When to go to college

I have been thinking about this today, even before Pieter J. Friedrich’s “A College Miseducation.”

I have been thinking about this because my eldest is 14. And he is finishing up 11th grade. Next year I do not have any math options available for him. He has outstripped me and the home school group in our area does not appear to be offering a senior math. But math is his best subject. I don’t know that he loves it, but to him it is a game- fun and easy.

Even if math were available, I did not intend for next year to be his last year of high school. Though he will have finished a four year high school curriculum, I do not want him to go to college full time at the age of sixteen.

I went to college at the age of 16. I followed an aunt and her son, my cousin, in that. They both recommended to my father against it. But he had already agreed to let me go and so I went.

Though socially I may not have been up to the experience, my college life was mostly an extension of my excellent high school education. Greek was hard. Genetics was hard. History, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Medical Microbiology… those were not hard. I had many friends. Some of those friends I still keep up with. Others have moved on.

I enjoyed my college experience and I know now that it was a better situation than the alternative. My parents moved after my sophomore year, when I went to college, and they were in a much poorer school district. My siblings went from one of the top school systems in the nation to one of the worst. I did not.

Yet, here I am, just as my aunt and cousin did, recommending against it. And I’m the mother, so I will have final say.

But just because I don’t think he is or will be ready to move away from home at the age of 16, doesn’t mean I won’t be sending him to college. I will be. I will be sending him to college when he is sixteen for two classes a semester. That has always been my plan. And I had planned on him working too.

Now, though, I don’t know what to do about his math. I wasn’t expecting to have to think about this yet. I don’t know what the entry requirements and testing are. I don’t know who to ask… Although I could probably easily find out.

I just didn’t want to think about that yet.

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