The other day when I was researching options for one of my child’s subjects, my son told me to make sure I choose something hard. He wanted a book intended for college students instead of one for high school students. Although this child is not yet a teenager and could probably handle a college course without much difficulty, I have no plans on early college entrance.
Many years ago I made the decision to not do the transition to college before the age of 18. Why?
1. There is no shortage of things to learn.
We have taken a wide and deep approach to education. We cover a multitude of subjects, often in a slow, meandering way that allows for deep learning. My kids have time to explore their passions and receive a full education in areas outside their current interest.
Intellectual maturity and emotional maturity are two different things. Waiting until 18 to make the transition will give my child more time to mature in other areas.
3. College-level resources are readily available
The internet has changed education. We can access college lectures from the comfort of our own home. There are no age restrictions either. College textbooks are often an inexpensive resource because they keep getting updated. Older editions have almost the same content and can be found for a great price. My son first listened to online college lectures when he was 8. It was a subject that was near and dear to his heart and the resource was out there for the listening. Each year more and more information is available online for anyone to learn.
4. There is no rush
I view the transition to college as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. The responsibilities of college and a career will come soon enough. Meanwhile, I want my kids to enjoy all the years of their childhood.
I realize our path isn’t a fit for all kids and some kids do benefit from early college. Some children are eager to head off full-speed into the future. While my kids have dreams for their future, they are content to take a slow meandering, deep and wide educational journey. One of them recently asked me if he could homeschool college when he gets older, lol.
So as long as I can continue to challenge and meet the needs of my kids, we will continue on our wide and deep path of learning. College will come soon enough.