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Physics didn't go well this year, can I just not include it in grades?


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Ok, my ds tried, but it just didn't click.  He just finished physics from an outside source and got a D+.  Not awesome and probably not going to help a grade point.

He has taken all the other Apologia science for high school and technically our state doesn't require physics for college.  Has anyone just left off a bad grade from the grade point?  and what about using the 8th grade science grade course as a high school credit?  

Or, I guess another option is doing a  semester or summer of make up Physics to add to his course list, then this better grade can help average out the grade point.

-Thanks for any info,

K

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In college, a student who receives a D or F has the option of retaking the course and replacing the failing grade with a better one.

I would repeat physics and give the better grade, but only award credit once.

My personal philosophy is that I see no benefit in completing a course with a failing grade; I'd rather the student spend whatever time is necessary to actually learn the material.

I would, however, not simply omit a course taken from an outside source.

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I am with regentrude. I would have my child spend two years covering a subject before I would give a low grade. I assume because it came from an outside source, that was not an option so much. But I would just do it at home and forget the outsourced class.

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I want to add to my previous post:

I would definitely not ditch physics and do something else instead, because of the message this sends to the student:

"you're too dumb to learn physics, so let's do somethinge easier" or "if you screw up, you get out of doing something hard and we won't make you do it right".

Neither seems to me the lesson I'd want my student to learn from this. I would help him fix whatever the problem was the first time around and empower him by setting him up for success in the repeat.

Edited by regentrude
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If you took it from an outside source, it can be tricky to simply omit.

 

Some schools do specifically require that you list ALL high school courses taken, and they certainly make it seem like its a big deal if they find discrepancies. 

 

I wouldn't leave it off  regardless, if my student did take it and complete it. One bad grade is not going to ruin his chances for college. I would just decide if it was worth our while to retake it, and how likely it is to result in a much better grade. 

 

 

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I wouldn't include it. If it was a college class I would have had him drop so I wouldn't have him worse off for having tried to complete it satisfactorily.

 

If he didn't need the credit just omit it. If he has taken a course above and beyond the requirements I would not want him penalized. If he doesn't need the credit I would call it wasted time and money and not put it on the transcript. We had a planned course that never happened. I am just omitting. I see this as a similar scenario.

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If you took it from an outside source, it can be tricky to simply omit.

 

Some schools do specifically require that you list ALL high school courses taken, and they certainly make it seem like its a big deal if they find discrepancies. 

 

I wouldn't leave it off  regardless, if my student did take it and complete it. One bad grade is not going to ruin his chances for college. I would just decide if it was worth our while to retake it, and how likely it is to result in a much better grade. 

How would they know, unless it a college course?

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I would have him try again.  Knowing what the problems were and addressing them would be key for him to successfully repeat the course.  Was the math too much for him?  Did the instructor not explain things clearly?  Did his class meet too infrequently and cover too much information at once?

 

Here are a couple of options that he could use over the summer, assuming you decide to have him go through the material again for a better grade:

 

If you really wanted to stick with the Apologia text, you might consider having him use the free physics lessons at www.virtualhomeschoolgroup.org.  If you register with a parent account, you can peruse the materials yourself to see what you think before signing him up.  

 

Another free/cheap option - online high school physics videos at http://www.gpb.org/chemistry-physics/students/physics.  You can print notetaking guides, worksheets, etc.  Teacher materials can be obtained by calling and meeting their requirements. 

 

With either of these, I strongly encourage you to watch the videos, too, so you can help him understand the material. 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My son had a poor (to me, anyhow) grade for Physics.  We used an outside provider, and there were some issues related to his final grade that were directly related to the course I selected, and not his efforts.  We did a second course (different) over the summer, but I didn't make him re-do labs -- so it was *just* the book reading, lecture notes, problems over the summer.  He aced it.  I use that grade.

 

Sometimes Physics doesn't click the first time, sometimes we choose something too difficult, or the provider we choose is a poor fit for the student -- but like regentrude indicated, it's important to not simply say, "Oh well" and move on.  The material can be learned.

 

While not necessarily a fun way to spend the summer, going back through the material and awarding credit for it would be my preferred option.  I would not make any record of the first course.

 

You can look at the EDX courses or Coursera (free, online), also Clutch Prep has some videos keyed to both the Giancoli and Knight College Physics texts.  

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Ok, my ds tried, but it just didn't click.  He just finished physics from an outside source and got a D+.  Not awesome and probably not going to help a grade point.

He has taken all the other Apologia science for high school and technically our state doesn't require physics for college.  Has anyone just left off a bad grade from the grade point?  and what about using the 8th grade science grade course as a high school credit?  

Or, I guess another option is doing a  semester or summer of make up Physics to add to his course list, then this better grade can help average out the grade point.

