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Should I follow the public school requirements in my state (FL)?


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#1 susanah4

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:33 PM

I graduated my NT son from homeschool back in 2006.  There was no talk in homeschool circles of meeting ps requirements, getting 24 credits, etc.  We did dual enrollment so he had his A.A. at the end of high school so I never pursued "requirements".  

 

My dd is now in high school.  She was diagnosed with sensory issues as a toddler, deals with some depression and insomnia, anxiety, etc.

She has the ability to learn most things on the high school level, but absolutely no stamina.   She does not have the ability to put in the "hours" a typical high school student can.  

 

For some reason things have shifted and now everyone (parents and evaluators) are insisting they need to follow the ps requirements and get the 24 credits to graduate high school.  One of the evaluators I spoke to who knew my son, and her kids graduated with mine, said that is has changed since my son was in school.  Now they need the 24 credits.  My current evaluator who is very laid back and has an autistic son said do the best you can and you make the decision when to call it a credit.  But we should still stick with the 24 credits.

 

Does anyone know where this shift occurred?  I can't find any changes in the homeschool law in FL.  Is it because of a change in college requirements?  

 

Best case scenario my dd will go to community college for an AA and then transfer to a local university.  This whole 24 credit thing is making her a basket case. (and me)  I would love to just teach her and prepare her to hopefully be able to attend college.   I can't find anyone locally that agrees with this decision.  Would I be causing her some problems down the road if I did that?   Would her "homeschool diploma" be a sham?   Is there something in the law I am missing?



#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

Maybe the disconnect here is what you are defining as a credit.  Are you saying you are afraid that trying to follow the typical hours required in ps to achieve a credit is not possible?  Or the typical subjects covered to count as those 24 credits?  Or...?

 

In other words, a transcript can be pretty flexible within the confines of "24 credits".  Is it that in your state the specific requirements to define a credit have gotten very involved and intense and are beyond your child's abilities but you are being advised to follow strictly what is a typical Public school scenario?

 

Is she involved in any outside activities/interests that could go towards fulfilling that 24 credits?  How are you counting "credits"?  Have you actually written out a plan for all 4 years of High School and it does not seem doable?  Would taking an additional year to complete High School help?


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 09 May 2017 - 02:53 PM.


#3 susanah4

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:10 PM

Maybe the disconnect here is what you are defining as a credit.  Are you saying you are afraid that trying to follow the typical hours required in ps to achieve a credit is not possible?  Or the typical subjects covered to count as those 24 credits?  Or...?

 

In other words, a transcript can be pretty flexible within the confines of "24 credits".  Is it that in your state the specific requirements to define a credit have gotten very involved and intense and are beyond your child's abilities but you are being advised to follow strictly what is a typical Public school scenario?

 

Is she involved in any outside activities/interests that could go towards fulfilling that 24 credits?  How are you counting "credits"?  Have you actually written out a plan for all 4 years of High School and it does not seem doable?  Would taking an additional year to complete High School help?

 

No specific requirements for the credit, but the 24 different credits in general.  For example she took twice as long to finish Algebra, which I have figured I can can safely call 2 credits based on what I have heard.  But I can't really pull of Geometry 1a and 1b, and Biology 1a and 1b, etc.  

 

I have thought about the 5 year high school option, but my daughter already struggling so much with everyone around her advancing and feeling left behind in so many areas in life I would like to graduate her on time. She is already a year older than her peers in her grade due to starting later than most.  I believe she needs that if at all possible.  Even if it means remedial work to get into college.

 

She goes to church, helps with the kids there during VBS, volunteers a few hours a week at a  butterfly house during the summer - nothing much to turn into credits.  She tries hard.  Her brain just shuts down after a certain period of time and she is done.  And very low stamina physically as well.

 

I guess I really just wanted opinions on how important it is to get these credits.  



#4 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 03:16 PM

Well, I think you can approach this different ways.  Either you can focus on trying to find ways to make things count as 24 credits or you can actively look at higher education schools that are not going to care about exactly 24 credits.  Different states have different requirements so I am certain there are higher education schools that don't adhere strictly to the Florida public school definition of 24 credits for admittance.

