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About Penelope

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. Agree with this. What does a credit like that even mean? And if a university looks further into it at a course description, then it just looks like you are giving credit for an Eagle project which is part of an extracurricular and is also listed again separately as an honor/award. I can’t think of another award on the same level as Eagle that would receive high school credit.
  2. Yes, and if you look around at school documents, they are not always perfect. I started working on these things at the end of last year, but every time I looked at them again, I’d find some little thing. It’s good to be meticulous, but I realized at some point I was stressing over such little things that I just needed to be done.
  3. I think it is more more likely for the middle class to spend on expensive recognizable brands than the very wealthy, which goes along with what you are saying here. The more status-conscious are often in debt. Google “discreet wealth.”
  4. Same here. Application fatigue. A few more supplemental to write for initial applications, and then it’s time for the honors applications. I had thought there would be more overlap in essay questions and short answers, but as it turns out, not so much. In some ways it feels too early to have everything at the beginning of senior year. But in a lot of ways I think it’s a good thing to push hard and then be done and not have to think about it for a few months.
  5. I agree with all of this and think I understand where you are coming from. And I appreciate you saying it. I guess I don’t understand what the back and forth in this thread, and some others I have read but haven’t participated in, is about then. I have never read a post here, including in this discussion, that says that -every- homeschooler must do DE, or any particular test other than SAT/ACT, to gain college acceptance. The answer always is, “it depends.” And there are things we just can’t know, like whether or not good grades in college classes helped a student who was on the border because she is not the best test taker. Or, does a particular school give only a passing glance to the homeschool transcript and base admission entirely on the ACT score. I completely agree with the bolded. My kids have taken some fabulous online courses that surpassed what they would have gotten in many schools, and a small minority that didn’t impress. But I highly doubt they make a transcript stronger. I have never signed up for one for that reason, but rather because we decided it was the best way to meet a need at the time. But again, is it true that no school looks upon them positively? Who knows, some may see online courses as a negative. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during some of those application reviews.
  6. To me, doing high school without outsourcing in any way (co-op, online, or tutors) would feel like swimming upstream. But it is my perception that more homeschoolers do DE and AP for credit reasons, to save on away college and graduate early, or be able to double major. Or because it is available and feels like the appropriate next step for the student. Not so much because of what colleges think. On this forum, it feels like a mix. It often feels like people say that these things aren’t necessary, but then their students actually do some of them, and/or have very high test scores and/or awards. I don’t think we can say that a sprinkling of De or AP won’t in fact help the transcript of the more typical average to above average applicant with solid but not tip top scores at the moderately selective school. Anecdotes are encouraging, but then we and our children have to live with the decisions we make based on them.
  7. The only brick and mortar school profiles I have seen that are three or four pages take a huge amount of space for a long list of colleges where previous students have been accepted, long lists of guidance counselors with contact information, graphs comparing SAT scores, that kind of thing. I did include grading scale and test scores. But we had some schools that didn’t use Common or Coalition, and I did not want to have two or three different profiles. I also have short profiles of the places where my teen took classes, but did that as a separate page, so it could just be ignored if admissions doesn’t care. Or that page could have gone with the course descriptions instead. I looked at many profiles online and noticed that the ones that were formatted nicely with a little bit of color, bullet points, insets, charts, columns, are easier to read. You can group certain things together or better highlight what you want to emphasize most, since it may be just glanced over or read very quickly. Examples:
  8. While I agree with this, there are articles around like this that are from colleges and universities. Google finds quite a few. And while I’ve not seen a college other than the one linked in this thread that required DE specifically, there are definitely schools that either have some extra requirements or at least suggest ways for homeschooled students to validate their transcript. That might be gradually changing. I hope so. University of Florida is one that has been mentioned here before. Drexel was one I remember seeing. A couple of years ago when I first started to seriously look at colleges, out of curiosity I looked at dozens of admissions websites throughout the country and made a list of the ones that outright stated or implied they wanted more from homeschoolers. I can’t find the list and don’t remember all of the schools now. It wasn’t extensive, but it was a solid number. And some may even have changed policy since then; schools do change policy all the time. Still, it doesn’t hurt for a parent of a ninth or tenth grader to look into schools of interest and see if there is anything like this that they may have to deal with. New York universities have been known for being difficult to deal with as an out of state homeschooler. Even a list of books and course descriptions is extra documentation that schools do not do. And the recommendation to explain why one homeschools in a school profile or counselor letter still makes it seem like an alternative choice that one has to justify, instead of just an ordinary educational choice like any private school would be. So it is easy to understand why some homeschooling parents feel insecure about making sure their students are competitive for colleges.
