Jump to content

Menu

Transcripts of successfully admitted students?


Joan in GE
 Share

Recommended Posts

For those of us whose students still have several years at home, who are trying to map courses of study....could we have a thread where those of you whose students have been admitted post their transcripts and as many other aspects of the admission process as you have time to share? That would be so helpful...

 

Also, I had been starting to think that hour keeping was not so important from various posts, but then when Jane in NC posted the request from Grinnell admissions, asking the number of hours spent per discipline, I started getting nervous again. (We have been keeping track, but many times when he is working in the evening he doesn't bother to add that on). So I'm wondering how many of you keep track of hours AND do you keep track of "all" hours, meaning if they spend eg 2 extra hours in the evening on homework on one lesson, do you add that into the hours basket?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm running out the door, but later, I'd be happy to post our transcipts.

 

I never kept track of hours. Finishing the material was important to me rather than how long it took. None of the schools we've applied to have questioned the amount of time...they've asked about curriculum but never time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are a lot of different ways to do transcripts. Each college/university will want a certain style. We just used a very basic approach: I listed the year (9th), the courses he took (in general terms - English 9), the credit applied (1 or .5 depending on if it was a full year or semester), and the grade earned. I did this for each year, tallied up the total hours, figured the cumulative GPA, designated whether the class was concurrent, and added any other notations that might be useful. In addition, we sent official transcripts as well as letters of recommendation from the university where he did concurrent work.

 

This approach worked fine for our state university as well as some private universities we looked at. Ultimately my son decided on the state university because of his degree. For further admissions (to Honors College, etc.) my son was required to fill out specific forms which asked for more information about his coursework, his career goals, etc. We were never asked about hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My older dd was easily admitted into a state university with the transcript I printed in MS Word on my home computer. I formatted it to match my own college transcript, so it had her name, address, birthdate, and test scores at the top of page one, as well as current (or final) GPA, plus the "date of issue" that I updated each time I printed it. Then I separated her coursework by Grade, with a "school year" beside each grade level. I simply put course title, credits earned, and final letter grade, then calculated GPA. I used 5.0's for Honors or CC/Dual-Enrolled courses (because all the local high schools use 5.0 for their honors, and it weighted her grades appropriately to match her competition), and then signed the second page of the transcript.

 

I never kept up with hours, and only hodge-podged a list of "Course Descriptions" at the last minute mainly to make it easier for the second child. GRIN. My older child never needed such a thing, or a portfolio of her work, or anything over and above a transcript plus test scores.

 

Lori

Link to comment
Share on other sites

on the HSLDA website as a model. The main thing I changed was that I listed the courses by area (e.g. English, Math, Science) instead of by year. I also had to change the font to Times New Roman so the Common Application would allow it to upload. The transcript itself was a one-page document. With it, I also submitted 8 pages of courses descriptions -- a couple of sentences about each course and a list of the books used/read. At least one of the schools he applied to specifically asked for this list of course descriptions/books.

 

I did not track or report hours, but I'm sure that we exceeded the required hours in our state for high school. I also sent a transcript from the local cc and my son requested and had sent letters of recommendation from instructors at the cc.

 

Brenda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son applied to one state college and got in. He gave them his transcript from me, his CC transcript, a cover letter from me, four recommendations. His transcript had his info, graduation date, extra curricular activities, sports, work experience, test scores, total credits, courses and credits listed by subject, with a grade listed only for the CC classes and the rest just listed as pass/fail. I indicated things like current or honours or CC using footnotes. At the bottom, I signed and dated it. So - I went against almost all the advice: no dates and almost no grades, descriptive course names like Medieval and Renaissane Literature and Analysis, I didn't use my region's normal way of assigning credits, I only gave 1/2 a credit for one semester of CC work, I assigned some of our own courses honours (those that required extensive travel), etc.. I looked at several online and then made up my own in word. I made it all fit on one side of a page. The cover letter explained why we homeschool, how we homeschool, how I counted the credits, and our educational philosophy. I made the transcript and the cover letter show who my son was and what is special about him while at the same time trying to use something resembling a regular format and being as brief as possible. It took me months of tinkering. And in the end, I think the college was only interested in two things: his CC transcript and his brother (who is already at the school). We were careful in choosing his CC classes. He had some English, math, and science. The school is science oriented, so the lack of history/social studies wasn't a problem. I don't think they have had enough homeschoolers to really know what to do with them, but many of their applicants have some CC classes, so they just ignored the homeschooling part and looked at what was familiar. They recruit at his particular CC, so that probably helped.

