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Speech as part of English credit?


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My oldest is in 9th grade this year. He’s juggling a lot of work and handling it well for the most part and I feel like we’ve mostly hitten a sweet spot of doing the right amount work. The one area that I’m feeling is a little light is English. I am wondering about counting Speech as part of his English class vs. as an extra-curricular.

 

I’ve always heard not to count things as credits that stand out more as extra-curriculars. So for example, he is a very good swimmer so I will list that as an extra-curricular rather than a PE credit. He’s doing Speech Club primarily because it’s offered at our co-op and a lot of his friends do it so it’s a good social opportunity for him. And public-speaking and writing are two of his weak areas so I told him I wanted him to do at least one year of it. But I don’t think speech is ever going to be his “thingâ€. 

 

Any thing I’m missing ? A reason not to count the time as part of the English credit? 

 

 

 

 

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My answer would depend on what he is doing in the speech club.  If he is doing a significant amount of research and speech writing (with editing, feedback, proper citations), I might count it (and then tilt my self-designed English content differently).  Or, if he is spending time analyzing famous speeches, learning about rhetoric, I may count it as part of English.   If much of the time is used watching other students make speeches or if it is more about impromptu speaking I would be less inclined to count it as part of English.  

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I'll be interested to see others' responses, because my DS is taking a speech class at a co-op this year but I wasn't planning to count it for any more than a 1/2 credit elective.   I was always under the impression that a traditional high school English credit consisted of literature, vocabulary, and writing/literary analysis.    I'd like to know what other homeschoolers have done.

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If you're just shoring up a light credit, and not using it as a substantial component of his English class, I'd probably be fine with it for the one year. He will presumably be writing speeches and listening to them, so it's not too much of a stretch. There's actually been a push recently for more non-fiction to be included in English classes, so you won't be alone in straying from a strict focus on literary reading and analysis. 

 

I do like jdahlquist's idea of reading/analyzing some famous speeches, if that is not being done in speech club. It's a fairly easy and engaging thing to add at home - "famous speeches" books are easy to find at the bookstore and library, and you can watch many iconic speeches on youtube, which can be an interesting tie-in to history. 

 

I would personally be fine with keeping this very low-key, low prep, and low output (again on the assumption that you are rounding out a complete but light credit). 

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If you're just shoring up a light credit, and not using it as a substantial component of his English class, I'd probably be fine with it for the one year. He will presumably be writing speeches and listening to them, so it's not too much of a stretch. There's actually been a push recently for more non-fiction to be included in English classes, so you won't be alone in straying from a strict focus on literary reading and analysis. 

 

I do like jdahlquist's idea of reading/analyzing some famous speeches, if that is not being done in speech club. It's a fairly easy and engaging thing to add at home - "famous speeches" books are easy to find at the bookstore and library, and you can watch many iconic speeches on youtube, which can be an interesting tie-in to history. 

 

I would personally be fine with keeping this very low-key, low prep, and low output (again on the assumption that you are rounding out a complete but light credit). 

 

 

Thanks. (and to everyone else). Yes, this is what I’d be doing. He is primarily a Math guy and is doing AOPS math. He’s also doing Lukeion Latin which he loves. Those two classes take up a large amount of time. He has a full load otherwise and everything else is on track to be a a full credit (Chemistry, History, Computer Science, Spanish).

 

English is slightly on the light side. He reads a ton but doesn’t like to do literary analysis. We’re reading a fair amount together (in addition to his own fun reading) and discussing. He did one short writing class at Bravewriter and will do a second this spring, I hope. We’re working through a couple of Great Courses lectures. So overall it might be ok, but it feels a bit light to me. Speech is mostly watching rather than analyzing at this point. He will have to participate in one tournament and for that he will have to prep a few speeches. He hates to write (although isn’t really a bad writer) so I thought I’d have that be part of our English work instead of also giving him other writing to do.  I like the idea of adding in some famous speeches to listen to and analyze together...he’s also really interested in leadership and likes history so I think he might enjoy that. 

Edited by Alice
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DC are involved in a speech and debate club. During the 12 weeks of our regular season they spend hours and hours and hours researching and writing both regular speeches and debate speeches. I don't have them do any other English work at all during those weeks. The rest of the 24 weeks of school they do regular literary analysis and write essays. I plan to give them 3.5 credits of English (courses named for whatever type of lit they were working on), .5 credits of speech, and call debate an extracurricular. (ETA for clarity: these would be credits spread over 4 years)

 

I was/am under the impression that speech definitely falls under the heading of the "language arts" of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

Edited by Momto5inIN
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If you want to compare it to our public school, Speech counts as an English credit, but it CAN NOT replace English 9-12.  Kids who take the class just graduate with more than 4 English credits in the same way science/math lovers get more science/math credits than the minimum required.