 

In my state the ps requirement is 26 credits.  Just going by the ps definition DD will not make 26 credits but we are looking at things she has done and is doing that are more flexible than a strict ps scenario.  

 

Since I don't live in Florida I don't know how rigidly a transcript will need to follow the public school system there.  Are there any Floridian homeschooling groups that could better advise you about your state specifically?


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#5 Storygirl

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:24 PM

:grouphug:

I don't know FL law. You may want to post on the High School board to find out what other homeschoolers from FL have done for counting credits.

 

What year is she now? What classes has she completed? You mention biology and geometry, but I'm not sure if those are classes she has already tackled or if she still has to do them.

 

If you type out what she has done so far and what grade she is in, people might help with some ideas.

 

What I have seen as standard advice  on the WTM boards is to count a credit as either one course fully completed (even if it does not take the full number of hours) or at least 120 hours of work.

 

One idea is to choose alternate curricula for her to use. Choose things that can be completed in a shorter period of time. I have heard this about MUS geometry, for example. Completing such a course from beginning to end could count as a credit, even if it did not take as many hours.

 

Also, note that 120 hours is kind of low. If you work for 180 days (typical school year), an hour per day on a subject would be 180 hours, but to achieve 120 hours, you only need about 40 minutes per subject per day.

 

Also consider what causes fatigue for her. Can she watch a video when she is tired? Perhaps a video history course would work. If you watch it together and then ask her questions, her oral answers could be the "output" for the class, because it would allow her to demonstrate understanding without having to read or write something or prepare a project.

 

If she gets tired during math, for example, maybe you could have her do a 20 minute session in the morning and another 20 minutes in the afternoon, to break it up.

 

If writing causes fatigue, allow her to give answers orally.

 

You may do some of these things already.


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#6 dmmetler

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:30 PM

You also may want to look at cover programs. I know Home Life is an option in FL, and they have been very flexible recently in trying to find a path to graduate a frustrated teen with LD issues.
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#7 SebastianCat

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:49 PM

I'm in FL, and there is no requirement for 24 credits for homeschoolers. I imagine that what your friends are referencing is what universities are looking for in freshman applicants.

I think in your situation an umbrella school would be helpful and to give you direction.
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#8 *****

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:26 PM

Maybe that refers to if your daughter plans on graduating under the umbrella school and getting a diploma through them.  That was how it was in our district. If we wanted a diploma through the high school, there were certain conditions that had to be met, and that was one of them.  If you are strictly doing it on your own, that is different.  There were a certain number of hours we used to call it a credit...


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#9 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

:grouphug:

I don't know FL law. You may want to post on the High School board to find out what other homeschoolers from FL have done for counting credits.

 

What year is she now? What classes has she completed? You mention biology and geometry, but I'm not sure if those are classes she has already tackled or if she still has to do them.

 

If you type out what she has done so far and what grade she is in, people might help with some ideas.

 

What I have seen as standard advice  on the WTM boards is to count a credit as either one course fully completed (even if it does not take the full number of hours) or at least 120 hours of work.

 

One idea is to choose alternate curricula for her to use. Choose things that can be completed in a shorter period of time. I have heard this about MUS geometry, for example. Completing such a course from beginning to end could count as a credit, even if it did not take as many hours.

 

Also, note that 120 hours is kind of low. If you work for 180 days (typical school year), an hour per day on a subject would be 180 hours, but to achieve 120 hours, you only need about 40 minutes per subject per day.

 

Also consider what causes fatigue for her. Can she watch a video when she is tired? Perhaps a video history course would work. If you watch it together and then ask her questions, her oral answers could be the "output" for the class, because it would allow her to demonstrate understanding without having to read or write something or prepare a project.

 

If she gets tired during math, for example, maybe you could have her do a 20 minute session in the morning and another 20 minutes in the afternoon, to break it up.

 

If writing causes fatigue, allow her to give answers orally.

 

You may do some of these things already.

