Concurrent enrollment: making choices

By now you have learned of new ways to earn college credits while enrolled in Classical Conversations Challenge II, III and IV. Should your family pursue credits? If so, which credits? Which courses?

While I typically avoid writing disclaimers, we need to put one here: every family is different, which makes giving general guidance impractical. You can choose these opportunities for your advantage, and you can decline them as well. Only you know your situation best. Personalized services, mentoring, and a place with many Counselors are all offered through Homeschool Counselor. Now on with the answers we can give.

Concurrent enrollment may not be new, but it is newly useful for homeschool families in Classical Conversations. Concurrent enrollment means a high-school student studies their high-school material while concurrently, or at the same time and covering the same material, is earning college credit. In Challenge II,III and IV, this means that students earn college credits while classically learning specific strands. This is all made possible when an accredited college assigns a college-credentialed educator to review the assignments provided by the student up to a college standard (technically known a Student Learning Outcomes). By working with an academic administrator named Integrity College Solutions, Classical Conversations Plus has arranged college credits for specific strands through the College at Southeastern (Wake Forest, NC) and Mrs. Sarah Lang (M.A., English) and Dr. Steven Dilday, PhD (Latin). Mrs. Lang and Dr. Dilday, using a state-of-the-art “student management system” called Canvas, review assignments from students who have already prepared work for their parents, their Director and their peer community. Discussions, teaching and assessment in the homeschool remain local to your home and community; college assessment is online and accrues towards credit on a transcript from the college. Integrity College Solutions provides the systems and administration, not the credits. Classical Conversations Plus SEU operates on essentially the same principles, though SEU offers several additional benefits.

You may be wondering how concurrent enrollment differs from its better known sibling, dual enrollment. Dual enrollment occurs when a high school student sits physically or virtually in a college classroom, at the foot of a professor who wrote his/her own syllabus; the high school curriculum is set aside for the authority of the college. View an official definition and comparison on this page.  In many instances this arrangement works very well. While in Challenge, and with the intent to stay in Challenge through graduation, dual enrollment creates difficulties.

Is your child ready for this program? We have been asked this question in the past. Typically, since we believe parents are equipped to assess their student better than anyone else, you know best. By all means do not rush toward placing undue or unhealthy pressure on your student, other than what you judge will further his/her learning. Do no harm is always a good rule. College will be there at the right time.

These courses are as much about development as they are about final assessment. The child you have in your home in August grows, learns and flourishes into a wonderful human by April. You also transform as a parent. Romans 12:2 includes this part: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These college courses can help with accelerating or amplifying the transformation, if you willing. Course assignments in August and September should look very different by March and April. If you are ready for this acceleration and amplification, then consider the courses.

Now that there is a second Classical Conversations Plus program, a natural question is: “Which program should I take?” Here we have an innovation. You can mix and match either or both. You do not have to choose one. Will there be a mild inconvenience of two student management systems? Yes. At these reasonable prices and values, some small technology inconvenience can be overcome. Which Composition course? You have a choice of Comp I at SEU which has the Philosophy readings in Challenge III, or Comp I through ICS which has the Literature readings. You should not necessarily do both, but you are permitted to take both. More courses will be offered in the future, only adding to the options. Are you ready? For the more analytical types, we have prepared this comparison chart. Some families have the means and interest to pursue college credits. The price for these courses are meant to compare to other college credit options and against options that other, non-homeschooling families face. Do only what you see is best.

Remember that none of these courses are necessary; Challenge itself, as it is, is sufficient and plenty to develop a virtuous human being for the Glory of God.

 

 

Spending Thanksgiving with homeshooling families

This Thanksgiving marks another occasion when our family will spend the day with five other homeschooling families. We spent last year’s T-day together; we will again tomorrow. I am looking forward to the day. Nothing substitutes for immediate relatives of course. These days with dispersed relatives, other opportunities become available, like spending a special holiday with families we see weekly with schooling.

Anchor in the Storm

The winds are currently calm outside as I sit at my desk but the cloud bands from an approaching hurricane have already begun to block the sun. The storm is inevitable. We have prayed and made preparations but that will not keep the gusts from beating our house as the circular monster kisses our coast sometime before dawn tomorrow. Homeschooling high school can sometimes feel like a hurricane. As our students approach middle school, we can feel the panic rising in our throats. We have so many questions and we doubt the adequacy of our preparations. After sailing these waters with our three young adults, the three anchors of diligent prayer, intentional preparation and joyful pondering, kept us grounded as the winds blew our little homeschooling boat.

Encouragement for a good education

When I walked into my house, Leigh Bortins was already standing in the dining room talking to my wife; interrupting herself in the middle of her own conversation she asked, “Is it ok if I dump a load of laundry in your washer?” She was traveling in Southern California to help jump start Classical Conversations on the west coast. Our little Long Beach campus was about to be the first one in the Golden State.

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