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My special needs son is behind.  He'd like to graduate on time but he's not doing high school level work yet; just beginning to now.  I'm not quite sure how to award credit to him.  We would rather not go the route of a special needs diploma especially since given enough time, I'm sure he'd be ok.  He might just have to take an extra year or two to graduate.  His goal, as of now, is to either attend Community College or possibly a tech school.  

 

So, can I award high school credit for remedial work or should I wait until he's actually doing high school level work to give credit?

 

Thanks for any advice,

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What exactly do you mean by "remedial work"?  The reason I ask is that if you're using these boards as a gauge of what high school level work is, you might be calibrated a little high and your son could be closer to the mark than you think.

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Yeah, I know what you mean having been here a long time, but he's definitely "behind/remedial".  For example, math, he's just finishing up MUS Gamma.  He's 10th grade so should be in at the very least, Algebra.  He has diagnosed dyscalculia though, among other things.  I do expect/plan for him to make it through Algebra I before I would consider graduating him, but it will take a while for him to get there.  So can I give him credit for say Basic Math as he works through Epsilon or Zeta or Pre-Algebra?  He'll put in the hours, but those aren't exactly high school level.  Same goes for his other subjects.  I'm just not sure what I can call a credit and what I can't.  For writing, can I call Writing with Ease I, II and hopefully III part of his high school english credits?  See what I mean?

 

If he wants to go to CC, he'll have to take the P.E.R.T. in order to get in.  I was thinking of working backwards from there and once he can pass that, I would award him his diploma.  Does that make sense?  

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My dd also has dyscalculia. I wrote our umbrella school about it and was told that we can award credit for general math.

 

She's a freshman, but she's currently working through CLE's 700 series. It is my hope that she'll be ready to begin Algebra I midway through her sophomore year. 

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I don't mind a calculator, unfortunately, I don't think it would help.  He has trouble conceptually with math as well as rote memorization.  He finally gets things, but where it might take someone else a year, it takes him two.  As he's gotten older, he's actually gotten better at it and I foresee it going faster for him each year but that only just started recently.  I can't make his brain take in the info any faster or it's wasted time.  I'd rather he know general math inside and out than rush through to Algebra.  

 

I'm good with him going at his level and pace so long as he's progressing.  It's just his wanting to graduate June 2016 and me seeing that is next to impossible.  I don't want him to give up because it's taking longer than he'd like.  He already has a "Eeyore" personality.

 

Thanks everyone.

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Lucidity, does your state do any sort of paid DE at the cc?  Some states pay for the DE classes and come cc's give half price to high school students.  So while it might meet an *emotional* need for him to graduate on time, there might actually be some financial advantage to adjusting his grade somewhat.  You could maybe set 2016 as his time to begin DE and pass that pert/entrance test, have a REALLY GRAND PARTY for now I'm starting DE, but keep homeschooling, kwim?  

 

Also might be wise to get him some career counseling.  I haven't been in your shoes, but it sure sounds like he's sprouting and wanting some independence.  

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You're exactly right OhElizabeth - he's sprouting and getting independent and more mature.  He's really doing great.  I like you're idea of making his "graduation" date be his DE date, and if he's really embarrassed with his friends and our family, we could still have his graduation but let him finish up his credits on the side.  

 

So, just to be sure, everyone is basically giving credit for "time served" during high school regardless of content?  For example, I'm thinking this for math:  General Math - 1 credit, Pre-Algebra - 1 credit, Algebra I - 1 credit, possibly geometry - 1 credit or do you think I should try to stick with the "public school" track of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and one other credit?

 

Thanks,

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You're exactly right OhElizabeth - he's sprouting and getting independent and more mature.  He's really doing great.  I like you're idea of making his "graduation" date be his DE date, and if he's really embarrassed with his friends and our family, we could still have his graduation but let him finish up his credits on the side.  

 

So, just to be sure, everyone is basically giving credit for "time served" during high school regardless of content?  For example, I'm thinking this for math:  General Math - 1 credit, Pre-Algebra - 1 credit, Algebra I - 1 credit, possibly geometry - 1 credit or do you think I should try to stick with the "public school" track of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and one other credit?

 

Thanks,

Yes...Give him credit for the math that he can do.  Math affects sciences too, so you'll have to adjust in that area.  Physics for us will be Conceptual Physics.

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I was also thinking of conceptual physics.  Right now the plan is physical science, biology and one of his choosing but I think he'll choose physics.  I'm very glad to know I can give him credit for his work though; that makes a huge difference.

 

Thank you,

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Cynthia, I was skipping your credits question, because I don't think you're gonna like the answer.   ;)  Where I worked (at a university, evaluating transcripts) we *did* get transcripts with non-high school level work.  They were usually homeschool transcripts that had that, and we had to mark it off.  In other words, where I worked non-high school level work would not count toward meeting entrance without deficiencies.  (notice the very precise wording)

 

So what you need to do is look at the school where you're wanting to send the transcript and see what they require for units (academic and non-academic) for entrance without deficiencies and make sure he ends up with enough to meet those.  For instance, where I worked, iirc, the total was 14 academic units to enter without deficiencies.  An academic unit would be math, science, history, that sort of thing.  Non-academic would be art, Bible, choir, PE, and so on.  So yes you put on what he does, but that doesn't mean all that work will count toward meeting entrance without deficiencies.  The college/university will feel themselves at liberty to apply red ink to your paper and tally it a different way.  

 

Also note that they'll generally be looking for 4 years on the transcript.  I would keep track of everything you're doing now, but you might find a couple years from now that things sort of evened out and you were able *not* to count the work he did say last year or this year and just count 2014, 2015, and the two years of DE, kwim?  And I'm saying that because it *might* let you feel less pressure, if that makes sense.  That doesn't work out well if he decides he wants to high tail it in 2016 and he doesn't have enough units to enter without deficiencies with what he has done.  But if he's on a nice escalator, getting to his destination, and he AGREES to that mix continuing through 2018 or whatever (meaning really you might not have work until next year on his formal transcript), then that would be an option.  Or something more middle of the road, like only planning 1 year of DE plus you (since I think kids quickly get the idea and want to move over to full college) and chart out what you have to do to have the minimum number of units of high school level work with that year of DE and the 3 years prior.  Might make this year's work a non-issue, kwim?  I've lost track of your timeline, but just play with it and see, if that makes sense.

 

There are ways around all that (how you organize the transcript, etc.), but just play with it.  If you have the minimum number of academic units he needs with fully high school level work (meaning you can't count pre-algebra, sorry), then I wouldn't sweat the non-high school level work.  He is who he is.  Main thing is not to let the total academic units go below the minimum to enter without deficiencies by inadvertently planning on having non-high school level work count toward it.  (You put it on if he did it, but that doesn't mean they tally it.)  On the other hand, don't look at xy genius child doing such and such at age 2 and conclude your work isn't high school level work.  Physical science is still very common for 9th.  Algebra 1 is high school level.  You'll even still find schools that do earth science for high school.  If he's in high school (age) and doing english you design, give him the credit.  The ps stuff is so crummy, don't undersell yourself, kwim?  If you want to toss that physics and do a semester of geology, semester of astronomy (or something that interests him), you can totally do that. Pre-algebra, anything remedial or before algebra 1, that's where you're going to get docked.  Actually where I worked consumer math didn't count toward academic units either.  Weird, because some consumer math curricula are very rigorous!!  So just work the numbers, see where you're at, and don't undersell what he's doing.   :)

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Oh, sorry to be technical, but you are required to put a graduation date on a final transcript.  When you apply to a cc or university, you're typically still in high school, still earning credits, and there might be an anticipated date posted (and marked as such).  However the university will expect you to send in a final transcript when he graduates, and that's supposed to have a graduation date on it.  It's a little incongruous to "graduate" him and still continue to acquire credits.  I wouldn't offer that.  

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Great advice OhElizabeth.  What exactly does deficiencies mean?  I can't seem to find on our CC's website their actual credit requirements.  It just says to submit transcripts and take the PERT or SAT/ACT.  Do you know if colleges, particularly CC, would have a problem with his age on the transcript? 

 

Also, as for graduation, I meant just for him to go up during our homeschool group's graduation ceremony so he can walk with his friends.  I wouldn't actually consider him graduated officially at that time but basically it would be like graduating from homeschool to dual enrollment.  

 

I really appreciate your time in writing out all that information.  I don't have to like the info.  ;)  I just need to know it.

