. Would I rather my teen learn this from me, or someone else?
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