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Am I the only parent that can't fit everything into the standard 6 credits a year?

 

I still can't figure out when we can do Statistics and I'm looking at 28 credits between what is required of us and what we are requiring of ourselves. I suppose he can just take Statistics in college but really we are leaving out so much we want to do!  My son did an extra elective this year (programming) but really if he takes Latin and PE every year then he always needs to have an extra elective to fit in anything other than the standard 4 core subjects. I don't want to always require extra subjects but he also has interest in computer related subjects and they are useful also. He also is looking for a job.  He needs the money for school and could use some of the skills from working but boy, how to fit it all in is something I'm not figuring out very well. 

 

 

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How is your school day structured? 6 credits would equal roughly six hours of school per day. Start at 8am, take an hour for lunch, be done at 3pm.

PE can be done outside of these hours, so it would actually be only five hours of academic seat work.

Can you pinpoint what the issue is?

My DD graduated with 32 high school credits. With DE, you can knock out a high school credit in one semester.

And there is always summer; you can easily finish an elective over the summer.

Edited by regentrude

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I don't count PE as a "course." Even if you choose to put it on the transcript, it takes up very little time, and it's something the student would presumably be doing anyway to keep fit and active.

 

So if you do the 5 cores x  4 years, that still leaves room for 1 full elective credit or two half-credits each year. And many students carry 7 credits/yr, or load up on credits via DE in 11th &/or 12th, since a 1-semester or 1-quarter college class = 1 HS credit.

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No, the issue is we want to take more than 6 credits worth.  In fact, we want to take more than 7 credits worth. He has on his transcript 3 electives for this semester but when we look at what we want to do and are interested in doing it will take more than 3 electives per semester. I know the only answer is just wait to deal with some of this material in college or to not count what he does in his free time as school work.  He likes learning so he will be doing it his whole life, hopefully. We are just struggling with what to put on the chopping block right now. Or rather what we really want to focus on. 

 

P.E. is going to have to go on the transcript for a couple reasons. I'm working through a charter school right now and also the State requires a couple years of PE. anyway but PE isn't really the problem since he needs to exercise anyway.  It's taking four years of Latin and still wanting to do computer programming and robotics and economics and statistics. We just want to go over our time budget. So much to do and so little time. 

Edited by frogger

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No, the issue is we want to take more than 6 credits worth.  In fact, we want to take more than 7 credits worth.

 

8 credits would be 8 hours of school work daily. Or fewer hours, and a light load over the summer. Definitely possible if he wants to.

 

I am still not sure I understand what exactly the issue is. My DD had 8 or 8.5 credits each year from 10th through 12th grade.

 

Edited by regentrude
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So the answer to the original question, "Am I the only parent who has trouble fitting it all in?" is yes.  8 to 8.5 credits and while working a  job while getting in exercise and doing chores and living life is easy for you. So just say you don't have a problem with it. Sorry. 

 

 

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So the answer to the original question, "Am I the only parent who has trouble fitting it all in?" is yes.  8 to 8.5 credits and while working a  job while getting in exercise and doing chores and living life is easy for you. So just say you don't have a problem with it. Sorry. 

 

OK, so you just wanted a JAWM. I thought maybe you wanted some suggestions how to fit the credits in, from people whose kids have successfully done so - I am sorry I misunderstood.

I thought that maybe you would elaborate where exactly the issue was, so we could help him make it possible.

 

ETA: I know that 8FillTheHeart's kids had huge academic loads, probably more than my DD. You could look at he old posts and see how they did it

Edited by regentrude
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No, the issue is we want to take more than 6 credits worth.  In fact, we want to take more than 7 credits worth. He has on his transcript 3 electives for this semester but when we look at what we want to do and are interested in doing it will take more than 3 electives per semester. I know the only answer is just wait to deal with some of this material in college or to not count what he does in his free time as school work.  He likes learning so he will be doing it his whole life, hopefully. We are just struggling with what to put on the chopping block right now. Or rather what we really want to focus on. 

 

I would not count what he does in his free time as schoolwork. Save it for the essay, counselor letter, school profile, or some other area where it will stand out more.

