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Middle schoolers at community college


mysticmomma
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Does anyone have experience with a middle schooler at CC? My 7th grade daughter expects to attend BM high school, and at that point I guess I cease to object. I talked her out of middle school in part with the help of the hive...

 

Around here students start foreign language in 7th. I'd like for her to start this year as well. I reached out to our local CC this morning, but thought someone else here had some BTDT.

 

I noticed also that there was an option to take sign language. She started last semester with the local HASA, but there are no grades or assessments.

 

Am I overthinking?

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College classes generally cover twice as much material in a semester as a high school course, and I would guess even more than that for middle school. If she takes two years of a community college foreign language my guess is the high school courses won't have anything to teach her. 

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Our CC's do not allow minors other than juniors and seniors with very few exceptions.  Do you just want foreign language?  A semester at CC is in theory equivalent to a year in high school.  So it's a pretty dry and fast moving and may not be the best introduction to a CC class.  I guess I wouldn't follow this course for a kid you expect to go to B&M high school.  My oldest had college ready ACT scores in middle school and I do not think he would have been ready or willing to jump through the hoops for a class like that.

 

There are other online options available for foreign language.  My kids use middlebury interactive high school for Spanish.

 

I'd only pursue CC if your child is well ahead of grade level in ALL ways (academically, motivationally, socially, etc) and your child was pushing to do it.  And if it was relatively common in your area.

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Only high school juniors and seniors are allowed to take courses at the CC's here, and sophomores only with special permission. For an advanced middle schooler, I'd be more inclined to go with standard high school classes than college classes.

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Also worth considering - 

 

CC grades are for life. You have to send any and all transcripts with college applications. Ditto for grad school apps. If she can't hack the pace or the "go study on your own for twice as many hours as the class meets, every week" expectation and gets a bad grade, it will follow her for life.

 

Even if you point out "oh, she was only 13" - colleges do not care.

 

Personally, I do not recommend starting CC early. I do not recommend a foreign language as a first CC course. Just my own BTDT advice, ymmv.

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My daughter started taking CC classes at 13.  She started with Spanish, which she already knew from independent study at home.  It was a great experience for her, but there was very little stress/pressure since she already knew all the material.  She took four semesters of Spanish there and then moved on to other classes.  

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I did Geometry and Algebra II at the community college in the 1990s as an 8th grader.

 

It worked out OK but I did have a shakier Geo/Algebra II background than I would otherwise have had. I did each of those classes in 10 weeks (let that sink in) and it was awkward to be with people so much older than me so I NEVER talked with any other classmate. 

 

I would look for other solutions (online classes? local second language schools?) before going the CC route. I think I did my homework but never read the book because the pace was so fast.

Emily

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Community college is still college. Unless she's a foreign language prodigy and you can no longer provide what she needs at home or through more typical channels, I really don't recommend it.  

 

Things to consider: she'll probably have to deal with at least a few adults who aren't great role models or  simply don't have her best interests at heart, the course (teaching style, content, pacing, etc.) is geared towards adults, she will receive no special help just because she's young, the grades are for life, and the course will move much faster than what would probably be ideal for a person her age.  

 

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Our CC's accept no one under fifteen except students whom the PS indicates they have grade skipped this they are young by PS standards for their grade. Homeschoolers must comply with the age restriction.

 

Part of this is because especially in history and literature discussions discussions are on an adult level and are not kept PG. Additionally, the curriculum moves quickly compared to what they are used to so if it supposed to be challenging to a high schooler, it way more difficult for a middle schooler.

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I have a dd taking ASL at a community college. I will say the language can be "salty" both the spoken and the signs themselves. There is no protecting underage ears. My dd loves the classes and is going on to university as an ASL translator, but she had been in several theater programs for years so the language and discussions occurring were not new to her. She has felt comfortable and among her peers in the classrooms. And I offer this warning as a parent that sent her eldest to university at age 14. But that was for Latin and those students were a whole different group. :)

 

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My daughters began taking c.c. classes when they were 14. We didn't push them to graduate in two years, of course.* :-) The c.c. they attended in California had no age requirements. Older dd jumped right in and aced every class she took; younger dd needed a little time, but she still graduated with a 3.9 GPA and was asked to be valedictorian (she declined).