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If a university admits you with deficiencies, it means you make that work up at the university, taking remedial classes, but they don't count toward your degree. 

 

If you shoot for 14 academic units, you're going to be fine.  Remember that can include a foreign language too.  So if he did 4 units history, 2 units math, 2 units foreign language, 4 units english/lit, and 2 units science (all high school level), then he has his 14 academic units.  So if he does 4 years of math and only *2* of them are high school level, he can still be FINE under that scenario.  

 

We're saying all this, but I want to say something more encouraging.  I think it's very important to grow him and nurture him and develop him into he's MEANT TO BE.  I DO NOT think every person needs the same transcript or same progression or same outcome.  I don't think college is right for all people.  My brother, presumably with the same IQ as I have (as in went to gifted schools, could be in Mensa) never went to college and lives a happy life working the job he apprenticed into and FISHING.  He's living the way he wants that suits him.  

 

Don't get so caught up in a particular high school diploma or particular laudable outcome that it sort of frustrates him and makes him feel like he's not working toward HIS goals.  This is really the time for HIS goals to become obvious and for you guys to work together to create an approach that helps him achieve them.  Around here we have vocational schools where people do 1/2 academics, 1/2 work, and these kids MAKE MONEY, thrive, grow, and graduate with the ability to work and achieve the lives they want.  Shove that same kid through some rigorous diploma program, and what has he got?  A diploma that fit someone else and won't help him feed himself.  

 

The goal is to blossom the child.  If fancy this or that is not doing that, then redefine the classes.  The goal is to help him blossom.  This week I was looking into certified florist classes for my dd.  Seriously, do something that makes him blossom and find a way to tweak the academics so they flow in with that.  

 

What you're doing, I'm sure you're doing great.  I just thought you'd appreciate the reminder, after getting all stressed thinking stuff is not good enough.  As long as he's growing into who he's meant to be, it's GOOD ENOUGH.   :grouphug:

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Total aside, but have you looked at the GA PBS classes for chem and physics?  I got the Hewitt Conceptual Physics books through the library, and they're fine, great, and all that, but there's still a lot of math (iirc).  You might look at the GA PBS stuff or some other options as well.  Maybe even a Coursera course On the Way Things Work and then some labs.  Or physics of automechanics.  (I took small engine repair in hs, and I remember there being a lot of physics in there!)  I had forgotten we were on the LC/SN board, but I'll just say that reading on the regular hs board can really skew your perspective of what is normal or permissible or good enough.  

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If you could decipher GA PBS for me, I'll check it out.  :)   Yeah, I can't go to the regular high school board too much.  Even with my daughter, who doesn't have any issues, I get intimidated over there.  I love the ladies, just not sure I/we need quite that path.  I also love this special needs board, but wish there was a little more on the high school level.  Of course, like you, I get to do this all over again (mine will be 3 in Dec. - actually I remember when you were still pregnant).  

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Well then let's talk high school!  I certainly don't feel at home with the "if it ain't college level at 14 I'm under-serving my kid" crowd.  It wasn't necessary for me and isn't practical for my dd.  She gets worn out if she works over-hard a few days!  I've been letting her make her own schedule the last couple weeks, and she has totally worn herself out by Thursday, worse than I ever used to!   :w00t:

 

Chemistry & Physics - Georgia Public Broadcasting  It's free.  There are videos, all the handouts you can print, blah blah.  If you buy at least one of the dvds, they'll send you the tm as a pdf.  I never got around to it.  They have humor, and dd doesn't seem to mind watching them.  Frankly, after a certain point I don't care what they're doing.  They're doing something I can call chem, time is punched, 1 goes on the transcript, done. There are 28 videos, and they take a while to do by the time you do all the rest.  I'm adding some reading and have labs.  I tallied everything and came to more than enough time.  They also have a physics.