 

P.E. is going to have to go on the transcript for a couple reasons. I'm working through a charter school right now and also the State requires a couple years of PE. anyway but PE isn't really the problem since he needs to exercise anyway.  It's taking four years of Latin and still wanting to do computer programming and robotics and economics and statistics. We just want to go over our time budget. So much to do and so little time. 

 

Even with PE on the transcript, it's not cutting into the actual academic time. A bike ride and a brisk walk each weekend covers PE. Econ is usually a 1-semester credit, done in 12th grade along with a semester of US Gov't. If you're not super attached to the idea of a "4 yr history cycle," you could do history for 9th-11th and do Econ/Gov't (or Econ/Stats) in 12th. Programming and robotics could easily be a half-credit, or something done over the summer.

 

4 yrs English

4 yrs Math

4yrs History/Social Studies

4 yrs Science

4 yrs Latin 

 

That's 20 credits total. If you add 4 half-credits each year for all 4 years (that's eight full-year electives or sixteen 1-semester electives), that's still only 7 credits/yr, 28 credits total, which is pretty common. 

 

Honestly, there's no problem with fitting in 7 credits/yr, or even 8 if a few of them are things the student would be doing for fun in his spare time anyway (programming, robotics, PE, etc.)

I'm pretty sure DS is going to have at least 32 credits when he graduates, and we are pretty relaxed/interest-led here. Unless your son is doing multiple APs every single year, he will have plenty of time for electives.

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Sorry, Regentrude and thanks for responding. Perhaps, I should have added JAWM here but I obviously have a problem too.

 

 

I think my personal problem and partially his is we go too in-depth and that is how we learn but high school courses usually skim the surface. If I kept track of actual hours he would already get more credits per subject too but we are still expected to cover all the bases at a very light level rather than at a more in depth level. So it is easy to get enough credits but difficult to do everything we want to do. I need to accept high school classes are just a taste of learning. Undergraduate classes an appetizer but it's ok you can feast away your whole life. There is only so much you can learn in any one year. If you want to know something well, especially broad subjects like high school classes you are going to have to study many years.

 

We feel it is important to exercise pretty much daily whether or not it is overkill for actual credit and he doesn't want to give up TKD, skiing, or biking. I believe this is important for his health.

 

So there you have it. I have a problem with overkill.

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I think my personal problem and partially his is we go too in-depth and that is how we learn but high school courses usually skim the surface. If I kept track of actual hours he would already get more credits per subject too but we are still expected to cover all the bases at a very light level rather than at a more in depth level. So it is easy to get enough credits but difficult to do everything we want to do. I need to accept high school classes are just a taste of learning. Undergraduate classes an appetizer but it's ok you can feast away your whole life. There is only so much you can learn in any one year. If you want to know something well, especially broad subjects like high school classes you are going to have to study many years.

 

So there you have it. I have a problem with overkill.

 

One solution is to ditch your idea what "high school classes" are supposed to be like and make up your own, depending on whatever you want to study. So, instead of scratching the surface, you can go deep - and simply not cover the same breadth. We used no high school curriculum at all (except for AoPS for math); history and literature were completely self designed, science used college intro text, and then DD took a bunch of college classes to get the depth and level she wanted.

 

One thing where one can save a lot of time: typical highschool courses create a lot of superficial time consuming output. We radically cut that out. Few, meaningful assignments, no busywork. I always put a higher weight on input than on output.

 

We feel it is important to exercise pretty much daily whether or not it is overkill for actual credit and he doesn't want to give up TKD, skiing, or biking. I believe this is important for his health.

 

Definitely. This is life, not a "credit". My DD rode horses, and we hiked and climbed together.

 

One more thing: not all learning has to end up on the transcript. It is perfectly fine to learn things, without formal structure, just for their sake, and not worry whether it makes a "credit". OTOH, sometimes it may also make sense to let the kids do what they do first, and then afterwards see how you can package it and whether you can find a place to make it stand out. So he might want to think of robotics, for example, as an extracurricular and feel free to do whatever he wants with it.

