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counting 8th grade as high school?


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#1 LaMere Academy

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 04:57 PM

I've heard differing views on this. What is the majority opinion? Should I count my son's 8th grade year along with his high school? Should I just have his 8th grade course description/book list/samples of work in a binder?
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#2 Janet in WA

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:25 PM

I've heard differing views on this. What is the majority opinion? Should I count my son's 8th grade year along with his high school? Should I just have his 8th grade course description/book list/samples of work in a binder?
What are you doing?

There have been several threads about this recently on this board. I suggest you search for those because there was a lot of good information that might or might not be repeated this time.

ETA: I found one of the most recent threads on this topic and "bumped" it for you.

#3 mcconnellboys

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:43 PM

I counted any high school level work that my son did in both seventh and eighth grades. Now, my plan was that he would do high school level work in 7th through 10th, then move into taking college courses on a nearby campus. He might have needed to finish up any high school level work we hadn't completed, which would have included trig/pre-calc, for instance, and perhaps another class or two, depending upon what we got done ourselves before he started. Alternately, they might have let him come in with a math deficiency and have just made that up by taking a math class with them his first semester on campus.

But he decided he wanted to go back into private school this past year, so we back-tracked. They only needed to grant enough credits to make him a sophomore, so they didn't use all my classes I have listed on my transcript. But they also don't show any grade for those classes, just a "pass". So my transcript is still needed by any potential college we apply to (if they're interested in seeing grades for those courses). The fact that he had accomplished so much also made a difference in impressing the school enough to let him take the honors courses or other appropriate level courses we wanted without hassling us about them. So I'm glad that I had not only a transcript, but supporting documentation in the form of notebooks with summaries of each class, the books used for that class, samples of work done, awards, etc. These may still come in handy regarding college apps, as well.

Some course work that's not offered by the private school, or that he's not pursuing any further, such as logic and Latin, will also only be viewable from my transcript. So I will maintain that and provide it as part of the application process when he begins applying to schools.

Different schools in different states will want to see different things. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way they do things, LOL. If you have one or two particular schools in mind that you really feel he will attend, then by all means check with them and gear your transcript to what they tell you they will want to see.

#4 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:53 PM

here in Australia High school starts in year 7 and goes to year 12. there is no junior high at all.
MelissaL

#5 Laurie4b

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 06:21 PM

I don't. The fact that he's taken high school work in middle school shows up on the transcript via the fact that for one ds, he started math with Geom, then went to Alg 2 in 10th, for the other, he'll start in Algebra 2. I'll note on the transcript that he took Geom. in 8th, but won't count it toward high school. Another example is Spanish. If they start in Spanish 2 or Spanish 3 in high school, one infers that they took Spanish 1 in middle school.

The only reason I would count 8th as high school is if I was actually accelerating them toward an early graduation and planned to skip a grade or grades.

jmo.

#6 LaMere Academy

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:59 PM

There have been several threads about this recently on this board. I suggest you search for those because there was a lot of good information that might or might not be repeated this time.

ETA: I found one of the most recent threads on this topic and "bumped" it for you.


thank you, i see it! :001_smile:

#7 gardenschooler

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 10:58 PM

It also depends on your state. I know the response to the question asked in the other thread was specific to WA. Here in TN, we're allowed to count certain subjects from 8th grade, if they are high school level study. I'm counting Algebra, Biology, and Latin I for my 8th grader, even though she will continue for all 4 years of high school in those subjects.

#8 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:48 AM

You might want to keep records just in case you decide that 8th was really 9th or something of that sort.

However, for us, anything high school related done before the years we considered high school were noted in that the student was taking advanced classes. In other words, I figured that colleges were smart enough to figure that a 9th grader taking pre-calc had already done the maths prior. Also, Biology was done in 8th grade but we did an advanced Biology also so figured they'd figure it out. If you do Latin II in 9th, then obviously Latin I was covered sometime before Latin II.

HTHs,
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#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 07:51 AM

I worked in a university admissions office evaluating transcripts, so I can tell you that while you can put anything you want (feel free) it might get marked off or disregarded. As the others have said, we had a 4 year policy and excluded anything outside that. I'm sure every college/university has their own policies, and some might even allow a few 8th grade, high school level subjects in. You need to distinguish the difference between your graduation requirements and what the university requires as a minimum to enter without deficiencies. You want to have enough units/credits (depending on which they look for) to meet their minimum requirements to enter without deficiency.

Some people mentioned grouping your transcripts by subject. It's not like the evaluator is stupid, lol. If you fail to include the year, the number of units/credits, etc., you may very well get a call asking for that. If you put 8th grade work or work that is clearly non-highschool, even when completed in high school (which happens a LOT), it will still get marked off. We basically sat there with a red pen and marked off 8th grade work, non-high school level level work, non-academic subjects not tallied toward entrance requirements, etc.

