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So, what are my options for High School?


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So, LOTS of questions! My kids are way too young (4 and 2) for me to be making any concrete plans, but I like to stew on things well in advance. So basically, I'm wondering this:

 

1. Do most of your high-school students do independent study or correspondence? What are the general pros and cons of each?

 

2. If your student utilizes correspondence coursework, is it just for some subjects, or for all? Why have you chosen that route?

 

3. Are the "real" diplomas/transcripts provided by correspondence schools a real advantage, or do most colleges now allow for portfolios and other alternative proofs of work?

 

4. How about community college work? Are ninth (or tenth, etc) graders too young for that? Does taking some general classes at a community college ease the way into a university?

 

5. Anybody make use of the public high schools for AP classes, etc?

 

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Background for anyone interested:

 

DH was home-schooled through high school and had an overall positive experience doing correspondence with American School, but he doesn't really remember a lot of details. He's not sure his grade were particularly high, but he did some general studies at a community college in TX, which then afforded him instant acceptance to UT Austin, which was his school of choice.

 

A friend of mine enrolled her 10th-grade twins this last year in another similar correspondence program (starts with "Ash...") and had a terrible experience with lack of feedback on grading, inept customer service, etc. In the end her twins got mostly B's, which was a disappointment to all after the straight A's they got during 9th grade in public school. She's worried taking them out of public school was a big mistake GPA/transcript-wise.

 

I had a great experience in public high school. Lots of AP classes, high-school classes that counted as community college credit, and community college classes that counted as high school credit. Lots of fun, too, to be honest! I'm all for home-schooling in the younger grades, but I don't have my mind made up about high school yet!

Edited by Alexa
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We have done a complete mix, and this works for us. For example, one of my daughters in one year has taken a couple classes at the public high school, a couple of college courses online, a high school course online (through an accredited public high school), and a couple of plain ol' homeschool courses :-) .

 

Though most of them were done in our home, they were all transferred to our local public high school at some point. The online college courses and the online high school course automatically forwarded her transcripts to our public high school. I also transferred her homeschool course transcripts to our public high school so they could keep a record of it there.

 

In the end, she will be able to get a degree from our public high school, even though she took only a small number of classes on the campus. We did this with our other kids too, mostly to give them different options. My kids were all interested in studying abroad at some point, and we didn't know if homeschool degrees were accepted there or not.

 

However, it seems to me that most colleges these days accept homeschoolers quite willingly.

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You DO have a long time before you have to worry about this!

 

High school choices really depend on what your teen wants to do about college. In California, for instance, you can NOT go into a UC or Cal State school as a freshman unless you have a transcript and diploma from a WASC accredited high school. The UC system especially has a stranglehold over the high schools in the state, controlling even text book choices of school districts. IF your child wants to attend a CA public university starting as a freshman, they either have to attend an accredited charter school or umbrella school (like American School, I think) OR they start in the community college and transfer.

 

Most private colleges, and many public state colleges welcome homeschool students with home made transcripts and diplomas. The college forum here has all kinds of success stories of independent homeschoolers heading off to all kinds of terrific universities.

 

We've been with a public charter for high school until this year. At its best it offers a nice hybrid of school and homeschool -- with yearbooks and dances that you'd have in a school, and the academic flexibility of homeschooling. My kids really did not care about the trappings of public high school, and have been so busy pursuing their unique interests that they don't want the bother of AP classes or other high school tracks. My youngest is 15, starting community college and will be finishing his homeschool career outside of the charter. The oldest graduated from the charter. Both will transfer from community college.

 

It really will boil down to what your kids want and need.

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I think that by the time 10 or so years pass, you will have opportunities for high school none of us have dreamed of yet. Homeschooling has changed profoundly over the past 10 years and I'm pretty confident in my opinion that it hasn't reached anything like maturity yet.

 

Barb

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We haven't done any correspondence work and probably won't.

 

We haven't done any online classes and probably won't.