-Thanks for any info,

K

 

Was the outside provider a community college or university, and was the course dual enrollment? If so, you absolutely must include the course and grade, as when applying for college admission colleges require transcripts from all schools attended; failure to do so can result in loss of scholarships, expulsion, or even possibly loss of a degree earned if not discovered until after college.

 

No, unless the 8th grade science was Biology or above, and you were already planning on bringing up that credit, I wouldn't bring that up to try and replace the Physics credits.

 

I agree with previous posters who suggest a "credit recovery" route. Over the summer, informally watch some videos and read something like Cartoon Physics and other lighter/intro books -- enough that DS understands the key concepts of Physics, and combine a grade for that work done with the current outsourced grade to raise the final grade on your transcript.

 

JMO! :)

Edited by Lori D.
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I would say, though, that if you do credit recovery you be honest with the grade. If you are doing as Lori suggests, I wouldn't say that successful completion of that would raise the grade higher than a C.

 

I would look at what brought his grade down. If it was homework, but his tests were okay, I might drop the homework part of the grade. If his lab scores were low, I'd have him revise those for a higher grade. If he had failed any of the tests, I would redo those.

 

Then I would figure out what went wrong. Do you need to check in on him every week? Our online science teacher will meet one on one if you are confused-could that have happened? That would help me inform future online classes for this child. For example, when ds had trouble at times in Chem this year, dh tutored him. We kept an eye on the homework grades and sometimes I checked them before they went in to make sure he wasn't confused on a major concept. But his teacher was available, too, and ds did meet with her a couple of times to get sorted out.

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How would they know, unless it a college course?

 

I don't know, but I wouldn't want to rely on "they're probably not going to find out." When you submit applications, it's like you have to sign in blood verifying every part to be true and accurate, and if they are not you will be rejected and mocked and have to give your first-born to Rumplestiltskin. 

 

Also, if a college specifically requests that you list all high school courses taken from any source, I just would not be comfortable not listing a high school course that the student did indeed officially sign up for and compete, that was meant to satisfy a core requirement for the year. If none of the student's applications had that specific wording, that might be a different story. 

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Sometimes, if you play around with a GPA calculator, it shows that things are not as bad as they seem. The below is done unweighted, with an A being 4 points, a B being 3 points, and so on. 

 

If the student has 24 high school credits , then 11 A's, 11 B's, 2 C's = 3.38

 

Change one of the C's to a D and you have 11 A's, 11 B's, 1 C, 1 D = 3.33. 

 

Or  11 A's, 12 B's, 1 D brings you back to a 3.38. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I want to add to my previous post:

I would definitely not ditch physics and do something else instead, because of the message this sends to the student:

"you're too dumb to learn physics, so let's do somethinge easier" or "if you screw up, you get out of doing something hard and we won't make you do it right".

Neither seems to me the lesson I'd want my student to learn from this. I would help him fix whatever the problem was the first time around and empower him by setting him up for success in the repeat.

 

This is a real bummer.  At this stage, its important to think beyond the grade and consider the impact it will have upon the student's learning.  Who cares about the grade?  What about understanding physics?  If left as it is now and simply swept under the rug, that will be the student's impression of physics going forward.  As a minimum, I would at least go through a conceptual physics or something to remediate what was missed during the course.  Focus on the learning and rest will work itself out.  

Edited by dereksurfs
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I don't know, but I wouldn't want to rely on "they're probably not going to find out." When you submit applications, it's like you have to sign in blood verifying every part to be true and accurate, and if they are not you will be rejected and mocked and have to give your first-born to Rumplestiltskin. 

 

Also, if a college specifically requests that you list all high school courses taken from any source, I just would not be comfortable not listing a high school course that the student did indeed officially sign up for and compete, that was meant to satisfy a core requirement for the year. If none of the student's applications had that specific wording, that might be a different story. 

The reason I asked is that most providers we use (not speaking to college courses) have a statement somewhere in their handbook or FAQ stating that parents are responsible for recording classes, participation, and grades in a way that meets local regulations.  My DD really screwed up a class after I was injured, so we will do further instruction over the summer until she has adequate knowledge of the material based on my standards.  I will then issue a grade.  

 

In our school district, if a student fails a high school class, or doesn't have a grade they find acceptable, they may retake the class and the second grade will be recorded with the credit for that class.  No record of the first class will show on a transcript.

Edited by melmichigan
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While old, I can personally say that not every one of my high school courses was on my "final" transcript.

 

I went to PS in GA in 9th, then PS in FL for 10th and a private umbrella school in IL for 11th & 12th.  There were courses (at least 2) I took in GA that weren't accepted in FL, and removed from my transcript when the FL school sent it on IL, and again a course I took in FL wasn't accepted by the IL school.   So, technically, my final "official" transcript was missing 3 courses (none of which had bad grades, they just didn't "fit" or there was some state-mandated course the prior one couldn't replace.  