With regards to this sentence, I would like to point out that public schools here have classes that are only 45 min.  Definitely not an hour at all.  (I have no idea what the class times are in public school in Florida High Schools though).   Along with that, frequently part of the class time is taken up with administrative issues or they are having a party for the holidays or they are practicing standardized test prep or there is a discipline issue that needs to be dealt with or they have to pass out papers or any one of a zillion other reasons that instruction is not taking place the entire :45.  Couple that with kids having to change classes so they need time to unpack and repack their stuff, plus write down their assignments, etc. , and that :45 gets whittled down on a regular basis. Very different scenario from a one on one homeschooling situation.  There is a lot of time that is not targeted to learning the subject they are attending that class for.  I don't find 120 hours low at all if we are comparing actual class time used for learning in a public school system vs. targeted instruction in a homeschool scenario.

 

But OP are you using an umbrella school?  I think your daughter's transcript can be more flexible than perhaps you were envisioning.  I agree, if you could post what she has already accomplished (if you are o.k. with that) and what she is currently working on and what your  plans are for the remaining years there are LOTS of great people on here that can help you tweak things to reach your goals and hers.  They have been very invaluable to me.  I have a daughter that needs a lot of time to get through anything.  Between vision and processing issues she gets fatigued.  We keep sessions short but she is still learning and progressing.  


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#10 susanah4

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 11:59 AM

No umbrella school.  

Finished(4 1/2) - World History

                 Economics (1/2)                  She did most of these finished courses through a local co-op

                 Bible (Old Testament)

                 Language Arts 1

                 Botany (1/2)

                 Apologetics (1/2)

Hopefully finishing soon(5 1/2) -  Alg 1 (2 credits) (2 years on this)

                                         Bio 1 w/lab (still need to do quite a few labs) 

                                         Govt. (1/2)  - 2/3 of the way through

                                         Astronomy (1/2) needs to finish watching some videos

                                         Language Arts 2 ( we need to add quite a bit to this)

                                         Current Events/Geography(1/2) - started at co-op/trying to add stuff to finish at home.

 

 She has partial credit toward PE - about 40 hours of karate and some hiking, swing dancing etc. 

 She has partial credit toward Fine/Practical/Performing arts - maybe 50 hours of drama at the co-op

 

We will be having to work through summer to finish up this year.  Problem is we usually start the next year at the beginning of the summer and get a big jump because of seasonal affective issues.  Winter is a bust for learning. So in order to get the requirements done I have to push hard now and the stress starts to affect her health. And even pushing hard, we aren't going to get that summer push this year.   That's why I was wondering if there was a better way.  I am going to have to come up with some easy peasy electives.   I wanted to get foreign language out of the way at FLVS, but I don't think she can handle the stress right now.   I'm tired.  Hope this made some sense.  

  

Next year so far plan is - Apologia Physical Science w/ lab (she likes this)

                                        Power Basics American History (this will be a struggle)

                                        TT Geometry ( has to go better than Algebra)

                                        Language Arts 3 (?)

                                        Psychology (7 sisters - this was her choice)

                                        ??? 

 


Edited by susanah4, 10 May 2017 - 12:07 PM.


#11 Melissa B

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 06:21 AM

There is no such law in Florida. The only thing you would need the 24 credits for is getting into Florida universities. It is true that the universities prefer to see more standard transcripts from homeschoolers in this state, but that has nothing to do with high school graduation requirements. If she is planning to attend CC first I wouldn't worry at all. I know many local homeschool families that unschool through high school, go on to CC without issue and transfer to state universities to finish their degrees. We have a large unschooling population here and it has never been an issue. The only disappointment comes when they don't get accepted immediately into the top state universities.


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#12 Storygirl

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:41 AM

With regards to this sentence, I would like to point out that public schools here have classes that are only 45 min.  Definitely not an hour at all.  (I have no idea what the class times are in public school in Florida High Schools though).   Along with that, frequently part of the class time is taken up with administrative issues or they are having a party for the holidays or they are practicing standardized test prep or there is a discipline issue that needs to be dealt with or they have to pass out papers or any one of a zillion other reasons that instruction is not taking place the entire :45.  Couple that with kids having to change classes so they need time to unpack and repack their stuff, plus write down their assignments, etc. , and that :45 gets whittled down on a regular basis. Very different scenario from a one on one homeschooling situation.  There is a lot of time that is not targeted to learning the subject they are attending that class for.  I don't find 120 hours low at all if we are comparing actual class time used for learning in a public school system vs. targeted instruction in a homeschool scenario.