It's wise to translate your unusual courses into titles that will make sense to the evaluator. For instance Nan mentioned French Lit. Well when I look at that, I can't tell if that's a guided high school course with assignments, writing, and work to it, or if it's an MK reading comic books while he lives in France. See the difference?

BTW, my personal pet peeves? Including long lists of books the student read. Lots of kids read books, lol. The question is whether you DID anything with those books. Just give me the course title and grade.

As the others said, the college/university you are applying to should have transcript forms available and will be happy to tell you what they want to see.

#10 Jane in NC

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:13 AM

I worked in a university admissions office evaluating transcripts...

BTW, my personal pet peeves? Including long lists of books the student read. Lots of kids read books, lol. The question is whether you DID anything with those books. Just give me the course title and grade.


Elizabeth, may I ask you some questions, please?

We follow TWTM concept for history and literature (Spielvogel and Great Books, with Teaching Company lectures, etc. thrown in). For 9th grade, I called this "Ancients Great Books Study (History and Literature)" and gave two credits. I am writing two transcripts, the one pager, and a detailed transcript which includes book lists for anyone who is interested. Is there a better way of decribing what we do on that one page transcript or will this type of Great Books study be easily recognized?

Secondly, I have not been giving credits for what I view as extra-curriculars but I see on this board that some people do, in part because of the amount of time that their kids spend on these projects. Could you offer an opinion, please, on what might be an appropriate credit or partial credit for certain non-classroom based activities or is it best just to keep competitions and club work in extracurriculars?

Thank you.
Jane

#11 Nan in Mass

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:19 AM

So any suggestions as to how to indicate on the transcript that my son is reading French classics and writing about them WITHOUT including any sort of French previously? I was going to just put French lit under the Foreign Language section on the transcript. We can't put things by year because of the way the schoolwork is being done (all in a mishmash), so I'm listing by subject. He's been reading comics and children's books and things like Harry Potter for years GRIN, but I'm only going to count classics for high school. I'm going to have him read a few each year and then at the end give him one year's credit (unless he reads too many for one year) of French lit. I'd be really happy if someone could suggest a better title for the class, because this one runs the danger of being considered French lit in translation.
-Nan

#12 Linda in NM

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:22 AM

French II or III? I started studying French in 3rd grade, was reading literature in highschool in French class (traditional hs, btw, with French II, III, and IV on my transcript), and took (and passed) the AP French exam...

#13 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:30 AM

Nan, while I don't agree with everything this person says (or rather what they're saying doesn't match what we did), this link might be helpful to you. http://www.janice-ca...sked-questions/ It explains the difference between credits and units. Credits refer to the amount of material covered, while units (what you're technically assigning on your transcript) refer to time spent. A 5 day a week, full-time course for high school would be one unit over the course of a year. So if he spends the equivalent of 2-3 days a week over the course of a year doing his advanced french assignments, then he garners 1/2 unit for each year. It's not even so important whether you call a year of full-time study one unit or two, so much as that you be CONSISTENT throughout the 4 years of recording.

So that said, I would see if the amount of time he's spending earns him a more traditional number of units. The less traditional it looks and the lower the quantity, the more questions it raises with the evaluator as to what it was. We want to be honest and fair, but also make it fit something they recognize, kwim? (From your comments I wasn't sure if you meant 1 credit over the entire 4 years, or 1 credit per year, or what.) I like the titles Linda in NM suggested. Honors French, French 3, anything will do. If he wants to take french in college, he'll take a placement test anyway.

Jane, this is just my opinion, but I would list the literature and history separately, assigning two grades, one for each component. You had separate texts, and that way there's no question of how much work he did. If you give one large title and one letter grade, the evaluator may still wonder if you're inflating the amount of time spent simply to say it was a "hard" course and may mark it down to the traditional one unit in their tallying. Also, are you doing a regular english lit or english class of some kind on top of that? That would be another thing that would make an evaluator wonder how much time was really spent. I would make it very clear by assigning separate titles and grades, just my opinion. They can be related titles to show the connection if you want, but I'd still give two letter grades if indicating two units. So it might read World History-Ancients to the Middle Ages-1 unit-A, Literature 10 (if he did this in the 10th grade)-1 unit-B (he didn't write his papers well that year, lol). Then on your 2nd paper, the one that may get tossed, you can spell out what you DID in those courses. If you put down World History two years in a row, then I would clarify what he was covering so the person knows he didn't repeat the course.