 

There is nothing dishonest about following a standard practice in schools in replacing one course with a credit recovery course taken during the summer or a different semester.  What would be dishonest is manipulating numbers to arrive at a better grade.

 

My course syllabi have a fairly uniform method as to how a grade is calculated, and that is clearly spelled out.  If I were to adjust one course by flipping percentages, that would be dishonest (for example, math is usually 20% homework, 80% tests; science is usually 25% lab, 25%homework, 50% Quizzes and Tests, if I broke this in Physics and made Labs 50%, tests 20% and homework 30% as a clear attempt to manipulate the grade to favor my kid, that would be dishonest.

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The reason I asked is that most providers we use (not speaking to college courses) have a statement somewhere in their handbook or FAQ stating that parents are responsible for recording classes, participation, and grades in a way that meets local regulations.  My DD really screwed up a class after I was injured, so we will do further instruction over the summer until she has adequate knowledge of the material based on my standards.  I will then issue a grade.  

 

In our school district, if a student fails a high school class, or doesn't have a grade they find acceptable, they may retake the class and the second grade will be recorded with the credit for that class.  No record of the first class will show on a transcript.

 

Both of those are different situations than simply omitting a completed class from a transcript. 

 

I don't have a problem with retaking a class for a better grade. 

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In a "Homeschooling High School" seminar I attended a couple of years ago, it was recommended not to record any grade below a "B" on the final transcript. The speaker, who had been a teacher in the public schools for 30 years prior to teaching homeschool classes at a small one-day a week program, said that grade inflation is so rampant in the schools that only the very bottom students would receive anything less than a "B", and because of that, it would reflect very poorly on your student.

 

I'm not saying that is what should be done, but I do see the logic in it. Some of the schools near us have recently decided to not only do away with final exams, but to "round up" grades. It was stated that the reason for doing this was that it would help students raise their gpas and make them more competitive for college. At our highly-rated local high school, teachers protested last year because they were being forced to inflate grades by the principal.

 

There is one class my son has received a "C" in and I will either not give him credit for that class or I will give him some extra work to bring up his grade, but the "C" won't be on his transcript. I do understand that if it was a college course, it would have to be put on there, though.

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If you took it from an outside source, it can be tricky to simply omit.

 

Some schools do specifically require that you list ALL high school courses taken, and they certainly make it seem like its a big deal if they find discrepancies. 

 

I wouldn't leave it off  regardless, if my student did take it and complete it. One bad grade is not going to ruin his chances for college. I would just decide if it was worth our while to retake it, and how likely it is to result in a much better grade. 

 

I would only omit it if he took it through an unaccredited program where parents are the ones who award the credit--Derek Owens or WTMA, for example.  If he took it through a credit-granting, accredited institution, I would not leave it off.

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"... grade inflation is so rampant in the schools that only the very bottom students would receive anything less than a "B", and because of that, it would reflect very poorly on your student."

 

 

My dh attended a small private school with excellent academics: highly educated teachers (nearly all with PhDs), courses that far exceeded my own public school education in depth and rigor.  But their students who by any measure should be getting admitted to tippy top schools just weren't.  The reason:  they graded harshly, with no grade inflation in comparison to other schools.  

 

A recent Stanford admissions PR announcement reiterates the importance of grades:  "More than 80 percent of them [accepted students] have a high school grade point average of 4.0 or above and have demonstrated excellence in fields ranging from the arts and humanities to Earth sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and engineering."

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In a "Homeschooling High School" seminar I attended a couple of years ago, it was recommended not to record any grade below a "B" on the final transcript. The speaker, who had been a teacher in the public schools for 30 years prior to teaching homeschool classes at a small one-day a week program, said that grade inflation is so rampant in the schools that only the very bottom students would receive anything less than a "B", and because of that, it would reflect very poorly on your student.

 

I'm not saying that is what should be done, but I do see the logic in it. Some of the schools near us have recently decided to not only do away with final exams, but to "round up" grades. It was stated that the reason for doing this was that it would help students raise their gpas and make them more competitive for college. At our highly-rated local high school, teachers protested last year because they were being forced to inflate grades by the principal.

 

There is one class my son has received a "C" in and I will either not give him credit for that class or I will give him some extra work to bring up his grade, but the "C" won't be on his transcript. I do understand that if it was a college course, it would have to be put on there, though.

