CLEP: Four Free Highschool College Credit Curriculums

This is an unprecedented time in history. The schools have closed and the country is quarantined. My “schooling” of young children is very hand-on, fun learning, but when it comes to highschool, education becomes much more serious. So when the school system sends the kids home in the middle of their curriculum, what shall be done? I want to spread hope. At this point in Oregon at least, there is no curriculum to continue the students’ education. It may be the perfect time to use a free curriculum to learn and study for the CLEP exams in their remaining class time.

What is a CLEP test? CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. It is a collection of tests in different subject areas that are designed by the College Board to assess your college level proficiency in the tested subject area. Unlike AP tests that must use a certain book and be taught a certain way, CLEP tests assess your knowledge of a subject area no matter the source of your learning. Many colleges accept the tests as proof that you are competent in that subject and will credit your school records as if you completed that subject at their institution. Essentially CLEPs give you free/reduced credits for college. As with everything, there are a few nuances to this. One is that not all CLEPs are accepted equally at all Universities/Colleges. If you know what college you want to attend, look to see what CLEPs they accept. My point is…it can’t hurt to take them in highschool as long as you understand that they don’t alway count. The worst that could happen is that you exhibit college level learning. Even if you don’t get credit, it still looks good. Plenty of kids take AP tests –not all colleges accept that test either, and many of the kids don’t pass the test anyway– yet it still looks good on their transcript. College bound highschoolers are trying to accomplish two things at one time. You are trying to complete the list of your highschool requirements, at the same time you are taking Freshman College classes to lessen your overall financial burden. The college sees them as two completely separate things that are being accomplished simultaneously. So much so as to have a name for it, Dual-enrollment. Your homeschool student has a great advantage with this. 

  1. Decrease over all schooling costs, including college
  2. Reduce time. If they are ready for college level work, why do both highschool and college
  3. Confidence for your transcript. A CLEP can prove your student has learned the material.
  4. Proof of college readiness
  5. FREE Christain CLEP subject curriculum is available.
  6. You have college credit and still qualify for Freshman scholarships. Better scholarship opportunities.
  7. The semester-vs-trimester debacle doesn’t play into the amount of credits received. Full credit.
  8. You must take the full class and study, but you will really know this material. 
  9. FREE CLEP testing options. Through Modern States, the test can be free.

How to go about deciding which class they should take first. http://www.free-clep-prep.com/index.html has a difficulty score of the CLEPs they cover. They also have free practice tests for many of the tests. Another variable to this choice is the requirements for your students transcript. The requirements are readily available. Here is a quick list: https://www.thoughtco.com/high-school-course-requirements-college-admissions-788858 . CLEPs don’t have written work except English, so I don’t require my students to take college English first before starting them. But for in-class or online actual college classes, all my students have to take English 101 first. There are a few exceptions. If the class will not require a written paper like math or ASL, then they are allowed to take that class before English. There is no reason to stress about the formatting of a college level paper while you are focusing on content. That is why English is first.

When? I like to have them start studying for the CLEP test right after they finish the subject. This keeps the momentum and gives them the best chance of remembering/understanding the material. Don’t get discouraged at the process. You will learn this material. You don’t have to use just one curriculum. For Biology we used Apologia, then did a practice test. We realized that more learning must occur, so we went through Modern States together. Now we have a free voucher for the test. It takes an additional ½ year and extra classes, but 3 credits are worth it. 

Online Free Highschool HomeschoolPROCONNeutral
All in One Homeschool- Highschool
https://allinonehomeschool.com/ 
*They also have younger years
*Christian
*Prepares student to take the CLEP
*Nicely organized day to day
*CLEP for college credit Counts for highschool and college credit (CLEP)
*No internet-no class
*You have to remember which day you are on
*Not all Colleges accept all CLEPS
*Test is about $90
*Lots of reading
*Can add things for multiple ages
*You grade
Modern States
https://modernstates.org/ 
*Most are quite well taught
*Free textbook
*Prepares student to take the CLEP
*Free CLEP Voucher for test when finished Counts for highschool and college credit (CLEP)
*NOT Christian
*Not all Colleges accept all CLEPS
*Created by many different Universities
*College level
Coursera
https://www.coursera.org/ 
*Free highschool credit for any subject you choose
*Free first step to see if your student is ready for college
*College level work
*Certificate available as proof of knowledge
*NOT College credit
*NOT Christian
*Certificate costs
*Interesting free art classes *Certificate available at cost
Khan Academy
https://www.khanacademy.org/ 
*Great tutor
*College level available
*Not really a complete class
*NOT Christain
*NOT College credit
*Not preparing for CLEP
*Supplemental work

