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My dd13 is asking about public school for next school year. She is a year ahead of age peers but I'm thinking the school won't have a problem since she will have completed a mostly traditional 9th grade year. I know the ps accepts the accredited classes from Keystone because I know a young lady who transferred her Keystone classes to this same school.

 

She hasn't been in ps since 5th grade. What advice would you give to her in starting school? She has no experience with multiple teachers and changing classes. The high school has about 2000 students. It's larger than anything she has experienced. She is worried about the work load and about being accepted by kids who have been together in school. It would have been nice for her to start 9th because she would be with peers who were all new to the school. She will be in 10th grade instead.

 

Her only present social opportunity is a weekly acting class. Our schools do not allow part-timers. We do have an organization that offers high school level classes but there are very few subjects offered. Also, the student count, from the last time we were involved, was less than 5 kids per class. It just isn't anything like being in a school. It's just a one-hour class per week.

 

What else would she need to consider? I'm not against it but I'm not certain it's the best idea. DH and I always said that we would let the kids decide on the high school years. I have no idea how to help her make this decision.

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My nephews attend public schools, at every level. Our high school offers summer school - not just for remedial kids but also for kids wanting to work ahead to graduate early. Might that be something you could consider for this upcoming summer, to sort of break her in to the school culture? Ideally -if it's offered- she'd make a few friends or potential-friends in a smaller environment whilst learning to navigate the building and transition between classes/teachers. It may excite her or deter her, but either way it'd give her a better basis to decide what she'd like to do next school year.

 

Do any of her acting class peers attend public or private schools? Might she be able to shadow one or a few, over a day or maybe even a week, at their respective schools? A meeting with the principal would be in order, maybe even a guidance counselor, and she'd get a good idea of work load and expectations.

 

Good luck to all of you!

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1. Ask to tour the school. Ask if your dd can shadow a current student. This is very common for kids who are considering private high school. It gives a sense of the school, the routine, etc.

 

2. Discuss placement with the school. Do they do tracking? What is their sequence for math, science, foreign language, etc? How does that compare with what she's done? What are her opportunities in her senior year if she goes in as 9th vs. as 10th?

 

3. Does it make any sense for her to do 9th, socially and academically? In my area, using math as an example, many high schools place 9th graders in either algebra, geometry, or algII based on a placement test and their previous experiences. Those who start later in the sequence are still 9th graders when they start but have more space for APs when they get to 12th. The honors/not-honors/other tracking decision is somewhat independent of the subject placement. Because of the tracking, an honors geometry class could be a mix of 9th and 10th graders. 9th would give her some breathing room given that she will have some adjustment academically and socially.

 

4. In many high schools, there is a wide range of what, say, 9th graders are doing. If she's ahead of the "average kid", it may still make sense for her to do 9th, because she might be on par with the "advanced kids".

 

5. With public school, if she hates it, you can always pull her out again.

 

6. What electives do they offer? If she has taken some 9th grade stuff already, can she take some electives to fill the "empty" spots?

 

Not trying to talk you into 9th, just detected some concerns about skipping to 10th in your post and wanted to flesh out the possibilities.

Edited by askPauline
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When is her birthday? When will she be 14?

 

Why does she have to be in 10th grade? I understand through Keystone she has earned some credits, but many kids earn credits in middle school. Did the school say she must come in as a tenth grader?

 

My oldest was young for his grade and started public hs after homeschool in middle school. He has a lot of organizational issues and is quite immature for his age. He's quite intelligent and the academic material in the most advanced classes was right for him intellectually, but the organization and maturity had a major affect on his performance. He's a senior now and I really wish he had another year. He really isn't ready for a traditional university. I started wishing for another year three years ago, when I saw how much his weaknesses were affected him.

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Our middle daughter stopped homeschooling and entered high school- a year ahead of her age. It was tough socially. She was too young to date and drive for quite a while after her classmates were old enough. Even though those two things weren't hugely important to her, she was teased about it. In high school. Sheesh.

 

She easily adjusted to changing classes and learning the high school routine. Your dd will probably do fine academically and since it's a larger school I'm sure there will be new 10th graders. And there will be lots of kids for her to befriend.

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He really isn't ready for a traditional university.

 

It was tough socially. She was too young to date and drive for quite a while after her classmates were old enough.

 

Yeah, I'd take a hard look at this aspect, from many angles.

 

As an example, a kid who entered high school with some credits already would probably have some space to spare in their senior year's schedule. That space could be filled with AP classes, enough to either give them some leeway in college, or perhaps even enough to let them graduate college one semester ahead of time, thus saving $$$$. PLUS they'd have a much more robust college application, due to the extra classes.

 

In the same vein, if they used the extra time to take electives, they could again have a more robust college application, because they'd have more time to build up a "minor" of sorts by taking electives. For example, a future art major could take a wider range of art classes (either in school or outside of school if they use study halls to get their homework done at school).

 

I would think very long and very hard about sending a kid to college early. It's the right fit for some kids, to be sure, but most can benefit in so many ways from the extra maturity, the extra experience, the extra academics, and the extra year under mom and dad's watchful eyes and loving guidance.

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Why does she have to be in 10th grade? I understand through Keystone she has earned some credits, but many kids earn credits in middle school. Did the school say she must come in as a tenth grader?

 

I agree. My dd has taken two full years of high school courses at home, but she is going in to private school next year as a 9th grader, because that's where she's at maturity-wise. As a pp said, there is a range of ability level in each grade, and this puts her in the accelerated group.

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My older two kids are probably going to high school next year.

 

They're going to shadow a girl (one each) next week.

 

They're going to take placement tests for math and Spanish - they should place in geometry (hopefully at least one will place in honors), and they'll be 1-2 years advanced in Spanish. I've been busy finding out what textbooks they used the past year to make sure we've covered what's on the exams they'll be given (due to topics being in different order, different vocabulary).

 

I would suggest for you to have her do 9th, but allow her to accelerate in individual classes. For example, Geometry could be a freshman or sophomore course here. They'll be 1-2 years ahead in Spanish. The school here is very agreeable to accelerating if that's the right placement for the child. But they'll be with other freshmen in English and History. There are plenty of more advanced courses and electives for them to take to round out the 4 years.

 

If my youngest goes to high school in a few years, she'll probably be even another year ahead in math. I actually had her ahead a year on paper too, but decided to put her back to her correct age-grade - that's where she fits socially, she's actually young for her age in that aspect. Giving her the extra year can only help her, I think.

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Night Elf: My dd13 is asking about public school for next school year.

 

I did exactly this. My daughter is one of the top students at her school and in classes with Seniors. She started Freshman year at age 13.

 

I regret this decision; you cannot escape cesspool values in public school and it has affected us. She has been exposed to things that I never dreamed would have occurred.

 

She hasn't been in ps since 5th grade. What advice would you give to her in starting school? She has no experience with multiple teachers and changing classes. The high school has about 2000 students. It's larger than anything she has experienced. She is worried about the work load and about being accepted by kids who have been together in school. It would have been nice for her to start 9th because she would be with peers who were all new to the school. She will be in 10th grade instead.

 

None of this will be any kind of problem. She will quickly figure out the whole changing classes thing. The work load will probably not be a problem for a homeschooler, as they are used to doing more and not being praised for every effort made above sleeping in class.

 

Her only present social opportunity is a weekly acting class. Our schools do not allow part-timers. We do have an organization that offers high school level classes but there are very few subjects offered. Also, the student count, from the last time we were involved, was less than 5 kids per class. It just isn't anything like being in a school. It's just a one-hour class per week.

 

You could always find other opportunities. I'm sure there is a large, academic co-op or some sort of hybrid school around.

 

What else would she need to consider? I'm not against it but I'm not certain it's the best idea. DH and I always said that we would let the kids decide on the high school years. I have no idea how to help her make this decision

 

Well, at this moment, I regret allowing my daughter to make this decision for the reasons (and so much more) detailed above. I just thought I'd throw this out there.

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I agree. My dd has taken two full years of high school courses at home, but she is going in to private school next year as a 9th grader, because that's where she's at maturity-wise. As a pp said, there is a range of ability level in each grade, and this puts her in the accelerated group.

Yes, this! Don't put her in with older kids! I would not, if I could redo it. I don't know if things would be different but I suspect so. A year of maturity makes a HUGE difference in high school.

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I agree with everyone who has posted that she would probably be better off socially, if she were to enter school as a 9th grader.

 

I know she'd be "losing" a year in terms of having already done 9th grade at home, but it might be a benefit to be a bit ahead on the academics, so the year won't be as stressful for her. Homework will be easier, and she won't have to study too hard for tests, so she will be able to relax and ease into the school situation, and have more time to make new friends.

 

Personally, I don't know what I would do. I know for sure I wouldn't put my son in public school, but I also have my doubts about private school, for the reasons TranquilMind mentioned.

 

Is she a super-mature 13yo, or is she still more innocent than the average freshman in high school? Has she been a bit sheltered, or has she been exposed to a lot of public school kids recently? I only ask this because some of the things I hear 12-14yo girls talking about at Starbucks would shock my ds12, because he's just not used to kids talking about s*x and cursing a lot, etc. (I'm not trying to scare you, but these types of things would be a big consideration for me in choosing a grade level, or even whether or not to send my child to ps.)

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All good points. Funny thing about grade level, she actually asked that very question this evening without knowing about your answers. With Keystone, she will have completed 7 courses before starting high school. She has completed two courses, is 5 essay questions away from finishing the 3rd, will have the next 3 classes finished in April, and the last by June. With Keystone, we enroll in a class as soon as one class is finished. If she goes to school, there won't be a need to enroll her in anymore classes as she finishes these.

 

Health (done)

Geography (done)

Algebra 1 (this is her 2nd year in this class because she did MUS Algebra first)

American History

Fine Arts/Music (she's on her end of course test)

English 1

Psychology

 

We talked about starting as a 9th grader but she feels like this entire year will have been wasted. She's been working hard in her classes. She's learned a great deal and has become a pretty good student. I told her it wouldn't be a waste because of the experience she has been getting in doing these classes.

 

She has a strong goal to finish high school and get into college as soon as possible. If she stays home and stays on the same track she has set, she will graduate at 17 yrs old. She's worried that starting over in high school will make her miserable because it will put her a year behind her goal.

 

We talked about the possibility that she can always come home again and just pick up where she left off with Keystone.

 

I'm really not worried about the maturity level. She's always been mature for her age. We're used to people asking if we're joking about her age. There isn't anything regarding s*x, drugs, or alcohol that she would hear from teens that she doesn't already know. We're very open with such discussions in our home.

 

I didn't know high schools would take credits from middle school and apply those to her transcript. I thought they determined grade level by the number of credits a student has. That would be very cool.

 

I've never heard of shadowing a student. I have no idea if our school is saavy like that. I will be contacting the lead counselor tomorrow to ask him these questions. I don't know if she will go or not but I feel like we need to start finding answers so we can be sure she's prepared.

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I actually began to homeschool by removing my older daughters from a public high school. The academic expectations were very low and the social environment was horrifying. This was in a small town rural area high school with about two hundred students per class.

If your daughter has done very well so far I don't understand why you would want to make such a change. I know that some public high schools actually manage to offer challenging courses but without having an opportunity to actually look over a course with the teacher and discuss scope and sequence, grading, and expectations I would tend to not believe that the course was as challenging as the school seemed to think it was. I also wouldn't care to subject any child to that kind of a social environment and I do not think that there is any benefit to that exposure.

I think a mature eighteen or nineteen year old is much better equipped to handle a well-chosen college and that this is a far better way to plan a 'group education debut'. The potential for lost academic time due to low standards and easy grades and the seductive attraction of negative social behaviors make public high schools off limits for my own kids.

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What else would she need to consider?

 

She needs to consider whether it would be worth her time to invest that large of a chunk of her life into an academic arena that may not be sufficiently challenging for her. Depending on what her goals are, going to public school may retard her progress or leave her underprepared for her plans.

 

Tara

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Is there another alternative?

 

Here we have a few Magnet schools and charter school options that I personally would prefer over the regular high school down the street. Our high school down the street is actually rated very high, BUT, there are still many reasons I wouldn't want my kids there.

 

I have actually told my kids that if they wish to attend high school, they are free to do so, but they will need to choose one of the alternative options.

 

One option we have here is an Early College program where the kids take 5 years to finish high school AND the first two years of college (for free!) We also have a magnet for students interested in Engineering and Computers, and a few others.

 

The caliber of kids who attend the optional schools is a bit higher from what I have seen. The parents have to make an effort to get the kids there, so they are more involved. The kids are a bit more driven and focused.

 

Just an idea.

 

Dawn

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If your daughter has done very well so far I don't understand why you would want to make such a change. I know that some public high schools actually manage to offer challenging courses but without having an opportunity to actually look over a course with the teacher and discuss scope and sequence, grading, and expectations I would tend to not believe that the course was as challenging as the school seemed to think it was.

 

Honestly, the level of academics would be the same as what we're doing right now. We use an online accredited high school that uses the same kinds of textbooks you would find in traditional high schools. I will not apologize for our choice. We like the school.

 

The social atmosphere is obviously a different story. It's not so much how the kids act, but the stereotypical atmosphere as a whole. My older dd attended this same school for a year before she started homeschooling. Her reasons for homeschooling were very different than why I've been homeschooling my other two for years. She was involved with a custody arrangement between her dad and me, and then dealing with the consequences for quite some time after it was resolved. But that's a different story.

 

I wish there were alternatives. I hate all or nothing. The only private schools in our area are religious and those are a definite NO. There is a program that allows juniors and seniors to duel enroll high school & college but we don't feel that is a good situation. Although my dd is really looking forward to college, it's the atmosphere she is seeking, not just to hurry and get in so she can get out. We want her freshman year to be a traditional expereince, living on campus and being a part of a learning community of peers that are grouped together for classes for the first year.

 

She may not go. There are compelling arguments against it. She's considering it because she is very unhappy overall. She likes homeschooling but she only has 2 friends, neither of which she sees more than once every couple of months due to their extremely busy schedules. They do talk on the computer almost every day though, but it's not the same.

 

It's a very serious matter and one we aren't willing to just make a quick decision on. We are trying to weigh all of the options. So far, we believe that if we make the decision for her to go, we'll ask to enroll her as a Freshman. Perhaps the credits she already has will just bump her into Honors or AP classes rather than be useless. That's something I will ask a high school counselor. I truly am grateful for the discussion though. It's hard to see everything from my limited viewpoint. I needed to bounce ideas around. :)

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Night Elf:

She has a strong goal to finish high school and get into college as soon as possible. If she stays home and stays on the same track she has set, she will graduate at 17 yrs old. She's worried that starting over in high school will make her miserable because it will put her a year behind her goal.

 

This was our plan too.

 

I'm really not worried about the maturity level. She's always been mature for her age. We're used to people asking if we're joking about her age. There isn't anything regarding s*x, drugs, or alcohol that she would hear from teens that she doesn't already know. We're very open with such discussions in our home.

 

I said exactly these words, almost verbatim. I was terribly mistaken about what she would hear and see from other teens and what kind of influences would gain hold. I hope this isn't your case, but I was extremely confident before I allowed my daughter to go to school too.

 

 

I didn't know high schools would take credits from middle school and apply those to her transcript. I thought they determined grade level by the number of credits a student has. That would be very cool.

 

 

My daughter's school would not accept high school credits completed before high school at home or even at her academic co-op where she received grade reports from "actual" (not Mom, and with education degrees) teachers.

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My daughter went back to private school for 9th grade and it was the best decision for her. She is 1000% happier.

 

I started public school in 10th grade (private school before that) and it was really hard. I wanted to start in 9th grade but it took me an extra year to convince my parents to let me go to public school.

 

I would start her as a 9th grader. I think she will find it much much easier socially to fit in.

 

My daughter is in private school so it may be different but you take classes based on your academics. So you could be in chemistry, AP history and Spanish 3 your freshman year.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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If social opportunities are a heavy factor, I'd make darn sure that I exhausted all the possibilities of expanding her horizons as a home schooler before putting her in school. Not because school is always an awful choice, but because it's a huge change from a hs'ing lifestyle, and changing the social issue is easier than changing your entire lifestlye.

 

Don't be restricted by what's available in your town. Expand your search. At one point, I was driving an hour each way, once a week, for a two-hour social opportunity for my kids. Currently, I drive about 45 minutes each way twice a week, once for a one-hour class and once for a two-hour class (plus other things that are closer). And we host a monthly teen social night at our house. Time-consuming, but less of a pain and much less of a lifestyle change than sending them to school. Is it possible to look further? Or to start something for teens? A lot of hs stuff is mixed ages, and that's great for some things, but I have found most hs teens are pretty desparate for events that are teen-only. Something that is strictly social gives you a much wider pool of potential people than a class or specific activity.

 

I also let my kids talk to strangers on the internet :D. We take precautions, we monitor, we discuss, and, for us, the potential risks are offset by the benefits of them an outlet for their interests, and people to talk to who share those interests.

 

That would be the first thing I would do. The second thing I would do is talk to the school, and start verifying what is and isn't possible, and what credits they will and won't accept. See if there's an entrance test (we have a statewide test after 4th, 8th, and 12th grades; no moving on unless you pass). Check on what books they are using, what kind of test scores they have, and so on. Do the academics meet your standards?

 

She will be in a mix of classes no matter how many credits she has at this point. Lots of kids do algebra and other classes in 8th grade, so a geometry class, for example, will generally be a mix of 9th and 10th grades.

 

If the school isn't on a block schedule, having 6 or 7 classes may be a big adjustment - she won't have the luxury of concentrating on and completing just a few classes per semester. In a big high school, it's generally no big deal if you don't know anyone from 'before,' but it does mean you might get lost in the crowd friend-wise if you don't put yourself out there by joining clubs, etc.

 

Have her think about the nitty-gritty of daily life in school, the details that go beyond what classes she can take. Will she be energized or exhausted by being surrounded by thousands of people each day? My kids have visited schools with me for work, and they know they couldn't stand the general noise and mayhem of a big school - rushing to classes, having the intercom interupt constantly, the decibil level of the lunchroom :tongue_smilie:

 

Will it drive her crazy to constantly be on someone else's schedule? Is she okay with giving up a lot of her free time?

 

I'm not arguing against school, and I think it can be the right choice for some kids, but it's not a decision I would make quickly or without all the facts, and definitely not without exhausting all the options if social outlets are the main factor driving the decision.

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It's a very serious matter and one we aren't willing to just make a quick decision on. We are trying to weigh all of the options. So far, we believe that if we make the decision for her to go, we'll ask to enroll her as a Freshman. Perhaps the credits she already has will just bump her into Honors or AP classes rather than be useless. That's something I will ask a high school counselor.

 

I think that's the right way to go. Just bump her up to honors classes - the classes she took this year could be viewed as 8th or 9th grade.

 

Algebra 1 (this is her 2nd year in this class because she did MUS Algebra first) - Many kids now take Algebra in 8th - my kids will also be taking Geometry as Freshmen. That's pretty "normal". Freshman Geometry will give her enough time to get to Calculus if she wants.

 

Health (done) - maybe you could get her a waiver out of this, or maybe they'll make her take it again. Here it's just a semester course anyway.

 

American History - this may well not line up with the school's history progression anyway. Kids here take World History in 9th. Have her do Freshman History, and do AP US History later.

 

English 1 - likely the Freshman English class there has a different book list. Taking Freshman English at the high school will also give her an idea of how they do things there, how they want papers written, etc. Just sign her up for Honors if they have it.

 

Geography (done)

Fine Arts/Music (she's on her end of course test)

Psychology - these three are all electives, so she wouldn't have to retake them. If she really likes Art or Music, there's probably plenty beyond what an online school offers. If she really liked Psychology, maybe she could take the AP in a couple of years.

 

What did she take for Science this year? That's another place I'd definitely want her starting with the Freshman sequence, unless she had a solid lab Science this year you forgot to include?

 

ETA: Also Foreign Langauge? I don't see that on what she's done already either. That's another place she'd be starting with the 9th graders anyway.

Edited by matroyshka
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The guidance counselor let him pick his classes. Honor's, AP, or whatever we wanted.

 

Many 8th graders enter 9th grade with high-school credits ( high-school math, science, and foreign languages are offered to 8th graders) and because of this they can either dual enroll in their junior/senior years or do a lot of elective and independent study during those years.

 

There are IB programs, AP/Honor's tracks, Dual-Enrollment, STEM opportunities in our school system. I think you need to visit the high school and get help planning out her four years if she attends. I was amazed at the variety of classes that were offered at my son's high school. If they count your daughter's keystone classes, she may have even more choices (electives and others) than most students.

 

Can you download a course catalog from your high school's website? The high school here has a website and it has a link to parent resources/planning that is very helpful.

 

I hope this helps.

 

K

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I think enrolling her as a freshman is absolutely the best bet, glad you're looking at doing that.

My ds went back in 8th to prepare for high school (we have schools that are not friendly to homeschooling and he couldn't take any honors in 9th without proving himself in 8th).

He had one high school credit going in from the algebra class he took - but about 1/2 of the 8th graders were in the same boat. It's becoming more and more common now.

I think the honors and AP classes will work out well for her, and she'll be a LOT more comfortable with her peer group.

Good luck in your decisions - it's tough.:grouphug:

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She likes homeschooling but she only has 2 friends,

 

It sounds like this is the problem. Going to school won't necessarily cure this problem. Perhaps more effort needs to be put into creating more social opportunities and friendships.

 

I have a dd17 in high school. She has been in school since 6th grade, for myriad reasons that are beyond the scope of this discussion. I will say, however, that having her in high school has convinced me ever more firmly than I already was that I will NEVER put my younger two in school.

 

Tara

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You may want to cross-post this on the high school forum.

 

We're in the middle of homeschooling 3 teens, which is not easy. Neither is public high school. Being ahead academically but behind socially is not really a healthy spot to be there.

 

Instead, I would consider dual-enrollment at the local community college (which two of ours have done). It would give her a substantial goal now, and put her in a more mature environment. Our local cc now caters to helping high schoolers transition. Sometimes it takes some research and extrovert-ness.

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I didn't know high schools would take credits from middle school and apply those to her transcript. I thought they determined grade level by the number of credits a student has. That would be very cool.

 

It depends on the school. The high school here will only apply Algebra I and Geometry taken in middle school and only if it was taken in a district school. They will not allow kids to take high school courses in middle school otherwise and will not grant credit for classes taken elsewhere, even through accredited institutions.

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She can go in as a 9th grader, and then graduate early if she wants, at the end of her jr year, as she will have the credits. Or, if she doesn't want to leave early she can stay and do a senior year. That gives her more options, if that makes sense. She could always do 10 grade english if she insists, but stay in honors 9th history, etc. It is common for kids to do Alg. 1 in middle school, so no issue there. And Psych and fine arts are electives, just take different ones. I did early enrollment to go to college at 17 and did not skip 9th. It is totally do able. Also the county paid for my freshman year of college that way!

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There is a program that allows juniors and seniors to duel enroll high school & college but we don't feel that is a good situation. Although my dd is really looking forward to college, it's the atmosphere she is seeking, not just to hurry and get in so she can get out. We want her freshman year to be a traditional expereince, living on campus and being a part of a learning community of peers that are grouped together for classes for the first year.

 

 

 

 

Early enrollment would meet that need well! I did it and lived in a dorm, on campus, and was totally immersed in regular college life. No one knew I was actually also counting those credits towards highschool. No one knew that my tuition and books were paid for by the county school board. It was GREAT! And I went back and graduated with my friends at the end of the year. (had I gone to a private college the school board would not have paid for the tuition, but I went to a state school so they did. Either way, she could still do early enrollment)

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If it would work better socially for her to start in 9th grade (if nothing else, that way she wouldn't be the "new kid"), then I'd consider starting her there.

 

:iagree: There's this too. This is factoring in to my decision to send them in 9th, rather than waiting - two middle schools are merging, kids come in from private schools at that point too, everyone's scared and everyone has to meet new people and make new friends. Coming in as a 10th grader when everybody already has made friends and being the "new" kid has got to be much tougher.

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I'd enroll her as a 9th grader. I JUST put my own daughter in high school as a second semester 9th grader. I should have let her go at the beginning of the year, but I was hoping she'd get over the urge :D

 

Through AP classes and dual enrollment, your daughter could still meet her goals of doing college by 17. She could rack up a year of college credits by the time she's 18 and enter college as a sophomore if she's determined. From her schedule, it looks like she'd still have plenty to do in 9th grade.

 

 

Health (done) Does she still need a P.E. credit?

 

Geography (done)

 

Algebra 1 (this is her 2nd year in this class because she did MUS Algebra first)In my daughter's school, they don't offer a class below algebra I. There are plenty of freshman in Geometry and Alg II.

 

American History - she could still take Am. Govt. Honors. That's a typical 9th grade course here.

 

Fine Arts/Music (she's on her end of course test) What about a music(instrument)or art elective to follow this up. We leafed that a few years of art is required to take photography at our school, so she may want more time for prerequisites.

 

English 1 - Can she enroll in AP English 9 so she can take that AP exam?

 

Psychology- What about Biology I honors? It's a typical 9th grade science that is usually required before she can take chemistry.

 

That's six 9th grade classes that she hasn't taken and some she'll need to complete before enrolling in tenth grade classes. That would leave her room for another elective too if your school does 7 classes a semester. I didn't realize until we enrolled my Dd that there were so many prerequisites for high school electives. Taking those AP Exams gives her a jump on college too.

 

Is her goal to begin college at 17? Or to complete college by 20? I'd lean towards finishing college early. That'll be the real money and time saver.

 

They actually placed my daughter in AP World History, but I pulled her because it ended up being a Junior class that funneled her into a Junior lunch period. She had enough adjusting without having the older lunch period!

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Is there another alternative?

 

Here we have a few Magnet schools and charter school options that I personally would prefer over the regular high school down the street. Our high school down the street is actually rated very high, BUT, there are still many reasons I wouldn't want my kids there.

 

I have actually told my kids that if they wish to attend high school, they are free to do so, but they will need to choose one of the alternative options.

 

The caliber of kids who attend the optional schools is a bit higher from what I have seen. The parents have to make an effort to get the kids there, so they are more involved. The kids are a bit more driven and focused.

 

Just an idea.

 

Dawn

 

This was my plan as well. My daughter is in a highly rated charter. Lots of kids there got booted from neighborhood schools so their parents enrolled them there, hoping that a change of pace would make a difference. For some it did. For others, no. Others were sent there because their parents wanted to get them away from the terrible influences in the neighborhood public school, so the kids simply brought their influences with them and began to influence new kids.

 

There are 50+ kids per night in required study hours because they are failing.

 

So, to the OP, really check out the school. There will be the official story, but there may be another story, as we have discovered. Sorry to be so negative. I just would have wanted to be warned.

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This was my plan as well. My daughter is in a highly rated charter. Lots of kids there got booted from neighborhood schools so their parents enrolled them there, hoping that a change of pace would make a difference. For some it did. For others, no. Others were sent there because their parents wanted to get them away from the terrible influences in the neighborhood public school, so the kids simply brought their influences with them and began to influence new kids.

 

Yup. My dd attends a public high school run by a local university. It is a TON of work to get in, both on the part of the parents and the students. The workload is also very high. Unfortunately, the school is so desperate to keep up its good image that problem/failing students are not expelled. The kids have to do 6 gateways, or projects, to graduate. My dd, a junior, is working on her 5th. Some juniors haven't even completed the first. Those kids should be gone, as should the kids who won't comply with the dress code, routinely skip school, disrespect the teachers, etc. But the school hangs on to them, believing that they can reach them, so they face the same problems your average school faces.

 

Tara

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I'll repeat what a previous poster said:

 

Health - I would try for credit for this, so as to free up time for either an elective or a study hall (which is useful for kids doing lots of extra-curriculars). However, it's a half-year course, so no big deal if it doesn't transfer.

 

Fine Arts/Music (she's on her end of course test) - Again, I would try for credit, as it will free up time in her schedule. If she's a music person, hopefully the school will have more electives so she can get more in-depth. If not, then good to have it done; she can use the time for other things.

 

Geography - This, in the high schools I'm familiar with, is generally a half-year elective that is used to fill in when someone needs an extra half-credit of social studies to graduate. It's not a course everyone takes. Nice to have if they can transfer *something*, and of course the info will be helpful in later history work, but not something critical.

 

Algebra 1 (this is her 2nd year in this class because she did MUS Algebra first) - Many, many bright freshmen enter high school having taken Alg1. It is not usually given as a credit, rather they get placed in Geometry as freshmen. This will free up time for AP math classes in the senior year, if desired, or more space in the schedule to concentrate on another area of interest.

 

American History, Psychology - Here, a typical sequence is World, American, AP US, US Government (1/2 year) + something else half-year (Psych, often) OR AP Gov OR AP World OR AP Psych. I would consult with the school as to how the Am Hist course she took compares with the courses they offer, and whether she'll be well prepared for AP US if she is likely to take it. Having these courses as actual credits, again, might free some space to take more in an area of interest.

 

English 1 - if you can get credit for it, she could potentially graduate early should she want to. But again, I'd compare the course with what the school offers. More writing/grammar/vocab can only help. If she can do honors, all the better, it might put her on track to fit in an AP class.

 

Science - none? Is it not an area of interest?

 

Foreign Language?

 

Basically, if she's aiming at an "average kid" education, she could go in as a sophomore and probably still earn enough credits to graduate. However, if she goes in as a freshman, she has the chance to be a much better candidate for college, and to potentially reduce college costs through AP credits and/or qualifying for merit scholarships.

Edited by askPauline
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Health (done)

Geography (done)

Algebra 1 (this is her 2nd year in this class because she did MUS Algebra first)

American History

Fine Arts/Music (she's on her end of course test)

English 1

Psychology

 

In all honesty, I would have her enroll as a freshman...and be in the advanced classes. She will not be "wasting" a year -- she'll be opening up opportunities she *will not get* if she enrolls as a 10th grader. Additionally, the students in the more advanced courses tend to be a bit more mature and serious (not a guarantee, as I know there are problems with drugs, s*x, cheating, and alcohol in all "tracks," it was just easier to find serious students in the advanced/honors track than in the others.)

 

For example, as a 9th grader your dd can take Geometry (I did, and that was back in 1985). Some of the classes she has taken (like Psychology, Fine Arts/Music/Geography) will probably take an "elective" spot (it depends on whether an equivalent course is available or not, or if it's a requirement in that district).

 

FWIW, the health course may *not* count at all if it's from a different state curriculum. I'm saying this as someone who had to take that course in 3 different states, because the credits would *not* transfer (I also had to take the HS exit exam in 3 different states :tongue_smilie:). Also, having already taken American History, she could ask to take a higher level history course (maybe even AP level)... additionally, she could wind up with opportunities to dual-enroll, take electives she wouldn't otherwise be able to take, and more.

 

Lastly, if your dd is insistent that she begin as a 10th grader... I would attempt to strike this compromise (with the school counselor's approval, transferring as many credits as possible): Start as a 9th grader in the advanced courses, and see how it goes. If at the end of the 9th grade year she still wants to "skip" a grade... than do so.

 

Part of the reason a child "wants" to attend high school is for the "experience." The academics can be done anywhere. When I made the choice between academics and experience, I chose academics and came home. The experience isn't always what it's cracked up to be, and even the advanced classes can be pretty lack-luster.

 

I'm a mean mom...my children won't get a choice, but my dd's friends tell her how lucky she is, and my oldest ds's friends usually come to that conclusion as well.

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Yup. My dd attends a public high school run by a local university. It is a TON of work to get in, both on the part of the parents and the students. The workload is also very high. Unfortunately, the school is so desperate to keep up its good image that problem/failing students are not expelled. The kids have to do 6 gateways, or projects, to graduate. My dd, a junior, is working on her 5th. Some juniors haven't even completed the first. Those kids should be gone, as should the kids who won't comply with the dress code, routinely skip school, disrespect the teachers, etc. But the school hangs on to them, believing that they can reach them, so they face the same problems your average school faces.

 

Tara

Hmmm. My kid has just applied to one of these prestigious schools for gifted kids in a university setting. It was eye opening to walk through the dorms and see what some of these kids are about by what is displayed. She only has a 25% chance of being accepted, statistically, but I suspect she will be accepted (very high stats).

 

I don't know if it would be better or worse. It's bad now.

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I don't know if it would be better or worse. It's bad now.

 

My dd has been in 3 schools: one for 6th and 7th, which then closed; one for 8th, and now high school. My experience with these three schools (a charter run by a college friend of mine, a district public school, and the university school) is that schools are schools and there are problems inherent in mass education and the concentration of large groups of children that just simply persist no matter what.

 

Tara

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I'm really not worried about the maturity level. She's always been mature for her age. We're used to people asking if we're joking about her age. There isn't anything regarding s*x, drugs, or alcohol that she would hear from teens that she doesn't already know. We're very open with such discussions in our home.

 

Hearing about such things is the least of what she might encounter. Going into 9th and thus taking higher-track classes will help somewhat.

 

Honestly, the level of academics would be the same as what we're doing right now. We use an online accredited high school that uses the same kinds of textbooks you would find in traditional high schools.

 

High school classes vary WIDELY. That's why many larger schools track. The expectations for an honors or AP class are VASTLY different than the expectations for the lowest track classes, even though the same amount of credits are awarded. The pace, the amount of homework, the amount of material covered, the complexity of the assignments, the level and amount of reading, the amount of teacher hand-holding, etc. etc. are significantly different. Do not assume that the Keystone classes are equivalent to an honors class in a good college-prep-oriented high school. Talk to the teachers, the guidance folks, the department heads, to get an idea of where her experience will place her and possibly if there is anything she can do over the summer to prepare.

 

I wish there were alternatives. I hate all or nothing. The only private schools in our area are religious and those are a definite NO.

 

I can understand this, but be sure you have looked carefully at them, and not just written them off on an impression that may be inaccurate. Many of the religious schools in my area enroll children of other/no faiths as well. They are used to being asked about the fit for a child who does not share their faith, and should be up-front about how it will be reflected in their curriculum and school culture.

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If social opportunities are a heavy factor, I'd make darn sure that I exhausted all the possibilities of expanding her horizons as a home schooler before putting her in school.

 

Oh I've looked and looked. I've been looking since the last time she tried public school at age 10. The opportunities I did find were religious in nature. The one exception was the homeschool organization I mentioned. She did take a few classes there and liked them, though she dropped out of a literature class because of the books being read. The classes are small with about 3 to 5 students. Most of it is geared to elementary school.

 

We aren't interested in taking 1 or 2 classes. That would just have her run in, be in class, and leave. We did that at the homeschool group I mentioned already. It is hard to meet people when the class time is focused on academics and there is no opportunity before and after class to get to know someone. She met her two best friends indirectly through that organization. I cannot drive long distances to get her to class. I also have to work with ds15 who requires a great deal of my time since he has issues with his school work. This is not an excuse. This is reality

 

Her ideal situation is a part-time school that has at least 2 full days, with the rest of the days working on assignments. When she was in the academic classes, they weren't enough academics to qualify as a class. We treated them like fun electives so she still had her regular work load at home. I found 2 places like that, both use religious materials.

 

I'm so jealous of those of you have so many educational opportunities! I looked up charter schools in my county and the only one listed is for kids who don't fare well in regular schools. It's for 10th - 12th grades. We don't have a magnet school in my county.

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Many of you are talking about Honors and AP classes. To be honest, we aren't all that impressed with that idea. It seems like a whole lot of extra work for nothing. I heard that just taking an AP class doesn't guarantee you'll pass the AP exam. Besides, I hate the idea of her testing out of any college courses. I still like the traditional progression of college classes. There is a difference between courses offered at each level in many courses. Also, although she is an independent worker, we're not certain she could handle those higher level classes, especially when she isn't used to being in school at all.

 

No, she hasn't taken a science course yet. With homeschooling, we don't have to worry about the traditional way of doing one social science and one science per year.

 

I did check the high school website. They have a 9th grade selection sheet:

 

English 1 (9th grade) or Honors English 1

Biology or Honors Biology

PE/Health

Coordinate Algebra, or accelerated.

OR Math II or Accelerated Math II if student took advanced math in 8th grade

3 electives. She would choose French 1, Technical Theater, and Fundamentals of Dramatic Arts

 

I'm surprised they do not have a social science in 9th grade.

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I feel your pain. The is no perfect choice. Even thiugh our county is known for excellent schools, i have the typical homeschooler's misgivings. Im also now coping with having a foot in each world because Ds is homeschooling. It helps that Dd can walk to school.

 

With my daughter, co-op just confirmed how much she really enjoyed having different teachers for different classes. (Gee, thanks kid.) She really wanted to expand her horizons even though we live in an area with plenty for homeschoolers to do. She wanted the school experience. After just one week she is in love with her theatre class. Yes, she participated in homeschool drama club plays, but they just don't stack up to having an entire theatre department at her disposal. Her class is bussing up to NYC to see Wicked! (Don't worry, they come home the same day.) The kid is hooked. It think that it helps that she seems to be fitting in to these classes just fine even though she joined second semester.

 

My son is becoming increasingly disabled as his muscular dystrophy progresses. I think my daughter was feeling the pinch of our family priorities shifting and our world getting smaller. She enjoyed a good 9-10 years where her education was the driving force of this family and that's just not the case anymore. She'd become a rather independent student the last few years out of necessity, and she's done well, but she really craves the classroom experience.

 

I WANT high school to go really well for her, but I won't be sad if she decides to come back home :-) We always have the option to homeschool if the grass isn't greener!

Edited by KungFuPanda
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1. Taking an AP class does not guarantee that you'll pass the exam. However, a decent school should be able to give you stats on how their AP students did last year on their exams, and also whether kids in the class are required to sit the exam. They can also tell you how kids qualify to take the class - can anyone take it, or only selected students? These are important questions to ask, I think.

 

2. Nevertheless, an AP or Honors class should be more rigorous than a regular class. Yes, the kid only gets the same amount of credits as a regular class. However: Honors and AP classes usually give a higher GPA for the same grade - an A might be a 4.0 for a regular class, a 4.3 for an honors class, and a 4.6 for an AP class. Ask about how they do this. A kid's class rank can suffer if they are not taking higher-level classes, even if they are getting all A's. AND - there is simply a higher level of content/challenge/expectations/learning in a higher level class. The child will get a better education in that subject; a better foundation for later work in the subject and for work in related subjects. For example, a child taking higher math will be better prepared for Chemistry and Physics classes, a child taking higher English will be better prepared for classes that involve writing (history, for example). And so on.

 

3. Competitive colleges want applicants to have taken the highest level of classes available to them. Choosing lower level classes if a student is capable of higher level ones puts them at a disadvantage in college admissions, and in merit scholarship money.

 

4. Nowadays, many or even most students at competitive colleges have taken a slew of APs. It is the "new normal" and the college curriculum is planned to take that into account.

 

I have to say the course selection sheet you posted does not inspire confidence in the school for me. I would do much more research - what are the smart kids in your district doing? Why are you against the dual-enrollment option you mentioned?

 

The path to college is not the same as it was back in the day. Things have changed. Doing some research as to the college end of things would be very helpful in your planning.

 

 

I did check the high school website. They have a 9th grade selection sheet:

 

English 1 (9th grade) or Honors English 1

Biology or Honors Biology

PE/Health

Coordinate Algebra, or accelerated.

OR Math II or Accelerated Math II if student took advanced math in 8th grade

3 electives. She would choose French 1, Technical Theater, and Fundamentals of Dramatic Arts

 

I'm surprised they do not have a social science in 9th grade.

 

Yeah, the lack of social science concerns me, as does the odd math course names, and only two levels of English and Science. Again - more research is needed.

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I see. that is not the case here. At least not with the ones I have looked into. The parents of kids at those schools (the ones I have met) are high caliber themselves and are happy with the schools where they have put their kids. In fact, many of them are former homeschoolers.

 

So, I have already done homework on the ones I am thinking of, but anyone should indeed do her homework.

 

Dawn

 

This was my plan as well. My daughter is in a highly rated charter. Lots of kids there got booted from neighborhood schools so their parents enrolled them there, hoping that a change of pace would make a difference. For some it did. For others, no. Others were sent there because their parents wanted to get them away from the terrible influences in the neighborhood public school, so the kids simply brought their influences with them and began to influence new kids.

 

There are 50+ kids per night in required study hours because they are failing.

 

So, to the OP, really check out the school. There will be the official story, but there may be another story, as we have discovered. Sorry to be so negative. I just would have wanted to be warned.

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My dd started public high school this year - similar size as your daughter's school. She had previously gone to private school and been homeschooled. I agree with the others who mentioned shadowing. I made my daughter shadow for a day just so she could see what a typical day is like and not be overwhelmed on the first day of school.

 

You are right that many of the kids already know each other and this has been difficult for my child because they already have established friendships. She still has close friends from her former school and she sees them after school but it can be lonely not having close friends during the day. Also, I know a lot think ps is easy but she really has a great deal of homework (more than her friends at private school). Your daughter does not need to enter as a "sophmore" but can probably take harder classes or classes that are more suitable to her level. I would probably advise her to try and join some sort of club or sport to try and make friends.

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My dd was homeschooled all the way through 8th grade and then decided she wanted to go to public high school. She was a year ahead of her age mates and rather naive. For her it wasn't a big deal and she just slid right in, found her place, and has been very happy and successful there. I'm one to not buy into the whole age thing - sure it matters for some kids, but not all kids. Matter of fact, most of her friends are a grade ahead of her making them 2 years older than she is. As a junior, the biggest difference I see with the age thing is that she is taking the ACT/SAT now and I'm pretty sure that if she was a year older, she would probably do better on them but she has still done well and I'm confident that she would not be nearly happy at high school if she was a grade behind. As it is, she is taking all of her junior and senior classes this year (when technically she should be in 10th grade) so she can study abroad next year without it affecting her graduating next year. You know your dd best.

 

As for your dd fitting in at the school, does she have friends that go there? Knowing that she has someone to eat lunch with or that she might see in the halls can be very comforting. Is it a school where kids in the same grade have the same classes? At my dd's school, many of the classes, especially electives, have kids from 9-12 in them with the exception of English and the higher level math and sciences. If your school is like that, it might not really matter what grade she is in. My dd had no problem switching classes or being in a classroom with 20 or more kids and she had never been to school before. The only real problem she seemed to have was figuring out the cafeteria so I made a call one day and spoke to one of the lunch ladies and all was well after that.

