Day 576 of 1000
This is the fourth in a series of posts on the benefits of skipping high school and going straight to college. The introductory post and index to all the other posts in the series is here. You can see their undergraduate results and post-graduate (PhD) chase here. I try to keep the results updated as they occur.
Christian’s entrance into college after the eight grade at 14 years old was a result of his performance on three tests.
- Test 1: A friend told us about the Duke TIP program where the ACT or SAT college entrance exams are given to high performing seventh graders to determine whether they are good candidates for early entry into college. We checked with the North Carolina Department of Non-public Education and found that the ACT is one of the tests accepted as a yearly, nationally normed, standardized test for homeschoolers. Christian took the ACT as a seventh grader and received a 23 composite score. A lot of people scored higher than Christian, but it was still pretty good–sufficient to earn him state-wide honors in all the test categories and a medal from the TIP program. This score was high enough for him to enter Wake Tech Community College. It gave us the confidence that Christian was getting close to the place where he could perform well in college.
- Test 2: When Christian took the ACT mid-way through his eighth grade year, his composite score jumped up to 27. This was good enough to get him into North Carolina State University if he wanted to go there. We thought he was a little too young to think about that when he was in the ninth grade, but he had the option.
After the second good ACT, Lorena and I decided we would go ahead and put Christian into Wake Technical Community College as a dual enrolled student. The plan was to put Kelly there full time as she had gotten a smoking good score on the ACT. When we checked with the school, we found that students under the age of 16 had to have a parent with them, actually sitting with them everyday in class, if they were dual enrolled in the community college and high school at the same time. We were very frustrated trying to figure out how to do that when we decided to find out if a full enrolled student had to have such a chaperone. They did not, so we used Christian’s CLEP score, made up a transcript of his homeschool work, and enrolled him full time.
- Test 3: The school required new students to take a math placement test. Christian was only half way through his Precalculus studies at the time he took the placement test, but he got a high enough score to place him into first semester Calculus.
This was huge for both Kelly and Christian because it meant that they could take their math classes together. We did not know it at the time, but it turned out to be a huge social benefit to the both of them. They made several good friends including to Venzuelans, an Iraq war vet, and an amazing math professor in their math classes. It also allowed Christian to get through all the math sequences he needed without any summer classes and still graduate on schedule in four years. Since Christian was now a fully enrolled student, we decided to get him a light, but full time schedule of 13 credits. He did well enough on those 13 credits that we let him keep going. At the time of this writing, Christian is a 17 year old senior in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at NCSU. He is still scheduled to graduate on schedule in the Spring of 2014 when he is 18.
I want to reiterate that we honestly do not believe Christian got to where he is because of any special talents unless you count tenacity as a talent. We helped him build his early reading, writing, and math skills, then helped him with the early parts of the planning for his degree. We rarely do anything for him any more with respect to his school other then help him pay bills and drive him a few places. He does all the class planning, meetings with advisors. undergraduate research, graduate school planning, and graduation planning.