 

*Some of our friends' children *did* graduate in two years, transferred to a state university/college, earned a BA in two years (so by the time they were 18); one of them earned a PHD by the time she was 21. o_0

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Dd started CC in 7th grade. She was going to go back to school, but wanted to keep homeschooling so we found a happy medium.

 

First semester she took one French class just to test the waters, and over the next two years completed 33 credits. She took 4 semesters of French, and all of the beginning-level sciences. Like, not General Chemistry, but Intro to Chemistry and such. But she did take Physical Geology. I believe she had one B, the rest As, but I can't quite remember...

 

She was definitely a high achiever, but not, like, super-gifted. And she did have an ACT score of 23 in 6th grade which is how they even considered it. She did a mix of CC and AP classes through high school.

 

Everything was fine, nobody was mean to her, people were mostly protective of her, but if you're a really conservative family, make sure you understand that many discussions are open and will expose her to ideas that you may not like. Also, no, you can't sit in class with her or talk to the professors, at all. She will need to learn to advocate for herself.

 

Also, and to my surprise, ASL is not any easier to learn than any other language!

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I would be cautious.

 

As other mentioned the college classes are not PG and she might be exposed to language and topics you might not expect.

 

My friend's then 14 year old freshman took a college Spanish class this past year as he is fully bilingual...reading, writing, and speaking.....and the first day of class a video was shown which included nudity.

 

Also he is expected to write college level papers in Spanish. He knows the Spanish very well but had to adjust to writing college level papers.

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I would find out exactly why she wants to attend high school.  I suspect that it's not for the classes--it's for the experience.

 

Academically, my younger son should either be in college classes or homeschooling at that level.  He is going to the high school because he wants the high school experience, which goes well beyond sitting in a classroom.  He would not get that at the CC.

Edited by EKS
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In my local middle school, they can take a language in middle school, but they still need to take two years in high school; just at a higher level. If she wants to begin at a higher level, there might be better ways that CC for her to get those beginning classes. My daughter did Spanish at our homeschool co-op, then continued the next level in high school. I'd contact the high school and see if they have recommendations for tutors or classes and find out what text they use. I'd even consider summer school. Kids around here use summer school for stuff like this to make more room in their high school schedule. It would be more concentrated than a high school class, but less intense than a CC class.

 

Eta: A friend sent her kid to a summer language immersion camp. This might be a more age-appropriate way to reach these language goals.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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My dad was in a science class with a 13 yo boy last fall. It was awful. He didn't need to be there. He was 13. Nothing wrong with being 13 but college with college aged kids was not the place for him. It was frustrating to the other students and the professor. And the kid knew he didn't belong.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My dad was in a science class with a 13 yo boy last fall. It was awful. He didn't need to be there. He was 13. Nothing wrong with being 13 but college with college aged kids was not the place for him. It was frustrating to the other students and the professor. And the kid knew he didn't belong.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I think this is a side of this that is not talked about very much.  Does it change the experience of the other people in the class.

 

We have a heavy GT contingent in our local secular homeschooling community.  My oldest kid is on the HG-PG end of the world so I get trying to find opportunities for precocious younger kids.  But the fact of the matter is group learning experiences ARE social.  My 16 year old really doesn't care if your 10 year old is Harvard ready.  He doesn't want to take classes with kids that young.  And our groups are asked to accommodate younger kids all the time.   Sometimes those kids don't have good social boundaries or take social cues and dominate class tone and discussion.  I've had kids like that in my own classes that I've taught.   It really is not just as simple as dropping a young kid at level X in a classroom.  The young kid is not thought of as a peer by the others in the class.

