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For those of you who set graduation requirements - when did you decide what they would be?  Before high school began, sometime in the middle, as you were writing the transcript?  :p

 

I haven't written anything in stone yet, but I think DS may need to see the chiseled tablet at some point (for motivational purposes, perhaps, or to realize that this is for real and I really do mean it).

 

At the same time, however, I want to leave myself some wiggle room.

 

For example, I might like to require the standard 4x5 (math, English, science, history/soc. studies, foreign language) - but down the line I might like to be able to drop the last foreign language, say, if (1) he really does hate it or (2) he has no intention of applying to any college that requires it and (3) has a strong interest that would be an equally or more valuable use of that time. 

 

I also wonder about the total number of credits.  I've seen mentions of everything from 20-32 credits, regardless of whether the school is public, private or a homeschool.  Do you decide your total required number and stick to it no matter what?  What IS your total number?  What if I require 28 credits and then realize it was silly to think he could complete 7 credits as a freshman?  Could I then reduce the total number required and still face myself in the mirror, or would that mean I've compromised my integrity?

 

Am I completely overthinking things again?

 

 

 

 

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I think you are overthinking it. :)

 

My primary goal is to help my children achieve their after high school goals. As their goals change from year to year, I change our plans to help them meet these new goals.

As a generic goal, I look at what the local state university is going to require and try to stay near to those requirements.

 

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My goal is to follow my state's college prep program of classes and credits. (The state recommendations include 3 options: non-college prep, college prep and honors.) The college prep track will get a student into state colleges (assuming they otherwise qualify).   I will change things as needed to suit my kids' needs, but use the state list as a base.   

 

I loosely follow state guides for determining class credits.  I am either giving credit based on subject completion (i.e. if you complete a semester's worth of Language Arts you get the semester credit) or hours spent (1 credit hour= x actual hours of class time).  I am keeping track of materials covered and grades assigned and combine that with my tracking of time spent.  I don't worry too much about time spent as I'm using curricula that measures by semester.  

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I started with our state graduation requirement, just to make sure we surpassed those.

 

Then I looked at colleges I assumed dc would apply to, a good range of them.

 

Then I looked at the graduation requirements of private and public schools I respect.

 

Finally, I thought about what I consider as minimum requirements.

 

Combining all of those, I came up with a basic outline. Each dc had their own take based on their interests, but they build that on the core that we planned out. It was a great way to keep on track and keep the whims of "oh, this is being offered here" or "ooh, I'm interested in this this year" from throwing us off course.

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Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much about it. No, I did not set a total number of credits, and we came out fine at about 26 credits -- more than I guessed we would have had when we started homeschooling high school.

 

JMO: students change and mature WAY too much from 8th grade to 12th grade to try and have a "set in stone" total # of credits or rigid plan of coursework -- the workload they can handle as a senior is very different from what they can handle as a freshman. Also, life circumstances can derail you. And a rigid plan doesn't allow you to flex to include extracurriculars or unexpected opportunities that arise throughout high school.

 

For example: just the way it worked out for us: I thought we would do 4 years of chronological History, and we started with Ancients, but then followed DSs' interests and jumped to 20th Century, followed by American History, and then an unexpected detour to do a 0.5 credit of Church History. So a total of 3.5 credits of History, and only 2 credits worth were "planned". Also along the way, DSs became very interested in Worldview, so we ended up accruing an unexpected Social Science credit of that (spread out over the years of high school). So, totally not what my initial "plan" was ;) , but it's all good. 

 

 

Does your state require specific credits from homeschoolers? Then you'll need to accomplish those. Otherwise, just look at state high school graduation credits as an "idea list", and then make sure you are including enough of the types of credits your student would need to be admitted to most colleges, and you'll have plenty of "wiggle room" to pursue classes of personal interests. (It's also nice to have a bit of wiggle room for involvement in extracurriculars and to be able to take advantage of those unexpected opportunities that will pop up throughout high school.)