 

-Nan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting- I noticed the part where you mentioned Grinnell college. I spoke with the admissions rep 4 years ago when older dd was graduating. I received the impression that they weren't really that impressed with homeschool applicants. He was trying to imply that the odds would be slim. (however, perhaps with the change in the economy, they might have changed their tune?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really appreciate all your answers. I can see there is variation, and so far the hours don't seem too important. But I see that there are a fair number doing CC which if we stay here is impossible.......Maybe it would be good to add the name of the school where they were accepted (so people can see what type of school wants what type of transcript) - or is that considered private or inappropriate (here I'm trying to discern board etiquette)?

 

Also, I saw that now on posts, we can attach files ( a wide variety)!

 

So if it ever is possible, it would be great to see the document and may be simpler that trying to describe it...:001_smile:

 

NancyL - it is Jane in NC who is thinking of Grinnel, so we'll see how that goes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joan,

 

From the many homeschoolers I have seen admitted - to a wide variety of institutions, the most common factor has been some kind of outside verification.

 

Many colleges to do not look at "mommy grades". Here in the states many of us do use community college, both for outsourcing (we don't feel we have the expertise to teach a subject) and for outside verification. However, there are other methods. On-line or correspondence courses would be one. Private tutoring would be another. Your student should definitely take the SAT and ACT; colleges, fairly or unfairly, often put a larger emphasis on test scores for homeschooled students. You might want to investigate the possibility of taking SAT II (SAT subject) tests in as many subjects as possible.

 

I don't remember if you stated in your original post what particular 'bent' your child might have. Any kind of participation in Math Olympiads, science fairs, working with a mentor would also provide outside verification (if you have a science/math kind of child). Or participation in music competitions, etc.

 

Hope this gives you some ideas.

 

kate in seattle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many colleges are happy with no grades attached to courses done at home - this is how I did my son's transcript for the University of Washington. I only indicated 1 or 1/2 credit. The airforce Academy, on the other hand, wanted a grade FOR EVERY SINGLE CLASS. Interestingly, they wanted a grade and not a number. So colleges do vary.

 

And Alex got into both UW and the USAFA with his two mommy transcripts, done with Word. We did buy nicer paper for anything 'official' - transcripts, cover letters, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

about no grades....I understand how subjective they are...but then they do not ask how you gave the credit for a course? (ie hours, finishing a book, etc?) Am I reading out of date books about homeschooling high school, when they talk about hours, books, etc if it is all based on AP, CC, SAT II?

 

Thanks Kate and K-FL!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listed categories of subjects, whether it was half a credit or whole, and the grade. Some of his courses were through Seton Home Study, and I listed the course with an (S) and their grade. Courses that were not completed yet had an (in progress) beside them. I gave him an A for every course except one. He is currently attending college on a full scholarship!

 

Here is his completed list (I was not following WTM with him!):

 

Language Arts:

English 9 (S)

English 10 (S)

English 11

English 12

American Literature

Grammar and Composition (S) 1/2 credit

World Mythology 1/2 credit

Arthurian Literature 1/2 credit

German Literature in English Translation 1/2 credit

Total credits: 7

 

Math:

Algebra 1 (S)

Algebra 2

Geometry

Advanced Math 1

Advanced Math 2

Total credits: 5

 

Social Studies:

World History

US History

Civics

Total Credits: 3

 

Science:

Physical Science (S)

Biology

Chemistry with labs

Total credits: 3

 

Foreign Languages:

Latin 1 (S)

Latin 2 (S)

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

German 1

German 2

German 3

Total credits: 7

 

Physical Education:

PE 9

PE 10

PE 11

PE 12

Total credits: 4

 

Electives:

Home Economics

Religion 9 (S)

Total credits 2

 

Total credits received: 31

 

 

That's the bare bones - the actual transcript is much nicer! (I think anyway LOL)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting- I noticed the part where you mentioned Grinnell college. I spoke with the admissions rep 4 years ago when older dd was graduating. I received the impression that they weren't really that impressed with homeschool applicants. He was trying to imply that the odds would be slim. (however, perhaps with the change in the economy, they might have changed their tune?)

 

Just to add some information for the purpose of clarification: My son emailed Grinnell to express an interest in the school. Shortly thereafter, they sent him a letter to explain what they expected to receive from home schoolers. I quoted from the letter in this post. We have not had any direct conversations with the admissions people so I cannot say whether they encourage or discourage homeschoolers. I am grateful that they are upfront concerning what they would expect from us.

 

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not yet at the point of preparing a homeschooled transcript, but I do have the privilege of reading them occasionally as an admissions liason for my alma mater. I had a couple homeschooled candidates a couple of years ago and it made me realize that it was easy to miscategorize courses by their title. For example, one student was working through Saxon Advanced Mathematics. I initially made the assumption that this was something on the level of consumer math, later reading the Saxon website, it seemed more like a pre-calc course. But I don't think that most school admissions offices are going to have the time to spend researching the texts used, unless they are already familiar with them. It would have meant more for me to hear, "I'm doing a pre-calc course."