 

Anyway - this is why we homeschool.  We can teach whatever level we want at home and can find resources online, etc. 

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One thing to consider is the amount of driving. I live at least 20 minutes from any sort of college. That's a main reason why my tenth grader isn't doing dual enrollment at this point. My college language courses met four days a week for fifty minutes at a time. Do check about what time commitment YOU would have to drive your kid to and from the CC.

 

I would not personally want a young teen in a college classroom unless I had no other options. There are so many online things now. We are going to try Homeschool Spanish Academy, for instance, which will be tailored to my student and really about the same cost as a college or online class but without the driving commitment on my part.

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My 16 year old just started DE at a local college. She heard more foul language, from the professor, in one class than she's heard her whole life. At 16 she's old enough to laugh it off, consider it unprofessional, and learn anyway. She actually thinks he's a great professor and sees that he loves the material, while any younger it might have really bothered her. I agree - unless she's exhausted every other avenue, it isn't likely the best option.

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There are a few of us on the AL board-you may want to ask there.

 

Yes-my 12 yr old is concurrently enrolled in community college as a freshman and in a homeschool cover program as an 8th grader. So far, it has been a wonderful experience. Having said that, we didn't do it until she was college ready in all domains, and until we'd mostly exhausted what we could do at home. It was either a choice of going to CC or doing online higher level classes which would be potentially college credit-worthy, moving, boarding school, or graduating her and sending her to an early college program full-time. We looked at multiple college options as well. She has been doing occasional college labs and field trips for several years with her mentor's classes, and had audited several classes. She also goes to 3-4 professional research conferences every single year. And, she's an 8th grader in name only. She has enough high school credit worthy classes on her transcript now that her cover school would have no trouble calling her a 12th grader this coming year, and she would only need a handful of specific classes to graduate. This wasn't by design-it just happened that doing the next thing moved quickly.

 

A few things

1) college students are adults. They won't talk to a parent. DD was admitted after she walked in with her grades and transcripts and said she wanted to apply. She couldn't do so online because her birthdate got her kicked out of the system as ineligible for DE. After reviewing her records, admissions told her to apply as non-degree, special status (non-traditional, no high school diploma). She was admitted based on test scores and the strength of her record, and will be able to transfer to degree seeking status after completing 12 credit hours with at least a 2.0 GPA. We have to pay out of pocket for those first 12 credit hours, After that point, she would be able to do the FAFSA and get financial aid. She has done everything not requiring a driver's license and credit card herself. I never even met her professors last semester, nor have I for this coming semester. The exception is that her parking permit is tied to my driver's license number and that the college did give me an access card so I can go to the library, check out books, and use the computer lab while waiting. (this is available to anyone providing transportation to a college student).

 

2) The other students are adults. Their conversational topics will not be filtered for a middle schooler's ears. DD has not yet taken history or English mostly for that reason. Last semester, political discussions before class got pretty heated at times.

 

3) the grades count and the assignments are real. The pace is fast. If your child hasn't been doing high school level courses with high school level workloads, and isn't mostly independent, they are likely to sink. There is much less handholding than at a high school level, let alone a middle school one.

 

Having said that, this has been awesome for her. She has been readily accepted as a classmate and study partner, if not as a social peer who is invited out for a beer. The level and pace of classes works for her, because she was usually doing 2 or more grade levels of material every year anyway, and was used to a lot of output (in many respects, the output for college classes is more focused and less in quantity than an honors or AP level high school class from a good provider). It has given her the outside instructors, school identity, and class setting she wanted. Of the options, this is the one that works the best for her for now, because she wants to stay home, have her same-age homeschool friends and cheer friends, and be 12. But the tradeoff is that for those hours every week, she has to be an adult.

Edited by dmmetler
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One thing to consider is the amount of driving. I live at least 20 minutes from any sort of college. That's a main reason why my tenth grader isn't doing dual enrollment at this point. My college language courses met four days a week for fifty minutes at a time. Do check about what time commitment YOU would have to drive your kid to and from the CC.

 

 

 

This is huge for us.  We are 25 minutes away and my dd doesn't drive.  I drove her twice a week last year, but will have to drive her three times a week this year.  It's a huge time investment - I don't bother coming home during her class so I am stuck at the CC during her class time.  

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As previous posters mentioned, there can be a lot of factors to take into consideration. Carefully think through your DD's strengths and weaknesses and how *she* would deal 

 

- grades and GPA from college courses are part of the student's permanent college record; poor grades can be difficult to recover from later on

- the policy of many community colleges is to not take students below a minimum age/grade

- or, the school may take younger students, but there are more hoops to jump (often need an ACT or SAT test score), and additional paperwork to complete

- because these are college level classes they move faster and cover more rigorous material (1 semester college foreign language = 1 YEAR of high school) -- will this be DD's first exposure to the foreign language? if so, it may be hard to keep up with an extra-brisk pace of a college level course

- there is often adult content and language (courses in Art (n*de models), English/Writing (the lit. subject matter), and the Humanities (Psychology, History, Sociology, etc.) tend to have more adult topics and discussion)

- your student is considered an adult learner, so you do not have access to or input into the student's class/instructor or records

- if there are any study groups or required group projects, it may be very difficult for your student to participate due to transportation, or having a minor alone with a group of adults

 

Because the grades are permanent, any dual enrollment automatically shoots to the top of your priority list for schooling, so the commuting, class time, and esp. time at home for homework and study, eat up a big chunk of your time for homeschooling. And that commuting time affects not just for the 7th grader, but also your younger 2 students, as they have to stop schooling to go with you to drop off/pick up older sibling -- unless it works out to take them along and either car school, or if you all can stay on campus or nearby and there are things you can do for school while older sibling takes the dual enrollment class.

 

 

Are there any possible alternatives to a community college in your area:

 

There are a number of good online course providers for foreign language. Try posting on the General Board, or the Middle School Board for specific recommendations. An online class could give your DD solid instruction, class interaction, and outside accountability -- all of which are great things to get "practiced" at in advance, if she will be attending a brick-and-mortar high school in 2 years.

 

You might also check and see if a local middle school (private, charter, or public) permits homeschoolers to take just 1 or 2 classes at the school. That also might be useful for slowly adjusting to attending a high school.

 

What about outsourcing to a homeschool co-op class? That would also give your DD live teacher and fellow students for foreign language conversations/interactions, and be a way of 

 

Are there any university model schools in your area? These are classrooms/teachers for 3 days/week and parent homeschool for 2 days/week. That might also be a way of transitioning -- and, it might be the perfect way to go with high school, as there would still be some homeschooling into high school.

 

 

BEST of luck as you work through what is best for learning a foreign language, for homeschooling, and for taking a classroom course! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Also, I might sound overprotective here but I would be concerned about the social aspect of it. Will she stay on campus to eat? Will she feel out of place? If the students have to do work with a partner will anyone want the middle school age partner? And then there's the random talking the college kids do. Will I want her around for their jokes and stories about what they did over the weekend?

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I think this is a side of this that is not talked about very much. Does it change the experience of the other people in the class.

 

We have a heavy GT contingent in our local secular homeschooling community. My oldest kid is on the HG-PG end of the world so I get trying to find opportunities for precocious younger kids. But the fact of the matter is group learning experiences ARE social. My 16 year old really doesn't care if your 10 year old is Harvard ready. He doesn't want to take classes with kids that young. And our groups are asked to accommodate younger kids all the time. Sometimes those kids don't have good social boundaries or take social cues and dominate class tone and discussion. I've had kids like that in my own classes that I've taught. It really is not just as simple as dropping a young kid at level X in a classroom. The young kid is not thought of as a peer by the others in the class.

 

Anyway - this is why we homeschool. We can teach whatever level we want at home and can find resources online, etc.