 

The majority of colleges require something along these lines for admission -- typically about 20 credits -- competitive colleges and selective or top tier colleges would require a bit more):

4 credits = English (1/2 Lit. & 1/2 Writing)
3-4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2, a higher math requiring Alg. 2 as pre-requisite)
3-4 credits = Science (at least 2 with labs; often Biology & Chemistry preferred)
3-4 credits = Social Studies (1 US History; 1 World Hist. or Geog.; 0.5 each Gov't & Econ.)
1 credit = Fine Arts
1-4 credits = Foreign Language (of same language)

2-4+ credits = Electives (some schools want some "Academic Electives" which are additional courses beyond the required in English, Math, Science, Soc. Sci. or For. Lang.; "regular" Electives include things like: PE, Health, Logic, Computer, Bible, Voc-Tech, classes of personal interest, additional Fine Arts, etc.)

 

What the higher number of credits beyond the requirements does for you is boost your chances of admission, but esp. boosts your chances at scholarships.

 

 

As far as how to schedule credits in high school… Often, 9th graders do better with fewer credits (say, 5-6 credits) to give them time to transition. Also, 12th graders often do better with fewer credits since they are applying to college, prepping for and taking ACT/SAT and AP tests, doing do many extracurricular activities, working part time, etc.

 

You may find you end up with a larger amount of credits than you thought you would, if you spread one subject out over several years. Or during the summers. Also, if your student takes any dual enrollment courses (often happens in 11th-12th grades), many of those 1-semester college courses count as 1-YEAR high school credits. So that can quickly add up the total of credits earned.

 

 

In post #2 of "High School Curriculum, Where Do I Start?" there is a series of "steps" and questions to guide you through the process of thinking through making a high school plan -- your goals, number of credits, selecting curricula, etc.

 

I also highly recommend reading through the threads linked in the pinned thread at the top of the High School Board: "Starting High School, Outsourcing, Online Classes, Tutors, Dual Enrollment, AP, SAT/ACT, PSAT, CLEP -- links to past threads here!". The threads under the first 4 headings would be especially helpful to you right now as you starting thinking and planning. :)

 

BEST of luck as you start wearing your administrator hat! :hat:  Warmest regards, Lori D.

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You know, I had this (sort of) all worked out in my head back in 8th grade....  I think it's DS's minimalist tendency that is scaring me.  If I let him in on the fact that it can be fluid as needs/goals change, he will run with it - in a bad way.  But I don't want to keep him in the dark, either.  I guess I need to write a list for various scenarios - no college, directional state, next tier up (but not super-top-tier) - and just keep trying to explain why aiming high is in his best interest.

 

IDK, this kid just makes me nervous.  ;)

 

 

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You know, I had this (sort of) all worked out in my head back in 8th grade....  I think it's DS's minimalist tendency that is scaring me.  If I let him in on the fact that it can be fluid as needs/goals change, he will run with it - in a bad way.  But I don't want to keep him in the dark, either.  I guess I need to write a list for various scenarios - no college, directional state, next tier up (but not super-top-tier) - and just keep trying to explain why aiming high is in his best interest.

 

IDK, this kid just makes me nervous.  ;)

 

Just a thought: if you draw up a list of 22-24 credits as the minimum, that would WAY cover any requirements colleges would have AND give DS 4-6 credits to play with as electives.

 

Just so you can see how that might play out:

 

If you shoot for an overall total of 24 credits, that would average out to 6 credits per year of high school -- or 5 credits in 9th, 6 credits each in 10th & 11th, and 7 credits in 12th. Or, if in 12th grade 2 of those credits are 1-semester dual enrollment (1 each semester), he would only have to deal with a total of 4 classes per semester and still graduate with 23 total credits. :) Or, planning for 24 credits even allows you to just not get around to 2 credits, and finish with 22 credits, and even that will be perfectly fine for admission to virtually all non-selective/competitive/top tier colleges. :)

 

And really, as long as you've got about 16 core courses (4 English, 3-4 Math, 3 Science, 3 Soc. Science, 2 For. Lang., 1 Fine Arts), and you fill out to 22 credits with electives, you meet the basic admission requirements for most regular universities. So that leaves LOTS of room for personal interest courses, or Voc-Tech, or whatever...

 

You might find it reassuring to together look at the admission requirements for your state universities, and that way both you and DS can see what needs to be accomplished, and where you have latitude for experimenting. :) You might also both look at your local Community College offerings, too, as DS may also find along about 11th/12th grade that he wants to start working towards an Associate's degree at the Community College as dual enrollment. From there he could transfer to a university for a 4-year degree.