There are a lot of free CLEP practice tests. The best way to get some is to buy a CLEP practice book. They have some free ones in the back and online. Here are some other sites: https://www.4tests.com/clep-algebra, http://studycenter.rea.com/user/account, and http://www.free-clep-prep.com/index.html . For the Portland area you may want to check out https://www.chemeketa.edu/media/content-assets/documents/pdf/about/locations/yvc_CLEPinfo_072018update.pdf

Homeschooling that Works

My Favorite Curriculum (1st-2nd)

Educating at Home


What do I do for homeschool? All the best methods combined to work for my family and each child. I have a hands-on math curriculum that will continue through to calculus, and each child has their own rate of progression. English, reading book and spelling is another “out of the box curriculum,” Rod and Staff/ Christian Light. A Reason for Handwriting is a workbook format. Typing, yes typing for pre-school/first grade, is computer based. At 8 years old my older daughter is typing 11 real words a minute after one year. And Spanish is a DVD series that I watch with them. All of these subjects are what I like to call, “student driven.” Well, that is the intention of them and that is what we are working towards. For those subjects I am a teacher’s aid or facilitator. Science , History and Bible are unit study based and teacher driven. I love My Father’s World, Countries and Cultures. It is more of a unit study, really. The book is extremely easy to quickly read, decide what your children are ready to do and just do it. It is laid out in such a way that you do not have to do everything it wants you to do. The beauty is that in four years I can use it again in more depth. I love reading about the different missionaries. It is very encouraging to learn about the lives, of those who have come before us. So even though it is teacher driven, my class which includes all of the children are being taught at the same time. The intensely colored pictures and exciting content of the books help to keep the attention of the young ones.

Computer Helper

How do I get it all done? I don’t! …by my self.If you are the teacher of your children, that is a full time job. A job I love, but my husband has to help with the house work. The children also help a lot. The family is a team not a performance of mom and dad. I’m working on fine tuning this. Each child I add to the family the more I understand the importance of teamwork. Before I just thought I could do it all, now I know I can’t. In addition to the extra work force, I needed to simplify meals. Length of time cooking doesn’t effect me as much as amount of work the hour before dinner. I can let chilli, soup, or beans cook in a crock pot all day. I can save money, and I am just supervising their progress, not making them cook. I have tried freezer meals, but many of them require a lot of cheese or meat and are expensive. Though spaghetti sauce, cooked meat and soups can be frozen very successfully, a seven person family eats more than I have been able to cook and freeze. I may need bigger pots and pans? We didn’t just simplify our meals, after our month trip across America, we started to streamline all things in our house.

  • Clothes: Each member of the family only needs seven of each seasonal item. (i.e. 7 jeans, 7 long sleeve shirts, 7 t-shirts, 7 shorts…) This is so they all fit easily in a small dresser given to each of the children. If there are too many clothes there is more excuse to not do laundry. This doesn’t go for just clothes but also linens and towels. For non-bedwetters, 2 bottom sheets for each bed is sufficient. Comforter covers make an easy alternative to top sheets. One towel per person works fine with two bonus towels. It would be great for each to have their own color.
  • Chore chart: All the children need daily, weekly and monthly chores. The Duggar’s call them jurisdictions. I have found that it works best with the little ones to have the jobs organized into age appropriateness. I gave them each their larger daily chore and it has taken a year or more for them to really do it well. My thought is that they shouldn’t rotate until they can do the current job well. It is getting easier with more children. They not only help, but they “encourage” the others to do their jobs.
  • Stuff Management and purging: Everything you own costs you something more than the initial investment. It costs time and maintenance (some more than others). Storage and retrieval energy to use. Be sure you are fully aware of all the costs of each item and the combined total cost of all items. Is that where you want to spend your time and energy? I’ve noticed that some items cost more in clean-up and storage than they save in convenience. Dreams can be bigger than the reality of your energy.

Why do I add house hold advise to a homeschool article?...It is part of the total picture. Homeschooling is a life style not a “job.” Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, daily life holds many learning opportunities. Opportunities the children miss when they are away from the family for eight hours a day. Fully embrace the life style, be real about the costs, and strive for the goal. What is the goal of education, including home education,…to fully prepare each child for the life God is calling them into. That is in a nut shell “no regrets parenting.”