Ah, extra-curriculars... My sense is this: anything that is beyond what a normal student would do in a traditional school as extra-curriculars you can count. School kids take piano, so you can't count that. You don't count church choir because that's something school kids do. But school kids have a choir CLASS and your dc may have the opportunity to join a community choir, something beyond the norm, that would be roughly equivalent. You have to use common sense. If you put down things that are clearly things kids in school do without credit, then the evaluator will laugh and disregard it. There's also the matter of time spent. Heather in VA has girls who spend 20+ hours a week on gymnastics at a certain age and receive PE credits from their school for it. So if a school would give them credit for the amount of time spent, the amount of instruction received, or it being something beyond the norm of extra-curriculars that school kids do, then you can give credit for it. Not like you need a lot of those non-academic elective credits anyway.

Ok, here's an example to make things more clear. I wouldn't give credit for playing baseball on the local league, because that's something many school kids do. But if you chose to take time out of your school day to join a league or go twice weekly to learn to bowl, then that's PE. There's learning, intention, and it's beyond what they'd normally do for extra-curriculars if they were in school. But if your family normally bowls, always has, then you need to find something else for him to learn or do to count for PE. See what I mean? It's just kind of common sense. I'm sure people fudge it all the time, but that's my sense. As far as competitions and clubs, they seem pretty mundane and like normal extra-curriculars to me. I guess you'd need to show that it was part of an intentional plan of study and was beyond the norm of extra-curriculars school kids would do. Lots of kids join french club or the science olympiad team. That doesn't count as their science or french for the year and it doesn't get them other credits. What it does is show you're a balanced, well-rounded person. You can list those activities on the transcript and let the evaluator decide what to do with them. (Don't assign credits, just put them in a listing of your extra-curriculars on that 2nd page.) Ok, I thought of a situation where you might be able to assign credit. Say he participates in a monthly geography club and spends the whole month researching his country, prepares meals, makes a presentation board, and goes to the monthly meeting to present. IF that's part of a course he's doing (as in he's using a Geography text that year and getting a unit of geography), that could actually count as something. But if it's just his hobby, like the National Geography Bee preparation, then he gets nothing. It just goes into the pool of things that show he is a well-rounded, active, growing human being.

Helpful? Transcripts aren't really that hard. Just translate what you're doing into something that will look normal to the evaluator and you'll be fine! :)

#14 LaMere Academy

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:33 AM

It also depends on your state. I know the response to the question asked in the other thread was specific to WA. Here in TN, we're allowed to count certain subjects from 8th grade, if they are high school level study. I'm counting Algebra, Biology, and Latin I for my 8th grader, even though she will continue for all 4 years of high school in those subjects.


We are here in FL as well.

#15 LaMere Academy

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:36 AM

I worked in a university admissions office evaluating transcripts, so I can tell you that while you can put anything you want (feel free) it might get marked off or disregarded. As the others have said, we had a 4 year policy and excluded anything outside that. I'm sure every college/university has their own policies, and some might even allow a few 8th grade, high school level subjects in. You need to distinguish the difference between your graduation requirements and what the university requires as a minimum to enter without deficiencies. You want to have enough units/credits (depending on which they look for) to meet their minimum requirements to enter without deficiency.

Some people mentioned grouping your transcripts by subject. It's not like the evaluator is stupid, lol. If you fail to include the year, the number of units/credits, etc., you may very well get a call asking for that. If you put 8th grade work or work that is clearly non-highschool, even when completed in high school (which happens a LOT), it will still get marked off. We basically sat there with a red pen and marked off 8th grade work, non-high school level level work, non-academic subjects not tallied toward entrance requirements, etc.

It's wise to translate your unusual courses into titles that will make sense to the evaluator. For instance Nan mentioned French Lit. Well when I look at that, I can't tell if that's a guided high school course with assignments, writing, and work to it, or if it's an MK reading comic books while he lives in France. See the difference?

BTW, my personal pet peeves? Including long lists of books the student read. Lots of kids read books, lol. The question is whether you DID anything with those books. Just give me the course title and grade.

As the others said, the college/university you are applying to should have transcript forms available and will be happy to tell you what they want to see.

This is very helpful, and I'm one of those who thought I should include that long list of books. :lol:
How can I make the transcript where it "sounds" like high school work...of course it will be, but what do you mean by naming it titles that will make sense?

#16 Jane in NC

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:49 AM

for your detailed response.

As has been noted by the BTDT crowd on this board before, colleges wish to see extracurriculars, so they should be noted separately which had been my inclination. The one potentially ambiguous stretch that I made you addressed: PE. My son plays hockey, but with power skating lessons, regular reading of the Nutrition Action Newsletter, planning and executing a backpacking trip (including working on various designs of alcohol stoves), etc. I gave him a 1/2 credit for Health and PE. From your post, I think that this was reasonable.

