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I'll probably delete this later so please don't quote.

I had a long discussion this past week with my oldest about how her freshman year was going (okay in some ways and not great in others). Over the course of our discussion, I realized that my dd15 had no idea what GPA was, how it was calculated, what a transcript was, the importance of a transcript, etc. I always assumed (no idea why) she knew what I meant when I told her high school "Counted" and "good grades" were important for college admissions. She was in tears by the time I finished explaining and begging to redo her freshman year with this new information. I told her that I don't think that's the best idea since she's already old for her grade and that would put her graduating high school as a nineteen year old about to turn twenty.

I'm feeling like I've totally hamstrung her by not being more explicit in what high school is all about, so I'm raw emotionally. Any thoughts or ideas about what I should do?

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Is she taking outside classes or mostly home grown?

If you're the one making her transcript, you can offer her a chance to improve any low grades. Extra projects, redoing work, retaking something over the summer...

 

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She still has time to bring up her grades because finals usually count for a good chunk. 

Does she know about the top 6% automatic admit at UT Austin, top 10% for TAMU? That's absolutely critical for Texas. It's why kids load up on pre-AP and AP classes and grade grub for every last possible point. If she wants to go to a flagship she needs to play the game.

(If the top 10% is impossible, let her know that TAMU also has an automatic admit for a 1360 SAT or 30 ACT and top 25% by the application deadline, which is not the same cut date as the top 10% rule so she'll have a bit more time to get her grades up).

Here's the link to the auto admit page at TAMU. UT Austin doesn't have an auto admit by test score, they use holistic review after they fill about 80% of the class with top 6% kids.

https://admissions.tamu.edu/freshman/admitted

Another option is to be CAPed at UT Austin or Blinn Teamed at TAMU so that you start at another UT or Blinn and transfer if you earn a minimum GPA (about 3.25).

ETA: Whoops, I thought she was going to public high school because of another post of yours about harassment. If she's homeschooled, her GPA freshman year doesn't matter much. Her dual enrollment grades and test scores are what she'll be judged by much more than any homebrew grades. The TAMU SAT and ACT scores apply to homeschoolers and you can check the stats for transfers from you local CC. For Lone Star, it's something like 2500 kids/year to TAMU and U of H and 800 to UT Austin. Plus thousands more to SHSU, SFA, etc. She is not done because she lollygagged first semester freshman year. She can build a very nice transcript in the next three years and go wherever she wants. 

Edited by chiguirre
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(((Chelli and DD))) Deep breath. Even little hiccups like this always feel much more extreme than they really are in the emotional/hormonal teen years. Really, in the grand scheme of things this is not a big deal, just a little stumble -- not even a failure or a falling down! And please don't beat yourself up, Chelli! It's hard enough for us to help our kids transition into high school, and it's ridiculous that we have to also be talking about *college* at the same time. I just don't think most kids make those connection until LATE high school (like, 12th grade!) -- at least my DSs didn't. So you're not alone!

So now you're both more on the same page, you can take a deep breath, and move forward. Tons of options! Maize provided great ideas if a grade needs to be "recovered" and brought up. Chiguirre provided great perspective that this has only been one small part of the whole long high school experience.

I'll just add that maybe once you all have had a chance to calm down, consider doing some gentle career exploration over the rest of high school, that includes:
1.) looking into what kinds of post-high school education and training would be needed for a few different jobs **, AND
2.) what colleges or community colleges offer that education/training -- AND
3.) what kinds of admission requirements those schools require.

That puts DD in the driver's seat to see the big picture connection of what is done in high school prepares for future options -- the process of work needed in high school to enter future college/community college, which provide the education / training for a future career.

** = these don't have to be jobs that she's sure she wants to do -- this is for the "big picture" process of what colleges want for admission, so she can see what kinds of things she'll need to do in high school to be eligible for admission

Be gentle with yourselves! BEST wishes as you both discuss what's the best plan for the rest of this year, and planning for career exploration and the rest of high school! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Unless these are outsourced classes, she should be fine, right? My Dd15 is only about a third through her Spanish book for this year and really needs to work on certain verb tenses and vocab. She will be working more on it until June. Even though she'll be gone half the summer, we'll have time to finish up. As long as she learns to my satisfaction (I was a high school Spanish teacher, so I have a decent idea of what level of proficiency I'm looking for at this point.), I will award her the credit. It would be harder to do that if it were several classes, but I don't think there is anything that would be insurmountable over the course of the next three years (working in summer or whatever) unless she already has grades on record from outside classes.

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Don't overthink high school. Where is she taking her courses? At home with you? If so, you are the designer of her transcript and what you do in her classes is under your control. She is only a 9th grader. You have 3 more yrs to nurture her under your care. She doesn't need to understand all of those things today. She just needs to understand them before she goes to college or takes DE classes, bc those are the courses that will follow her long term.

My kids' 9th grade yrs don't look a whole lot different from their previous yrs other than another step forward in progressively more difficult work. We work to mastery. I don't care about tests and don't really ever give them unless they happen to be included in whatever we are using (like Foerster's tests at the end of a chpt).  They write papers and we discuss. We don't discuss GPA or transcripts. By 11th grade, those things are talked about. But, overall, nothing in our homeschool ever radically shifts just bc it is high school. 

And, my kids have all gone on to college and have been top honors students.

My current 11th grader is taking her first ever outsourced course and her first course with tests/grades (CV chemistry). She is doing just fine and is on complete autopilot. (I have no idea what is going on in that class. Connie's course is great and completely stand alone. So, I don't have to be involved.) 

Anyway, my pt is that those things may matter for ps kids in 9th grade, but if she is taking her courses at home with you, then you are in charge and you don't have to be lock-step with ps mentality.

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My 9th grader had a couple of public school classes this past fall. She ended up with a final semester grade of something like 110% in her biology class because the teacher offered so much extra credit so kids could get their grades up...

Edited by maize
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If it’s home brew classes, it is up to you to give a good grade when she finished enough work worthy of the grade even if she finish in summer.

If it is an outsourced class, you can always redo over the summer home brew style. There were two outsourced flops for my 9th grader this year so we are using summer to finish a home brew version.

If it is a dual enrollment class, that’s trickier because the transcript is from the college. Still the high school GPA is an average so plenty of time to bring that number up with other subjects.

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