Edited by regentrude
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I think my personal problem and partially his is we go too in-depth and that is how we learn but high school courses usually skim the surface. If I kept track of actual hours he would already get more credits per subject too but we are still expected to cover all the bases at a very light level rather than at a more in depth level. So it is easy to get enough credits but difficult to do everything we want to do. I need to accept high school classes are just a taste of learning. Undergraduate classes an appetizer but it's ok you can feast away your whole life. There is only so much you can learn in any one year. If you want to know something well, especially broad subjects like high school classes you are going to have to study many years.

 

We feel it is important to exercise pretty much daily whether or not it is overkill for actual credit and he doesn't want to give up TKD, skiing, or biking. I believe this is important for his health.

 

We don't do any high school subjects in a superficial, scratch-the-surface way. That's exactly why we don't use textbooks or standard HS curriculum, and we don't do APs. We choose topics of interest and use Great Courses / Teaching Company lectures (lots and lots of them), online MOOCs, lots of books, documentaries, lots of in-depth discussion, and absolutely no busywork ever. Output for most courses is discussion + essays; occasionally I will make up a "final exam" based on information in the GC/TC guidebooks if I feel like there weren't enough essays or I just want to check an extra box for NCAA. 

 

And FWIW, DS trains 15-20 hrs/wk in his sport, plus frequent competitions on weekends, including at least 8 out-of-state competitions every year. And he is not a super stressed out, never has down time, kind of kid. Trust me when I say that you can fit in as much as you want to fit in, if you want it badly enough — especially if you let go of the idea that homeschooled high school credits need to look just like public "high school subjects."

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Am I the only parent that can't fit everything into the standard 6 credits a year?

 

I still can't figure out when we can do Statistics and I'm looking at 28 credits between what is required of us and what we are requiring of ourselves. I suppose he can just take Statistics in college but really we are leaving out so much we want to do!  My son did an extra elective this year (programming) but really if he takes Latin and PE every year then he always needs to have an extra elective to fit in anything other than the standard 4 core subjects. I don't want to always require extra subjects but he also has interest in computer related subjects and they are useful also. He also is looking for a job.  He needs the money for school and could use some of the skills from working but boy, how to fit it all in is something I'm not figuring out very well. 

 

Yes! Emphatically, I have a really hard time fitting everything in.  I totally feel your pain.  I am requiring the standard college prep stuff for 9th grade, but dd spends a ton of time on her extracurricular interests - creative writing and theater - so I've turned those both into electives, so that I don't overload her with other work. But yes, trying to fit in all the books we want to read, all the great TC courses we want to do, and going deep rather than superficial, is really hard here too! I put together plans for self-made courses that we're really excited about then just have to cut, cut cut.  We could easily have multiple English credits (lit, rhetoric, creative writing) plus history plus theater plus, oh yeah, math and science.

 

So yes, it's a challenge. We definitely have to cut things, just let them go.  We let Ancient Egypt go.  :leaving:  Don't tell anyone, or I might have to give up my homeschooling card.  We are probably only going to do The Odyssey, not the full Iliad and Aneid.  We're picking and choosing plays to read.  We're also tracking hours for content subjects, rather than following a regular class schedule, so that we can follow rabbit trails, interests, and spend more time on interesting things. I honestly don't know now how the credits will shake out at the end of the year - I'm tracking time, but we could slice and dice it any of several different ways.  We'll just see how it goes. It's quite a roller coaster.

 

ETA: I just realized my first line should have been No! You aren't the only one!!

Edited by Chrysalis Academy
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My younger daughter and I struggle with getting everything done.  She very bright, but works more slowly than my older daughter.  If she has "too much" to do, she starts shutting down.  Since she loves art and singing, we're including both as elective incorporating work she would do anyway.  She also writes extensive fiction.  I'm looking at a way to include creative writing as an elective, again since she would write anyway.  

 

She won't apply for dual credit status for another year.  In our area, 3 credit community college classes count as 0.5 high school credit.  Only 4 credit D,E, classes count as 1 high school credit.  I guess it's all good and will work out in the end.

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DD has two languages, plans on adding a third this summer, and dabbling in Greek during the school year. All those electives that would be nice to get in just went out the window with the multiple languages that *are* her electives.

 

I usually have to factor in an extra elective one of the semesters because DD wants to do whatever class the homeschool high school group is offering. It makes things really tough to 'fit in.' She'd probably love Comparative Government at some point -- just not sure she'll have the time to fit a year-long class in on that & not sure I'm up to teaching it myself. My Economics semester-long course that was going to just be a get 'er done might not happen either.