 

But OP are you using an umbrella school?  I think your daughter's transcript can be more flexible than perhaps you were envisioning.  I agree, if you could post what she has already accomplished (if you are o.k. with that) and what she is currently working on and what your  plans are for the remaining years there are LOTS of great people on here that can help you tweak things to reach your goals and hers.  They have been very invaluable to me.  I have a daughter that needs a lot of time to get through anything.  Between vision and processing issues she gets fatigued.  We keep sessions short but she is still learning and progressing.  

 

:iagree:

 

DD15 is enrolled in a private school. Her classes are maybe 50 minutes long, and every day some of that time is taken up by things other than learning the class material. And then there are the days when classes are shortened due to assemblies, etc.

 

120 to 180 hours is what I have seen listed as a way to count time for a credit. I just meant that 120 hours is on the low end of that range, and that you doesn't have to aim for 180 hours to obtain a credit. 120 hours is much more doable and would not even need to mean 120 hours of intense instruction.
 


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#13 Storygirl

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:50 AM

Maybe she doesn't need a foreign language? Yes, I assume most colleges would like to see it on the transcript, but if she could wait and do it at the CC, it might be a better choice and would transfer to the university if needed.

 

I haven't homeschooled high school math. But I have seen MUS geometry mentioned several times as a get-it-done geometry credit that you can get through in a partial school year. For most, it does not take the whole year. So in theory, your daughter could get through it at a slower pace within the school year.

 

* If she can do it in less time than she usually has to spend on math, she could stretch it through the school year and use the extra free time to bump up the language arts.

 

*Or, she could move through the program quickly, get it over with in a semester, and move right into algebra 2 in the spring semester. Which would give her next spring, plus the following year, to get through algebra 2.


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#14 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:19 PM

I may have some suggestions but I need a bit more information.  Does she do better with video based learning or text based?  Has she tried any on-line self-paced courses?  

 

Along with the health issues you mentioned, could there be underlying learning challenges?  What sorts of evaluations has she had?  Could there be low processing speed/low working memory issues?  Might she have developmental vision issues?  Stealth dyslexia?  Dyscalculia?

 

As for how to get her through High School, while I understand that is a very important goal and hopefully people on the LC board can help you craft something that she will have success with, I am more worried about functionality beyond High School.  Are you having to help her to get through just the bare minimum of functionality each day?  What does your doctor say?  Is there anything more that can be done to help her long term?  Because honestly it doesn't seem like she could make it through college classes and may really struggle to hold a job, too.  That would worry me a lot more than making the High School transcript match whatever the local public school is doing.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:


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#15 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:21 PM

Also, with regards to foreign language, would American Sign Language or computer coding work better for her?  Some schools accept those in lieu of a foreign language.



#16 Heathermomster

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:22 PM

My son took Algebra 1a and 1b. Son is currently taking MUS Geometry and doing fine. My only issue with the program is that proofs are covered in the final chapters. I think proofs should have been covered earlier. MUS is one of those curriculums that I do not like but seems to be working well for my DS. He will cover MUS Algebra 2 next year. If it looks to be a total bust, I'll shift to a consumer type math.

We powered through 1 year of Spanish. DS is taking two years of drafting and has a portfolio to demonstrate his work. Our local uni has no foreign language requirement.

Edited by Heathermomster, 12 May 2017 - 02:28 PM.

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#17 susanah4

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:41 PM

I may have some suggestions but I need a bit more information.  Does she do better with video based learning or text based?  Has she tried any on-line self-paced courses?  

 

Along with the health issues you mentioned, could there be underlying learning challenges?  What sorts of evaluations has she had?  Could there be low processing speed/low working memory issues?  Might she have developmental vision issues?  Stealth dyslexia?  Dyscalculia?