 

 

Really, as long as you are moving forward and checking off about 4 required credits per year, you're right on schedule. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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You know, I had this (sort of) all worked out in my head back in 8th grade....  I think it's DS's minimalist tendency that is scaring me.  If I let him in on the fact that it can be fluid as needs/goals change, he will run with it - in a bad way.  But I don't want to keep him in the dark, either.  I guess I need to write a list for various scenarios - no college, directional state, next tier up (but not super-top-tier) - and just keep trying to explain why aiming high is in his best interest.

 

IDK, this kid just makes me nervous.  ;)

 

For those of you who set graduation requirements - when did you decide what they would be?  Before high school began, sometime in the middle, as you were writing the transcript?  :p

 

I came up with a 4 year plan when my oldest was in junior high.

 

 

I haven't written anything in stone yet, but I think DS may need to see the chiseled tablet at some point (for motivational purposes, perhaps, or to realize that this is for real and I really do mean it).

 
Yes, I think it's important for kids to understand the process--here is what you need to graduate. I didn't go into specifics, such as "here's what our state requires." I just came up with my plan and said what was needed. I also explained what a credit was and the work it required. Kind of like an oral syllabus (I did make an actual syllabus for a class before my oldest graduated, so that he would have some familiarity with working with one, experience the failure that lack of planning brings on when the stakes were low, showed him how to recover from that, etc... I wanted to do more of that, but other things took precedence for that student.)
 

At the same time, however, I want to leave myself some wiggle room.

 

For example, I might like to require the standard 4x5 (math, English, science, history/soc. studies, foreign language) - but down the line I might like to be able to drop the last foreign language, say, if (1) he really does hate it or (2) he has no intention of applying to any college that requires it and (3) has a strong interest that would be an equally or more valuable use of that time. 

 
I went at it from the other direction. I presented a college prep plan (not "higher echelon" just your average plan, based on researching schools we might consider and their requirements.) A basic plan is typically:
 
4 years English
3-4 years Math (Algebra, Geometry, and higher)
3-4 years Science (some specified 1 with labs, many specified 2 with labs, some specified biology or chemistry)
3-4 years Social Science (some specified US history or government)
2 or more years of the same foreign language
1 credit Fine Arts
Electives
(our state requires PE, so I added in PE as well)
 
This allowed me to say--you like this subject/are good at this subject, let's do 4 years. Or, let's do the minimum and do more of another subject.
 
My oldest loves history, so he did US, 2 years of World, Government, a semester of Japanese history (to go along with his foreign language), and a World Views course. He doesn't like science, so he did 3 years there, all with labs, but not the "traditional" ones--he did physical, robotics, and biology. He did 3 years of math. He liked his language but didn't start until Sophomore year, so he had 3 years.
 
My dd on the other hand loves science. She's done the traditional biology-chemistry-physics, and will do advanced bio next year. She loves learning about the human body. Detests history, so she did a year of US, a year of World, a semester of Psychology (her choice) and will do a semester of Government. She likes math and may do 4 years (we'll discuss that next spring, but if she's still serious about possibly being a science major in college, I'll nudge her that way). 
 
The flexibility of knowing they could do 4 years in subjects they loved but only 3 years in those they didn't gave them freedom to pursue some electives. 
 

 

 

I also wonder about the total number of credits.  I've seen mentions of everything from 20-32 credits, regardless of whether the school is public, private or a homeschool.  Do you decide your total required number and stick to it no matter what?  What IS your total number?  What if I require 28 credits and then realize it was silly to think he could complete 7 credits as a freshman?  Could I then reduce the total number required and still face myself in the mirror, or would that mean I've compromised my integrity?

 

Am I completely overthinking things again?

 
28 is more for students wanting to go to a high-academic college, whereas 24 seemed to be the number most of our state and private schools wanted to see. I set 24 as a minimum goal, and then looked for where we would end up. Oldest had 24.5. 
 
I absolutely think you can change goals. If you start out shooting for too many credits and later realize that's too rigorous a pace for your student--there's no shame in adjusting your plan. I don't think any plan is "set in stone." I didn't know which sciences my kids would complete, or which histories (I had a general idea, but we changed and tweaked as needed.) I certainly didn't know my son would decide to study Japanese and love it! Or that my dd would be ambivalent about her language (she may only complete 3 years of that...we'll see)
 
Aim for a good, solid, college-prep education, but if you need to adjust on the way, do what's best for your student and your family.
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I don't think you are over-thinking things--I think having some kind of 4-year plan in mind so that you give your student options is important. Have minimums and then have a required number of classes. 6 credits X 4 years easily gives you 24 credits (my oldest did 5.5, 6.5, 6, 6.5). 