 

Tough-tough-tough to fit everything in and still have some time for her interests. It just doesn't happen here. I'm trying to give up my ideal & just settle in for the fact that she'll have a bazillion credits in foreign language and not much depth to anything else.

 

So,  :grouphug:  you guys are not alone! 

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Agh, people who get me. I have a daughter raring to start her third instrument. It's her love but practicing 2-3 hours on top of all the basics and the foreign language that is required for college and the box checking minimum on foreign language seems so pointless. It seems more worthwhile to take all four years and actually be able to speak it. Oi She also fills notebook after notebook with stories but they are not for school.

 

Then she needs a job to pay for her instruments.

 

 

My son listened to 4 or 5 physics lecture series from the Great Courses on top of his regular curriculum. Did he have to? No. Did he want to? Yes.

 

These specialties that give them direction as adults in what they're good at or want to do simply can't be pushed out because of requirements. Not in my home school at least. But my transcript still needs Foreign Language, Health class, and stuff that my children have no interest in. We can redeem some of those things but some need to be minimal I guess.

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One solution is to ditch your idea what "high school classes" are supposed to be like and make up your own, depending on whatever you want to study. So, instead of scratching the surface, you can go deep - and simply not cover the same breadth. We used no high school curriculum at all (except for AoPS for math); history and literature were completely self designed, science used college intro text, and then DD took a bunch of college classes to get the depth and level she wanted.

 

I think part of my problem is I don't use curriculum so when I'm required to put "World History" on the transcript. Oh boy. Probably counting hours would help keep me in line somewhat. As long as I touch on main ages and all the continents so I can honestly say it is "World History".

 

One thing where one can save a lot of time: typical highschool courses create a lot of superficial time consuming output. We radically cut that out. Few, meaningful assignments, no busywork. I always put a higher weight on input than on output.

 

Yes! I so agree.

 

Definitely. This is life, not a "credit". My DD rode horses, and we hiked and climbed together.

 

One more thing: not all learning has to end up on the transcript. It is perfectly fine to learn things, without formal structure, just for their sake, and not worry whether it makes a "credit". OTOH, sometimes it may also make sense to let the kids do what they do first, and then afterwards see how you can package it and whether you can find a place to make it stand out. So he might want to think of robotics, for example, as an extracurricular and feel free to do whatever he wants with it.

 

I do think that is something I learned from this year. He is simply going to have a lot of learning that won't be visible on his transcript. Perhaps what I have learned from this thread is to monitor hours for things like history. Even if it cuts short from my ideal, if he puts in the hours than it should count as a credit. He knows way more than I ever learned in school so I suppose it ought to count for something. Because he is still interested he will keep learning anyway. 

 

Sorry for my impatience earlier. I really wasn't making myself very clear. 

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Three thoughts:

 

One, sometimes I find it helpful to not start with what I have and try to figure out how to cut--but to pretend it's all cut, and build from scratch. What would you do if the slate was clean? Start there and build up. Sometimes thinking about things in that way helps me to re-imagine what homeschooling could be.

 

Two, I'd encourage you to look at the "hours" idea again--and in doing so, don't give up how you want to teach. For example, to call a course "world history," you don't have to cover all time periods. You could cover "Ancient World History" or "Modern World History," or some other time period. It doesn't have to be a glorified timeline that glosses the surface to be a world history class, unless you want an overview of all world history. Teach in depth, but don't try to cover everything.

 

Three, depending on where your son wants to apply, his intended major, and what the requirements are, you may not need 4 years of science or history, and that may give you wiggle room. Or think of history more broadly (social studies) if you want to include things like a psychology elective. Science could be thought of as "science and technology" if you want a 4th year to be more technology oriented. Sometimes getting creative WITHIN a core subject can give you some of that freedom to think outside the box and fit in things that are really important to you.

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Am I the only parent that can't fit everything into the standard 6 credits a year?