 

My high schoolers mostly work independently, but I have done some things as an actual class. Last year I did a literature analysis class with my two older girls together using Windows to the World. This year I am doing physics as a class with my 10th grader and a 9th grader. I plan to do chemistry and precalculus as actual classes next year for my middle dd.

 

We will definitely use dual credit as much as possible. Where I live, you have to have finished 10th grade to do dual credit, but you can take up to 2 classes each semester at no charge. After you have completed 12 credit hours, you can request approval to take more than 2 classes/semester if your gpa is at least 3.5 and you have high enough test scores (on the COMPASS or SAT). My oldest took one class between 10th and 11th grades, two classes each in fall and spring of 11th grade, one class between 11th and 12th grades, and is taking 4 classes this semester in 12th grade. She will have to request approval again to take 4 classes next semester. We have to pay for the extra classes, but that's still a bargain. My dd has loved all her classes so far.

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I think that by the time 10 or so years pass, you will have opportunities for high school none of us have dreamed of yet. Homeschooling has changed profoundly over the past 10 years and I'm pretty confident in my opinion that it hasn't reached anything like maturity yet.

 

Barb

 

 

:iagree: It doesn't hurt to think ahead a bit, but enjoy them - they're only little once. :)

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First, please realize that your dc are young, and who knows what will change between now and the time your dc enter high school. You may have opportunities that we can't imagine now. But here are my answers.

 

1. Do most of your high-school students do independent study or correspondence? What are the general pros and cons of each?

 

I have graduated 3 dc, hsed the entire way. None did independent study or correspondence.I bought curriculum or designed it, depending on the course. They did take lab science courses from an amazing woman who loved to teach sciences to hsed students. They did most their work independently and had a weekly assignment sheet to work from.

 

2. If your student utilizes correspondence coursework, is it just for some subjects, or for all? Why have you chosen that route? N/A

 

3. Are the "real" diplomas/transcripts provided by correspondence schools a real advantage, or do most colleges now allow for portfolios and other alternative proofs of work?

 

In our experience, no college asked to see a diploma. Colleges just wanted a transcript, not a portfolio. I prepared my dc's transcripts, and all colleges accepted them. You can prepare a transcript yourself. My dc did have SAT or ACT scores to submit to back up their transcript grades, and they all took community college courses, so the cc transcript was also sent to colleges. I see no advantage to paying for a correspondence school to send you a diploma and prepare a transcript unless you just don't want to/can't do it yourself for some reason.

 

4. How about community college work? Are ninth (or tenth, etc) graders too young for that? Does taking some general classes at a community college ease the way into a university?

 

This depends on the 9th or 10th grade student. Some are ready for college level courses, and some are not. You have to make this decision individually for each of your dc. One student may be ready for an English course, but not a math course. There is no solid answer. My dc started taking cc courses in 10th grade, the grade when our cc will admit them. I think it did help them because they were introduced to different teaching styles, schedule, level of content, etc. They also applied to colleges with many college credits already, verifying their high school transcript and showing they were prepared for university level work. My dc went to college knowing what to expect and had an easy time compared to many of the other students who struggled with time management, no reminders of when to turn in assignments because they had never used a course syllabus before, etc. Again, this will vary by student and possibly by community college. While not for every high school student, taking courses at a cc can be advantageous as long as you do your homework and be sure that those courses will transfer to a university.

5. Anybody make use of the public high schools for AP classes, etc?

 

We didn't. First, it is not possible in my state. Hsers can't do anything with a ps. Secondly, we weighed the benefits/drawbacks of AP vs community college, and the cc won out. My dc received credit for their courses when many of their friends who took AP courses did not. Not all universities give credit for AP test scores, but my dc took cc classes that were guaranteed to transfer to universities. Plus, my dc preferred to take a class and know their grade all along instead of study for a full year, then have everything rest on their score on one AP test. The cc was more of a sure thing.

 

 

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