This is a great point. Depending on the course, teachers often assign a dreaded group project that requires outside of class time meetings. How well does a middle schooler navigate that? How does it change small group dynamics? Do people mind having Doogie Howser for a lab partner.

 

One of mine started CC at 15; we cannot imagine any benefit in having started sooner. Two years is long enough to earn gen eds and even an AA degree. If there's a topic one is passionate enough about to want to study further, the four year university that's going to be issuing the degree often wants the higher level courses taught at the university rather than CC. So there's no use in stacking up too many hours from CC. IME, anyway.

Edited by Seasider
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Also, I might sound overprotective here but I would be concerned about the social aspect of it. Will she stay on campus to eat? Will she feel out of place? If the students have to do work with a partner will anyone want the middle school age partner? And then there's the random talking the college kids do. Will I want her around for their jokes and stories about what they did over the weekend?

 

I'll speak for my college aged student.

 

No.

 

It was just very very strange for most of the other students there. And my dd is used to working with a wide variety of ages and people in different stages. She didn't dislike the kid personally, but he was just THIRTEEN years old. She felt obligated to kind of guide him because someone needed to, and she was irritated that she couldnt focus on her studies because this too young student happened to be in her lab group. Another two or three years, it probably would have been fine.

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It was just very very strange for most of the other students there. And my dd is used to working with a wide variety of ages and people in different stages. She didn't dislike the kid personally, but he was just THIRTEEN years old. She felt obligated to kind of guide him because someone needed to, and she was irritated that she couldnt focus on her studies because this too young student happened to be in her lab group. Another two or three years, it probably would have been fine.

 

 

In all fairness, I've kind of had to do that with some other CC students too... like the 50-something woman who didn't know what an exponent was (like, had no clue what x squared meant in astronomy class... she said that when she graduated high school algebra was not required). Also, upthread I'm guessing you misspelled dd, since you wrote your dad is in college...

 

Anyway, wrt OP, if this is the kid's first exposure to a foreign language, then my opinion is hell no. 

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In all fairness, I've kind of had to do that with some other CC students too... like the 50-something woman who didn't know what an exponent was (like, had no clue what x squared meant in astronomy class... she said that when she graduated high school algebra was not required). Also, upthread I'm guessing you misspelled dd, since you wrote your dad is in college...

 

Anyway, wrt OP, if this is the kid's first exposure to a foreign language, then my opinion is hell no.

yes I meant dd.

 

By guidance it was more socially... don't touch that, speak more quietly please, etc. it was lab so typical teen silliness could be a disaster.

 

 

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Edited by fairfarmhand
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I am a big fan of de but mine did wait until junior year. There is just so much more than academic aptitude to consider. My first couple boys looked old for their age and carried themselves with a ton of confidence. They looked natural walking around a college campus. My second, in particular, rarely even let on that he was de. He had girls express interest in him, follow him on social media, etc and then be embarrassed when they found out he was 16. He got invited to play intermural sports and join a fraternity. (He did the sports, not the frat! Lol)

 

My third ds is my most academically gifted and driven and will likely do the least de. He is in 9th now but could pass for 7th. He is a conscientious student and carries himself well but he is just obviously a little kid. I just wouldn't send him in there yet. Also, although there are always exceptions and some on this board share their stories, I am pretty comfortable saying that for MOST kids, if they are academically ready for college in 7th grade, there are better, even more rigorous options out there that are more appropriate academically and developmentally.

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In all fairness, I've kind of had to do that with some other CC students too... like the 50-something woman who didn't know what an exponent was (like, had no clue what x squared meant in astronomy class... she said that when she graduated high school algebra was not required). 