 

I still can't figure out when we can do Statistics and I'm looking at 28 credits between what is required of us and what we are requiring of ourselves. I suppose he can just take Statistics in college but really we are leaving out so much we want to do!  My son did an extra elective this year (programming) but really if he takes Latin and PE every year then he always needs to have an extra elective to fit in anything other than the standard 4 core subjects. I don't want to always require extra subjects but he also has interest in computer related subjects and they are useful also. He also is looking for a job.  He needs the money for school and could use some of the skills from working but boy, how to fit it all in is something I'm not figuring out very well. 

 

 

I didn't know 6 credits were standard. I would not be able to fit it all in. Our local schools have 7 classes per day. And PE does not need to be one of them every year so far as I know. Even then there is picking and choosing what to do or not do.

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Counting hours is what I did with self designed courses for my DD. It helped me to see when I had done "enough".

I know some people look at counting hours with scorn and find it ridiculous; for me, doing a self designed course for the first time, it helped me curb my perfectionism and know when to call it enough - because there is always another book one could read or another lecture series to watch. With my 2nd child, I have a much better idea what is reasonable.

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What is "standard" varies from high school district to high school.

 

I've lived in an area with 6 classes, one with 7, one with 7 and an optional early 8th, and one with 8 periods, but one is mandatory study hall (alternating block days).

 

This makes it hard when you are transferring from schools with fewer required credits to schools with more required credits.  Imagine showing up your senior year, to be told you can't graduate because you don't have enough credits...it happens!

 

I plan 8 periods (4 per day, we alternate).  I make sure that 2-3 courses of the 8 are "lighter" courses (meaning about 120 hours of work), and the rest are more "core" courses (English, Math, Science, Social Science, Foreign Language).  Of those courses, Foreign Language is usually the lightest.  English is is high, math, science, and social studies fluctuate based upon the student and their interests.  

 

No, even with 8 credits a year, we still can't "fit it all in."  So many things I would like my kids to do - not enough time in the day. 

 

 

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We just want to go over our time budget. So much to do and so little time. 

 

I think there is a lot going on here.

 

In no particular order, I think you could:

 

Revamp how you schedule your classes. If you want to do 8 credits a year, you could try doing block classes by semester. Take four classes each semester but spend more time each day on them, and at the year's end you have 8 credits.

 

Work year-round. You could fit in an entire credit or three in the summer if that's all you focus on school-wise.

 

Award credits in less than 1-credit chunks. A kid could work on something he wants to work on but only get .25, .33, or .66 credits for it. Not everything has to be .5 or 1.0 credits.

 

Amend your ideas on what a high school class is. There is absolutely no reason why a high school class has to be broad and shallow. My dd's world history credit is going to be Ancient Greece/Rome. That's what she wants to study. We will not be doing a survey course. For biology, we will not be covering the whole book; in fact, we're only doing about half. We are focusing on evolution, ecology, genetics, and biochemistry. Dd wants to create a class on socialism and communism, so that will be one of our social studies credits. You can do it your way; you don't have to bend to the public school mold.

 

And finally, accept that maybe you can't do it all. Part of life is understanding you can't do it all and prioritizing what's most important. There are so many things that I want to do that I just can't squeeze in. I pick the most important and accept that. 

 

Best wishes!

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Yes, we had a very difficult time fitting everything in. Youngest dc wanted to do 4 years of Latin but had to let Latin go for theater and voice during the senior year. There just weren't enough hours in the day to practice violin, voice, learn lines, and attend rehearsals/productions in addition to academics. Working out is important to us as well, so we began the day with that - walking or gym or personal trainer. Also, many upper-level high school courses took more than an hour per day. For various reasons, none of our children had a lot of down time during high school.

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Another way to think about it, and how tracking time can help:  Dd is working on what *could* be 9 different credits (including health/PE) right now.  Now, there is no way she will complete 9 credits worth of work in one school year! But they are 9 things, that could be legitimately distinct.  If interest is sustained in each of them, some will be spread out over more than one year. Or, if it turns out that we feel "done" with something we're working on, we may award .5 credit and move on.  The beauty of counting hours is that you know what you've done, and you can package it up any way you want to.  So her 9 things are:

 

Math

Science

Health/PE

Spanish

Great Books - History & LIt - 2 credits. I'm tracking time for these together and will split it into two credits for the transcript, most likely. Or if we decide to "go light" on history, it could end up being just one credit

