Parents determine the best education for their child but as the student enters high school, this should become a discussion to ensure that the teen is able to work towards their goals and graduate in the best position to move forward.

High school is the final stretch before graduation, and it is during this time frame that grades and course selection have the biggest impact on the student’s future in college.  Parents and teens need to work closely with the online homeschool program to determine a workable path of classes and electives that support what the student wants to do after they graduate while ensuring they meet all the required courses need to graduate.  One solution that has grown in popularity is dual enrollment which is a program that allows some students to graduate with their Associate degree at the same time they receive their high school diploma.  The most affordable homeschooling online programs partner with one or more colleges so that students earn both high school and college credit at the same time with each approved class.

Dual enrollment is typically open to juniors and seniors but should be thoroughly reviewed before the student decides to take on this work.  Taking college-level courses in high school is not for everyone as the material is more challenging and assignments are expected to be completed at this advanced level.  Students can work with the high school counselor to answer questions and have a chance to look at examples of the material before committing to this path.  One of the benefits in addition to affordable homeschooling online is that the college courses are also discounted so the degree is more cost effective when completed at this time.  This helps parents out but can also make it easier for some students to receive this degree where the traditional route would not be financially feasible.

While the most obvious benefit is completing up to two years from the college path so they can focus on specific courses and get their education completed sooner, there are several challenges to keep in mind in addition to the one mentioned above.  College instructors are going to teach at a higher level so high school students must have the maturity to absorb the material and be able to participate in discussions and groups whether in a physical classroom or a virtual online course.  Student maturity applies to personality, attitude and academics so it is a good idea for the discussion to include parents and the homeschool program’s guidance counselor so they can provide feedback and recommendations.  The grades earned in the college class will go on the high school transcript so the student must be prepared to complete the work without any adverse effects to their other courses or activities. 

The positive is that it will build confidence in the student that they can handle the next level of work but if they struggle then you may need to consider switching them out or finding tutorial assistance until they become acclimated.  

Homeschoolers often do very well with dual enrollment classes because they are used to working on their own and completing difficult assignments especially if the participate in a college prep program.  Discuss your student’s goals and see if dual enrollment is a viable option that will benefit them and set them up for success.

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