Thank you again!

Jane

#17 Jane in NC

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:50 AM

This is very helpful, and I'm one of those who thought I should include that long list of books. :lol:
How can I make the transcript where it "sounds" like high school work...of course it will be, but what do you mean by naming it titles that will make sense?


Did you take a look at Gwen's post in the course description thread?

Jane

#18 Nan in Mass

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:54 AM

I meant one credit on the transcript, not one per year. For one per year, presumably, one would have to spend at least an hour a day on it and read a lot more than the 3 books I'm talking about. We'll just do the books in amongst our other great books, a la TWTM/TWEM. I just want to spread them out over the whole 4 years because that will keep him from forgetting his French. I don't want to call it French # because that implies that he's done some grammar, doesn't it? He'll have some conversation because we speak French at home sometimes, but I don't really want to count that for school because he isn't really working on it and "Get your stuff and get into the car now" doesn't seem like it should count for much GRIN. He doesn't want to do grammar because he'll do Arabic and Latin for high school and doesn't want to do another language formally. Too much memorizing. I don't blame him. I'd just stick the French books into his great books (which we're breaking up into Classical Literature and Analysis, etc., and history on the transcirpt), but I'd like the transcript to show that he is reading them in their original language. He's worked hard to be able to do that.

As far as units go, we have some things that we are doing that are going to wind up in the end worth half a unit. If I break this up into years or semesters, every year will have 1/8 unit of music, for example (this isn't counting piano lessons, which are extra curricular). We just aren't homeschooling in a way that fits into the traditional school transcript very well, between not sticking to class periods and schooling year-round for some subjects and being advanced in some things and behind in others. I thought I'd add up the units we've covered, give descriptive titles as best I can (not English 1, etc.) and organize by subject. Otherwise, the transcript will be long and take some figuring out on the part of the poor reader. I've written up course descriptions which anyone who wants them can have, but I wasn't going to send them unless requested. For things like math and science and English, it will be obvious that we covered things in a timely manner because there will be 4 years of those things listed. See my problem?
-Nan

#19 Maverick

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:56 AM

What I've done is gone to my local high school's website (and the sites of some private high schools) and looked at class titles and offerings. That might give you some ideas.

#20 LaMere Academy

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:03 AM

Did you take a look at Gwen's post in the course description thread?

Jane


No, off to find it.

#21 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:20 AM

Nan, how far are you along in your high schooling? (are these plans or things you've already accomplished?) And has he picked some prospective schools where you could talk with their admissions departments and see exactly what they'll want? As I said, they may want years assigned to those things. A unit is defined as the amount of time spent in a year. I understand your difficulty, but I also think you have an academically strong student who is covering quite a few things and won't be scraping to get credits. I would distinguish between things you need to get credit for in order to graduate vs. things you are informing the reader of in order to show he is a strong candidate. There is a difference. On your french, it would be inappropriate to label it with a name like a standard course, because it's not a standard, full-unit course. In fact, with latin and arabic studies (more traditional courses) to me that falls in the category of you wanting his transcript to reflect his breadth, not so much units needed to graduate. You could literally LIST those things without assigning units. You could indicate the amount of time spent per week and not assign a grade if there was none given. So I would list all your regular subjects, units and grades for that year, then I would list, without grades, French Lit and Essays, 1 hour per week, no grade assigned. That's exactly what you did and communicates it clearly. I told you about marking OFF things, well an evaluator can also mark ON things and add into their tallies where you didn't. That lets them decide what to do with it. ;)

If you do that, not assigning grades and units to the low time electives but still listing them, does that make it easier to list the more traditional things by year? (math, english, etc.) Your years could be really general and vague, not like they're checking you or holding you to the exact month, hehe. It's also helpful to divide your transcripts by SEMESTERS as well as years. I know your studies don't fall exactly into that; neither do ours. But you could probably flex your thinking and the list enough to make it look like that. I mean it's not rocket science. If he did one math course at a time and you say the first one was 9th grade (both semesters) then the next one was 10th, even if you started it before your 9th grade calendar year ended. But you're taking what you've done and making it look more normal to the reader. You can group it by subject, but they may come back and ask you to assign years to those things, might as well have a plan. Also, it allows them to see how your years balanced, whether you were very light one year and heavy another.