Theater Arts - History of theater - this is where Greek drama and Shakespeare are getting tracked. We should have more than enough hours for a credit, but this could always get packaged up with Lit if not

Rhetoric & Composition - of course, this could get packaged with lit into a single English credit, but my kid is a writer, and spends a ton of time working, specifically, on the craft of writing. So for her it might make sense to have 1/2 credit in Rhetoric rather than just packaging writing up with content subjects. Or, the single credit could end up being spread over two years . There will be one or more BW classes in here, as well as text(s) covered

Creative Writing - this is where she spends most of her energy. In addition to working on her own writing projects, she has BW classes, and TC courses and writing books we're working through and doing exercises from.  If things continue the way they are now (they might not) she will easily have 4 elective credits in CW over the course of high school. Since she wants to be a writer, this seems fine to me.

 

So these aren't courses, they're just categories.  we have a written plan of what we may cover in each category, but that's subject to change based on interest. We write the as-built syllabus as we go. We don't have to decide on courses/credits till the end of the year - or whenever we do enough hours, we can call that course done and start on the next one, for things where we will just do the next thing, like literature, history, theater, creative writing, and rhetoric.

 

Anyway, it's just another idea of how to track things so that you can do what you want to and decide later how it shakes out for credits. Even though, as regentrude says, some people scoff at tracking time, I'm finding that it actually gives me way more freedom and flexibility than any other method I've tried, for all these home-made courses that don't have a standard syllabus.

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I can relate! We have so much trouble selecting classes here because DS wants to do it all. (My second DS has NCAA in mind so we have issues there as well- but those are different.) Something always has to be dropped- we often plan to pick it up the following year or in college.

 

DS has decided to focus on AP classes (for the challenge) and exams (for the credit) with his current college of choice in mind so that he can at least double major and hopefully start into the "meaty" classes sooner and forego a number of electives. He isn't taking a full load of AP's but he is limited because of the time commitment involved in the ones that he is taking. There is always a trade-off. I am not good at trade-offs. I like to think we can do it all. The reality is that we drop things- often things that he would rather be studying- but we are trying to keep an eye on the end-goal that he has established. 

 

I am often conflicted between the ideal high school experience that I have built up in my mind and the reality of (1) what is best for each of my children individually and (2) all that family life brings to bear. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Like Tara and others have shared, we have also been flexible:

 

--Dd does some work during the summers.

--We block full classes into semesters (best thing ever!).

--I keep track of cumulative hours for art, a class low on dd's priority list. The hours will add up to one credit over the high school years.

--Dd's world history class focused on only ancient history (whole world, though) instead of trying to smush the entirety of world history into one class.

--Because our state has no requirements for homeschoolers, we have been free to plan dd's high school with an eye to college requirements. PE will not be on her transcript---her physical activity comes through one of her main extracurriculars, ballet.

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Hmmm, where I have been it has always been 6 credits. So do they have longer school days for these other schools or even shorter classes? Our local district has 6 credits a year for regular school. Summer school is popular so if you want extra credits you would just attend summer school.  I can't imagine classes being shorter! One of the reasons we didn't put my son in school for Chemistry so he would have access to a lab facility was that they have to squash everything into 50 minutes. I know our labs don't often take 50 minutes.   I have thought of block scheduling but some things like language or instruments we do year round though it would work for a few subjects. 

 

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--I keep track of cumulative hours for art, a class low on dd's priority list. The hours will add up to one credit over the high school years.

 

 

Oooh that is a brilliant idea! I've been wringing my hands over getting in the fine arts requirement. Spacing it waaaay out would be much less painful for my fine arts averse son. Thanks for the tip!

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I have thought of block scheduling but some things like language or instruments we do year round though it would work for a few subjects.

If you block schedule language, you get two credits in one year.

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Hmmm, where I have been it has always been 6 credits.

 

Are you concerned that it might look funny to have more than 6 credits per year on your transcript? If so, you are certainly "allowed" to have more credits than that if you so choose. If your son is doing enough work to deserve more credits, I would give them to him. My dd has 8.5 credits on her transcript for 9th grade this year, and will likely have a similar number in future years.

