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Can I really count this as high school credit?

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Newbie on the high school board. I'm in the early stages of getting a game plan together for homeschooling high school.


We joined a co-op in Jan after we moved. We really like it and want to continue with it next school year. At the elementary level, classes are enrichment only. However next year dd will move up to the middle/high school level. She will be in 6th grade. The classes she will be taking next year are elective type classes, as I don't think she's ready for the more academic classes.


The class listings give how much credit hours they are worth. Can I really count them towards high school at her age? I know some kids do some high school work in 8th, and even 7th grade. 6th grade just seems so young and early.


If I do count them, and we stay in this co-op, it could certainly make the high school years easier. We could focus more on core subjects like math and writing those years, knowing she has plenty of elective credit. However, she might also end up with more then the normal number of credits. I'm not sure how that would look to colleges.


Would you count them? Why?

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Please don't count me as an expert - but from what I've read here and elsewhere ... no - you can't count them :)

6th is very young and early.  Many colleges/schools will accept some classes taken in 8th grade if they are a HS level class, but I've never heard of one accepting an elective or any classes other than math before 8th.  Too many credits would look suspicious or odd - I mean, yeah - my son will have extra, but not a large amount of extra.  Maybe a class or two.  I am counting his biology and algebra from 8th, so there are those.

Now - can you count it on her transcript and not tell them it was in middle school - I suppose.  I personally wouldn't, but no judgment here :)  I know there are people who have transcripts that just list the classes taken and not the year they were taken in, so that would be a way around it.


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You can certainly do the classes, but you probably won't ever NEED the credit. For example, T is planning to take Spanish 2, Latin 1, Algebra 1 and Physical Science next year. When she actually hits 9th grade she'll take the next classes in the sequence. It will be really obvious that she didn't start in AP Spanish or Latin IV or Pre-Calc, but I won't put the previous classes on her transcript. She will be able to take AP sciences earlier than usual while still having done the prerequisite classes. So, for example, she can sign up for AP Bio in 10th grade. She'll have had regular high school biology and chemistry before that because she's starting her hs science sequence early. But, I won't mention classes before 9th grade, the AP will speak for that and she'll still have 4 years of science, just at a more advanced level than she would have if we waited for 9th grade to start the sequence. Clear as mud?


ETA: You won't want to do less than 4 years of math, English, science and social studies and, probably, foreign language if your dd is aiming for a selective school (even just a state flagship university).

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I think if she put in the work you should give her credit for it. My son did Algebra in 6th grade and I plan to give him credit for it. He is finishing now 7th grade and I will give him another 2.5 credits this year for Math and Language Arts. I outsourced these courses, so it's not just mom credit, which seems to be the case for you too. The way I see it, this frees his time to focus on AP and CC courses when he is of actual high school age. I have heard of people writing up credits per subject, not year, which is what I plan on doing. 


Totally OT, your combo of picture and handle makes me wonder. Are you from the actual Athena city? 

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Not for an elective.  


Mine have plenty of credits, so I don't even list the advanced credits they took in middle school because my transcript has four blocks for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.  We just listed Latin II for 9th, assuming that they know that means they took Latin I in middle school.  Same with math.


This summer when I work out the final transcript for my oldest (graduating in 2015), I may change that if I go with a subject-oriented format.  It really doesn't matter though.  He's my language guy, and will have three languages: four years in one, and then two each in the other two.



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Some colleges specifically want to see only classwork from the last four years of high school.

In general, colleges will not be impressed by students with early high school credits who then rest on their laurels and take few courses in high school - they would expect a student who is capable of early high school classes to challenge herself and take progressively harder coursework, not stretch an average course load over 6+ years.

The student with algebra in 6th grade should show strong academic abilities by taking advanced math courses in 11th and 12th, not by having two years without math.


ETA: the topic comes up frequently. The consensus seems to be to list math and foreign languages taken early to demonstrate special interest and ability (but not in order to drop the subjects in high school). Credit is usually not given for "high school level" English and history courses taken early.

I would avoid anything that causes evaluators to be suspicious about the rigor of my transcript. A student should not need credits form 6th grade to satisfy graduation requirements. I would most definitely not give credit for electives taken before high school - that looks like padding the transcript.

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… next year dd will move up to the middle/high school level. She will be in 6th grade...

… The class listings give how much credit hours they are worth. Can I really count them towards high school at her age?



Gently, no, for the reasons listed by previous posters.


In addition, many colleges want to see on a transcript *only* the credits done in the last 4 years prior to entering college; so in that case, credits earned in middle school would not be counted as high school credit, and certainly not from 6th grade.


The one exception is that colleges don't mind seeing a few types of academic credits (without the grade, though, so it's not counted into the final GPA) -- that would be things like Algebra 1, Biology, or high school level of Foreign Language, as these are often taken in 8th grade.


Here's what to keep in mind about pre-high school credits, transcripts, and colleges:

- academic credits of true high school rigor CAN be included (Math, Science, Foreign Language)

- other high school level credits are NOT included (English, History, Fine Arts, Electives, etc.)

- include the credit, but not the GPA for pre-9th grade classes

- note on the transcript those courses done before 9th grade

- credits need to continue to advance in rigor throughout the high school years

(example: Algebra 1 and Biology were done in 8th grade; the student will need to have 4 more math credits and at least 3 more science credits, of increasing difficulty, accomplished in high school -- so for example: high school math credits would likely include: Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus)



… The class listings give how much credit hours they are worth...