 

 

Btw, just wanted to add that she was great - she wanted to learn, she did the work, etc... she just lacked some of the preparedness, which was largely not her fault (how was she supposed to know that she needed to know stuff she didn't know?). The college students that have annoyed me have been the ones who didn't read the syllabus, didn't do the work, etc. Obviously, those could be any age, and I'm sure that there are kid who go to college too young and too unprepared... but overall, I'd rather deal with a 13yo who wants to be there and who is trying his best, than with a 19yo who's just there because that's what you do, and who doesn't care, and who doesn't read the syllabus and doesn't do the work (of course, a 13yo could be like that too, in which case, yes, a 19yo would likely be a smidgen better). 

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By guidance it was more socially... don't touch that, speak more quietly please, etc. it was lab so typical teen silliness could be a disaster.

 

 

I agree that that's a different situation... though I'm not sure that that's necessarily typical teen silliness. I've had some classmates who were like that who were 18-19 (i.e. normal college age, not accelerated), and yes, it was annoying... but then you also wonder about ADHD or w/e. It's not a guarantee that a kid who is 13 and doing that would be any better at 18-19. (note to self though to keep the above in mind, especially for oldest, who might benefit from ADHD meds (not sure, haven't tried - not that he's about to go to CC yet... I don't really see him doing a CC lab science in middle school, and quite probably no CC in middle school at all))

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And what dmmelter describes with her Dd is what our closest four year university would call "prodigy" or extremely gifted. They do have a waiver option for prodigies and have had math students as young as ten, but it is notoriously difficult to get the waiver, AND the student must be able to handle the classroom, admission, financial aid, and professor communications without the involvement of mom and dad. If he or she cannot manage that, they kick the student out and try later when more mature.

 

Our CC's are small with limited resources, instructors, and space so are up front that they are simply unwilling to accommodate students under 15 except by PS waivers for high school upper classmen who are young due to grade skipping.

 

Some classes are absolutely off limits. Some of the foreign language classes ds's college are one example. The professors often assign students to watch foreign films in the language which are notorious for having nudity, tons of sexual content and innuendo though not prom per se because there is policy again that, drinking, drugs, etc. Many of the modern history and WW history courses watch parts of Schindler's List, read disturbing accounts of genocides, etc. These textbooks are not for the young. They also make it known that the common read requirement for freshman is not lifted for younger students though maybe if one were only auditing a class, then the common read would not apply. Two years ago the common read was "Dead Man Walking" with lectures provided by Sister Helen.

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So glad dmmetler chimed in with their experience! :) dmmetler's DD is very exceptional and has always had a very highly focused career goal, which is why she is doing so well in full-time college at age 12. [Go dmmetler and DD!  :hurray: ]

 

Original Poster:

As you can see, there are middle school students who have done/are taking classes at community college. It really depends on the individual student and the specific school to make that combo succeed. The pattern I see is that the younger the student, the harder this is to make this work well, unless it is a very self-motivated and accelerated student. 11th-12th graders (16-18yos) have a much higher success rate in taking classes at the community college than 14yos -- and 12yos are really at the far end of that bell curve of being able to make college in middle school work for them.

 

Take some time to really think through *your* goals, and your student's needs/desires/abilities and strengths/weaknesses to decide whether or not community college is the way to go right for this student at this time. Good luck! :)

Edited by Lori D.
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I can say I was actually college age and I felt a slight disconnect at times just because I happened to be 17 and most the students were 18. Also, I had not had my first kiss till community college (I just hadn't gone on dates in high school) whereas you know, lots of my peers were sexually active. I didn't have my first job until after I think a couple of semesters of community college, either. Many were juggling school and jobs and it was like, "you haven't had a job yet?" It was all fairly minor, but it would be amplified for a student much younger. She would maybe sit alone in the cafeteria (or whatever space they have to eat), etc. She would technically be too young for her own credit card. She could pay for things, don't get me wrong. Just thinking of the little ways in which there'd be such a social gap.

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My dd took her first cc class last year; she was almost 15 when she started (turned 15 during that semester). I dropped her off and stayed on campus (my other two kids did work in the student union with me while we waited). This semester she has 2 classes, and we MAY allow her to stay by herself on campus for the couple of hours between her two classes, but we haven't decided. So far, it is going well. 