 

That's not true everywhere, not at all. My daughter is a good student, scores extremely high on the SAT, gets overall decent to good grades, and works extremely hard.  Her freshman year adjusting to a rigorous high school on the semester schedule and taking Physics (big mistake) got a C, and a quarter grade in Algebra 2 (which is the equivalent of a semester grade for year long courses) of a D.  She has since retaken Algebra 2 (she wants to apply to a UC school and they have a no-less than C- policy for their required courses) but the C remains for Physics. And it is completely up to the University how they want to calculate the GPA - whether with the D or without.  The student is required to report all courses taken (and it's impossible not to, since the official transcript is in the hands of the schools she has attended). 

 

If there are schools who are passing kids that shouldn't be passed, the colleges can probably figure this out.  They can look at the high schools the kids are coming from, look at the standardized scores, the passing rates of SATs, AP's -- they can make a judgement call on whether the grades are inflated or not.  All I know is that the two high schools my daughter has attended she has had to work her butt off to get the grades she does and she doesn't get a do-over for a couple of bad grades she got when she was a 13 year old freshman.  And this has definitely contributed to an inordinate amount of anxiety when she realized her GPA is on the lower end of a lot of the selective schools she is looking at.  

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If there are schools who are passing kids that shouldn't be passed, the colleges can probably figure this out.  They can look at the high schools the kids are coming from, look at the standardized scores, the passing rates of SATs, AP's -- they can make a judgement call on whether the grades are inflated or not.  All I know is that the two high schools my daughter has attended she has had to work her butt off to get the grades she does and she doesn't get a do-over for a couple of bad grades she got when she was a 13 year old freshman.  And this has definitely contributed to an inordinate amount of anxiety when she realized her GPA is on the lower end of a lot of the selective schools she is looking at.  

This is why picking a high school is so important. In Texas where automatic admission is based exclusively on class rank, there is a lot of debate about whether it is a good idea to go to a rigorous high school with admission exams or to just coast through your zoned school. If your heart is set on UT Austin, you're better off at your zoned school. TAMU also offers automatic admission by SAT or ACT score in addition to the class rank admission so it's not as big a deal. I hope it works out for your dd.

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That is sad. I don't mean the individual situation as we all have to respond to the system we are in but the fact that we have a system where pretty much everyone gets all "A"s. They become a little meaningless at that point. No wonder colleges can't use them to decide on admittance and have to use extra curricular competitions, test scores, and non-academic info.

 

 

I believe the reason my oldest works so much harder is because he knows he will be graded accordingly. I put a D on his transcript in a programming class that used a college syllabus and in which his teacher completly failed at the task provided. Mostly he learned not to depend on the teacher, to make his own assignments, and to be proactive. He is getting an A for the second semester. I think when it comes to being useful to employers, running a business, or just being a good member of society these lessons are much more important than programming.

 

Not to derail your thread. You are working in the system that we have so you want to do what is best for your son.

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That's not true everywhere, not at all. My daughter is a good student, scores extremely high on the SAT, gets overall decent to good grades, and works extremely hard. Her freshman year adjusting to a rigorous high school on the semester schedule and taking Physics (big mistake) got a C, and a quarter grade in Algebra 2 (which is the equivalent of a semester grade for year long courses) of a D. She has since retaken Algebra 2 (she wants to apply to a UC school and they have a no-less than C- policy for their required courses) but the C remains for Physics. And it is completely up to the University how they want to calculate the GPA - whether with the D or without. The student is required to report all courses taken (and it's impossible not to, since the official transcript is in the hands of the schools she has attended).

 

If there are schools who are passing kids that shouldn't be passed, the colleges can probably figure this out. They can look at the high schools the kids are coming from, look at the standardized scores, the passing rates of SATs, AP's -- they can make a judgement call on whether the grades are inflated or not. All I know is that the two high schools my daughter has attended she has had to work her butt off to get the grades she does and she doesn't get a do-over for a couple of bad grades she got when she was a 13 year old freshman. And this has definitely contributed to an inordinate amount of anxiety when she realized her GPA is on the lower end of a lot of the selective schools she is looking at.

Hopefully, the colleges look at student gpas in the context of where a particular student falls in comparison to their peers. I would think they would, since they ask for class rank.

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Hopefully, the colleges look at student gpas in the context of where a particular student falls in comparison to their peers. I would think they would, since they ask for class rank.

 

I don't think that always happens though, because I've heard lots of stories here where certain scholarships at schools were based solely on GPA, and that was the cutoff point.  

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Also figuring out a student's gpa is a job in itself. My daughter's last school only weighted for AP- no honors weighting and just a straight 4.0, 3.0, 2.0 - nothing for plusses. Her present school doesn't weight honors but it weights plusses: A- is 4.0, A+ is 4.5, A+ in a AP is 5.5. And my nephew goes to a school that grades on a six point scale. It all seems so meaningless.