Don't be afraid to list things and not assign credits/units. You need to for the bulk, but for those electives, you really don't have to, not when he has gobs for graduation already. When you group things in a traditional way (by year and semester), you're showing the load he took, that he was balanced and took challenging options. I think this is very important. That evaluator can tally and give credit where you didn't if they think it's worth it. If they don't, they're just going to mark it off. And on the french, I personally think it looks stronger to say you did french reading and essays once a week for an hour than to say you did 1 unit worth over 4 years. That listing, no grade, no nothing, would make you wonder if he didn't like it, got too busy, actually didn't do well in the class, or what happened that he didn't continue? Like I said, I'd show exactly what you're doing. He's such a strong candidate, he's going to be FINE.

#22 Nan in Mass

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:30 PM

I have two students. One will be applying to college in the fall and I have a transcript written up for him already, the other is turning 14 this summer, so I'll be beginning his high school transcript. The older one knows where he is applying and his first choice said they'd accept a by-subject, ungraded transcript. (I think the CC classes are all they are really interested in). The state U could give me almost no info, so we'll just take our chances with them. The younger one is too young to make any guesses, except that there is a good chance it will be an engineering school. Amount of credits isn't a problem for either - they'll have plenty. Anything that isn't part of the academic education we're trying to give our children we just count as extra credit, so I'm not worried about that part. It is fitting what we consider academics into a form that colleges can interpret at a glance that I'm struggling with. I'm trying to make their transcripts reflect the emphasis of their unique educations, and I'm hoping not to have to give colleges more than transcripts, applications, and SAT scores. I have other stuff, but I'm not sure they really want it, unless they are alternative-type colleges.

I like your list idea, I'm just not sure what it would look like. Our math fits into the year (as long as you count the summer) just fine.The CC classes are nicely parcelled out into semesters and have grades. The science divides into years pretty well. The rest is a mishmash. The literature for great books is being done out of order, with scifi mixed in, but is pretty evenly divided into ancients, medieval/early renaissance, late renaissance/modern, and scifi, so I thought I'd divide them into 4 credits of literature. We haven't done enough history each year to be a full unit or even half a unit, so I was going to do that by listing 1 credit world hist, 1 US history, and 1 government. Some things are done in 3 months along with nothing else (more or less), some things are done a little every day or a little once a week for years, and some a mix of those two. How do I list them? It sounds like you are suggesting that I give them our daily schedule, which would work ok (we have one which we don't always follow, but it would be close enough), but what do I call it? And what about the part where they want total credits?

It is the younger one who will be doing the French reading. The older one just has 2 credits of Latin, completed over the course of 3 years because of absences for travel and our not doing Latin during the summer.

Sorry to be such a bother. Thank you SO much for helping.
-Nan

#23 HollyinNNV

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:43 PM

Hi Y'all,
The no-grade thing confuses me. For example, at the university I attended, a pass was automatically converted to a C. No-pass was an F. I'd be concerned that any "no grade" courses might be converted to a grade by the college. Would they?

Or are the no grade courses just considered extra-curricular?
Holly

#24 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:07 PM

Holly, I hate to be cynical, but grades in homeschooling are a joke. I rarely saw anything but A's on homeschool transcripts. Now I can try to think of a bunch of charitable reasons, some of which may even explain it reasonably, but the reality is those wouldn't have all been A students in school. So if some schools don't care what grades you put down, that's why. ;)

#25 Beth in SW WA

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:16 PM

Holly, I hate to be cynical, but grades in homeschooling are a joke. I rarely saw anything but A's on homeschool transcripts.


As I'm new to homeschooling, I wondered about this. Do most homeschoolers put A's on transcripts? What is the criteria for grading? Is it textbook completion, understanding of material, pages written, etc?

Ultimately the SAT scores and grades should be comparable, I would assume.

Rambling to self here...:)

#26 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:18 PM

Nan, I'm trying to wrap my brain around everything you're saying, hehe! If the school he's applying to is happy with it categorized by subject, by all means do that. I wasn't saying so much to turn the transcript into a reflection of your daily schedule as to take the small, less frequent things, and turn them into non-credit electives that you simply list. They would be distinguished in weight from your more time-intensive courses and what you write on the transcript would accurately reflect what you did.

Most of your subjects sounded pretty normal (math, science, lit) and easily fall into the one per year (more or less) category. On your history, did the description you gave after that of being sporadic, sometimes the sole focus for 3 months, etc., apply? See I was thinking, as I lay down for my nap, how better to explain units to you. It's not so mathematically precise but more of a guiding concept. If something is basically every day for a school year, it's one unit. If it's 2-3 days a year, it's a 1/2 unit. If it's daily for a semester (3-4 months), it's 1/2 unit. If it's double timing it daily for a semester, that's a whole 1 unit. If you do it triple pace, spending literally 3 hours a day on it for a short period of time (2-3 months), then it's still a whole 1 unit. It's more a general rule of thumb, not something you have to sit there and count hours and divide, lol. No one expects you to arrive at 1/8 units or something, hehe. If something is once a week for the course of a year, that's easily 1/4 unit, maybe a 1/2 if you had a couple hours on that day or a good homework assignment. If you did history for 3 months focus at a time and really did it, putting in several hours a day, you may have easily done a unit worth of work in that time. So that's how you translate what you're doing into what they'll understand.

