Today we’re talking about dual credits for your high school student. For those who are in the diaper stage with your babes, just tuck this post away for a few years from now – which really will be the day after tomorrow. Trust me on this one. My kids were going to be seven and under forever. I had it all worked out. And then, without asking, our oldest turned 18 and graduated high school. Who does he think he is? ;)
Because several have asked about homeschooling through high school, I wanted to share one of the best tips we’ve learned so far. Whether you home, private, or public school your kids – I encourage you to check out college class options for your high schooler. Dual credits rock!!
First, what is a dual credit? It’s this magical thing that means your child can take a college class during high school and get both a high school credit for it and a college credit – at the same time. It is marvelous, saves time, saves money, and saves kids from taking a biology class twice if in fact biology is not their favorite sport.
Our family has learned and continues to learn about this through trial and error. We originally started our oldest son as a junior in high school in one college class (Basic Speech) for three reasons:
1) It’s a little bit hard to do a speech class as a home schooler. Not impossible – just challenging since he had a class size of one.
2) We wanted to ease our home schooler into a classroom to prepare him for full time college days.
3) We’d seen other home school families put their high school kids in a college class or two during high school and we liked that they ended up getting some college credits out of the way. It looked like a good idea.
Twenty-four college credits by high school graduation with our oldest son later, I have this to say: Good idea, nothin’. Getting dual credits is a great idea. Fantastic. Marvelous. Wonderful.
See, here’s the thing: Many of the classes our kids take in high school they end up taking again their first two years of college. (Science, Math, English, History, etc.) This can be good. Some kids need to take them twice. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. But after experiencing so many positive results from pursuing dual credits with our oldest, we have decided that if it is possible, our other kids can also knock out quite a few college gen-eds out of the way while they are in high school.
How to go about getting dual credits for your high school student
If your child is in a public or private school, it is likely that the school provides some options for upperclassmen to take classes which give them college credit. Check and see!
For homeschoolers – you’ll have to see what college options are available in your area. Here’s what we did:
1. Our local college offers high school students the option of taking one class per semester at a 75% discount. Yes please! During his junior and senior years of high school, Asa took four semesters of on-campus classes (Speech, Psychology, and American History 1 and 2).
2. His senior year, he wanted to get more credits checked off the list. Since we’d maxed out the “one class per semester at a discount” at our local college, we signed him up for two classes per semester online through a Nebraska community college (English Comp 1 and 2, Human Biology, and Business Technology).
Phew! These classes were tough!! Especially the online classes. We don’t regret doing this, and Asa is so thankful to have these classes out of the way – but college level courses aren’t a cake walk. Asa had to work his tail off, and found that the online classes were extremely intense since there was no classroom instruction and because there were many, many deadlines to meet each semester.
Because we transitioned Asa into college classes while he was still at home, not only did he save almost an entire year’s worth of college tuition – we are much more confident that Asa is prepared to tackle full time college work while living on campus. We are so grateful that God led us to work toward dual credits for him.
Taking what we learned while doing this with Asa, our second son Justus (who will be a sophomore in high school) will begin his first college course this fall. And so it begins with son number two. Hold me.
Any questions? (Not that I’ll be able to answer them.) Other moms of high schoolers: what has your experience been with dual credits?