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In our area,college prep students are expected to have 28 hours, not the 24 at 6 credits per year.  I'm ot sure why there's an issue with only 6 credit hours.  Both my daughters will graduate with at least 28.

 

ETA:  Oops, I was wrong. The number of credits for college prep is 26, but both my girls will have more.

Edited by Eliz

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Six is just standard in my area. I had wondered if it would look ridiculous if he had 30+ credits. Our school district obviously does things differently than the rest of the country.

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Six is just standard in my area. I had wondered if it would look ridiculous if he had 30+ credits. Our school district obviously does things differently than the rest of the country.

 

I wouldn't worry about that then. I don't even do transcripts the way they do them in our area (they do them where a semester = a credit, and I do a year = a credit.) I'd probably be hesitant to go over 32 credits (8 per year)--though maybe that doesn't matter either (I think at over 32 I'd be strongly considering whether some things belong in the "activities and extra-curriculars" category--beefing that up is important for making a student look good too). But I certainly wouldn't hesitate to do more than 24 (both of my kids will end up with more than 24). 24 is kind of a basic "college prep" and 28+ is more common for students seeking entrance into higher echelon schools. You might actually look at some of the schools your family would consider and see what standard credits are for students--but if it's a school that's harder to get in to, I think you'd really want to be in that 28+ range.

Edited by MerryAtHope
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You might actually look at some of the schools your family would consider and see what standard credits are for students--but if it's a school that's harder to get in to, I think you'd really want to be in that 28+ range.

 

A school my dd is interested in attending lists the minimum requirements for admission but then states right on their website that most admitted students vastly exceed the minimum. The minimum for high school graduation and what is actually desired by universities can be very different.

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I didn't know 6 credits were standard. I would not be able to fit it all in. Our local schools have 7 classes per day. And PE does not need to be one of them every year so far as I know. Even then there is picking and choosing what to do or not do.

 

I'm fairly sure we had 7 classes per day when I was in HS. and I never took PE. (The Fall semester of band -- marching band -- counted as 1/2 credit of PE Every year, for the total of 2 credit PE we needed by the end; in fact I learned an instrument in 6th grade to get out of PE in HS.)  I know we had kids in our HS who took regular band AND were in the Jazz Band (So 2 periods a day for band) and were playing yet a third instrument outside of school (we didn't have any string instruments in our school bands).  (And remember marching band involved afterschool practice and Friday night commitment to go play for the football teams).  I was more the creative writing type so I was in the Literary Magazine and the UIL Speech/Debate/Extemperaneous Speaking type of competitions. As well as band. And writing copious Star Trek and Batman fanfic at home completely outside of school time.

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A school my dd is interested in attending lists the minimum requirements for admission but then states right on their website that most admitted students vastly exceed the minimum. The minimum for high school graduation and what is actually desired by universities can be very different.

 

Yes, it's good to look at both the "requirements" and the "range" to get a feel for whether your student is in the ballpark with other students.

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50 minute periods. 10 min to go class to class (lockers, washroom, snack if needed). 40 minutes for lunch. 8:15 to 3:15 school day. Many kids staying on after for sports, theater, clubs, and other activities, or with outside extracurriculars.

 

I think what gives the most is sleep, alas. Sleep seems to me to be one reason in favor of homeschooling, but it just is not working for us anymore, so ds will join the above schedule.

 

I have decided he may do one public school sport per season in addition to his current sport, and one other added extracurricular (such as a club), and see how it goes on top of the 7 classes. He also wants to "do it all" -- and I do see some kids who seem to be pretty much "doing it all." But surely something must have to give somewhere. Everyone only has 24 hours per day.

 

I think when I was in HS it was similar, though my second high school also added on an after school academic "seminar" time which would be one day per week several hour on that one day type classes. As best I recall.

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I just checked our school district website to make sure I wasn't off my rocker or remembering wrong but nope, our school district is the same as I remember as a kid. 6 periods a day and only 22.5 credits needed to graduate. When I was a kid I remember only 21 credits were needed.  They have added an activity schedule where there is time for some kind of activity that isn't a whole class into the schedule.  It's only ten minutes shorter than a class. Colleges must recognize that kids coming from these school districts aren't failing all their classes. Or maybe that is why summer school is such a thing now. When I was a kid you went to summer school if you had problems in school or to catch up on a class so you could actually graduate. That is no longer the norm though. 

