Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rethinking Four Year College

My son was graduated from homeschool earlier this year and has been working toward passing a CLEP for English and math. He has only a vague idea of what he might want to study. So, instead of spending $30,000 toward a random four-year degree, I think he's going to pursue an applied associates degree in either IT or Accounting, two areas where he had some general interest. This way he can gain employment with a decent salary in two years for less than $8000 tuition. He can CLEP some classes the first year, so this reduces the cost.

Upon graduation, if he decides he likes his chosen field and wants to advance, he can always return to school. If he finds it's not a good fit, he hasn't wasted his time. He'll have a decent salary, no student debt, some savings, and the ability to return to school for another degree/training in the evenings.

Both two-year degrees are practical with medium to high demand and a decent entry level salary.

Times have changed. Getting any four-year degree was a door opener and tuition was affordable when I was in college, so one could afford to get a degree in just about anything. I remember large corporations were recruiting English and political science majors when I was close to graduation. Employment in the corporate world was relatively easy to obtain as long as you had your degree. Now there is less of a guarantee that a job will be available after graduation. I figure it is better to let him figure out where his interests lie before we spend $30,000 on a four-year degree.

At this point, he will be happy to find almost anything where he can excel. He's taking an accounting course
free online, and so far likes it. He'll try some free IT classes as well.

Update: Rethinking the applied degrees as they are non-transferable. I knew this, but was thinking they lead to more immediate prospects. For instance, the applied accounting degree prepares the student for the Certified Bookkeeping exam, but what they neglect to mention is you need two years of training in the field before you can sit for the exam. So, transferable associates degrees are the way to go for him. The other route wastes too much time and money.

Image source.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

CLEP Progress and Homeschool

Oldest is still working on his CLEPs. We decided to work through Time for Writing to give him some review. It seems he has forgotten a lot of what he learned through Rod & Staff English, which was excellent for language mechanics, but weak on writing papers.

He's working through Khan Academy in preparation for his math CLEP.

Starbuck now pays for four years of college through ASU, so I am strongly encouraging him to apply there in the near future. He is still learning to drive, and will be going to a driving school to push him ahead toward a license.

For job experience, he is working as a volunteer with a cat rescue once a week. He's registered with as a pet sitter, but he needs a license to get to regular assignments. There hasn't been a lot of short-term offers.

For career exploration, he signed up for a free accounting class online, and seems to like it! I think he's found something he might pursue. Computer science may still be an option as well, but he seems more suited for accounting.

My youngest continues to use Time for Learning and Brain Pop for homeschool.

For learning adventures, we've been using Airbnb for inexpensive places to stay. So far it has been a good experience staying at people's homes. None have been shared arrangements, so we had the places completely to ourselves. Our next trip is to NYC where we will be staying near Chinatown(inexpensive food) in a small apartment. Good deal and much nicer than staying at a cheaper bedbug hotel.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: