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  1. anyone get panicky just thinking about high school? I was/am confident teaching all the way to 6th. I am semi confident with teaching my middle schooler. She is doing quite well I still have nagging doubts mostly because things haven't gone the way I wanted them to go. One more year and she is high school and I am having doubts. I just cannot think past 8th grade. I feel like I don't know where to start or if I really can teach her. I told my husband I wanted to teach up to middle school and then I wanted to teach until high school. Things happend and she did go part time to school and really liked it but rather be home with us and just go for music. I just have no confidence with High School just around the corner.

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I was getting very panicky about it, high school here doesn't start until grade 10 officially, so I had sometime (the kids are doing grade 7 & 8 this year), but I was worried that I was not going to cover the right things in junior high to be on teh right track in high school. Diplomas in my province are issued by the gov't with much hoop jumping, no mom diplomas or transcripts allowed. Anyway, I had been in a tizzy about it, and kept researching until I learned 2 very cool things that took all my stress away and made me excited for high school.

 

A) in my province you can start earning high school credits as a homeschooler as soon as you are in 7th grade. Courses are recorded on the transcript as level 10, 20 or 30 so it doesn't matter when you took the courses just that you did.

 

B) my kids despite their delays in some subjects have actually met the requirements for their first credits. Under the subsection of CTS courses, they get 1 credit for first aid/cpr with aed and they are just starting an online class called workplace safety systems that gets them 1 credit. That course is the prereq necessary for my son to claim his working hours at his job for credits under teh class work experience, work experience. As well my daughter will have the req completed for dance 15 which gives her 5 credits thanks to the rigorous dance program she is doing this year.

 

Next year my kids will be enrolled in grades 8 &9 and will earn an additional 24 credits for ds and 19 for dd.

 

In my province you need a minimum of 100 credits including PE 10, English 30, social 30, CALM 20, 2-30 level sciences, math 20 and a 30 level foreign language.

 

My kids will earn PE 10,Latin 10, French 10 all for 5 credits each, son will get a minimum 5 credits from work experience if he keeps his job, plus 3 credits for art 10 and 1 credit for personal finance.

 

So in grades 8 & 9 they will be well on their way to their high school diploma already while still working on catching up in their delayed subjects.

 

It's hard to be scared of high school when your kids will have completed a minimum of 25% of it before they even begin high school.

 

The funny thing is my initial fears were about whether or not they could get into university and then we found one that takes homeschoolers based on portfolio, letter of recommendation and just the english 30 class. I decided a month ago I wanted them to get a full diploma just in case they want a different college and that's when the panic really set in. Now that I am calm about it and have no worries, both have announced they plan to apply to the army for armored (their dad's old unit is what they are hoping for). You only need grade 10 to join the army. They will still get the full high school diploma, but why couldn't they have decided that before all the late nights worrying about whether or not I would miss something preventing their graduating or post secondary options.

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and before you know it your child is 17 and applying for universities

That is exactly what happened here. Now she is 18 and in her 2nd semester at community college! I used http://www.narhs.org/ and she graduated in 3 years. It was expensive for the hand-holding/accountability. But we both needed it. I highly recommend their "First Great Book of High School Course Descriptions" -- it got me beyond the textbook=credit notion I had.

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The high school board seems intimidating at first, but folks are very helpful there. I would start reading it regularly.

 

Homeschooling high school is time consuming. It can be expensive but it does not have to be. You and your student need to figure it out together. This is critical. If your teen is not engaged with his courses, you'll have problems. I'm not suggesting that you only allow your teen to follow his bliss. What I am suggesting is that you look at text books or Teaching Company catalogs or library shelves with your teen and ask him "Do you want to read Sophocles or Euripides?"

 

Nan in Mass has a great thread for parents of 8th graders, reminding them that your 13 year old is not your 16 year old. You will be amazed by the growth and maturity during those years! (Unfortunately the search function on this new board is wonky. I am not having any luck finding the thread but will carry on.)

 

LoriD has assembled lists of helpful things. Read her posts!

 

Edited: Found it!! Read this thread!

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Just take it one step at a time. A number of my local friends bailed because they were nervous and just plain tired, but I'm loving homeschooling teens. They are mostly independent, and I read the essays, grade the tests, and serve as the cheerleader and bill-payer. Quitting wasn't an option, and I'm glad that we are going to finish the job.

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Oh - I started in panic mode when DS was in 7th, really. But yeah - 8th grade was scary!

You're in a great place now. Start deciding on what skills you want to brush up on next year that will help with the high school work load. Organizing and study skills, note taking, basic essay writing, etc. Really depends on where your kid is at :)

HS is intimidating; it still is half way through DS's Freshman year (my other DS went back to PS). I'm relearning with DS, spending a LOT more time actively teaching, and making very god use of the two full-sized white boards we now have, lol.

Plan on spending more $$ for supplies, more time planning, more time teaching. Start making a 4 year plan now, to be sure you get in all the credits required locally.

Spend a lot of time reading the high school boards :)

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I started dipping my toes in the high school board when ds was in 7th grade. It really helped. If it appears overwhelming, that's okay. Everyone approaches high school a little differently. Start with the posts Jane linked.

 

I started a binder for myself. Ideas that I didn't want "lose" but wasn't ready to really think about. Ideas, state laws, Guidance counselor stuff. It helped.

 

I found a philosophy of education I wanted to follow, I had lots of discussions and negotiations with ds (he was born negotiating!) and our first year of high school is a real reflection of my ideals and his interests.

 

9th really isn't that huge of a jump from 8th, it's like getting in a pool slowly. We're not in the deep end yet, 11th and 12th still look a little scary, like the deep end of the pool. As a wonderful poster on the high school board pointed out, a 9th grader is not a 12th grader. There is a lot of growth that happens in that time period.

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Year 7 flowed on from year six, and before you know it your child is 17 and applying for universities

 

 

This is how it worked for us. There is nothing magical about high school. You need to keep good records if your child wants to go to college, or even if they don't so they can if they change their mind.

 

High school can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. It can be time consuming, but it doesn't have to be. It can also be the most enjoyable part of homeschooling.

 

Don't be intimidated. Just be prepared. Hang out on the middle school and high school boards. The middle school board will help you make sure your student is ready. The high school board will carry you through.

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I think a lot of us are/were nervous about highschool.

 

Once I started researching credits, programs, transcripts, and the like, the nervousness went away. Now I am really excited for this fall!!

 

I armed myself with information and that gave me the confidence I needed to realize that I CAN teach highschool. So that would be my recommendation to you...start researching and start with whatever is making you the most nervous. For me, it was transcripts. Once I got that figured out, all the rest seemed easier.

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Well you know what SWB says... You're nervous and worried because you CARE so much. :)

 

I thought about posting a "let's all freak out about high school" post myself a while back, and now I'm feeling more chilled (almost, haha). Your peace will come too. There's just a learning curve and stuff to think through. Read Debra Bell's book and download a couple SWB/PHP convention talks, and you should be fine. You're really just taking the next step in what you're already doing. It's just that the steps have more *consequence* and you see the end coming...

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Welcome to high school planning!

 

We all felt that panic as high school approached, but it's really not so bad as you think. Just take one step at a time, and before you know it you'll be sailing along smoothly! As a previous poster said, 9th grade is just the next step -- just like each grade before was just the next step up. You just have the added job of "guidance counselor/administrator", in that you'll also need to start keeping records, and slowly begin to look ahead to beyond high school to help see what you need to accomplish during high school to be ready for it.

 

And there's lots to look forward to in homeschooling high school! Your student becomes more independent; you have great discussions about everything; you see your student blossom with interests and career possibilities; through your student, you get exposed to great extracurriculars you never knew were out there...

 

Here are a few past threads on sharing fears about homeschooling high school -- and moving beyond those fears!

 

To all you people with 8th graders...

Soon to be a high schooler

Talk to Me About... High School Fears

Homeschooling High School

 

 

I found it helpful to read some books on homeschooling high school, to start getting a handle on the types of things I would have to know about, and when. Here are some good ones -- your local library may have them:

 

- Homeschooling the Teen Years: Your Complete Guide (Cafi Cohen)

- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens (Debra Bell)

- Home Learning Year by Year (Rebecca Rupp)

 

 

Start spending time reading threads on the High School board, and asking a few questions, a little at a time. Here are some helpful past threads to get you started in planning high school:

 

- My son is starting high school

- High school curriculum -- where do I start

- Homeschooling high school... where to begin?

 

 

Also, these websites are very helpful resources:

- HSLDA (series of articles on homeschooling high school topics)

- Donna Young's website (free downloadable forms for recordkeeping, transcripts, etc.)

- Home Scholar (Lee Binz = free articles and video tutorials on recordkeeping and transcripts)

 

 

Do you have a homeschooling group in your area? See if you can talk to a few homeschoolers who have graduated students from homeschool high school, or are in the midst of high school for some great, specific info for your area. Here's a list of Virginia groups. Also, check out your state homeschooling group for information and resources; here is the Home Educator's Association of Virginia.

 

 

Come on in -- the homeschooling high school water is fine! ;) Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

PS --

Not trying to talk you into homeschooling! Every family's needs are different, and homeschooling high school is not the right route for everyone. So it's good that you are thinking about whether or not to proceed with it. In case it is of help, here are a few past threads on the benefits, the pros and cons, some of the realities, etc.:

 

25 reasons to homeschool high school

Pros and cons of homeschooling high school

Why homeschool high school? (and post your reasons)

Why homeschool high school -- I don't want to... or do I?

Please tell me again the reasons why I should homeschool high school

Aside from academies (what are the benefits your family has experienced from homeschooling high school?)

Please tell me the benefits of homeschooling high school

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DH says not to worry until next summer and to get thru this year and next. I cannot do that.

 

For some of us, researching, learning and questioning is like therapy for anxiety that might come before a big life decision. The more we understand/know the more settled we become. If you really are troubled by it, grab a cheap spiral notebook. One the front in black Sharpie write: When I homeschool for Highschool I will remember. On the back cover write: When My Kids Go to Highschool I will Remember. Then, each day you can spend just ten minutes. If you find something that fits first the first statement, write it on the front side of notebook pages. If you find something that fits the second, write it on the back side of pages. By summer you will find your own personal resource to make your decision. You will know you thought about it, contemplated. You will have something to look back to either decision you make and consider as you go. Sometimes doing something productive takes the edge anticipatory worry.

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thanks for all the links. DH says not to worry until next summer and to get thru this year and next. I cannot do that.

 

If you are anything like me, the worrying does not stop until I have researched and planned. With a plan I have a course of action, and with that course of action all worries melt away. If I don't it remains unknown territory and that makes me worry more.

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thanks for all the links. DH says not to worry until next summer and to get thru this year and next. I cannot do that.

 

 

Reading and researching in advance is not worrying! In fact, it takes the worry OUT of the equation, because you are finding out exactly the information you need to know in order to make a good decision and move confidently into that path. :)

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Thanks for all the great links here. I am feeling like I need to get my ducks in a row also. My main questions about it are in regards to making transcripts, etc, that are acceptable by more selective schools. DS is a science/engineering person and I just want to be sure that he has any doors open that he might want to pursue. I've also heard about other kids who wanted to enter high school in the middle of it, for example in 11th grade, and they were at a disadvantage because the school wouldn't accept the work they had done previously as a homeschooler and had to repeat things. That would absolutely infuriate me. DS has considered school before, but I guess I am wondering if we kind of need to decide before we get to 9th grade, like if it's all one way or the other. I would be glad for him to homeschool for all of HS, I just don't want him to suddenly decide in 10th or 11th that he wants to go to school if there would be problems with credits, etc.

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My main questions about it are in regards to making transcripts, etc, that are acceptable by more selective schools. DS is a science/engineering person and I just want to be sure that he has any doors open that he might want to pursue. .

 

How to say this...hmmm... A couple of years ago I went to a meeting of homeschool moms who had kids in college to answer questions from those considering homeschooling high school. I was lucky to have stumbled onto it and gone. The moms were great in that they brought exactly what they used, the transcripts, sample aps and all sorts of real stuff they as real people used. They were "LoriD style prepared/organized" (bows to LoriD).

 

I was comforted....shocked...amazed...encouraged. Honestly, when I had my hands on the transcripts, saw the photos of their kids at X schools...it just became real and doable. These kids were at some fine schools. The transcripts and such were not fancy. I knew the families, knew it was legit and it really just gave me a giant chill pill that has made me realize it is doable and I can do it.

 

If you are able to link with local folks and meet families who btdt, it will help.

 

edited to correct a spelling

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I've also heard about other kids who wanted to enter high school in the middle of it, for example in 11th grade, and they were at a disadvantage because the school wouldn't accept the work they had done previously as a homeschooler and had to repeat things...

 

I guess I am wondering if we kind of need to decide before we get to 9th grade, like if it's all one way or the other...

 

 

It really depends on the individual school district's policies. For some, yes, it is an "all or nothing" prospect. But that same policy holds true for public school students transferring from another state, or even a nearby, but different, school district. This causes families who move during the student's high school years a lot of difficulties.

 

Some school districts do allow credit -- but only for each subject test the student takes and passes with a specific grade; so, for example, to have the previous Biology credit count, the student would take the school's Biology final exam and have to pass. And so forth. Again, problematic for the junior who took coursework back in 9th grade and has to test 2 years later to "prove" credit-worthiness...

 

Other school districts are very open and non-restrictive. I'd suggest speaking with the particular school(s) your son might attend to find out their specific policies. Then you'll know for sure before you even reach high school whether or not a brick-and-morter school will be an option for you during high school.

 

 

No need to panic, though! There are other options as well, if homeschooling is not working out, but the local public high school is not an option:

 

- local private or charter school (may not have the same policies)

- public high school in a different district (requires a long drive, but may be worth it)

- dual enrollment through the local community college

- online classes for specific subjects

- distance learning high school (American School, for example)

- hire a tutor or someone to oversee your DS's schooling

 

 

My main questions about it are in regards to making transcripts, etc, that are acceptable by more selective schools. DS is a science/engineering person and I just want to be sure that he has any doors open that he might want to pursue.

 

 

The simple solution is to tailor a transcript specifically for each school DS applies to in order to show DS's credits and accomplishments in the way each school most prefers to see it. You are not changing what DS has actually done; just formatting specifically for each school.

 

Simple things like naming your homeschool, and even creating a "logo" to put on the transcript and diploma can add an "aura of authenticity" (lol) that may be helpful. The transcript is a list of courses, grades and the final GPA -- where you can really make DS "shine" is in the list of course descriptions you write up, showing materials used and level of rigor.

 

For selective schools, you might also want to do some advance research on whether or not they accept transfer credits (community college science classes) -- apparently, some universities are very picky and do NOT want to see science credits from a community college on the transcript for a student going into medicine.

 

Doing a few AP classes and tests would be a good idea to boost DS's "marketability" to more selective schools. Also be sure DS does some extracurriculars, as many selective schools like to see that the student has high academics AND is well-rounded. Paying for a good SAT prep class can really pay off in a high SAT or ACT score, which helps for college admission, but also for scholarships.

 

I remember reading that someone on this board had a DS who, while in high school, did some sort of internship or worked with a science professor at the local university -- not only is that great education, but translates into an experience that is a cut above when applying for a selective school, and also should result in a wonderful letter of recommendation for DS. So you might see what you and DS can work out at the local university or community college when DS is a junior/senior.

 

 

You may need to jump an extra hoop or two going the STEM and selective school route, but it shouldn't be unreasonably difficult. Many other WTM parents have successfully gone this route before you, so just post your questions as you go! :) BEST of luck to you and DS in your high school adventures! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Thanks! yes, I love the idea of him being able to do an internship in a local lab. I hope that can happen for him! We have two universities and a small private college too, so I feel like we have good opportunities. My one concern about things I've read here is the issue of community college. It seems like here that seems to be a common route for advanced students, they just start taking community college classes in 10th or 11th grade, and in another city close by it's even more common, some doing it as early as 13. So I'm really torn about that. Because that seems like a great way for them to take courses with labs that I might not be able to provide as well for him. Would that really look poorly on a transcript to a major science/engineering school?

 

Also, it seems like grades would just be so subjective. I would think that maybe if you don't necessarily have grades on your transcript, that other more objective measures, like scores on subject or AP tests, would serve as a good account of what the student has learned. Am I right in thinking that, or not so much?

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Also, it seems like grades would just be so subjective. I would think that maybe if you don't necessarily have grades on your transcript, that other more objective measures, like scores on subject or AP tests, would serve as a good account of what the student has learned. Am I right in thinking that, or not so much?

 

 

I see it this way. Public schools (or privates for that matter) have no monopoly on quality. I have literally seen two schools, housed on the same campus be vastly different in terms of quality. Even within a school, quality varies. The same teacher can be better one year than the next. If colleges don't know that then good grief! The thing is they do know that.

 

A balance on the transcript that reflects a big picture is the goal. If a student sports three AP test results of 5 in three different areas, solid SAT/ACT and maybe an online class or CC class, don't you think it says something about the transcript generally and the standards/expectations of the school? That is just one example, but the transcript reflects a snapshot of the student and it with all that surrounds it tells a story. The story may say that the student was a go getter or it may say they did what they had to, you really can tell from the whole thing overall.

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My one concern about things I've read here is the issue of community college. It seems like here that seems to be a common route for advanced students... Because that seems like a great way for them to take courses with labs that I might not be able to provide as well for him. Would that really look poorly on a transcript to a major science/engineering school?

 

 

 

I think the key is to research the specific community college's reputation -- find out how many and which credits transfer from the CC to the local university. FaithManor on this Board says the CC in her area has such a poor reputation that it would not be good to take even dual enrollment there. On the other hand, where we are, the CC has a good rep, and even has a special transfer agreement with all of our state's public universities, that any class that is listed on the specific transfer list that is taken at the CC will transfer as credit to any of the state universities.

 

You'll have to do some checking around to find out the situation specifically for your CC. I always start with local homeschoolers who have students a few years older than mine, and see what research they've already done! ;) However, if it is a common route for students in your area, then that's a very good sign.

 

 

Or, take the dual enrollment at the local university instead, if possible. I believe Regentrude on this board has a DD doing that.

 

And yes, that would be a great way to expose your student to solid science labs. If you have a decent CC, then science and computer classes taken there will probably look GOOD on your DS's transcript, rather than be a problem or looked down on.

 

Again, the only problem I am hearing about is students who want to go into Nursing or Medicine are advised to NOT take the chemistry, anatomy, etc. at the CC and transfer the credit to the university, as some universities are picky about those particular courses for students going into medicine. I believe what families have done in that particular case is to take the science at the CC, and then count it only as high school science credit -- not make it dual credit.

 

 

Also, it seems like grades would just be so subjective. I would think that maybe if you don't necessarily have grades on your transcript, that other more objective measures, like scores on subject or AP tests, would serve as a good account of what the student has learned. Am I right in thinking that, or not so much?

 

 

 

I'm not really hearing any problems with colleges accepting homeschool grades; and definitely not, if you are backing them up with SAT/ACT and AP scores. If you are using standard math and science programs, I don't see how those are going to be subjective grades -- either the student completes the homework and passes the tests/quizzes, or doesn't. ;)

 

Yes, Literature, Writing, and History can be a bit more "mushy" for grades -- but as long as you lay out clear guidelines of what constitutes the grade in advance, it shouldn't be a problem for universities to accept it any more than they accept what the public school teacher decided how grades were awarded. In case it helps, below are some guidelines for grading from a packet I put together for our homeschool group.

 

Hope that helps! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

 

Grade Earned

Determine grades by a combination of your pre-determined requirements, such as:

 

1. quiz and test scores

2. completion of daily assignments

3. completion and quality of hands-on activities

4. completion and quality of project(s)

5. papers (writing responses, term papers, essays, research papers, creative writing, etc.)

6. books/articles read

7. effort

8. attendance (often part of the grade for a public high school or community college class)

 

B. Grading guidelines for GPA

1. HSLDA website = http://www.hslda.org...gGuidelines.asp

 

C. Record Keeping for Grades

Keep records which verify the grade you award to each class.

 

1. national test scores

2. class quizzes, tests

3. graded papers

4. samples of daily assignments or work

5. samples of graded work

6. photos of projects, student participation, etc.

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I kind of don't like the idea of giving him grades myself. Maybe this is something I need to get over. But we haven't done grades at all in the younger years. I realize that he will have grades when he gets to college, but I just like homeschooling because he gets to work on something until he fully understands it and then moves on.

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Oh wow, that is super helpful about grades! Thanks so much for sharing that! I was also hoping that he could use the CC classes as the "graded" classes on his transcripts, and then the other things that he does independently could maybe stand on their own, backed up by scores on subject or AP tests. Does that seem reasonable?

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Oh wow, that is super helpful about grades! Thanks so much for sharing that! I was also hoping that he could use the CC classes as the "graded" classes on his transcripts, and then the other things that he does independently could maybe stand on their own, backed up by scores on subject or AP tests. Does that seem reasonable?

 

 

 

While I do think you can use pass/fail for some types of courses, I don't think you can go entirely pass/fail and rely only on outside classes and test scores for grades and a GPA.

 

You can pay a grading service if you would prefer to not be the grader, if that would help you feel more comfortable with the idea of grades.

 

 

Just a few thoughts on some pros and cons of grades vs. pass/fail (obviously, I am more "pro-grades", though I have no problems with pass/fail for a few things):

 

Grades are for your student's benefit. Grades help prepare a student for having their work evaluated by teachers other than mom -- and throughout life, having their work evaluated by employers or potential employers. Grades allow you to honor your student's true efforts with an accurate reflection of their work. Grades can encourage a student to achieve more -- why work extra hard if just getting by gets you the "pass"? Grades can also be a warning sign to both teacher (parent) and student that extra help is needed, and can help the student be eligible for special outside-the-home helps.

 

Grades are for the benefit of colleges, extracurricular programs, scholarship boards and other outsiders to more clearly see your student's true working level. For example, an honors designation for a class can only come be awarded if you are grading the class. And a diploma can only include "honors" or "with high honor" if the student has a GPA (usually something like: 3.50 and up = honors, 3.75 = with high honors). The GPA allows a college admissions officer or scholarship awarding board to be able to distinguish between students. If everyone has "pass", you have no way of understanding if the student just barely cleared the minimum requirements, or put in a huge effort and did honors level work -- how do you determine who to admit into the outside-the-home extracurricular or honors program, or into the college, or to give the scholarship to?

 

I would weigh the pros and cons of grades vs. pass/fail, and see what others have to say about grades vs. pass/fail, how they went about grading, etc. Some great ideas about how to go about grading to give you some confidence about doing so, if you choose to. ;) Here are some threads to get you started:

 

If you don't give your DC grades in high school, what does their transcript look like?

Grade every assignment or just overall subject grade

How to figure GPA when some courses are pass/fail?

Help with high school grading scheme

How do you calculate GPA with a pass/fail class?

 

 

Anyways, just some more things to think about. And possibly consider trying out some grading and record keeping now in middle school just for practice to feel your way to what is comfortable and helpful for YOUR family by the time you actually reach high school. :) BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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I think the key is to research the specific community college's reputation -- find out how many and which credits transfer from the CC to the local university. FaithManor on this Board says the CC in her area has such a poor reputation that it would not be good to take even dual enrollment there. On the other hand, where we are, the CC has a good rep, and even has a special transfer agreement with all of our state's public universities, that any class that is listed on the specific transfer list that is taken at the CC will transfer as credit to any of the state universities.

 

You'll have to do some checking around to find out the situation specifically for your CC. I always start with local homeschoolers who have students a few years older than mine, and see what research they've already done! ;) However, if it is a common route for students in your area, then that's a very good sign.

 

 

 

Yes, the community college I work for is a "no problem" school. We routinely send students to "public ivies" (i.e. nationally ranked state schools) and several big name private schools in the region. We do a "transfer fair" in the fall that I've been to, and I've asked a number of the reps what they're looking for in terms of homeschool admissions.

 

And every one that I've talked to has said that the biggest factor for homeschooled students is test scores. The transcript should be decent-looking and provide enough detail, but the reality is that the decision really hinges on test scores and the overall picture versus the transcript. They know that homeschoolers generate their own, but they've told me that brick-and-mortar transcripts aren't that critical either because there's grade inflation there too. The only way for them really to compare apples with apples is to look at the test scores, which includes AP, CLEP, SAT Subject, etc. Dual enrollment is good for homeschooled students, but they admit plenty of student without it if the have AP, CLEP, or SAT Subject scores instead. You basically need to give them solid proof that your student is ready for college work, and there are multiple paths toward that end.

 

And don't do dual enrollment until you are ready, and start with one class in an area of strength. I'm going back-and-forth with a 16 y.o. homeschooled student now that will probably get a "C" at best. They gave me quite a sell job about being academically ready and mature and planning for medical school, but the reality is that they are overwhelmed with the amount of work and deadlines. About half of their work doesn't get in on time, and they are constantly asking for exceptions (which I can't do without being unfair to the rest of the class). They went from being homeschooled to taking four classes at the community college, and I think it was just too much.

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And don't do dual enrollment until you are ready, and start with one class in an area of strength

 

...the reality is that they are overwhelmed with the amount of work and deadlines ...

 

They went from being homeschooled to taking four classes at the community college, and I think it was just too much.

 

 

Very wise advice on dual enrollment!

 

Our DSs weren't ready until senior year (age 17-18), and only did one class the first semester. Both succeeded very well with that! Other homeschoolers I know did one class at age 14 and did well. But almost across the board, those homeschoolers who jumped in and did more than 1-2 classes for the first semester or two went under and ended up having to withdraw from a class, or pull out entirely.

 

Lots more terrific advice on all areas of dual enrollment in the series of linked threads in this stickied thread. :)

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Thank you for all of these great things to think about. (OP, I hope I haven't detracted from your original intent of the thread!) I think that my own issue with grading is this. It is so subjective. Even what is, on the surface, an objective measure, such as a math test. That should be easy, the answer is either right or wrong. But, honestly, one math test might be comprised of problems with much greater difficulty than another math test covering the exact same topic.

 

When I was in college, I had a physiology professor who had been at the university a long time and was well known for his grading methods. He practically failed everyone in the class all semester long and then added a curve. Honestly, I think the average grade on a test, or a good grade actually, would be in the 60s. This is why I just have a hard time with grades. I feel like they are so subjective across a spectrum. And for topics like writing, I feel like, who am I to say your writing is an A or a B. Beyond looking for certain things that should be an acceptable level of quality, like spelling, format, paragraph construction, number of sources, etc. I mean, if the paper meets all the requirements of what you asked for, then what makes a paper an A- or an A+? It seems that tests like the SAT or the subject tests, while a lot of that is still how well the person tests, it is at least objective in the fact that everyone across the nation is taking a standardized test at the same difficulty level and covering the same material.

 

I am really just thinking out loud here, and I know this is the idealistic part of me talking. I remember hearing about a college where no grades were given at all. The student and instructor would meet and discuss the student's work and decide when they were ready to move ahead.

 

I'm really not against grades, and I know he will have grades at college, and it's probably a good idea for him to get used to that system. I am torn about it though. If I grade too harshly, then my child is put at a disadvantage to someone else who might have figured out how to do what they needed to do to get a good grade in school. And the opposite too. Also, I want him to be learning to absorb the material and not be worried about "what do I need to do to get an A". Because I feel like that was the mainstay of my high school education. I don't think I learned much of anything in high school, other than what I needed to do to get good grades and test well.

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I understand your discomfort with grades. Just one thought... You can include grades on his transcript without making it a big focus of your homeschool. What many homeschoolers do is set the expectation that an A is the grade awarded for mastery and you don't move on from a subject until he has mastered it.

 

While some homeschoolers do opt for a totally ungraded transcript it can create headaches. There are some schools that have minimum GPA requirements for particular programs and they may accept a homeschool GPA but may refuse to accept a student with no grades. Also, some scholarship programs, including National Merit, expect to see a transcript with grades.

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Our experience with Chalkdust Algebra has convinced us to homeschool high school. She would never do as well if I didn't watch the videos, have the solutions manual, and help with homework mistakes. How do kids learn from their upper math homework mistakes without a solutions guide!