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I just checked my district's handbook and found they're moving from 24 required credits to 22 required credits because their new schedule will only fit a max of 6 classes/day.  They're keeping their core requirements the same, but reducing electives.

 

I needed 120 credits to graduate (equivalent of 24) in an 8-period day, where we were required to take a lunch and PE/Health, so it only left 6 class slots each year.  But we did get 20 (4) credits for PE/Health.

 

My daughter does want to do everything, and I am struggling to fit it all in.  We're getting creative with scheduling and if she needs to cut back, she'll have to cut back.  

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We don't study every subject every day.  My younger daughter allots time for math and science every day because these are harder areas for her.  She's strong in English, Japanese, history and art.  These subjects don't require as much time for her.  I don't feel I have to force everything into neat 1 hour blocks.  My older daughter's schedule was also flexible.

 

ETA:  I have high academic standards.  I make sure my daughters are learning the material even though our schedules may look quite different from a typical public school.

Edited by Eliz
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I know this is kind of old now, but wanted to chime in...Frogger, I'm pretty sure we are in the same area, and my daughters graduated from the same kind of charter program for homeschoolers. Though you should not feel like you have to put all of your student's learning on the transcript (and, honestly, it can be a little messy if you do, by the time the contact teacher and the registrar finish re-coding and re-naming your courses ;-) ), it really is fine to have as many additional credits as you want on the transcript.

 

My most recent graduate in particular was one of those super busy kids with multiple instruments and sports, and jobs and volunteer activities, plus a very full academic load. Once the PE and elective credits were met, I did not bother putting the sports and music on the transcript; you'll want some extracurriculars for college apps anyway (if that is what you are planning to do.)

 

As far as fitting it all in, that is a tough one. Having a lot of interests that one is actively pursuing at a high level takes some exceptional multi-tasking skills for the student. My recent graduate was on the go from early AM to late at night. That level of activity and organization worked for her, but it won't work for everyone. My oldest needed fewer demands so that she could really focus. Sometimes you do have to prioritize and pick and choose. That's just the reality of life, for better or for worse.

 

I suggest determining your student's "must-do"s, those things that are required for graduation by the charter program, and lay them out in a four year plan. The charter schools measure time in semesters, but you can block schedule or use summers or whatever. I always report things like grades in the format and at the times the school wanted them reported, but in reality we were keeping our own schedule here, if that makes sense. Once you have your "musts" covered, add in the electives that you feel like your student can realistically complete and are transcript-worthy as far as content and hours. The extracurriculars can be covered in whatever time you have left; my kids utilize driving time, waiting time, all the holes in the schedule; we tended to pick curric that was portable and/or did not have specific meeting times :-)

 

I never found the charter school teachers to be super helpful in sorting all this out, but sometimes they have insights too :-)

 

Good luck to you as you make your way through our unique system here :-)

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Am I the only parent that can't fit everything into the standard 6 credits a year?

 

I still can't figure out when we can do Statistics and I'm looking at 28 credits between what is required of us and what we are requiring of ourselves. I suppose he can just take Statistics in college but really we are leaving out so much we want to do! My son did an extra elective this year (programming) but really if he takes Latin and PE every year then he always needs to have an extra elective to fit in anything other than the standard 4 core subjects. I don't want to always require extra subjects but he also has interest in computer related subjects and they are useful also. He also is looking for a job. He needs the money for school and could use some of the skills from working but boy, how to fit it all in is something I'm not figuring out very well.

You are not alone. In VIrginia, we have the advanced studies diploma and there is only room for 3 electives all throughout high school if you meet the other requirements. My dd is taking two languages and the second language will eat up the electives. On top of that, she is dying to take psychology this fall, so she is doing it, but that means we are working through chemistry over the summer because she will not have time for a full program in the fall. Sometimes, I really regret starting two languages, but my dd still enjoys them, so we're continuing.

 

Honestly, my ds is taking a more average load but he is a slower worker, so his time also fills in pretty quickly as well. He does have a volunteer job one day a week, but he doesn't have time for a paid job at this point. He didn't get a job this summer because we were gone most of the month of June.

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