  9. It does seem like test-optional talk has been increasing the past few years. It also seems like fewer and fewer schools every year care about SAT subject tests and the SAT essay. I do think there are probably some schools for which kids routinely submit subject test scores even if not required. It isn’t changing anything for me. I agree with Roadrunner that gearing high school toward what a college might want isn’t a great goal. And you know, you could do every AP on the list and then in three years find out that the colleges your child likes aren’t really thinking highly of AP classes anymore (I actually think that IS going to happen eventually at some schools though maybe not in three years). I wouldn’t even consider dropping the SAT or ACT for a homeschooled student especially. We might or might not “need” to take AP or DE or subject tests to boost our chances for certain schools, but I wouldn’t count on colleges wanting zero testing from a homeschooler for quite some time, and even then I will only believe it when every school of interest says outright on their website that they do not want scores and please do not send them. My thought about the subject tests is that they are easy to register for and are about as low stress as you can get for standardized testing in high school. They could be a complete waste of time, or they could be a nice boost to the application when it comes time, depending on what other strengths the student has. But most schools really do not want them.
  10. I will say that if I had a teen that is not doing their best and is consistently giving what I consider to be “C” level (or worse) of effort and mastery in several areas, I would probably no longer be homeschooling them for high school starting the next year or next semester. Let the outsiders give them the grades that will wreck their GPA if that’s what they earned, but I don’t really want to be the one to do it. And there is also the possibility that they will work harder for someone else. Edited: I don’t know if anyone has seen Lee Binz’s holistic grading scale, here: It made me laugh that to think the first consideration could be how annoyed I am! I think even people who are completely holistic with grading might quibble with this grading method. Though maybe it gets pretty close to the grade a student would get with strict adherence to a grading plan and number grades, in a lot of cases.
  11. I tend to agree with EKS, but to a point. I think it’s somewhat family-dependent, maybe student-dependent. The mastery grades approach works best, I think, when you have a student who generally is bright and a diligent worker, tests well, and most of the time is hitting the mastery level at the outset. But not every child is like that in all subjects, and at some point, you can’t keep handing back the same paper for improvement and only finish two papers a year and say that’s an A. At some point, you run out of time and have to move on, and can’t re-do too many science topics until they can get an A on that test. And I know there are people who say, it doesn’t matter if you finish every book. But it actually does matter IMO that you do finish the part of the book that represents a typical coverage of that class at a high school level if you’re going to call it that on your transcript. And if a kid doesn’t finish a class until the summer mostly because they slacked off and learned that mom will keep extending deadlines, do they really deserve an A? I think there is a balance, where teaching to mastery is the goal, but I can’t embrace a standard that my child gets an A no matter what.
  12. The Coalition App is a little different. As far as I was able to figure out, it seems that you can only upload one transcript per school. If your student has a transcript for DE or another school, you can add the school and then upload a transcript for it. But since there doesn’t seem to be a way to add a second transcript without entering a different school name with a different College Board number, you can merge the transcript document with the course descriptions before uploading, or include the course descriptions with the school profile in the same document. Apparently they have made improvements for this year and for the most part, it hasn’t been too difficult to use.
  13. I put them with ninth grade courses, but with a superscript and note that these were courses taken before high school for high school credit but that I did not include them when calculating GPA. I did list grades so if a college would normally include them in college calculations, they could add them in. I was very conservative and decided to only include math classes, though I technically could have counted language and a science. I chose not to put the foreign language because it wasn’t one he continued in high school.
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