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Ok, my ds tried, but it just didn't click.  He just finished physics from an outside source and got a D+.  Not awesome and probably not going to help a grade point.

He has taken all the other Apologia science for high school and technically our state doesn't require physics for college.  Has anyone just left off a bad grade from the grade point?  and what about using the 8th grade science grade course as a high school credit?  

Or, I guess another option is doing a  semester or summer of make up Physics to add to his course list, then this better grade can help average out the grade point.

-Thanks for any info,

K

 

 

Wow, if that would have been an option for me in school, I would have gotten all As. In fact all the way through--I had all As but usually took an extra class or two at a time at least a year ahead.

 

I would have him get the option to repeat the course.

 

To do anything else would be to take a spot from a child whose parents did not commit a lie of omission on the transcript.

 

 

 

 

 They can look at the high schools the kids are coming from, look at the standardized scores, the passing rates of SATs, AP's -- they can make a judgement call on whether the grades are inflated or not.

 

 

And since the only way to do this with homeschooled children is to compare them with one another (since the numbers are too small in each family to do a proper analysis), if OP follows the advice of some here and omits her son's only poor grade, she will be contributing to a data set that will tell colleges that homeschooled kids' GPAs should be adjusted downward.

 

So I'm not sure why ANY homeschooled parent would want that. I know I wouldn't want that for my own kids' schools.

 

OP, I'd make him re-take it. A D+ goes beyond "didn't click" though. If it doesn't click you can usually study your butt off and do all the homework and attend all the tutoring sessions and get a C-. High school physics is hard. We had to sit in an hour a day and study an average of seven hours a week. Did your son do that? If not then I would attribute this to not working up to the level required, not "not clicking".

 

Sorry if it sounds harsh, but if my kids' primary grade from outside sources was a D+ I would not be looking to make that go away. I'd be asking why. Physics is hard but it's not on such a different level that it would be impossible, if the math were there.

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Also figuring out a student's gpa is a job in itself. My daughter's last school only weighted for AP- no honors weighting and just a straight 4.0, 3.0, 2.0 - nothing for plusses. Her present school doesn't weight honors but it weights plusses: A- is 4.0, A+ is 4.5, A+ in a AP is 5.5. And my nephew goes to a school that grades on a six point scale. It all seems so meaningless.

 

The 6 point scale is just for valedictorian / salutatorian.

 

That must be adjusted for college admissions. They will not be going "oh wow a 6.0 never seen that before, admit all of them!"

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Thanks so much for all great responses!  I not trying to be dishonest about anything, I am just trying to figure out how to help ds fix this grade.  

HIs class was from a non-credited, overseas school.  He struggled with the math part big-time and that is pretty much why his grade was low.

I am leaning toward some kind of credit recovery class for at least the second semester of physics.  

What does a credit recovery class look like in transcripts?  

If he was going to a public school and took a summer school class to improve a grade, how would that look on his transcripts?  A second class with a grade, or a changed original grade? or something else?

 

Thanks!

-K

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Thought others might be interested in the article I mentioned about excluding final exams and rounding up grades. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/an-easy-a-under-new-rules-these-high-school-students-could-see-grades-soar/2016/05/11/6f3e2a5a-16f2-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

 

"Just months after deciding to eliminate traditional final exams, Montgomery County has announced significant changes to its method of calculating grades starting in the 2016-2017 school year, most notably that final course grades will be rounded up after a student’s two quarterly grades are averaged. If a student gets, say, an A for the first quarter in geometry and then a B for the second quarter, the student’s semester course grade would be an A. If a student gets an A in one quarter and then a D in the next quarter, they would end up with a B."

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It sounds like the class was just a bad fit for your ds. (i.e. This was not a motivation or attitude problem.) If this was my child, I would give him extra credit opportunities over the summer. If he worked on that, I would adjust the grade and not have the original grade on the transcript at all. You are the principal and teacher. You have the authority to do this. Giving extra credit is a totally accepted practice in higher education, so I wouldn't have any qualms whatsoever about this.

 

A couple examples from this semester:

 

Ds just finished his third year as a dental student at a well-respected school. At the end of the semester, the class was given an exam that earned an automatic fail if they missed one question. However, if only one question was missed, they could make it up by writing a paper. Most students in the class were writing papers last weekend.

 

Dd took an online DE music appreciation class through the university she plans to attend in the fall. She has never had an ear for music, so the listening portions of the exams were extremely difficult for her. Her professor offered several opportunities for extra credit, such as attending concerts and watching operas and writing papers about them. She did all the extra credit and ended up with an A. More importantly, she has a much greater appreciation for music now. Imagine how much she would like music if the prof had failed her! The professor's goal seemed to be to expose the kids who weren't naturally gifted in music to an extra wide variety of music thereby increasing their enjoyment of the subject.