 

6 isn't too hard to come by most years--if you have a class in each of the 4 main subjects plus a foreign language, that's 5 right there. Add on PE for half a credit and music lessons or art or drama or some other elective for half a credit, and suddenly you're at 6. 

 

You know, I had this (sort of) all worked out in my head back in 8th grade....  I think it's DS's minimalist tendency that is scaring me.  If I let him in on the fact that it can be fluid as needs/goals change, he will run with it - in a bad way.  But I don't want to keep him in the dark, either.  I guess I need to write a list for various scenarios - no college, directional state, next tier up (but not super-top-tier) - and just keep trying to explain why aiming high is in his best interest.

 

IDK, this kid just makes me nervous.  ;)

 

I wouldn't get that specific. I'd tell him a minimum number of credits per semester and let him help to decide how to meet the ones that can be more flexible. The ones that aren't, just say, "you're required to take science, but you can choose from these possibilities." or, "you're required to do US history, but you can choose between these curricula" (possibilities and curricula can be pre-screened by you.

 

You can also have talks about what he's interested in and suggest courses based on those--that's how my dd ended up doing Psychology and ds doing Japanese history. Both chose most of their science classes (I did require biology for oldest, for youngest, I suggested options & she went for the traditional science route.)

 

Anyway... there's lots of room within the guidelines of a college prep regimen to give choices and yet be rigorous and to his level.

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Yes, I think that having a plan is great. Just be flexible  :laugh: !

 

I kept a spreadsheet from about 5th grade on with my plans just to make sure we were on track, and then when they hit 8th we got serious enough that I made a draft transcript.

 

And we did a lot of tweeks. Both struggled with math, and neither did/will get to calculus like I did, but they've done fine. One did multiple foreign languages, and one did mostly arts-related electives. Both did psychology, health, and personal finance as electives. We counted their martial arts as PE.

 

My last one really took off academically in 7th, and we decided to make 8th a tentative 9th grade year. So we're in her 10th/11th this year, and it's looking good to graduate early. I told her that we'll evaluate this summer and commit then, but she's taking the SAT next month, and she's got APs and dual enrollment this year.

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My kids wanted/needed goals to shoot for. Also, both of ours wanted to graduated early, and we wanted to make sure there were clearly guidelines about what "done" would mean. So, we set graduation requirements before or during the first year we we decided to call "high school." We based our requirements on those of the local public schools, bumping them up occasionally in areas in which we thought the schools' requirements were a bit low.

 

We also set requirements for what it would take for our kids to earn an honors designation on their diplomas, because we wanted that to be meaningful for them.

 

Our basic requirements were:

 

Math = 4 credits (at least 3 with algebra 1 as a prereq)

English = 4 credits

Science = 4 credits (including at least two with labs)

Social Sciences = 3 credits

World Languages = 2 credits of consecutive courses in the same language

Fine and Performing Arts = 1 credit

Electives = 6 credits

 

Total = 24 credits

 

It's not a super rigorous program, admittedly. However, as I said, both of mine wanted to do high school in three years. Our local school district offers an option for a three-year college prep high school program that requires only 18 credits. So, our compromise was to allow the three-year thing but require that ours complete all of the credits required in the regular four-year program.

 

In order to earn an honors diploma, they had to:

  • Complete at least eight of those 24 credits in honors, advanced placement or dual enrollment courses.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Achieve scores at or above the college readiness benchmarks on the ACT.

As I said, both of mine are goal-oriented people. It made sense for them to have specifics ahead of time so they knew what they were shooting for. This much up-front detail might not be necessary or appropriate for every kid.

 

 

 

 

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I started with our state graduation requirement, just to make sure we surpassed those.

 

Then I looked at colleges I assumed dc would apply to, a good range of them.

 

Then I looked at the graduation requirements of private and public schools I respect.

 

Finally, I thought about what I consider as minimum requirements.

 

Combining all of those, I came up with a basic outline. Each dc had their own take based on their interests, but they build that on the core that we planned out. It was a great way to keep on track and keep the whims of "oh, this is being offered here" or "ooh, I'm interested in this this year" from throwing us off course.