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My dd (14) is going to public 9th grade next year. I don't think she'll take honors or AP everything all the way through, but she's starting heavy. Here's her schedule:

 

English 9 honors

World History II honors

Biology honors

Algebra 2 honors

PE 9

French 2

Dance

 

She's starting high school with credit for French 1, Algebra 1 and Geometry.

 

My ds started public 9th grade 3.5 years ago. He was 13--he's the one I said wasn't ready for a traditional college. The problem is not intellectual. It is maturity. He continued through school at the pace suggested by this schedule all the way through.

 

His schedule was

English 9 honors

World History II honors

Biology honors

Algebra 2 honors

PE 9

French 4

Computer Science (JAVA) honors

 

Ds started public high school with credits for French 1,2, 3, Latin 1, 2 , Algebra 1 and Geometry. Those all appear on the transcript.

 

My dc are not unusual in the classes they take. Ds never wanted to be in non honors classes. He likes the level of intellectual involvement. Dd is taking honors classes more because the kids she knows who will attend the school she will attend will be in honors classes. I investigated getting her out of honors math, but the school advised me that would put her in a regular algebra 2 class full of juniors--the freshmen are all in the honors algebra 2.

 

If your dd enters high school as a 9th grader she has a chance to build a strong transcript. Taking AP courses demonstrates to colleges that the student is capable of demanding work and that the student does not avoid a challenge. AP is not just about placing out of courses.

 

If your dd enters high school as a 10th grader her transcript will not appear academically challenging. This will limit the colleges who will consider her application and will limit scholarship opportunities.

 

Now, where I live going to cc has become very popular. Our cc system has a direct transfer to state universities after 2 years and our state has a few universities that are nationally competitive. So, the cc program is a way to get the first 2 years out of the way cheaply and still get a degree from a great university.

 

If your dd's plan was to go the cc route, then I'd say starting at a 10th grader makes sense. Another reason to enter as a 10th grader is if she's a more reluctant student who just needs to finish (in other words not interested in future academic studies). Otherwise, I think she's better off in grade 9, by age and academic standards.

 

Do you have an idea of her post high school goals?

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But I did want to write to describe our situation, by way of reassurance. My middle son went back to school as a high school freshman this past fall. His school is different from yours in some ways, and similar in others. He attends a math\science magnet. He also was out of school for several years-he came home starting in fourth grade.

 

He's had a good transition, very good. Our school is *challenging.* The kids are basically all college-bound and the teachers simply don't take any crap from anyone. They have fairly high standards. It is utterly unlike the school I attended for high school. My son has made friends, and has greatly benefitted from answering to someone other than Mom-someone who, fortunately, is not too easy on him and mostly doesn't accept excuses or substandard work. It sounds like your daughter is more mature than my son...

 

So I'd summarize that for us, the transition to high school has not been without its bumps in the road-ds had to learn to keep track of many things, turn in his work consistently, etc., and he rose to the occasion, eventually! I think he misses having so much freedom and free time. The benefit for him has been partly social, and in the years to come, it will be in the form of opportunities his school offers that it would have been very hard for me to offer: the opportunity to do research and enter national science competitions, chiefly. So far, it has been a good transition. I hope your daughter has one too. And I know I always have choices now. Best wishes.

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Many of you are talking about Honors and AP classes. To be honest, we aren't all that impressed with that idea. It seems like a whole lot of extra work for nothing. I heard that just taking an AP class doesn't guarantee you'll pass the AP exam. Besides, I hate the idea of her testing out of any college courses. I still like the traditional progression of college classes. There is a difference between courses offered at each level in many courses. Also, although she is an independent worker, we're not certain she could handle those higher level classes, especially when she isn't used to being in school at all.

 

No, she hasn't taken a science course yet. With homeschooling, we don't have to worry about the traditional way of doing one social science and one science per year.

 

I did check the high school website. They have a 9th grade selection sheet:

 

English 1 (9th grade) or Honors English 1

Biology or Honors Biology

PE/Health

Coordinate Algebra, or accelerated.

OR Math II or Accelerated Math II if student took advanced math in 8th grade

3 electives. She would choose French 1, Technical Theater, and Fundamentals of Dramatic Arts

 

I'm surprised they do not have a social science in 9th grade.

 

I'd definitely think twice about the honors courses, and check out the different classes carefully. ime, college prep students are not going to be challenged by non-honors courses, and they are less likely to find like-minded peers there. If she's a strong student and/or tests well, I think lots of colleges will be taken aback if she doesn't have a strong core of honors classes.

 

Is that the entire list to choose classes from at that school, other than electives? I wouldn't be too wild about the fact that freshman are offered 3 electives but no social studies course. Actually, it surprises me so much that I'd probably call the school and make sure it's not a typo, lol.

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Do you have an idea of her post high school goals?

 

We have a couple of 4-year colleges in mind. My dd19 was accepted to one with a less than stellar high school plan. (3.3 GPA, no extra curricular activities, average SAT score) These schools are not top tiered. I highly doubt there is mega competition to get into them. :)

 

I'd definitely think twice about the honors courses, and check out the different classes carefully.

 

I know. I hear you. I'm just saying that I highly doubt my dd will be able to handle anything more than a regular class. In fact, I'm worried about her handling the regular classes! The work she is doing at home is made easy by being all open book. She's gotten really great at writing essays though.

 

Is that the entire list to choose classes from at that school, other than electives? I wouldn't be too wild about the fact that freshman are offered 3 electives but no social studies course. Actually, it surprises me so much that I'd probably call the school and make sure it's not a typo, lol.

 

I know! I was so surpised, but I did see it in two places in the paperwork. The sample schedule showed one elective as a half credit World Geography course. I've never seen that class as only a half credit. My dd19 took that class as a full credit in the same county when she was 14 yrs. old. The paperwork says only 3 social sciences are required to graduate so I guess they start students in 10th grade.

 

Honestly? I'm not a big fan of this idea. DH thinks it would be good for her, especially because they can offer her more than we can. Nothing has been decided but both DH and dd13 seem to be looking at the positives while I can't help but dwell on the negatives.

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