My recent newsletter included an article called Facing the Community College Fad.  It's always good to keep your eyes open when looking at any situation you think may be appropriate for your children.  If you have ever considered community college, this will be a thought-provoking article for you.

There are a couple of things I wanted to share about that September 1st edition of my newsletter.

Feedback on Community College Article
Thank you for going against the tide by dealing with this Community College Issue! I hear about this 'option' frequently from other homeschoolers and am very concerned about the continuing purity of those students. Our children are doing CLEP testing - 15  credits by 13 years old for under $400! That's value AND we get to choose the books!

I so disagree with your take on Dual Enrollment. Our very shy daughter has grown into a confident , independent thinker, partially thanks to the amazing professors she has researched and chosen at our Community College. Since beginning her studies at 16 , she has amassed 32 transferable college credits and is constantly sought by top schools. Duke sent her SIX invites to attend /apply in ONE week. This contact from Duke came unsolicited by us . Her German professor contacted Duke on her behalf - solely on the basis  of her stellar GPA of 4th level German. She received most of her classes free through Dual Enrollment. Recently, our state discontinued allowing Dual Enrollment of academics. Our response was to graduate her early. Our daughter so highly values this opportunity that gives her a huge edge on college scholarships that she paid for her own final level German($400) and Sociology class ($ 400) so that she might study with outstanding professors. Please don't sell your audience short by assuming we are all fearful of allowing our children the opportunities that will facilitate their dreams. My child will attend the college of her choice on scholarship and study International Ethics, going on to serve as a voice and advocate for those who aren't as fortunate. As a former educator, with 20 years in the public and private sectors, I am blessed with all our Community College has offered my child. By the way , having your child on a college campus while still under your control is a great way to bridge the transfer from home to dorm. Every day is a conversation of how to best handle situations that would she , otherwise would have faced for the 1st time ,alone and scared stiff as an on-campus freshman. Now she knows she can handle herself with professors and students comfortably. She can focus on the reason she is there - learning.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your very candid article on the dual enrollment option for homeschoolers.  You covered many realistic and relevant things to consider before sending kids to community college as highschoolers.  Thank you for speaking up and going against the tide of the current homeschool fad. Yes,  I have felt the pressure of sending my bright, engineering oriented son to community college as a highschooler.  He's my oldest, so these options are all new for us.  Many of my friends with public school kids also are feeling the pressure.  The big carrot that always comes up is the "free" college education...but your article very aptly spells out what "cost" we may be paying with our kids. Thank you again for you boldness on this issue and your encouragement to teach our kids all the way through highschool.

I do appreciate you speaking up about your experiences.  Unfortunately, we don't have a choice but to utilize community college in our circumstances. I can't help think that Daniel, thousands of years ago, had to deal with similar circumstances in his Babylonian "college experience".  The biggest hurdle for our kids is how to love sinners in the midst of their sin.  By the time we send our "children" off to college, they should be grounded enough in their faith to resist the temptations they encounter.  As far as the new ideas, if we exposed them to differing viewpoints, age appropriately, of course, they'd be able to withstand the assault.

Thank you so much for the column on the trend to go to Community College. I agree with everything you said. I have not seen it as a positive thing and have found that those who  have gone wanted to graduate and not homeschool at all anymore.  Also many dating  relationships have started there since there are no watching eyes. My son has decided to attend Liberty and they clearly lay out how to take the CLEP test to test out of much of the General Ed you must take the first two years.  This sounds like a much more productive use of time to us with no risks!

We've had quite the different experience with the local community college from what you describe in your latest article. Our daughters' experiences there have been very productive and effective. It's given them a chance to experience a regular classroom environment. They have proven to themselves that they are capable of excelling in college. The quality of education isn't as good at the community college as it now is for my daughter enrolled at a major university, but it was a good place for her to get her feet wet. Our daughters have experienced few of the negatives that you describe, especially not to that degree. Things aren't perfect, but they're certainly better than a public school environment and they've learned a lot from it. Now, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to enroll our high-schoolers into the community college full-time. Our oldest took a single class. Our next daughter is taking one class this semester and possibly another the next semester. It makes for a good adjunct to all of the other stuff she's doing, math, English, college geology text, college biology text. In a number of these things, I think it's a lot better at this time to get her college-level texts than to try and enroll her in actual college courses. The community college course is more for the experience, the learning how to get along in that environment. I think you do your readers a disservice by coming out so strident against community college. As with everything there is good and bad. You have to make wise choices and be wise consumers. However, with the right choices, community college courses can be very valuable.

The latest article about Community College couldn't be more right on.  I think it works for a very, very, very small percentage of families, but for most I would agree with the Rated R environment.  We know of four families who have proceeded with the "Running Start" program.  One family has two boys, then two girls.  After having their two boys complete their Running Start, they decided never again and that they would not put their 16 year old daughter into that environment on the campus.  I would venture to say it was a detriment to their boys.  Not so much academically, more spiritually and socially. Other families have had similar experiences.  The one family that it did work for was a family whose daughter was very mature spiritually.  She only took online classes, and received her AA degree in that way.

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