keeping them close to home

If you graduated from a college or university and are faithful to your alma mater, you probably already know where your child will continue life after high school. More than likely, that school is miles (maybe even states) away from where you live now. The plan was to keep tradition alive with your child walking across the same courtyard you used to pass on your way to class. It is still a good plan, but before you send your child away, consider a school closer to home.

Freshman year is a huge transition period with challenging courses, finding a new rhythm of learning, earning credits and just trying to make it through the year. Although going on a campus tour is the last thing on anyone’s mind during the freshman high school year, it is time to begin.

Attending a college, university or trade school is a big step for a student and their parents. For many students, it will be the first time they are on their own, away from family. For many parents, it will be the first time they have ever sent their child away, anywhere. One of the perks of homeschooling is being with family, so the thought of staying close to home is appealing to everyone. Considering local options could make that happen.

Depending on where you live, those schools may not include any of the Ivy League or Big 10 schools, but one of them could still be the right one for your child. Just like curricula, there are many choices and some of them are better fits than others for your child. The best way to help them decide is to start the campus tour experience early in high school.

Many students tend to thrive when they attend a college close to home, because they are in a familiar environment. While the college experience is new, everything they see when they step off campus is everything they have come to know while growing up.

Staying close to home will not deprive them of their independence. Learning in a familiar environment creates a comfortable setting for your child. Growing and maturing will be gradual and without the immediate pressure of having to navigate and manage everything on their own. Support from family will not be delayed by hours in a car or an airplane flight away.

Attending a school close to home can be (but not always) more affordable. Depending on the distance from home, room and board may not be necessary. Some schools offer instate discounts for students, which may reduce the amount of tuition. The expense of holiday travel home during school breaks will not be an issue. Local commuting options can include public transportation, commuting with friends or sharing a family vehicle.

Check out academic programs as well as the academic departments offered by the schools. If your child knows the area of study they want to pursue, attending workshops, seminars and camps will familiarize them with the campus atmosphere, manner of teaching and the instructors/professors at the school.

Dual enrollment gives them classroom experience and can help your child earn college credit at the school towards their degree. Most schools accept dual enrollment credit earned in high school. If those hours are acquired at the same school your child plans to attend, there will be no need to transfer credits. There will also be no concern as to which credits will and will not transfer. All credits will transfer with no issues and go towards their degree.

It does not matter if you homeschool or not, parents do not want to see their child leave home to go to school. What they do love is seeing their child have opportunities. Sometimes, those opportunities are closer than you think! Encourage them to consider their local options before they decide to pursue a school far away.

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©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.