Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Community College--Boon or Burden?

We've all heard stories about gifted kids entering and graduating from college at very young ages. Many homeschoolers have suggested that community colleges can be a good transition from or replacement for high school classes that are difficult from home, primarily advanced math and science. But in an admittedly small and unscientific personal study of teenaged homeschoolers, I've found that community colleges may not be the answer to home high school prayers. Many if not most community college are reluctant to admit students younger than 16--essentially a high school junior. In my home state, the Youth Options Program is only available to juniors and seniors and there is no obvious way to be admitted even as a special student if you are younger, even if you have mastered the prerequisite material. This smacks of arbitrariness to me, and in the middle of my campaign to stamp out arbitrariness it becomes something up with which I will not put!, as Winston Churchill would say.

We've got The Touch!

Chester bought a really cool game the other day. It's called The Touch. Basically, at your turn, you land on a card. Each card has pictures of a small group of related items--"vegetables" shows a head of garlic, a carrot, radish and ear of corn; "San Francisco" shows the Golden Gate Bridge and a cable car. Then you have 30 seconds to stick your hand into the hopper of the game and pull out the items in the picture. There are 49 little plastic toys for you to root around in to find the pieces you're looking for. You can't see what you're picking up, but your opponents can, which makes it that much funnier, i.e. "You picked up the Golden Gate Bridge four times before you recognized it!" It's an equal challenge for all three boys as well as for me and loads of fun. We found ours at a local homeschool supply/educational toy store but it can also be ordered through their website.

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