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Combining two online classes into one high school credit?

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Hi Everyone,

I am attempting to put together course descriptions and records for high school.   I am a TOTAL newbie and I really feel like I have no idea what I am doing.   So please excuse me if I ask really basic questions.   And don't be afraid to give me honest advice if I am doing something stupid.   😉. I  would rather know.  OK?  

When my kids were in middle school, I could change or add to classes and it wasn't really a big deal because I didn't have to be as concerned about documentation and grades.  But it seems like things get a lot more complicated when they enter high school.  (Or maybe I just don't fully understand.)

So here is my first question:  Let's say that my children take separate online classes for composition and literature.    Each provider says that their class is worth one high school credit, but I am thinking of combining them both into one high school credit for "English" on my transcript.    (My reasoning is that many schools seem to combine literature and composition into one credit....although maybe they are doing less work in both areas of study.  And my second reason is that my "English" credits can really add up quickly!  We are also involved in speech and debate and also are taking a lot of classical classes which could count as literature credits.).  Can I rename these two classes into a combined class like "Composition and Literature" and list both online classes as resources in the area where I typically list the texts used?  And then just calculate a new grade based on....what?  The average of the two classes?     Or, do I average all of their tests in both classes?   And average All of their composition scores in both classes?

My next question has to do with Biology.   My son is taking HS Biology from an online provider.   He is the type of kid who really enjoys hands on labs---I just found out that the lab component of this course is not what I expected.    It looks like they use a lot of simulations and only 2 lab dissection.   (I'm still waiting to see because they haven't put course details out yet.).  But what happens if I decide to beef up the lab portion on my own at home?   Can I make my own "Biology" class and list this online class as a resource used and then list anything I add to the class?

Also, can anyone explain the big picture of course descriptions and records?   I was told that I should do them, but how exactly do they come into play in the college application process?   Are they sometimes asked for?   

Thanks in advance!


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I did this for 9th grade comp and lit.  My dd took one class for comp and one for lit.  I combined them for 1 credit.  

I think as long as you are covering the material you can do what you want.  I turned my courses over to a private school to accredit so I did make sure I had everything covered.  Even without doing that I would still have combined those 2 classes for a credit just for my own peace of mind to make sure my student had what they needed to succed in the future.

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Yes, you can make a course of your own, listing outside providers as resources and combining grades in whatever way makes the most sense to you.  However, I suggest you do NOT do that if a course is from an actual high school or college, as colleges will want additional transcripts from all schools where your student takes courses.  That doesn't mean you can't supplement the course, if you find it lacking; just don't change the grade or the weighting.  

Course descriptions are required by some colleges and should include lists of resources used.  Some colleges don't ask for course descriptions, but do want reading lists.  It's not too hard to keep up with those things if you do them as you go along.  FWIW, many (most?) colleges don't ask for either, but some people send them anyway.  

ETA:  I would not include speech and debate in an English credit, but rather would list it as an extracurricular.  

Edited by klmama
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