 

This pretty much explains our process. For me, four years of English, math, science, and a foreign language were non-negotiable. My son went into high school knowing that.  Because he took his first semester of high school at our ps and because his siblings graduated from there, I initially went with the 28 credit plan, with a minimum of 24 credits to graduate.

 

My thoughts have changed. We also have done four year of social sciences. That's 20 credits of "core classes."  That doesn't leave a lot of room for electives and I like it like that.  We worked to build "interest" and depth into the core classes. If you have a student who wants to take advanced classes, then life is a whole lot easier if your graduation requirement is contained to 24 credits max - 6 credits a year.  I have seen too many people trying to do "everything." You just can't and do it well.

 

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I came up with a tentative 4-year plan starting in 7th grade.  That gave me 2 years to prepare for those high school classes.  I followed our state graduation requirements & took the college-prep route.   Some classes were moved to other grades & taken in different order, but for the most part we followed that initial plan.  

Having to satisfy the NCAA wasn't that difficult since we had our plan in place and I made sure all of our bases were covered.

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I think you are overthinking it. :)

 

My primary goal is to help my children achieve their after high school goals. As their goals change from year to year, I change our plans to help them meet these new goals.

As a generic goal, I look at what the local state university is going to require and try to stay near to those requirements.

:iagree: this is pretty much what I do.  

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Many thanks to all of you!

 

Jenny, I particularly like the "honors diploma" option and requirements.  I'm not sure DS would find it motivating right now, but he may down the line, and it will still be achievable (as long as he doesn't wait until Sr. year).

 

Time to pull my planning & college folders ... and track down all the stuff that never made it into those folders.

 

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You know, I had this (sort of) all worked out in my head back in 8th grade....  I think it's DS's minimalist tendency that is scaring me.  If I let him in on the fact that it can be fluid as needs/goals change, he will run with it - in a bad way.  But I don't want to keep him in the dark, either.  I guess I need to write a list for various scenarios - no college, directional state, next tier up (but not super-top-tier) - and just keep trying to explain why aiming high is in his best interest.

 

IDK, this kid just makes me nervous.  ;)

 

These are my requirements and are in place because my kid would probably be the same way if I told him anything less:

 

4 years of English

4 years of math (including calculus)

4 years of social science

4 years of science (including biology, chemistry, and physics)

4 years of foreign language

2 years of fine arts

2 years of PE (including health)

4 academic electives 

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I loosely used our state public school requirements as a template. Ds ended up with 26 credits total. I wanted 4 each of English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language. A few of his electives ended up in core classes. I also wanted 1 credit of fine art, .5 credit of personal finance (a state requirement I wanted to include). 1 credit also had to be in technology.

 

I gave a wide range of what might fit in social studies, hence that term over history. I drew up a small guide that covered my graduation requirements and classes I was willing to put together for him. In spring we decided on classes for the following year so I had time to write up a course of study. I had more say in classes he was apathetic about, such as literature. 

 

I compiled themes for each year, which fell apart about mid 9th grade year as my own personal life fell apart. The theme became "survive today"  :lol: The themes were based upon a trait and some literature was picked around that theme. I used responsibility, Integrity, Compassion, and Courage. I spent some time reading elite private school handbooks for ideas. 

 

I do overthink everything, but I needed something unifying to keep my average student motivated, and something organized and detailed to keep me moving forward on bad days. As I said, it kind of all came unraveled in light of my separation and divorce. Which makes the point that flexibility is key in planning high school. Ds's transcript looks different than I had planned, but it is a true reflection of him and his interests. He's in a state university and doing well, so something worked. 

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We worked backwards from good universities' admissions requirements. I require 4 years each of math, science, English, history, and foreign language (I knew this before starting high school, and these are the courses I plan for). Plus electives which tend to take care of themselves and are flexible.

I do not aim for a specific number of credits. DD had 30+ college credits because she started dual enrollment in 10th grade. DS will have fewer total credits. They will have however many credits they end up with.

 

I do not decide about early graduation based on completion of my high school requirements; there are many other factors to consider. Maturity is important, and creating a strong transcript for a student interested in a highly selective school is at odds with graduating as soon as standard requirements have been met. DD graduated at age 17 with  31.5 high school credits.