 

And isn't that the goal? To broaden their world and increase their enjoyment of the subjects they're exposed to? I'm sure that's what you want for your ds. You mentioned that he's done Apologia. I couldn't tell if he'd done the physics book or not. If he likes that format, I'd have him do selected modules and assignments from that text over the summer. Another great option would be the Physics 101 DVDs. My kids watch these DVDs for fun, and they learn a lot. There's a guide book with extra activities you could select from for extra credit.

 

 

Edited by Jane Elliot
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Wow, if that would have been an option for me in school, I would have gotten all As. In fact all the way through--I had all As but usually took an extra class or two at a time at least a year ahead.

 

I would have him get the option to repeat the course.

 

To do anything else would be to take a spot from a child whose parents did not commit a lie of omission on the transcript.

 

 

 

 

And since the only way to do this with homeschooled children is to compare them with one another (since the numbers are too small in each family to do a proper analysis), if OP follows the advice of some here and omits her son's only poor grade, she will be contributing to a data set that will tell colleges that homeschooled kids' GPAs should be adjusted downward.

 

So I'm not sure why ANY homeschooled parent would want that. I know I wouldn't want that for my own kids' schools.

 

OP, I'd make him re-take it. A D+ goes beyond "didn't click" though. If it doesn't click you can usually study your butt off and do all the homework and attend all the tutoring sessions and get a C-. High school physics is hard. We had to sit in an hour a day and study an average of seven hours a week. Did your son do that? If not then I would attribute this to not working up to the level required, not "not clicking".

 

Sorry if it sounds harsh, but if my kids' primary grade from outside sources was a D+ I would not be looking to make that go away. I'd be asking why. Physics is hard but it's not on such a different level that it would be impossible, if the math were there.

 

I disagree with this post, especially the bolded, but the rest of it too. (I'm sorry, Tsuga. I love so many of your posts.)

 

Homeschool is not public or traditional school. They are not alike and should not be compared. If we apply the same standards and practices to homeschool that are applied to public school, we are dismissing all the advantages of homeschool while retaining all the disadvantages.

 

For example, one major disadvantage for homeschool parents is the simple fact that they don't have the experience of having taught 100 students in each and every class. I don't get a boatload of free textbooks to preview before I assign one to my child. Consequently, as parents we sometimes choose untried courses that end up being a particularly bad fit for our students. In that case, part of the blame lies on us when a student gets a bad grade, and part of the blame is simply lack of experience due to the nature of homeschool.

 

If we start applying traditional practices so stringently, we'll be tempted to use only courses that are not likely to challenge our students. We won't use any untried materials lest we unwittingly push our students past their ability. We'll actually be lowering our standards, which by the way, as other posters have pointed out, is exactly what has happened in some public schools. 

 

Sure, if this was an attitude or motivation problem I might have a different answer here, but that has not been my experience, and I don't see that in the op's post. A homeschooling parent is the best judge of her child's problem and should have the final say in awarding the grade.

 

Admissions officers already understand that homeschool is not traditional school. They don't expect us to treat it as such, so why should we place this unnecessary and unfair burden on ourselves?  And since in a homeschool the parent is the manager, leaving an unaccredited course off a transcript is in no way "a lie of omission" and calling it such is indeed harsh.

Edited by Jane Elliot
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Thanks so much for all great responses!  I not trying to be dishonest about anything, I am just trying to figure out how to help ds fix this grade.  

HIs class was from a non-credited, overseas school.  He struggled with the math part big-time and that is pretty much why his grade was low.

I am leaning toward some kind of credit recovery class for at least the second semester of physics.  

What does a credit recovery class look like in transcripts?  

If he was going to a public school and took a summer school class to improve a grade, how would that look on his transcripts?  A second class with a grade, or a changed original grade? or something else?

 

Thanks!

-K

 

Lots-o-rice, are you sure this was an algebra based physics class? I'd take a look at the GPB physics class and the virtual homeschool at-your-own-pace class and see if those look like the class your ds was enrolled in. If they look much easier, I'd venture to say that the class he took expected a higher level of prep than a typical US high school physics class. If that's the case, I'd have him do either GPB or VHS physics over the summer and replace the grade. If they do look the same, I'd still have him retake the class over the summer but I'd follow the policy of your local school district about averaging or replacing the grade.

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Thanks so much for all great responses!  I not trying to be dishonest about anything, I am just trying to figure out how to help ds fix this grade.  

HIs class was from a non-credited, overseas school.  He struggled with the math part big-time and that is pretty much why his grade was low.

I am leaning toward some kind of credit recovery class for at least the second semester of physics.  

What does a credit recovery class look like in transcripts?  