 

We pick her classes carefully - she took an Intro to Computers last semester, and this semester is Chemistry (the high school version) and Programming Logic (a pre-coding class requirement). 

 

I don't know that I would put a 7th or 8th grader in our cc. My middle could probably hack most of the classes at our cc right now (and she's a 7th grader), but I don't think she's ready socially. She's taking an online class this semester, and we'll probably do one or two next year as well. Maybe she'll start in 9th. 

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Does anyone have experience with a middle schooler at CC? My 7th grade daughter expects to attend BM high school, and at that point I guess I cease to object. I talked her out of middle school in part with the help of the hive...

 

Around here students start foreign language in 7th. I'd like for her to start this year as well. I reached out to our local CC this morning, but thought someone else here had some BTDT.

 

I noticed also that there was an option to take sign language. She started last semester with the local HASA, but there are no grades or assessments.

 

Am I overthinking?

I'm not sure why your first thought would be to put a 7th grader in CC for foreign language instruction when she will be taking a language in high school anyway. :confused: I know you want her to be at the same level as the other incoming freshmen when she starts high school, but she doesn't need a college course for that.

 

Can't she just take an online class or some sort of home study course geared more toward kids her age? I know there are high school foreign language courses for homeschoolers, so I would choose something like that before I put her in a class of young adults.

 

Have you checked around your area to see if there are any co-ops that offer foreign language classes, or if there is a private tutor you could hire to work through a textbook with her as well as teach her basic pronunciation?

 

I'm sorry if I sound negative -- it's just that a college class seems like complete overkill for a 7th grader who's planning to attend high school.

 

 

(Edited for typos!)

Edited by Catwoman
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I've taken 3 CC classes this year as I work to accumulate enough units to renew my long-expired teaching credential. I've taken two math classes and a public speaking course. I also have a dd that has taken a CC class when she was 14, and she did have to jump through a few hoops to be able to do that--the college was quite concerned that she would have difficulty. Based on our experiences, my main warning about CC courses would be that they are not as rigorous or in-depth as a good high school course. The health class that dd took was ridiculously easy. My college algebra course did not have the depth of the course dd was taking simultaneously at her high school. Granted, her course was a full year and mine was a quarter, but she got much better instruction and I used her text which was much better than my free online text.

 

My peers at the CC are not strong students. I don't learn anything from them. An honors high school course would have much better discussions and students that are motivated. The speeches I had to listen to in my public speaking course were often on topics like binge-watching t.v. shows, playing video games, sports teams, and one even had references to using drugs. I wouldn't be worried about my dd being corrupted by such things, but I would much rather she be surrounded by students with intellectual curiosity and drive. That's not what I find at our CC.

 

My dds go to public high school. For foreign language in middle school, I found out what text they use in the high school for Spanish 1, bought it on Amazon, and for my older dd we did that over 2 years in 7th and 8th grade. She then went into Spanish 2 as a freshman and is taking AP Spanish as a senior. My younger dd did the first half of that text in 7th grade with me and then took the second half at our public middle school in 8th grade where she was also taking science and band. That teacher fell 3 chapters short of finishing the second half of the Spanish 1 book. That's about 9 weeks less material than I covered with older sister on our own. Sometimes what you can do at home is better than what you get outside!

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I will be waiting until 16 to start my kids st the CC for many of the reasons already stated. OP, have you looked at other options? Even doing Rosetta Stone or DuoLingo for a few years first would at least give her a boost on common nouns, adjectives and verbs, as well as some conjugation. I'd ask around d for private tutoring before signing up a 7th grader fir a foreign language. If the PS is starting in 7th, see if you can figure out the level they expect by the end of the year, or by 9th grade. There are probably tutors helping some of those kids in your town.

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Does anyone have experience with a middle schooler at CC? My 7th grade daughter expects to attend BM high school, and at that point I guess I cease to object. I talked her out of middle school in part with the help of the hive...

