Parent Question: Is there anything you wish you’d done in middle school to prepare them for dual enrollment?

This question came from a parent in our North Carolina group. The replies were wonderful, I’m sharing them in this post and inviting you to add your own.

From KD: Mine graduating with her BA this semester, but things I’m glad we did with her prior to [dual enrollment], since she had homeschooled from the beginning. We started the process in middle school:

  • keyboarding skills,
  • take an online class or two to get used to that format–synchronous and asynchronous if possible,
  • take a couple of in-person classes with teachers other than me that imposed deadlines that weren’t flexible and had class discussions,
  • learn to read a syllabus and set up a calendar based on it
  • scaffold her into managing her own academic calendar (gave assignments and help her learn to break them down in order to get them done on time, even when she had more than one class having a deadline) and balance it with other demands on her time
  • learn to identify important points and take notes from a textbook/primary source/recorded lecture/live lecture
  • learn to use notes to study/create a study guide
  • understand how and why to cite sources without unintentionally plagiarizing
  • be able to write a basic academic paper
  • be able to communicate appropriately with professors via email and text –proper spelling, no emojis, etc.
  • be able to remember to act and dress appropriately in a Zoom or other online live forum, including participating in discussion

From SE: for high school start keeping track of extracurricular, volunteering, awards, service work, etc. It’s much easier to work on college and scholarship applications if you already have a list.

From WC: We required lots of reading and writing in middle school, and that choice served us well. My daughter was easily able to handle the DE course loads; most of the time, they have been less strenuous than what I’ve required of her at home…We used Writing with Skill in middle school, but we also did a lot of writing across the curriculum. By 9th grade, I was teaching writing myself, so that she was (over)prepared when she took ENG 111 & 112 in 10th.

From LL: My son said after his first timed exam in [dual enrollment] that it might have been helpful to have had a few timed tests to be used to that format/’pressure’ before experiencing them in [community college]. Experience with online synchronous (AOPS) and asynchronous classes requiring feedback to teacher and other students were both positive preparation in the familiarity of those formats.

What advice can you add to this list?


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit