Fences - Some might say that they lock in or keep back, but by simply climbing 3 rails, you are free to move back and forth from side to side. Sure there are a few inconveniences to crossing over, but moving from one side to another can be fully realized if one wishes to do so. Hannah's entire elementary and high school experience was accomplished via home education; she had never once attended a regular classroom. Now she was headed to college. Since her older brothers were also home educated, Hannah did benefit from my past experiences in overcoming a few challenges to get her ready for Southern.
1. I highly recommend enrolling in at least one, preferably two or three, of Southern's dual enrollment on-line classes during your student's senior year of high school. While I never directly helped on Hannah's classwork, I did have to walk her through a number of "how to's" to get her rolling in the right direction. She did three classes (one per semester - including a summer session1) before arriving on campus for Smart Start. With each dual enrollment class she took, I coached less and less. In fact for her third class she rarely needed me for assistance (one noteable exception below). Home educated students need only the parents approval to enroll in dual enrollment.
2. Smart Start is a great way to ease into college life.
3. While the college catalog sounds a bit intimidating for homeschool applications, it really isn't. It is a great idea to attend at least one Preview Southern and talk in person with the folks at admissions. They were extremely helpful. But - if something sounds like an unwanted "fence", don't just take one person's word for it - discuss the challenge you are having with several individuals, and then give them some time to work out that challenge from their end as well. Home educated students aren't yet run-of-the-mill and there are still a few bugs that any large institution needs to smooth out.
4. Be prepared for a few "interesting" glitches. My favorite was while Hannah was taking her third on-line dual enrollment class. The instructor held an extra on-line chat to prepare students for the first exam. I did not listen to the chat as Hannah was at a very independent learning stage by now. At the end of half an hour she came to me very upset that she had just wasted her time since the teacher did not even know what was on the test - the information he gave was utterly useless. I asked her a series of questions to find out what went on - I knew something was not as it seemed to her. I finally uncovered that the instructor prefaced each of his points with a comment similar to this: "Now this MAY or MAY NOT be on your test tomorrow." It still makes me smile as I finally understood the problem. Obviously it was teacher code for, "I can't give you the exact questions and answers - but this fact WILL come up on the test." Since Hannah had never been in a classroom this "teacher speak" was totally foreign to her. She interpreted it to mean that even the teacher had no idea what was actually on the test!