Not quite sure what they are listing -- is it something like "24 hours towards a high school credit"?? If so, then great, when your DD is in high school taking an elective course at the co-op, yes you can count those hours towards credit. Here's a chart that shows roughly how many hours = how much credit (depending on how your family decides to count credits):
approx. 150 hours = 1.00 credit
approx. 112 hours = 0.75 credit
approx. 100 hours = 0.66 credit
approx. 75 hours = 0.50 credit
approx. 50 hours = 0.33 credit
approx. 35/40 hours = 0.25 credit
So, if the class description says something like "24 hours towards a high school credit", then you'll need to add another 12 hours or so of additional material, projects, reading/writing, or work of some kind to add to the co-op hours to yield 0.25 credit of Elective. 

…  the middle/high school level … classes … are elective type classes… [and] more academic classes.
...The class listings give how much credit hours they are worth…
… Would you count them? Why?

Once my student was in HIGH SCHOOL, I would consider counting co-op towards credit, *IF* the class was of enough rigor to really be high school level (matching or exceeding what we do at home), I would consider participating in a co-op and counting the hours toward credits needed. I personally feel this way about high school electives as well as high school academic courses -- they really need to be of a certain level of rigor to count as high school CREDIT. Totally JMO. :)
This is based on my experience with co-ops in my area -- of all the ones I've seen, even the high school level co-op classes are still "enrichment" level.
For example, a class that is doing the science labs for high school Biology or Chemistry *IS* of high school level -- but is just part of the science textbook and tests that all count together for 1 credit for Biology or Chemistry; you would not count the co-op class as additional credit.)
So, no, I would NOT do co-ops of that type at the high school level unless it is for something specific of high interest to my student -- like doing a theater production, or cake-decorating, or ballroom dance -- and we couldn't do it another way -- and we would count it as an extracurricular activity, unless it was truly credit-worthy -- like maybe counting dance hours toward an accumulated PE credit...
Just a side note: when you're ready to explore a bit more about high school topics, there are several pinned threads at the top of the high school board that are full of linked past threads of lots of wisdom from all the Board's BTDT moms -- topics like getting started with homeschool high school, planning, resources, the high school time table, outsourcing and tutors and online classes… etc.
(post #1 and post #2)
(post #1 and post #5)
Happy reading! :) And BEST of luck in your co-op class adventures! Warmest regards, Lori D.


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Speaking as one who did give credit for a limited number of classes my kid took prior to "officially" starting high school, I still think 6th grade is too early to worry about credits. And I also wouldn't give credit for any electives or enrichment classes taken early. 


My son opted to graduate from high school early, after three years instead of four. This was possible because he carried over on his transcript two core classes he had taken through Florida Virtual School in the previous year and he was dual enrolled at the community college this year. Our local school district counts some one-semester college courses as full high school credits. The combination of a couple of early classes and the additional credit from the college courses gave him the credits he needed to finish early.


So, in his case, we took a very limited number of core classes done through an accredited outside agency. I wouldn't feel comfortable putting two or three years' worth of elective credit on a transcript. To me, it would look like padding. And if your daughter continues to do a normal number of classes through four years of high school, she won't need all of those extras, anyway.

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^ Yeah what regentrude said.  My son is due to take Alg 1 in 7th grade, but I'm not adding it to his transcript. We are using a program that transcripts our courses for us, but even if we weren't, I wouldn't. The program doesn't count Alg 1 taken before 8th grade toward graduation requirements. I'm cool with that. Like regentrude said, I'm not planning on having him take Alg 1 then rest on his laurels once he finishes Alg 2 and Geometry. He'll be doing higher level math courses, because that is what colleges want to see, not that a student completed them early and then decided to take a break.

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I agree with you, SailorMom. However, it seems unfair not to count it if she does all the work and gets a good grade.


Not familiar with this particular co-op and the rigor of the classes, BUT, I can say from having taught two gr. 7-12 co-op classes at a rigorous enough level for partial credit, a grade 6-12 class is either not really running at a full high school level so as to not lose the middle schoolers, OR, less is expected of the middle schoolers so they can participate.


For my two gr. 7-12 co-op classes, high school was for credit, but middle school was "for audit". That was because I expected considerably more from the high schoolers in writing, reading and output so that they could count the class towards credit. The middle schoolers in the classes were super at the readings and discussions, but were definitely at a very beginning level of writing -- which is extremely normal! There's a HUGE difference in maturity, experience, and ability between a 6th grader and a 12th grader.


So, I say this as a teacher: no, I would not have granted the middle schoolers credit even though they were allowed to take the class and they worked hard in it -- and it is because they were just not working at the same level as the the 10th and 11th graders in that class. But I praised them and encouraged them, and loved having those middle schoolers in there -- they really worked hard to keep up, and I let them know I saw that and was very proud of them.



Just to comfort you, athena1277: if your DD keeps up well in 6th grade with high schoolers in a co-op setting, that just means she is really going to fly in high school and you'll be able to have her take advanced courses, do honors work, AP, and dual enrollment during high school, and give her credit for her advanced work! She'll be doing such a great job in high school, THAT is what you're going to be excited to list on her transcript, and on her list of extracurriculars and accomplishments. I know it doesn't feel like it right now, but trust me -- what she does in 6th grade is going to be FAR in the rearview mirror compared to all the great stuff she'll have racked up in high school by her senior year! :)


Warmest regards, Lori D.

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For example, a class that is doing the science labs for high school Biology or Chemistry *IS* of high school level -- but is just part of the science textbook and tests that all count together for 1 credit for Biology or Chemistry; you would not count the co-op class as additional credit.)



As usual, Lori is right on here.


We haven't done a lot of co-ops, for a variety of reasons. However, my son did join a Lego robotics competition group one year. We were doing an off-beat, home-baked class that year that we called Science in Popular Culture. He read about droids in Star Wars and then about real-life robotics. He did all of his reading and desk work and labs at home, but we counted the weekly robotics group meetings (during which they built and programmed Logo robots to accomplish a series of challenges) as part of that course.

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