 

Little bit different vein?  Chem 101, Bio 101, etc. that Timberdoodle sells.  Or look at the Walch Powerbasics and some of the other series like that.  Or go farther out of the box and google physics of small engines and see what you get.  Here's something sorta like what I'm thinking  Physics in the Automotive Industry  But there's also all the math and science behind torque, the pistons, combustion, and why engines actually WORK.  So he can dismantle an engine, learn about the science behind it (we covered it in the text for my small engine repair class), and he's on-topic.  Don't be afraid of this stuff that is in-context.  The best learning is in-context, something he finds engaging.  The concepts are fabulous and real-world.  Only textbook authors could think the best way for kids to learn is to segregate the concepts from the hands-on and give kids a pile of flashcards.  Oh yeah, like our kids really learn with a pile of flashcards.   :thumbup:   

 

Yes some kids can learn with flashcards, but some kids don't and some kids don't need to.  Some kids retain nothing when they don't give a rip and miraculously memorize it all (sans cards) when they do.  So you're looking for the "I give a rip" click.  And it's there.  This stuff is totally relevant.  Whatever he likes, be it cars or war or Star Trek or whatever, there's going to be some science angle you can pursue.  Nothing says you have to do it tightly and hit ALL the topics covered in a book.  I'd rather he learn about one niche of the topics but really get it and retain than to cover everything and remember nothing.  

 

Well that's a rabbit trail!  Have you seen the Knex education kits?  Have you thought about using them with him?  Think about it.  A bridges kit plus some books on bridges plus History or Discovery Channel shows on famous bridge failures, this would be very easy to blow a month or two on, no problem.  As long as he's intersecting with high school level material (the reading, the videos), that is TOTALLY fair game.  You could pull 4 or 5 themes like that, find kits, do it Mythbusters style (exploring a claim)...  Give yourself permission to do some crazy stuff.  And yes, we just bought the Knex bridges education kit, which is why it's on my mind.  For my 2nd time around, we're gonna do a lot more kits and things!  I'm not gonna let curriculum intimidate me into thinking all my ideas are bad or disorganized or inadequate!  :)

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I'll check out the Georgia Public Broadcasting.  That might work well; he especially loves learning from videos.  He's kind of interested in being an automechanic, though I hope he realizes he'll get dirty LOL  (he has pretty bad OCD and dirt/germs are at the top of the list) so I'll look into some classes like that too.  I'm at a loss how to teach it though.  I barely know how to change a tire but I am happy to learn right along with him.  I wish he'd get into K'Nex or Legos or Snap Circuits or anything like that.  He's definitely hands-off on anything.  In preschool he complained to his special ed teachers that if he knew they were going to make him finger paint, he would have brought gloves.  

 

He also seems to lack critical thinking.  If something doesn't work the first time, he'll just keep trying the same way over and over again but not really get anything from that process or even think to try a different way.  For instance, trying to fit a large envelope in our mailbox.  It could bend slightly in half to fit or turn it another way, but he just kept trying it the same way about 10 times before giving up.  I just keep modeling for him and reminding him to try something else.  Hopefully it will click someday.  Financially we haven't been able to afford any kind of therapies recently but that should change next year for us.  Hopefully the neuropsych will have some ideas too.  

 

Thanks for having the conversation.  It's always helpful.

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I'm sorry I'm such a goober here and lose track of conversations.  He's going to a neuropsych at some point for evals?  If he does, by all means have the psych do some career planning testing!  He definitely needs this.  It sounds like his sensory is really getting him, so as you say he may need the things he likes about automechanics without the intolerable sensory issues.  That's going to take some career counseling.  He might benefit from something using his hands like that but that isn't messy and is done the same way every time, with consistency.  For instance a couple hours from us we have a family-run knife shop.  That would be something not messy where you do the same thing the same way every time.  

 

But I'm on a tangent.  Keep on keeping on!  :)

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Oh, sorry to be technical, but you are required to put a graduation date on a final transcript.  When you apply to a cc or university, you're typically still in high school, still earning credits, and there might be an anticipated date posted (and marked as such).  However the university will expect you to send in a final transcript when he graduates, and that's supposed to have a graduation date on it.  It's a little incongruous to "graduate" him and still continue to acquire credits.  I wouldn't offer that.  

 

I'm glad you were so technical; you've been quite helpful. We're struggling with how to handle high school right now. Math is the greatest problem since he's "supposed" to be in 9th grade, but we're only halfway through pre-Algebra. My DS is 2e and math is where his LDs give him the most problem. 

 

I hadn't thought about putting the pre-Algebra on his transcipt if he graduates on time. Naturally, if he ends up going to college (a definite possibility), I can anticipate the admissions office marking that one out. We're considering delaying graduation for another year, but it's good to have options.

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