 

As a homeschooler, I think I'd be checking with potential college admissions (using your Guidance Counselor hat) to see how they feel about it.  If they are ok with it, then I personally see no problem.  If they aren't, at least you know.

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I think what you are thinking is fine. It is just a component for English and is a good supplement to what he is doing in 9th grade. I counted speech as a 0.5 extra credit for my dd but that is because she already had a full credit English for that year. She did some speeches in a club, did some tournaments and was also involved in gavel club for the year. I gave 0.5 for all of that.

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Creekland's experience is unique to me. It sounds like a high school system requirement local to her area -- that the local high school system does not allow Speech to fulfill any part of the 4 credits of English. If that is the case for the high school, and if her homeschool regulations require her to follow the same standards, then yes, Creekland would need to count Speech separately and make sure to do 4 credits of English in the way accepted by her homeschool regulations in order to count 4 credits of English on the high school transcript.

In looking at requirements for a number of different school systems in different states, I see that often public high school systems actually require that  0.25 to 0.5 credit of the 4.0 credits total of the grade 9-12 English be a Speech or Public Speaking unit. So unless your local high school system does not allow that AND you think your student might end up going to the local high school at some point so that the Speech would not be accepted as an English credit, it is totally acceptable to include Speech as a portion of one of the English credits. 

While I totally agree with Creekland on the need to check with the specific university for their policies on a lot of topics, this is NOT one of those topics. ? So, respectfully, I disagree, as the colleges themselves do not worry about what those English credits look like, since high schools vary so widely as to what they include as part of the English credit. Colleges do not determine what is acceptable or not as far as what makes a credit or what topics are covered for the credit. That is determined by each high school. That's why those ACT/SAT scores are required by colleges -- as a national standard for measuring students. ?

In other words, yes, you can count Speech as part of an English credit. I personally would add up the hours spent in the class and the prep to determine how much credit. An average amount of time spent on an English credit is about 150 hours, so you'd need about 35-40 hours to equal 0.25 credit, and around 75 hours for 0.5 credit. JMO! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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We're doing something very similar for 9th grade here; I have a couple of degrees in English Education + state certification (not that that means I know anything, but it makes other people sometimes feel better, LOL), and am 100% comfortable with it. For our 9th grade, the (2) students are researching & preparing speeches, giving them (in a formal tournament), and then editing / adjusting them to *also* be papers (we're discussing the difference between SPOKEN deliveries and WRITTEN deliveries). We're also doing some literature together (in conjunction with their history), and filling out the rest with a writing course. 

Edited by Lucy the Valiant
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In my state, it seems that a half credit of Speech is generally required, in addition to 4 high school credits of English.  So in my case, I would track hours that he spent on Speech Club, and once he reached 60 hours, I would award half a credit.  That might take all year.

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Creekland's experience is unique to me. It sounds like a high school system requirement local to her area -- that the local high school system does not allow Speech to fulfill any part of the 4 credits of English. If that is the case for the high school, and if her homeschool regulations require her to follow the same standards, then yes, Creekland would need to count Speech separately and make sure to do 4 credits of English in the way accepted by her homeschool regulations in order to count 4 credits of English on the high school transcript.

 

In looking at requirements for a number of different school systems in different states, I see that often public high school systems actually require that  0.25 to 0.5 credit of the 4.0 credits total of the grade 9-12 English be a Speech or Public Speaking unit. So unless your local high school system does not allow that AND you think your student might end up going to the local high school at some point so that the Speech would not be accepted as an English credit, it is totally acceptable to include Speech as a portion of one of the English credits. 

 

While I totally agree with Creekland on the need to check with the specific university for their policies on a lot of topics, this is NOT one of those topics. :) So, respectfully, I disagree, as the colleges themselves do not worry about what those English credits look like, since high schools vary so widely as to what they include as part of the English credit. Colleges do not determine what is acceptable or not as far as what makes a credit or what topics are covered for the credit. That is determined by each high school. That's why those ACT/SAT scores are required by colleges -- as a national standard for measuring students. :)

 

 

In other words, yes, you can count Speech as part of an English credit. I personally would add up the hours spent in the class and the prep to determine how much credit. An average amount of time spent on an English credit is about 150 hours, so you'd need about 35-40 hours to equal 0.25 credit, and around 75 hours for 0.5 credit. JMO! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Thanks, this is helpful. 