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IF we homeschool high school, our plan for 12 yo DD is to use the minimum state course requirements* and leave plenty of room for work/apprenticeships.  It suits her temperament (less studying, more DOING) and prepares her for all of the options she's interested in (aesthetician license, and/or culinary school, and/or community college).  

 

I'd probably do something more traditionally "college prep" for 10 yo DD, as she has more of an academic bent and I'm almost certain will want to go away to a 4 year school.

 

* I'm completely ignoring the Common Core standards, and just following the "3 years of English," etc.  What we actually cover in each course will be up to her and I.

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These are my requirements and are in place because my kid would probably be the same way if I told him anything less:

 

4 years of English

4 years of math (including calculus)

4 years of social science

4 years of science (including biology, chemistry, and physics)

4 years of foreign language

2 years of fine arts

2 years of PE (including health)

4 academic electives 

 

This is us too. Although I have a specialist kid, it is starting to happen almost naturally here (yes, I admit to some nudging :D).

 

What is everyone's thoughts about including more credits in the area of a child's interest? Especially if these credits will show the extent of preparation and willingness to go deeper in that area even if some of those courses are not required? I know people say just show the last 4 years of math for example but what if that doesn't give the true extent of the picture when you are trying to describe your child?

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What is everyone's thoughts about including more credits in the area of a child's interest? Especially if these credits will show the extent of preparation and willingness to go deeper in that area even if some of those courses are not required? I know people say just show the last 4 years of math for example but what if that doesn't give the true extent of the picture when you are trying to describe your child?

 

My DD does have more credits in her area of interest - that's the subjects in which she tool college classes. She demonstrated a strong interest in physics, French, and literature  by having three semesters of  calculus based physics, five semesters of French, and two upper level literature courses on her transcript.

 

My kids are welcome to go above and beyond my basic requirements. That's what electives are for - those do not have to be in fluff subjects, but can be strong academics.

 

I imagine that any special interest would be obvious because of the level of coursework. If I had, for example, a student with an extraordinary gift in mathematics, that would be evident if a high school transcript showed credits for multivariable calculus, general and partial differential equations, and linear algebra. I might list the regular high school courses with a note "taken before 9th grade" to satisfy anybody who must check a box for algebra 1, but they are unnecessary for the full picture.

A student who doubles up on science or foreign language demonstrates a special interest.

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My older son had the same requirements as I posted above (with the exception of foreign language--he has dyslexia, so we compromised on two years).  He ended up having 8.5 science/engineering credits (and that's with CC classes counting at 0.5 credits--if I had counted them as a whole credit, it would have gone up to 10.5 credits!).

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What is everyone's thoughts about including more credits in the area of a child's interest? Especially if these credits will show the extent of preparation and willingness to go deeper in that area even if some of those courses are not required? I know people say just show the last 4 years of math for example but what if that doesn't give the true extent of the picture when you are trying to describe your child?

Dd will have the bare minimum of English coursework. And then she'll have so many social science and Arabic credits! Her transcript will show what her interests and passions are. It will also show that she is able to take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling. We are not recreating the usual high school path here :D

 

(Latest topic---taking Geology and Astronomy at the university next year as her sciences. No physics, gulp!)

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I went on the website of our local public high school, and pretty much followed their requirements + recommendations for college prep.  The college prep part was helpful to me, because I know the school had done the research on what private liberal arts colleges in our state required.

 

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This is us too. Although I have a specialist kid, it is starting to happen almost naturally here (yes, I admit to some nudging :D).

 

What is everyone's thoughts about including more credits in the area of a child's interest? Especially if these credits will show the extent of preparation and willingness to go deeper in that area even if some of those courses are not required? I know people say just show the last 4 years of math for example but what if that doesn't give the true extent of the picture when you are trying to describe your child?

 

Are you asking about showing things that were done in junior high on the high school transcript (ie, more than 4 years of a subject?) Most of the time I wouldn't unless there was something really unique on there. I mean--if a child did algebra in junior high, the college will know that when they see a transcript that says geometry, alg. 2, pre-calc, and calc on it. The high school transcript already reveals the level of work a student did previously. 

 

Where you might show it in other subjects would be by doing honors work, Clep, or AP tests. If you do honors US history or a test to earn college credit--you wouldn't talk about history classes they took in junior high school, you know?

 

The exception would be if they did high school work in junior high that is otherwise not represented on the transcript but fills a graduation requirement--but then you would note that it was a high school credit completed in an earlier grade. 