 

As for how to get her through High School, while I understand that is a very important goal and hopefully people on the LC board can help you craft something that she will have success with, I am more worried about functionality beyond High School.  Are you having to help her to get through just the bare minimum of functionality each day?  What does your doctor say?  Is there anything more that can be done to help her long term?  Because honestly it doesn't seem like she could make it through college classes and may really struggle to hold a job, too.  That would worry me a lot more than making the High School transcript match whatever the local public school is doing.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 We have worked with many health practitioners both mainstream and alternative and have found some pieces of the puzzle, but are still searching.  Lots of sleep issues.  And she is a different child when the sun is out.  Definitely some SAD.  And some sensory processing issues.   She can have some days where everything clicks and she can do quite a bit of work well.  But then other days she struggles to get through the basics.  That's why I feel it is more of a health issue, rather than a learning issue.  She does seem to learn best with both auditory and visual input.  I am very concerned about her handling college and a job.  But I am trying to make sure I do the right thing for her with high school as well.  


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#18 susanah4

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:47 PM

There is no such law in Florida. The only thing you would need the 24 credits for is getting into Florida universities. It is true that the universities prefer to see more standard transcripts from homeschoolers in this state, but that has nothing to do with high school graduation requirements. If she is planning to attend CC first I wouldn't worry at all. I know many local homeschool families that unschool through high school, go on to CC without issue and transfer to state universities to finish their degrees. We have a large unschooling population here and it has never been an issue. The only disappointment comes when they don't get accepted immediately into the top state universities.

 

Thank you.  This is what I have been looking for.  CC is the only option on the table for her.  But I can't find an evaluator that agrees with this, and I feel she would test very poorly so that's not really an option.  Maybe I need to look harder for another evaluator.  


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#19 Storygirl

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 08:45 AM

You say you have worked with many health professionals. What about evaluations for academic learning disabilities? Has she had any testing such as the WISC, through the public school or privately?

 

Since she has hopes of going to college, she will likely need documentation for the disability office, so that she can have access to accommodations. Colleges won't give accommodations without the paperwork.


Edited by Storygirl, 13 May 2017 - 08:47 AM.


#20 susanah4

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 10:58 PM

You say you have worked with many health professionals. What about evaluations for academic learning disabilities? Has she had any testing such as the WISC, through the public school or privately?

 

Since she has hopes of going to college, she will likely need documentation for the disability office, so that she can have access to accommodations. Colleges won't give accommodations without the paperwork.

 

I am just beginning to look into this.  The local CC college website said any testing had to be less than 2 years old so I was planning on trying to get something done during junior year.  



#21 freesia

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:56 PM

With the stamina and the SAD, I would also be concerned about anxiety and depression.  Has she been evaluated for either?

 

eta: I reread your first post and see that you mentioned those.  I wonder if they are a bigger issue/factor than you think.  Is she seeing a therapist?


Edited by freesia, 14 May 2017 - 11:58 PM.


#22 Storygirl

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 08:53 AM

I am just beginning to look into this.  The local CC college website said any testing had to be less than 2 years old so I was planning on trying to get something done during junior year.  

 

How old is she now? I can see your logic in deciding to wait. But that information will also be helpful to you NOW as you make decisions about how to proceed with her education.

 

One option: Request evaluations through the school now, because they are free. That will give you some basic information and tell you if she qualifies as having any specific learning disabilities (SLDs). Know if she has a SLD can really help you figure out how to teach her and what kind of accommodations and modifications that would be helpful for you to implement at home.

 

Then have private testing done by the fall of her senior year, so that you have the reports from school.

 

That way you can have the information to use NOW but can have fresh information ready for college. And you only have to pay for it once, because the school evaluations are free.

 

As closely as I was working with my children as a homeschooler, their testing turned up some information that surprised me and made a difference in our decision-making.

 

(Ideally, I would suggest reversing that sequence and doing the private testing first, because it will give you so much more information than the school will. But it makes less sense to ask the school to test her so late in high school).


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