If he was going to a public school and took a summer school class to improve a grade, how would that look on his transcripts?  A second class with a grade, or a changed original grade? or something else?

 

Thanks!

-K

 

In my PS we were offered the option to repeat part of calculus because the entire class got below a C and the teacher wasn't willing to curve it because he believed we did not learn the material. We had switched curricula that year and he determined it was a combination of that and the way we approached the class and the timing. He let us take it again for the following semester, all the material, with a different book (which he had us buy out of our own money, by the way--and which he learned to teach himself over the break). Then he averaged the entire grade over the year so instead of accelerated calculus it was regular calculus. We just didn't get Calc II on our transcripts.

 

That said it depends on the school. That was one option.

 

 

As for your son:

 

 

1. If the class was from overseas, is it possible that the D+ would translate different to American grades, or did he already do that? For example, a 50% in the US is an F; a 50% in France is not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_France If this was an overseas class, make sure you have translated the grade correctly before you go through this.

 

2. Supposing your son legitimately got a D+ (1.9 US GPA). In that case, I would have him re-take an equally rigorous course (if the overseas course can't be re-taken) and hire a tutor to help him through. MANY kids in top schools have tutors to help them drill. Ensure there is external oversight--AP exam? CC physics course? Derek Owens? Something, anything to show that you didn't just drop the low grade and give him mom's seal of approval.

 

3. The other option would be to ask whether the D+ was on a curve and if not, curve it yourself. Like was the average grade a C? If it was not curved, I'd be willing to curve it and put an asterisk on the GPA and note the percentage grade and that the grade is the curved grade. Curved just means standardized. You could have someone here do the curving for you if you can get the anonymized final results. Might do your son a favor too provided he did not come in dead last or something...

 

4. chiguirre makes a good point about the content. I wouldn't hesitate, if your son took calc-based physics, to put that with the D+ on the transcript... although then why did he take that one in particular? Just curious.

 

 

 

If we start applying traditional practices so stringently, we'll be tempted to use only courses that are not likely to challenge our students.

 

 

I understand what you are saying and in many cases I think that this is true. For example, no testing or no grading through eight grade suits me just fine.

 

However in this case, OP is specifically asking regarding university admissions.

 

It is not true that most universities are looking at each child as a special case and that "homeschool is different". Having worked in higher ed, the "my kid and their education is special" argument is not one that endears the admissions officer to the child or the application. It's more like, "We did it our way and here is how we are making it possible for you to do this for my child as well as thousands upon thousands of applicants."

 

Many high schools would love to make exceptions and do things individually for each child, but for a college a thousand miles away, they need standardized metrics.

 

What you are saying about grades applies to many things, but if that is the attitude, then my thought is that you shouldn't put grades on there at all. That's kind of meaningless. Instead, just use subject matter and pass/fail, and then let the test scores speak for themselves. Make it explicit that you aren't using that system.

 

Don't decide you aren't using that system and then just give the kid the As. That mocks what others have worked hard for.

 

And yes I am aware grade inflation is a problem in public and private schools and it drives me insane as well. But the solution is not grade inflation or grade curation in the homeschool.

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And since in a homeschool the parent is the manager, leaving an unaccredited course off a transcript is in no way "a lie of omission" and calling it such is indeed harsh.

 

 

I respectfully disagree.

 

I do not think that homeschool parents are exempt from reporting their children's academic records simply because they have less teaching experience. My child has a teacher in her first year of teaching. In fact most American kids will get at least two or three such teachers over their careers, because of turnover.

 

We do not get to ask for those grades or tests to be thrown out even though sometimes the teachers are super harsh (and sometimes, such as in my step-daughters language class, they simply don't show up and the kids don't learn).

 

We also don't get to request the most experienced teachers, though many try.

 

That is not something that only homeschooled parents face; it is something we all cope with.

 

Moreover, OP is not talking about "I screwed up, this was not a legit way of teaching this--we are doing it over." OP wrote that her son did fine in her classes but then got a D+ in his one external science course. That's kind of a red flag if omitted! "Oh yeah, the kid couldn't handle external teachers but he did fine by mom" is precisely the type of reputation homeschool parents do NOT want college admissions officers to internalize.

 

There are many options available to OP's son that are honest and which do not leave him with the full impact of a D+, provided they are willing to do the work and research to get the accurate representation of his understanding into the transcript. Simply leaving it off is not, in my opinion, one of them.

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If he was going to a public school and took a summer school class to improve a grade, how would that look on his transcripts? A second class with a grade, or a changed original grade? or something else?

A friend's public school daughter did summer credit recovery for the subjects she failed in 10th grade. It was listed under summer term credit recovery on her transcript. I don't know how her GPA is calculated though because California state universities count 10th and 11th grade subjects for GPA and she fail them in 10th grade.