What you're finding is in fact true, that admissions offices are not out to get anybody. They accept what you say, what you put down. So just put it into reasonable form that reflects what you did as accurately as possible.

#27 Janet in WA

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:34 PM

Our transcripts were loosely organized by subject. But we included completion dates, all of which fell within the 4 calendar years before the high school graduation date. I chose this arrangement (rather than organization by grade) because in addition to our own transcript, we sent transcripts from other sources (community college and correspondence school). Neither of those sources awarded credits by "grade level", and I felt our whole picture would be more coherent if our own transcript didn't try to force those credits into a grade level either.

#28 Janet in WA

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:40 PM

As I'm new to homeschooling, I wondered about this. Do most homeschoolers put A's on transcripts? What is the criteria for grading? Is it textbook completion, understanding of material, pages written, etc?

Ultimately the SAT scores and grades should be comparable, I would assume.

Rambling to self here...:)

I won't try to speak for other homeschoolers (though I'm tempted to :)), but our sons most definitely didn't earn all A's for their studies here at home. In fact, their GPA's from the community college and correspondence school were higher than for the subjects I graded.

#29 HollyinNNV

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:45 PM

Elizabeth,
So-I guess you are saying that CLEPS/AP/SATII are a "must" for those planning on any type of competitive school?
Holly

#30 Michelle in MO

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:05 PM

In our small town, there is no opportunity for a homeschooled student to participate in band or choir; at our school district, homeschoolers have to be enrolled for five hours before being allowed to participate in these activities. In other words, the school district wants the $$ for a full-time student enrollee, and the student might as well be enrolled full-time, too! The only community choir that's available is at our community college, and the student must be 16 years old to be enrolled there. There is no church choir, not even at larger churches. So, I'm planning on awarding at least 1/2 credit for my girls for piano and voice lessons, which include an annual recital. There is no other venue for them to pursue a fine arts elective. In addition, I think I had read previously that kids who take band also take lessons for band, such as French horn lessons. So, I don't understand the distinction between why kids who take band lessons can receive 1/2 credit for that instrument, but a child who is homeschooled cannot receive 1/2 credit for another instrument, which happens to be piano?

I think the same point could be made about PE. Again, homeschoolers in our area have no opportunity to participate in sports at the high schools. So, many do what our family is doing: enroll their kids in an extra-curricular PE activity and give the child 1/2 credit for PE. Some kids do quite a lot for this: we have one homeschooled boy in our area who spends hundreds of hours swimming. Our girls do karate 2-3 times a week. We really feel we're out of other options, kwim?

Some things I count towards our "hours" (which are logged in Missouri) but not towards credit. In other words, a music recital, a concert, a play, an art show---it's enrichment, but not accredited. I count those as being towards the overall nurture of the child.

Ah, extra-curriculars... My sense is this: anything that is beyond what a normal student would do in a traditional school as extra-curriculars you can count. School kids take piano, so you can't count that. You don't count church choir because that's something school kids do. But school kids have a choir CLASS and your dc may have the opportunity to join a community choir, something beyond the norm, that would be roughly equivalent. You have to use common sense. If you put down things that are clearly things kids in school do without credit, then the evaluator will laugh and disregard it. There's also the matter of time spent. Heather in VA has girls who spend 20+ hours a week on gymnastics at a certain age and receive PE credits from their school for it. So if a school would give them credit for the amount of time spent, the amount of instruction received, or it being something beyond the norm of extra-curriculars that school kids do, then you can give credit for it. Not like you need a lot of those non-academic elective credits anyway.

Ok, here's an example to make things more clear. I wouldn't give credit for playing baseball on the local league, because that's something many school kids do. But if you chose to take time out of your school day to join a league or go twice weekly to learn to bowl, then that's PE. There's learning, intention, and it's beyond what they'd normally do for extra-curriculars if they were in school. But if your family normally bowls, always has, then you need to find something else for him to learn or do to count for PE. See what I mean? It's just kind of common sense. I'm sure people fudge it all the time, but that's my sense. As far as competitions and clubs, they seem pretty mundane and like normal extra-curriculars to me. I guess you'd need to show that it was part of an intentional plan of study and was beyond the norm of extra-curriculars school kids would do. Lots of kids join french club or the science olympiad team. That doesn't count as their science or french for the year and it doesn't get them other credits. What it does is show you're a balanced, well-rounded person. You can list those activities on the transcript and let the evaluator decide what to do with them. (Don't assign credits, just put them in a listing of your extra-curriculars on that 2nd page.) Ok, I thought of a situation where you might be able to assign credit. Say he participates in a monthly geography club and spends the whole month researching his country, prepares meals, makes a presentation board, and goes to the monthly meeting to present. IF that's part of a course he's doing (as in he's using a Geography text that year and getting a unit of geography), that could actually count as something. But if it's just his hobby, like the National Geography Bee preparation, then he gets nothing. It just goes into the pool of things that show he is a well-rounded, active, growing human being.