 

I made my only b's in upper math in high school. I have all of the notebooks. Ridiculous careless mistakes over and over. I could have nipped many of them in the bud before they became habits if I had careful oversight.

 

Also, our local high school has so, many pre reqs for AP classes, she would only be able to take 4, and many woud be virtual, which doesn't have a success rate like Penn. Homeschoolers.

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  • 11 months later...

Wow it's been nearly a year since I wrote this post.  We are still undecided about what to do with homeschool. Quite a bit has happen too.  I am still homeschooling my children but they all do go to a cheap co-op once a week and my oldest goes to a pricey co-op for music. We are waiting until after this year is officially over to decide what we are going to do. We know about our current co-op but will be checking out another co-op plus we are going to tour the high school which I have been told by many that it's the best one in the city we are in.  (that was one long sentence)

What I do know is I will be teaching my younger two for the 2014-2015 school year and my oldest will either move on by going to a school twice a week or five days a week.

I am thankful to have one friend who is going thru the HS years now and has sent me some links.  I have two who have graduated their first children from homeschooling.  The only issue is that none of them live near me or in the same state as me :( Most homeschoolers here are at my level or lower. 

 

Just curious if anyone else is still undecided or nervous about High School.

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Wow it's been nearly a year since I wrote this post.  We are still undecided about what to do with homeschool.

 

... We are waiting until after this year is officially over to decide what we are going to do. We know about our current co-op but will be checking out another co-op plus we are going to tour the high school...

 

... What I do know is I will be teaching my younger two for the 2014-2015 school year and my oldest will either move on by going to a school twice a week or five days a week.

 

... Just curious if anyone else is still undecided or nervous about High School.

 

Sounds like you've been able to do a bit of research about local options, and know you have some helpful outsourcing resources. :)

 

Now that you're closing in on the reality of high school next year, maybe this is the time to start reading, a little at a time, some of the threads, books and websites linked higher up in the thread? Being informed of what is needed for high school AND the many options available to you, may help move you from "still undecided and nervous" to "knowledgeable and excited". ;)

 

BEST of luck as you move into planning for high school! Warmly, Lori D.

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LOL, yes, I panicked when my oldest was in 6th grade (could I prepare him for HS?) and in 8th grade (could I teach him for HS?), and occasionally still have mini-panics...my kids are 9th and 11th now!!

 

Honestly...you just do the next thing, which is what you've always done. You might not have known how to teach a child to read, but you learned how, you found curriculum that worked, and you did it. Or you might not have known potty training or baby care, or what an X-year-old child should be able to do...but you learned those things and walked alongside your children.

 

High school is like that. Maybe you don't know what they need to get into college. So read up on it. You can do that. Look at colleges you might be interested in and see what their requirements are. Most, unless you are looking at some really high-end schools, have fairly similar, routine requirements--things like 3 years social studies (many don't even specify US or World), 3 years science/2 with labs, 4 years math, 4 years English...etc...  

 

And, you think about what your child is interested in. There is leeway in topics (my son has done robotics for science, and is doing a semester of Japanese History, for example). Talk about it with your children, find out what they would like to learn, and find ways to make it happen--maybe just like you've always done, or maybe this will be new. That's ok. 

 

And most of all...enjoy your children. We only have them for these few, short years. And when they are in high school, the years of them being home seem so, so short. Don't miss those years by worries and fears of your own inadequacy. Don't make decisions out of fear. Likely you'll do some things well, and some not as well--that's pretty much life, isn't it? You won't mess them up, and you have this incredible opportunity to share with them on a near adult level the things you are passionate about, and to learn what they are passionate about, and to develop a deeper relationship that is moving towards friendship.

 

Think of high school as walking alongside your child to help him or her achieve his or her goals. And if your child has no idea about the future? That's ok too. Many of us don't--again, that's life. So just set your children up for the possibility of open doors.

Merry :-)

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Seconding Jane in NC's post shown here:

 

The high school board seems intimidating at first, but folks are very helpful there. I would start reading it regularly.

...

Nan in Mass has a great thread for parents of 8th graders, reminding them that your 13 year old is not your 16 year old. You will be amazed by the growth and maturity during those years! ... Read this thread!

 

Regards,

Kareni

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