 

I’m not generally worried about replicating the public schools. Our state has very little in the way of requirements and doesn’t even say we have to have any specific classes. Out of interest after starting this thread I looked at the high school he would go to if we were doing public school. They do not offer Speech as a class but the description of their English classes includes “oral communication skills and presentationsâ€. Sounds like Speech to me. :) 

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Thanks, this is helpful. 

 

I’m not generally worried about replicating the public schools. Our state has very little in the way of requirements and doesn’t even say we have to have any specific classes. Out of interest after starting this thread I looked at the high school he would go to if we were doing public school. They do not offer Speech as a class but the description of their English classes includes “oral communication skills and presentationsâ€. Sounds like Speech to me. :)

 

FWIW, our English classes (the regular 9-12 variety) at college prep levels have kids doing some presentations.  Actually, all of our (college prep level) classes (math, science, history, foreign languages, etc, included) require this too.   Our school started this probably 4-5 years ago, but some teachers were doing it on their own prior to that.

 

Speech is still it's own class - an elective.

 

I'm glad to see schools requiring it as it's a super valuable tool for interviews and similar later on in life even if the young lad or lass is never actually going to give a presentation.

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Thanks. (and to everyone else). Yes, this is what I’d be doing. He is primarily a Math guy and is doing AOPS math. He’s also doing Lukeion Latin which he loves. Those two classes take up a large amount of time. He has a full load otherwise and everything else is on track to be a a full credit (Chemistry, History, Computer Science, Spanish).

 

English is slightly on the light side. He reads a ton but doesn’t like to do literary analysis. We’re reading a fair amount together (in addition to his own fun reading) and discussing. He did one short writing class at Bravewriter and will do a second this spring, I hope. We’re working through a couple of Great Courses lectures. So overall it might be ok, but it feels a bit light to me. Speech is mostly watching rather than analyzing at this point. He will have to participate in one tournament and for that he will have to prep a few speeches. He hates to write (although isn’t really a bad writer) so I thought I’d have that be part of our English work instead of also giving him other writing to do.  I like the idea of adding in some famous speeches to listen to and analyze together...he’s also really interested in leadership and likes history so I think he might enjoy that. 

 

Just my .02, but maybe you have enough with just the bolded.  I can see where that would feel lighter compared to AOP and Lukeion, but a student can't spend 2+ hours a day on every single credit, kwim?

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Just my .02, but maybe you have enough with just the bolded. I can see where that would feel lighter compared to AOP and Lukeion, but a student can't spend 2+ hours a day on every single credit, kwim?

Thanks. I think it's partially just being nervous because he's my first high-schooler. 😀

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Thanks. I think it's partially just being nervous because he's my first high-schooler. 😀

 

FWIW, with three having gone to college (two who homeschooled high school), absolutely no college asked what we did in our English classes.

 

We stuck with the basic "American Lit, British Lit, World Lit" for the first three years, then I had mine take a DE course for their senior year. They both got easy As in their DE course.  No problems.  

 

Middle son (trying for a more selective school) included a Books Read list with his application.  That was pretty lengthy as he was my reading-loving boy.  Some of his interviews asked about books on that list, but still, none asked about the content of his courses.  That lad also did Public Speaking (and Microbiology) as DE courses, but did those junior year so their professors could be used as references.

 

I think you'll be fine no matter what you do.  I was concerned about the potential for college issues considering how our school handles English credits, but having read what Lori wrote and thinking about my own guys' college interviews, etc, I doubt there will be problems - esp if you're just including speech as part of an English credit.  

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ps  And with what you are doing for English itself, I'd be inclined to still keep his Speech as an extra curricular to stand out more, but that's just my thoughts if I were in your shoes.  I don't think you even have to increase what's going on in his English course.

 

Extra curriculars have always been asked about more for my guys - and sometimes even used in speeches given on drop off day. (How many attendees have done _____, etc.)  Transcripts get a quick glance, probably to make sure boxes are checked.

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Just my two cents:  homeschoolers have so much flexibility, so you can do what you want, but coming from a B&M school perspective, it seems odd to take something literally named a "club" and call it a course.  And if it's a course, it would need a grade.  I don't imagine that colleges will care much - if they see speech courses under English from schools, it may seem normal to them.