Anyway, I'm interested in more of your perspective on this. Thank you for your very patient and thorough responses.

#31 Michelle in MO

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:30 PM

I won't try to speak for other homeschoolers (though I'm tempted to :)), but our sons most definitely didn't earn all A's for their studies here at home. In fact, their GPA's from the community college and correspondence school were higher than for the subjects I graded.


I have a feeling I'll be the same as Janet. No, I wouldn't say my oldest has done all "A" level work; in English---definitely; writing--A-minus; math would be A-minus to B+, and flunking for Algebra II! Latin--maybe a B???

Anyway, I'm trying to be ethical and honest here, without doing my kids a disservice.

#32 5sweeties

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:37 PM

We are starting high school transcripts next fall, and this is a wonderful thread!

I am wondering about this...

In our state, we are required each year, to turn in a "scope and sequence" for each and every required subject, which covers everything but foreign language and other electives. (Which I include anyway.) This scope and sequence is extremely complete and gives a detailed list of everything we study in a year. I am wondering if this list would come in handy for some colleges? I'm wondering if I hold on to these, and include a completion date with each class listed, if this would count as a transcript?

Our state university only requires a list of classes by subject for admission and an ACT score for the state scholarship. I'm trying to think beyond that.

#33 Nan in Mass

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:42 PM

The 2yo was reaching into a bag full of the kittycat, I was supposed to be making pizza dough and shivying everyone towards the car for piano... and I don't want to burden you with lots of details you don't need.

History reading is something my son does at the end of the day if he has time. He writes a few short papers a year for it, and does some extra reading, but that is it. He knows quite a lot of history, but it is mostly from reading textbooks, travelling, and from the primary sources involved with great books. It isn't something we're doing very academically, so although we do it almost every day when we're in full-school mode, I don't think it is worth 4 years' worth of credit. I think it is more like 1 world, 1 US, and 1 gov (when you mix in the other gov things he's done). This is spread out, but we need to count it.

The things that are done in a chunk I'm calling "studies". For example, he went on a 3 month long sacred run and obviously learned a LOT about Native Americans. It was intensive, and I'm counting it as 1 credit of Native American Studies. This travelling is the central part of his education, so I want to count it as education, not as extra-curricular. We're shaping the rest of his education around that. We have to school year-round to finish things like a math book because he vanishes mid-school year to do these things.

We're a weird mix of unschooling type things and classical education. Sigh. It makes for fantastic adults, but it is a little hard to squish it into a traditional transcript.

By dint of ignoring the year divisions and just thinking about how much time and learning happened per subject, I've assigned it a value. It is unfortunate that he is one of those people who is wired to work very slowly - his SAT scores won't reflect his academic abilities. We're trying to solve that and the ungradedness of his high school experience by adding CC classes. Hopefully, he'll have enough of those at high enough grades that that will reassure the admissions people.

My younger one probably won't be quite as tricky, but he, too, will have his uniquenesses. I'm trying to plan what we'll do for high school for him and I like to record things as I do them, which is what got me thinking about what to call his French reading.

Does that explain? I think I understand what you mean by units and I've been doing that. I've just been condensing things. Instead of saying we did 1/8 credit each year of music (10 minutes most days), I was going to say 1/2 credit and not attatch a year. It is only if I have to divide things into years that I have problems.

-Nan

#34 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:29 PM

Holly, I would assume most colleges require some form of standardized testing for admission. The one thing I would caution against, which I gathered some people felt compelled to do in certain states, was using the GED to validate their homeschool experience. This gives you a stigma on your application and can have repercussions in the admissions process. (Some schools will accept a homeschooler but not GED, etc.) Other than that, the more testing the merrier.

#35 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:31 PM

5sweeties, I would give your prospective school what they ask for. If you provide more and they don't want it (remember they're processing a LOT of transcripts) they may literally just throw it away or staple it at the back and never look at it. If a particular college you are applying to wants that info, then provide it.

