College style homeschooling is easy with the right materials. Lessons learned through college style homeschooling may even be helpful for exempting college classes.
CLEP and College Credit
The College Level-Examination program (CLEP) allows students to take tests that may count toward college credit. Any student may study a college curriculum, take the CLEP for a particular subject and receive college credit. Taking various CLEP examinations is a great way to save money by exempting costly courses. Not all universities accept CLEP test scores, however; contact the university admission office to find out a particular school's requirements. Universities also may have limits on the number of CLEP credits that they will accept from students. Again, check with the university. The intensive curriculum used to prepare for the CLEP exam could be used for high school credit. Parents who are just beginning to homeschool should learn about state regulations concerning homeschooled students.
College Style Homeschooling Classes for Credit
Students entering universities typically have two years of required courses before taking major courses. Many of these courses have CLEP examinations available. Homeschooled students should start by studying college level literature, math, science, and social studies classes. College freshmen usually take English Composition in the first year. Some universities also require a humanities course to fulfill college graduation requirements.
Get a course catalogue from a university. Most universities have online course catalogues in which the course number and course descriptions are listed. Use the course number and name of the course to get books for the course. For example, if the student is going to take freshman English and the course number is 1101, call the university bookstore and get the name of the English book used for the course. The university course may use several different books, including a writing style guide and literature texts. It may be worth it to visit the university bookstore to choose the best books for the student.
The CLEP exam website has descriptions of the available CLEP tests. Exam guides can be purchased from the site to help support college style homeschooling.
Create a Syllabus
Focus on one or two CLEP exams at a time. Use the CLEP exam guide or other CLEP preparation guides to prepare a syllabus and lesson plans. For the college-level literature course, for example, the student will need to recognize periods in literature, applicable literary works, and writing styles. The lesson plans should help students master the material. The lessons may include some rote memorization so that students can learn and remember the material, but critical thinking skills are highly desired.
Students should be able to learn information and apply what they have learned throughout the CLEP test. Some universities have syllabi online, which will help create a custom syllabus for an individual student.
Support for College Homeschooling
Study groups, tutors, and online courses will help students learn subject-matter needed for a college style homeschool education. Locate other parents with homeschooled students seeking college credit and create or join a study group. Study groups help students learn in a social setting.
Book clubs, in which common college-level literature is analyzed, will help the student understand and analyze the literature needed to pass the literature CLEP. Some students tend to learn more when they discuss what they have learned with peers. Some students learn best from other students, through peer tutoring. Study groups and support groups for college-level homeschooling may be found by joining a homeschool association with a local branch.
Now that the student is beginning to use CLEP, keep records of all the texts that your student used to prepare for the college level tests as well as the curriculum that was used. Create a file with evidence the exams were passed. Any correspondence from universities regarding acceptance of CLEP credit should also be filed. With careful preparation, the student can go beyond fulfilling high school credit requirements by earning college credits, saving time and money.