Summertime is College Credit Time for Homeschoolers through CLEP
The typical teenager approaches summertime with a Tom Sawyer attitude--it’s a time to laze around, enjoy the sun, and hang out with friends. Many homeschoolers don’t realize, though, that summer can be an opportunity to save thousands of dollars in future college tuition, with just a little extra work! Our family homeschooled a few hours a day during the summer of our son’s junior year, and used CLEP exams to earn thousands of dollars of college credit. Your homeschooled student can too--you can homeschool college during the summer and save a ton when it comes to tuition and credits.
The first step to homeschooling college is to asses your student’s knowledge. Our family did this with The CLEP Official Study Guide. My children looked at the Table of Contents in the study guide, decided which sample tests they thought they could pass, and then took the sample tests for each area. A score of 50% or more is typically a passing score on most CLEP tests, because all of the questions are hard. Whichever sample test they got the highest grade on was the one they began studying for.
The next step in preparation is to get a study guide for the subject area your student will take a test in. For example, my son’s highest score on the sample test was in American History, so I bought the REA study guide for CLEP American History, and he took a week to look over it at his leisure. Some students might do a little bit of study for half an hour, or an hour a day, depending on their knowledge, and how much they needed to learn. The next step is to actually take your student to the testing area. You need to make an appointment at a testing location to take the exam, and you can locate those test centers at the College Board website, under the CLEP section.
The last step after taking the test is to have a little party. For each college credit earned, I gave my children an ice cream cone, which seemed a little silly at that time, but my children were happy. If you want to, give them a small gift, such as flowers, or go on a picnic, or have some sort of treat to say “you just earned college credit by simply taking this one test and for just studying an hour a day during summer.” They deserve it!
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