 

In the areas of electives or extra curriculars--I think showing that a student pursued an interest every year for 4 years shows the level of commitment, and that saying they also pursued it for X years before high school doesn't substantially change the picture. If they were not interested/committed, they wouldn't have done it all 4 years unless they had to. Maybe again there could be an exception in a very specific area that certain schools would want to see a life-long commitment--I just can't think of one right now! I think this is the type of thing that might come out in a letter of recommendation instead (such as a student into music or dance or art...a teacher giving a letter of rec. would hopefully mention something about the student's passion and obvious experience). 

 

Anyway--there can be a time, but only if it serves a specific purpose. Like others, my kids' transcripts show their interests because they took more than the required number of courses in that area. 

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I had to think about it when my oldest start hitting the a-g requirements of the state universities. Then I just made an informal checklist to keep track.

 

I know people say just show the last 4 years of math for example but what if that doesn't give the true extent of the picture when you are trying to describe your child?

I checked my district's high school transcript which is in the 2015/16 handbook. Algebra 1 is explicitly stated at the top of the transcript with the student grade (7th/8th), subject grade and year completed. Same goes for geometry if done in middle school. Probably to cover the a-g requirements. UC has their own application system so guess we could always modify our child's transcript's format to whatever is required.
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I looked at at our state's diploma requirements, as well as our state university's entrance requirements. Neither is especially rigorous, IMO, and certainly below what I did to graduate high school and get acceptance into said state university. I'm requiring the 4x5 and intending upon one or two electives a year. Changes might be made based on their interests, but if they aren't going to have four years of math or history, they really need to have a compelling reason why.

 

Currently, my eighth grader and I are looking at this as her list for next year:

English 9 -- lit and composition (might come up with a better title)

Geometry

Medieval history

Biology (possibly to be called Bio 1 or Intro Bio if she decides to do more bio later in high school)

Spanish 1 (possibly 2, depending on how far she gets this year; she could swap it for a different modern language, but she seems pretty intent upon continuing Spanish)

Elective -- her choice: Music (including music history, composer study, and guitar and keyboard; we might also throw art and art study in there too and call it Fine Arts or something.)

Elective -- her choice: Latin (She likes languages a lot and would prefer to study them all day; she's invested a lot of time in Latin and wants, at this point, to continue it.)

 

All subject to change. My state doesn't require PE, health, civics, etc. for high school, so I'm not worrying about anything official for those. She does martial arts, which satisfies my personal requirement for physical activity, but since the state doesn't require it for a transcript, I'm planning to list it as an extracurricular, since it's her main one.

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Dd will have the bare minimum of English coursework. And then she'll have so many social science and Arabic credits! Her transcript will show what her interests and passions are. It will also show that she is able to take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling. We are not recreating the usual high school path here :D

 

(Latest topic---taking Geology and Astronomy at the university next year as her sciences. No physics, gulp!)

Sounds like our dds would get along. .. mine will have 9 social science credits, and is taking Arabic at the CC this year. She also has two foreign language APs. She is taking Physics this semester at the Cc, though. :)

 

Her twin sister has a very different focus - 4 years of programming classes, math through AP Calc, and a Discrete math class through eIMACS ghat she won't get official credit for because she's a ps student, but we'll put it on her extracurricular list.

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I had to think about it when my oldest start hitting the a-g requirements of the state universities. Then I just made an informal checklist to keep track.

 

I checked my district's high school transcript which is in the 2015/16 handbook. Algebra 1 is explicitly stated at the top of the transcript with the student grade (7th/8th), subject grade and year completed. Same goes for geometry if done in middle school. Probably to cover the a-g requirements. UC has their own application system so guess we could always modify our child's transcript's format to whatever is required.

You don't actually upload a transcript to UC's system though. I think they only ask to see it later if something wasn't clear on your application.

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Are you asking about showing things that were done in junior high on the high school transcript (ie, more than 4 years of a subject?) Most of the time I wouldn't unless there was something really unique on there. I mean--if a child did algebra in junior high, the college will know that when they see a transcript that says geometry, alg. 2, pre-calc, and calc on it. The high school transcript already reveals the level of work a student did previously. 

 

Where you might show it in other subjects would be by doing honors work, Clep, or AP tests. If you do honors US history or a test to earn college credit--you wouldn't talk about history classes they took in junior high school, you know?