 

My 9th grader is taking a one-semester speech class (Oral Communication) that fulfills a half-credit graduation requirement under the category of Communications.  It does not fall under English at his school.

Edited by wapiti
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Wapiti- maybe I misunderstood the OP, but I think she is just adding the speech to their existing English class, not trying to call it a class in its own. I agree calling it a class would be shady, but rounding out a lighter course, not so much. I should add that speech is integrated into English around here. There is no such thing as high school "communications"here. At college, sure.

Edited by MamaSprout
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DD#1 took a speech class offered locally by a homeschool mom. It wasn't a debate club or speech club. It was a 1/2 credit course. She took it on top of her English for that year. I gave her 1/2 credit for it on her transcript.

 

I have seen a few (non-selective) schools in my area (middle-of-continental-US) who require a 1/2 credit speech class as part of 4 years of English. (Some require 1 or 2 credits of fine arts, 1/2 credit of finance on top of 1/2 credit of economics, 1/2 credit of health, or other very specific classes that other schools don't tend to care about listing out specifically. It seems to be some sort of nod to that state's graduation requirements. The state we live in right now doesn't have state-wide graduation requirements, so I haven't seen anything like this at the state colleges/university.)

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ps  And with what you are doing for English itself, I'd be inclined to still keep his Speech as an extra curricular to stand out more, but that's just my thoughts if I were in your shoes.  I don't think you even have to increase what's going on in his English course.

 

Extra curriculars have always been asked about more for my guys - and sometimes even used in speeches given on drop off day. (How many attendees have done _____, etc.)  Transcripts get a quick glance, probably to make sure boxes are checked.

 

Thanks, Creekland. I may still do that. I’ve realized I tend to have these periodic moments of worry where I sort of mini-freak out. “Ah! We’re not doing enough!†Then when I really look at it I think “Oh, it’s actually ok.†Just realizing that I have the option of counting the work we do for Speech is reassuring even if in the end I decide we have enough for an English credit without it. 

 

Just my two cents:  homeschoolers have so much flexibility, so you can do what you want, but coming from a B&M school perspective, it seems odd to take something literally named a "club" and call it a course.  And if it's a course, it would need a grade.  I don't imagine that colleges will care much - if they see speech courses under English from schools, it may seem normal to them.

 

My 9th grader is taking a one-semester speech class (Oral Communication) that fulfills a half-credit graduation requirement under the category of Communications.  It does not fall under English at his school.

 

 

Wapiti- maybe I misunderstood the OP, but I think she is just adding the speech to their existing English class, not trying to call it a class in its own. I agree calling it a class would be shady, but rounding out a lighter course, not so much. I should add that speech is integrated into English around here. There is no such thing as high school "communications". At college, sure.

 

 

Yes, this is what I meant. I wouldn’t feel comfortable just having him participate in the club and then calling that a class. I was more thinking that I could count the time spent as part of his English credit, not as a class itself. 

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English is slightly on the light side. He reads a ton but doesn’t like to do literary analysis. 

 

We did not do very much formal literary analysis or even very many long papers in high school, but neither of my kids had any trouble with it in college. We were reading and discussing English and history with a teacher/student ratio of 1:2 or 1:1, lol, and they had proven that they could take those thoughts and observations and translate them into a written paper, so I didn't have them do it again and again. T

 

 

As a homeschooler, I think I'd be checking with potential college admissions  

 

Even a course description would not have to mention this as a specific component of class, I personally wouldn't worry about it. My kids have been asked a few times about our approach or philosophy as homeschoolers, but never about any specifics that weren't on the course description. If they were asked about the specifics of their 9th-grade English class, I'm quite sure they wouldn't even remember, lol. When we do anything weird in junior or senior year, I tend to make sure we have an explanation at the ready, ie, this is why it made sense to do it this way. I know you said it likely wouldn't matter in a later post, but I wanted to be add my voice to that reassurance.

 

The first high schooler is stressful! But bricks & mortar schools aren't doing it all, and neither can you. Just keep assessing and adjusting as you go along, it will be fine. 

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Many English classes do include some kind of oral presentation, so if you don't feel the speech work has been enough for a 1/2 credit class on its own (or if you don't want it to be a separate credit), I do think you could use it to supplement a lighter English credit.

 

One year I did two half-credit classes for English--I gave a 1/2 credit for British Lit, and 1/2 credit for Speech. I like separating out speech as a topic on a transcript because around here it's a required subject in the public schools (and I would have required it either way because I feel it's an important class to have as well). 

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