Thursday, September 20, 2012

Community College Cautions for Homeschoolers

Because many states pay for community college tuition for qualified high school juniors and seniors, a lot of homeschoolers are jumping on the community college bandwagon to a free 2-year degree. But homeschoolers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls, as well as the possibilities, of a community college education, free or not, before they send their children into that environment.

If, for example, you have ever said that public university is not an option for your family because it does not fit your family values, you probably won't be happy with community college either. As much as many public universities are very liberal, radical, and sometimes offensive, a community college can be even more so.

If you do decide that community college is a possibility for your student, there are some strategies to mitigate these problems. The first thing you can do is to use the buddy system, which is what we did when our sons went to community college. We waited until they were both ready to take classes, and tried to always have them in a classroom together or with one or two other friends.

Another way to avoid bad experiences is to evaluate the professors ahead of time. is a good place to find helpful information. Make sure to look at the comments as well as the ratings, because some students rate professors highly just because they don't give homework, or because they show inappropriate material in class. Make sure that you check the actual reviews on that website.

In addition to using the buddy system and vetting professors, it's a good idea to read the course textbooks in advance, as this will give you a sense of the philosophical bent of the teacher. When he was at community college, my son decided to take a class in music improvisation.