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Many high schools would love to make exceptions and do things individually for each child, but for a college a thousand miles away, they need standardized metrics.

 

What you are saying about grades applies to many things, but if that is the attitude, then my thought is that you shouldn't put grades on there at all. That's kind of meaningless. Instead, just use subject matter and pass/fail, and then let the test scores speak for themselves. Make it explicit that you aren't using that system.

 

Don't decide you aren't using that system and then just give the kid the As. That mocks what others have worked hard for.

 

And yes I am aware grade inflation is a problem in public and private schools and it drives me insane as well. But the solution is not grade inflation or grade curation in the homeschool.

 

There is no such thing as standardized metrics in high school courses from different schools in this country. Pick any two schools in the country and their grading systems and standards are going to be different. That's why we use tests such as ACT, SAT, AP, etc . . . Schools are just different, like homeschools.

 

Admissions officers understand that homeschool transcripts are parent generated with parent grades. That's why they place more priority on standardized tests.

 

FWIW, I went with my gut on some of my homeschooled kids grades because there is simply no other reasonable way to do it sometimes, and of the six that have (or almost have) graduated from college, every single one of them had a college gpa that nearly matched or was better than the high school gpa I gave them.

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There is no such thing as standardized metrics in high school courses from different schools in this country. Pick any two schools in the country and their grading systems and standards are going to be different. That's why we use tests such as ACT, SAT, AP, etc . . . Schools are just different, like homeschools.

 

Admissions officers understand that homeschool transcripts are parent generated with parent grades. That's why they place more priority on standardized tests.

 

FWIW, I went with my gut on some of my homeschooled kids grades because there is simply no other reasonable way to do it sometimes, and of the six that have (or almost have) graduated from college, every single one of them had a college gpa that nearly matched or was better than the high school gpa I gave them.

There is a huge difference between variance in grades, and a policy to drop anything below a c off the transcript.

 

Curricula differ and I agree that it's something more of an art than a science when you're alone, but simply not including external grades is a different ballgame.

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There is a huge difference between variance in grades, and a policy to drop anything below a c off the transcript.

 

Curricula differ and I agree that it's something more of an art than a science when you're alone, but simply not including external grades is a different ballgame.

Well, I will jump back in and say that the advice not to include anything below a C was given by a teacher with many years of experience with the school systems in my area to a group of homeschoolers who give academics a very high priority and who have their kids in classes that are challenging beyond what the public school offers.

 

And, to be clear, I didn't take the advice to mean we should all bump up the grades of lower performing students, but, rather, that we needed to be aware of what the ps was doing and not penalize our students by grading more harshly than the school does. That is the bottom line.

 

When the schools decide that a student that earns an A first semester and then a D the second will receive a B, then grades are no longer meaningful and the grading system has become a game. If I used that system, then the C I mentioned that my son had, is not a C, but a B or a low A. So, no, the schools in my area are not on a higher ground. And I sleep well at night knowing my son will either do additional work for me to bring the grade up or do another year of work in another subject to earn a credit to make up for that class if we do not include it.

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Ok, my ds tried, but it just didn't click.  He just finished physics from an outside source and got a D+.  Not awesome and probably not going to help a grade point.

He has taken all the other Apologia science for high school and technically our state doesn't require physics for college.  Has anyone just left off a bad grade from the grade point?  and what about using the 8th grade science grade course as a high school credit?  

Or, I guess another option is doing a  semester or summer of make up Physics to add to his course list, then this better grade can help average out the grade point.

-Thanks for any info,

K

 

What was the source you used?  You mentioned it was an unaccredited overseas provider.  Is the D+ a reliable grade or did it represent a mismatch in expectations (algebra vs calculus based, high school vs college level)?  [i'm curious if it was a particular provider, who advertises for "teachers" online, but they are unpaid and may have varied backgrounds in what they teach.]  Did you know he was struggling, or was the final grade a surprise?  

 

What book did the course use?  This might help with determining the level of the course?

 

I would probably say that it was a bad match of course and student and require he redo physics over the summer.  

 

Apologia Physics is an algebra level course.  I think it is possible to move quickly through this course if it is the only academics being taken.  You might also allow him to take a test to challenge the grade assessment.  For example, how would he do on a Physics end of course or Regents exam?  

 

I think that you need to evaluate if the course he took was an adequate course and was one that actually met the course goals you had.  (In other words, if he took a calculus based course while he was learning algebra, I would consider that a failure in placement as much as a failure in student performance.  

 

I think you need to be honest in what you put on your transcript and course descriptions.  I would not, for example, simply change the grade of the outside course, without remediating the course or doing some other form of assessment to determine if he understands the material.  I think you can have him retake Physics over the summer and have that grade replace the other course.

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