 

The exception would be if they did high school work in junior high that is otherwise not represented on the transcript but fills a graduation requirement--but then you would note that it was a high school credit completed in an earlier grade. 

 

[...] Like others, my kids' transcripts show their interests because they took more than the required number of courses in that area. 

 

Thank you Merry! No, actually I was referring to some non traditional math work done prior to high school (we are taking advantage of grade skip to enjoy flexibility in deciding exactly when high school started) AND during high school, but the work done prior to high school doesn't look like a direct prerequisite to what was done during high school. E.g. courses like number theory and counting and probability through AoPS prior to high school then group theory during high school. I feel that leaving these pre high school courses out doesn't represent the full depth of the student's interest towards major preparation.

 

I don't plan to list anything non-math or non-foreign language from pre-8th grade and any math and foreign language pre-8th that I am listing will only be there to show graduation requirements being fulfilled, like you said (except some of those non-trad courses).

 

Yes, it's that last line I guess I was referring to...showing interest and major preparation (as he would have completed most lower division requirements prior to applying). But my kid tends to be "spiky" so I am wondering what amount of credits might be too much or bring up a red flag although we are only being truthful. Perhaps I just won't assign credits to those courses and just list them there to show interest?

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Thank you Merry! No, actually I was referring to some non traditional math work done prior to high school (we are taking advantage of grade skip to enjoy flexibility in deciding exactly when high school started) AND during high school, but the work done prior to high school doesn't look like a direct prerequisite to what was done during high school. E.g. courses like number theory and counting and probability through AoPS prior to high school then group theory during high school. I feel that leaving these pre high school courses out doesn't represent the full depth of the student's interest towards major preparation.

 

I don't plan to list anything non-math or non-foreign language from pre-8th grade and any math and foreign language pre-8th that I am listing will only be there to show graduation requirements being fulfilled, like you said (except some of those non-trad courses).

 

Yes, it's that last line I guess I was referring to...showing interest and major preparation (as he would have completed most lower division requirements prior to applying). But my kid tends to be "spiky" so I am wondering what amount of credits might be too much or bring up a red flag although we are only being truthful. Perhaps I just won't assign credits to those courses and just list them there to show interest?

 

In that case, I would list those classes with a note "taken before 9th grade; not included in GPA  or number of credits".

That is how I listed DD's algebra 1 and bio to ensure that the box checkers who must see this explicitly on the transcript have something to check - but not to raise the issue of padding the transcript. It was completely clear that the courses were not needed to fulfill the required number of credits nor were they used to boost the GPA. All bases covered.

 

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We worked backwards from good universities' admissions requirements. I require 4 years each of math, science, English, history, and foreign language (I knew this before starting high school, and these are the courses I plan for). Plus electives which tend to take care of themselves and are flexible.

I do not aim for a specific number of credits. DD had 30+ college credits because she started dual enrollment in 10th grade. DS will have fewer total credits. They will have however many credits they end up with.

 

I do not decide about early graduation based on completion of my high school requirements; there are many other factors to consider. Maturity is important, and creating a strong transcript for a student interested in a highly selective school is at odds with graduating as soon as standard requirements have been met. DD graduated at age 17 with  31.5 high school credits.

 

This is what we did. We looked at the pickiest university my dc were likely to apply to.

 

University competitive stats (not the minimum requirements) became our loose framework. 

 

Flexed and added depending on dc's major or area of interest as well as

 

Flexed and added depending on our requirements (logic, debate, apologetics). 

 

So the framework for each of my graduated kids looks pretty similar, and the differences reflect their interests, majors and, practically, what was available. 

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I have used our state's minimum high school graduation requirements and based our plan off of them.  As well, I wanted the kids to have 4 years of history (only 3 social studies required), and at least 2 years of foreign language.  I also require a biblical apologetics course and financial math before they graduate.  Both DS and now DD have taken dual credit classes as well, so they have exceeded the minimum requirements.

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In that case, I would list those classes with a note "taken before 9th grade; not included in GPA  or number of credits".

That is how I listed DD's algebra 1 and bio to ensure that the box checkers who must see this explicitly on the transcript have something to check - but not to raise the issue of padding the transcript. It was completely clear that the courses were not needed to fulfill the required number of credits nor were they used to boost the GPA. All bases covered.

 

 

Very helpful, thank you!

 

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