It was an ideal my husband and I had held dearly to since the beginning of our homeschool journey. Dual Enrollment!
A silly as it sounds, in our minds we already had our preschooler earning college credit. Then our little boy grew and blossomed into an intelligent, sharp minded, polite and pleasant young man.
Before we knew it, the day had come. It was time to apply for Dual Enrollment. What was our reasoning or justification? Well, he was old enough and smart enough. So, why not?
After passing the entrance tests, filling out a plethora of forms, jumping through hoops and buying the books, we were now ready to proceed. Or so we thought.
The semester started off well enough. My son was amazed at how easily he was doing in his writing class. There was a lot of grammar review and no writing assignments until week 3!
For awhile, I double checked his planner with the class syllabus to make sure all was complete. This continued until my son told me he was old enough to manage his own schedule. Indeed, according to his prior schooling history, he was. And so wanting my little birdie to spread his winds and fly, I backed off.
After that I didn’t give his syllabus a second glance. Just checking in with my son weekly to make sure all was well. According to him, all was well…that was until finals. That’s when he confided to us some of his struggles.
Yep, it was too late. Salvaging what he could, he finished up with a passing grade.
We all learned something valuable through this experience. My son learned that problems need to be brought out in the open as soon as possible. Or else, they compound. He also learned that the professors don’t really care whether or not you attend class or pass. A grade is a grade with little emotional attachment.
I’ve seen dual enrollment work beautifully for both public and homeschooled high school kids. It’s a good way to get a jump on those pesky pre-requisites. But, we’ve also seen the opposite. Just because a child is smart, doesn’t mean they are the perfect candidate for Dual Enrollment. Things like maturity, level of communication, temperament and especially desire, need to be considered before making this decision!
If we could go back, we would have considered Dual Enrollment in a different light with a different set of lenses.