#36 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:39 PM

Michelle in MO, I knew that grading comment would bring a firestorm, which is why I didn't want to make it! :)

Now take everything I say in the perspective that I haven't DONE it, only calculated and looked at it. Here's my two cents. A grade is most valuable when it is a measurement of accomplishment against an objective standard. It should reflect the possibility of failure as well as success, and the standard should be high enough that not all students will readily achieve it. And I hate to say it, but in my personal opinion TIME factors into grades, the ability to meet deadlines, because that's real life and certainly college. Whether you assign grades or not in the lower levels, when you start, etc. is your business. I know I certainly haven't started yet, dd being only 3rd grade. But I think grading, when you begin, should reflect those criteria I listed above. Otherwise it's just a grade you're pulling out of a hat. How does the student work HARDER to achieve the standard or meet the deadline if he doesn't know for what he's shooting? I know some kids are very motivated and many are doing good work. I also caught GVA's comment a while back that many of the homeschooled kids in her college classes can't meet deadlines or handle inflexible assignments. At some point we want that transition. You shouldn't have to guess at your grade.

That's my two cents. I know sometimes these things creep up on us and we do them differently from one child to the next. Some subjects are more conducive to that as well. There is a book on grading by Teresa Moon, "How Do We Know What They Know?" It has another edition title, but that's the jist, on various ways to approach assessments and grading with our students.

#37 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:49 PM

Michelle in MO, You'll remember I specifically mentioned using common things for PE when they are done with intention for learning. (bowling as an educational choice vs. bowling that the family does anyway) I see no problem with the way you're doing PE. With piano, that's different and I hate to say it, but at the university where I worked we would have totally disregarded it, marked it off. Now it probably wouldn't be enough of an issue to affect your entrance, deficiencies, etc., but I'm just telling you how it was there. Piano is something many band students take as well. You typically only have one lesson a week, so that even with practicing the actual amount of time spent is small. For a fine arts requirement, you could do a computer program for music theory, learn an extra instrument, study sight reading together, form your own sibling choir and call it honors choir (perform at church but practice several times a week learning some challenging pieces), do art (get a book, kit, or try some of the videos like Donna Dewberry or Joy of Painting). Take a class at Michaels in watercolor. I see so many options there.

#38 Michelle in MO

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 06:58 PM

I still may try the 1/2 credit for piano and voice, because they have spent a lot of time on it. I figure if the college doesn't like it, then they can always cross it off. My oldest will probably be going to the community college next year, anyway---at least part-time. If that's the case, then she can finally enroll in the small choir at the cc and obtain dual credit (hopefully) that way.

Some of these hoops just seem to silly to jump through!

#39 Nan in Mass

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:37 PM

The funny part is that my children's transcripts will use the convention in our area of 5 credits=1 year. I always say 1 credit on the board because that is what everyone else seems to do, but for a bit it was confusing. Now I'm going to check the wording on my oldest's high school transcript and see if it doesn't say "units" instead of "credits". My goal was to make my younger children's transcripts look like the regular high school one here, but maybe that doesn't make sense?
I don't think I agree with the link about giving 1 unit for a 1 semester CC class, at least not the ones my son has taken so far. Well, maybe the drawing class. That was pretty intense. Other than that, they seem to be moving at about the same rate that we do at home.
Thanks again for the link! And for the clarification that 120 hours does NOT count homework. I didn't think it could possibly, even though the cover schools I read about said to count every 120 hours as 1 unit. We'd be swamped with credits if I did that LOL. Hours don't work as a useful way of counting our course work. Too bad it isn't that simple. Sigh.
-Nan

#40 Storm Bay

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 08:41 PM

BTW, my personal pet peeves? Including long lists of books the student read. Lots of kids read books, lol. The question is whether you DID anything with those books. Just give me the course title and grade.

As the others said, the college/university you are applying to should have transcript forms available and will be happy to tell you what they want to see.


Interesting, because in Homeschooling Highschool, some colleges request reading lists, but you hated them. (there's a chart in the back of the book with results from a questionnaire the author sent.) I think your last comment is the best one--it makes sense to find out what the colleges you are applying to are looking for because from what I've read, it varies. Some also ask for portfolios, but not all.

#41 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 10:30 PM

Maybe the sending of lists of books seemed odd to me because NO schools did that. So what it really means is that some schools will accept your transcript just like any other transcript and not require further validation than say test scores, while others are going to inquire further and want more info. I see so many people scared of this process, scared that if they don't do this or that their dc might have trouble getting accepted, and I'm simply pointing out that many schools will accept your transcript, when done properly and with complete information, just like any other transcript. They're not out to get you or make life hard. :)

#42 Nan in Mass

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:48 AM

So you suggest putting something like "French lit - 2 books each year" under extra-curricular? (Still thinking about what things look like - got distracted by the units thing)


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