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.5 credit of English to graduate

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Are there options for online English classes in which you can earn .5 credit? We may need something like that for my nephew in the spring. If not, what do you suggest a 17 year old could do to earn .5 credit in English. It would have to be almost completely independent.

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You could look at Well Trained Mind Academy, Excelsior Academy, Big River Academy, Aim Academy, The Potter's School, Bravewriter, etc., to see if they have anything that would work.  Is he currently homeschooled, or is he enrolled in a public or private school right now and just needs another half credit to graduate?  For a school to recognize credit for the course, it may matter where he takes it; his parents should check into that before enrolling him into an online class.

If a course taught at home is okay, I suggest a composition course using The Norton Sampler, which is typically used in introductory English classes at the college level.  Older editions are cheap on Amazon.  We used this one.  I preread so I could choose the essays and assignments from each chapter that I thought would be the most interesting to the dc.  Generally, they read the introduction to the chapter topic plus 1-2 essays per chapter/essay type, discussed with me some of the questions at the end of each essay, and wrote their own essays using one of the writing topics following the essays they read.  I required at least one written essay each week; with only 10 chapters, some chapters had two essays over two weeks.  FWIW, both my adult dc thought this one semester course was very helpful in prepping them for the variety of informal papers that they had to write in college.  Most of their writing previous to this course was formal writing, and they found this a refreshing and welcome change for their senior year.  Obviously, if your nephew used this book for a course, someone would have to assign readings, read his essays, offer feedback (including requests for revision, which is an important skill for young writers to develop), and grade the final submission.  


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First -- agreeing with @klmama about if he will be returning to the public/private high school, you need to use what the school will accept onto his transcript...

High school English credits are usually a combo of Writing + Literature, but you could absolutely go with all Writing or all Literature, depending on your nephew's needs and interests. And in what is available online -- for example, there are more 1-semester Writing-only online classes out there than 1-semester English courses. Usually the English is a 2-semester deal, and if a space does open up for the spring semester, it is harder for a student to jump in when everyone else in the class has had a full semester to build momentum, cover basic topics, etc.

That said, it would help knowing a little bit more about the student's specific needs:

- What are his levels of Reading and Writing -- advanced/average/remedial? 
That will help with deciding on what type of class to register for.

- Does he still need instruction and practice in Grammar?
If so, that aspect could be addressed with a mostly-independent working at-home program to add to an outsourced class.

- If he is not remedial, does he have an interest in a particular type of writing (creative writing, journalism, technical writing)? 
If so, he could take one of those "specialized" courses for his English 0.5 credit AND get to follow an interest at the same time.

- If he is solid with Writing and doesn't need more instruction and practice there, would he enjoy a Literature-only class for his 0.5 credit?

Once you can provide a bit more detail, we should be able to come up with more targeted suggestions for you. 🙂 

Edited by Lori D.
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Based on the title, is this a senior who just needs the final 1/2 credit?  If that's the case, I'd look at it one of 2 ways.  If there is something that the student needs to learn - essay writing, technical writing/business writing, literature analysis, editing, etc, then you could find a program that teaches that content, whether outsourced or a workbook/textbook style that just needs to be cheecked.  If you just need to check a box, or if there is a genre that the student is interested in, you might be able to put together a stack of literature that you just let the student read and maybe write a paper at the end of each book, or answer questions in a lit guide, or whatever metric works to show that the student did read and understand the book.  You could always add a word root or vocabulary study (there are workbooks for this) if it feels like you need something more.  

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On 11/25/2020 at 11:51 PM, bfw0729 said:

Are there options for online English classes in which you can earn .5 credit?

Hi, bfw0729.

I offer honors-level intensives in close reading of Shakespeare that might meet your son's needs.

I have two upcoming series:

  • Hamlet — A ten-week intensive beginning December 2.
  • Macbeth — A seven-week intensive beginning March 10.

I usually recommend that parents award one-third of an English credit for each intensive, so the two intensives would definitely merit a .5 credit.

If you have any questions, bfw0729, feel free to reach out to me via our website.

Good luck to you and your son.


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I will be teaching two semester-long high school literature classes in the spring:

"Who We Are & What We Dream: Comparative Science Fiction" https://www.learningoutsidethebox.net/comparative-science-fiction.html

"'The Play's the Thing: A Study of Modern Drama" https://www.learningoutsidethebox.net/modern-drama.html

Both are honors-level lit classes.  Both involve a generous amount of reading and thinking with a substantially lighter quantity of writing.

Christine K. (long-time home schooling mom now teaching others)

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