 

Around here students start foreign language in 7th. I'd like for her to start this year as well. I reached out to our local CC this morning, but thought someone else here had some BTDT.

 

I noticed also that there was an option to take sign language. She started last semester with the local HASA, but there are no grades or assessments.

 

Am I overthinking?

If you just want her to be up to par with the high schoolers, have her follow the Fluent Forever method at the rate of 30-60 minutes per day and she'll be light years ahead of her high school counterparts. 

 

Do check in with her to keep her motivated, though.

​Emily

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Another thought. The very good Catholic school I am familiar with starts Spanish early- definitely before 6th. When it is time for high school the kids take placement tests for both the public school and Catholic high school. Those kids that have had the same Spanish class for 3-4 years test out all over the place. Some go to high school and start in Spanish 1, most Spanish 2, a few even in Spanish 3.

 

Just to say that any Spanish you do at home, or online, or at a co-op, or with a tutor will likely be sufficient and place her in a high school course similar to her classmates. While it surely will be nice to have some exposure to Spanish, I don't think this is a huge concern.

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 Based on our experiences, my main warning about CC courses would be that they are not as rigorous or in-depth as a good high school course. 

 

My peers at the CC are not strong students. I don't learn anything from them. An honors high school course would have much better discussions and students that are motivated. The speeches I had to listen to in my public speaking course were often on topics like binge-watching t.v. shows, playing video games, sports teams, and one even had references to using drugs. I wouldn't be worried about my dd being corrupted by such things, but I would much rather she be surrounded by students with intellectual curiosity and drive. That's not what I find at our CC.

 

 

 

My older kids did DE while attending ps high school and we had mixed experiences at both - some of the DE classes were much better than those offered at the high school and some of the high school classes were much better than the ones at the CC.  It all depended on the instructor.  Same with the students, especially when my kids were taking more advanced classes at the CC - students taking Calc 3, Engineering Physics, or Differential Equations were just as motivated as the students at the high school.  My dd is homeschooled and found this with DE Spanish - the first two semesters had some unmotivated students (although she still preferred the maturity level of those students to her own peers), but the second two semesters were all students who were there to learn as much Spanish as possible.  

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We might start using CC classes starting next year (instead of, not prior to, a B&M high school), but we have agreed that our kid (who just turned 13) would primarily stick to the CC's online classes for core academic subjects until they are 16. We might make an exception for studio art classes, and perhaps foreign language classes, but that is because they are fairly advanced, and would likely benefit from an in-class experience before age 16. For the last 4 years, they have been taking studio art classes regularly and studying French 4 days a week. 

 

We do have a number of other options in our city, including non-credit continuing adult education programs that might work better during these in-between years. 

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Forgot this: she needs to be ready to deal with the possibility of adults hitting on her.  They'd likely not realize her age, but still.... is she ready for that?

 

My DD is dual-enrolled as a freshman because I've reached the limit of what I can offer at home in her area of strength (art).  I'm not anti-CC/DE, but I do think it's important to go in with your eyes open to potential pitfalls.  

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I  Also, although there are always exceptions and some on this board share their stories, I am pretty comfortable saying that for MOST kids, if they are academically ready for college in 7th grade, there are better, even more rigorous options out there that are more appropriate academically and developmentally.

 

Those options tend to be VERY pricey, while our CC tuition is a mere $46/credit. For the price of a single course through Stanford Online High School, my daughter could more than finish her associate's at the CC.

 

Plus paying $$$ for high school level courses means paying that much more in tuition for college since unlike DE, the high school courses do not shorten the time to the bachelor's.

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Those options tend to be VERY pricey, while our CC tuition is a mere $46/credit. For the price of a single course through Stanford Online High School, my daughter could more than finish her associate's at the CC.

 

Our local community college is $183 per credit hour. That's still a lot cheaper than the Johns Hopkins CTY courses or the local AOPS Academy. AP classes are much more common here than dual enrollment.

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