 

However, there are obviously a lot of different ways of prepping a transcript and a lot of different priorities for different schools. YMMV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are very similar to the types of things we listed. I agree with Sebastian that it is wise to use conventional course titles (ie "pre-calc") to minimize confusion. We used a transcript format that allowed me to just fill in the blanks. It came with a gpa calculator that made that part simple, too. On the transcript there is a section for including test scores, grading scale and any notes. Ds was accepted at MIT, Texas A&M, Purdue, and Rose Hulman using this transcript. We included no information about hours, and no course descriptions. I just used my judgement; ds completed about half that book on electronics, with several projects, so that equals 1/2 credit of Electronics on the transcript. Ds did have 6 AP exams (self studied, not a formal AP course), two SATII exams (required by MIT), and two years of Spanish through the distance ed. part of the University of MN (in other words, correspondance classes). Otherwise, no CC, no other outside classes. And when printing the transcript, I didn't even use a nice bond paper. Just the 20 lb junk that's always in my printer. I did include a statement of our homeschooling philosophy, detailing why we believed that homeschooling was the best educational choice for ds, and discussing ds's independent self-study of his coursework. That allowed me to create a better picture of him for the admissions officers, I thought. I did try to keep it very "professional" in tone, rather than mom bragging up son.

 

Glad to answer any other questions you may have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't speak for a specific school, but I can say that my sister had some good advice for me when it came to hour keeping. She said that when they fill out forms for the gov't (she's a dietitian), they fill out how much time each activity is planned to take--frequently they need to send this info in BEFORE the event has happened. So she suggested I make a list of activities and average out how long it is expected to take, and jot that down that number for the hours.

 

So now I put down how many days of class we are planning to do. I average out how long it is expected to take, and I put that number of hours down. Only if I find that we are way off the number of expected hours do I change it.

 

In Wisconsin we are required to spend at least 875 hours of school. When I add up how much time I think we will work, we have hundreds of extra hours. Maybe this is very different for what you need, but I doubt that they expect folks to really add up every hour they spend doing school each day. Maybe. Probably not.

 

Jean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It never occurred to me to separate grammar and writing from literature. My son does an easy two hours a day in language arts, but I was going to just count it as one credit.

 

Is this common, to list these separately on a transcript?

 

I've made two different transcripts for my son, who will be needing one in the next few weeks to register for community college, just to see how they look. I like the subject grouping better than the school year grouping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It never occurred to me to separate grammar and writing from literature. My son does an easy two hours a day in language arts, but I was going to just count it as one credit.

 

Is this common, to list these separately on a transcript?

 

I've made two different transcripts for my son, who will be needing one in the next few weeks to register for community college, just to see how they look. I like the subject grouping better than the school year grouping.

 

Well, we started high school with the plan of going entirely with Seton. They require that incoming 9th grade students take a half credit course called "Grammar and Composition." That is why that is listed separately.

 

The English 9-12 also include literature. The extra literature credits reflect what he did above and beyond what I counted for English.

 

Yes, I much prefer the subject groupings! It fit us better, as he did not have strictly defined years.

 

My guideline was 120 hours = 1 credit. So if your dc is doing 2 hours per day, 5 days per week = 10 hours per week, then how many weeks a year do you do school? If it's the typical 36, that would be 360 hours! That's WAY more than just one credit! If it were me, I would divide it up into three course titles, depending on what exactly he is doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I don't know. If my son was in public school he would be responsible for reading and papers, etc, outside the hours of instruction time. He would have homework outside of all his classes.

 

But wow, English with lit, and then more lit classes, and all those languages! That was a rigorous schedule! My son is doing something similar with history and science, I guess. That's where he will have a really large amount of credits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many public (and private) schools in the states use something called "Carnegie units". (the Carnegie Unit is 120 hours of class or contact time with an instructor over the course of a year at the secondary (American high school) level. - definition from Wikipedia). This works out to 40 minutes a day over 180 days (the average length of a school year).

 

Many home schoolers, when using self-designed courses, use this as a springboard for figuring out if their student had earned a 'credit'. When you are using a published course, most homeschoolers assign a credit when the student is done with a book.

 

Let me make this more concrete. You want your student to have a high school health course. You have him attend Red Cross First Aid and CPR training. You have him get the boy Scout badge for First Aid. He reads the old Reader's Digest book "I am Joe's Body". You read a book or two recommended by your particular faith on sex, abstinence and relationships. When he has reached 120 (or 60, since health is usually only a 1/2 credit) hours, he is 'done' with health and you can assign a grade, or just record he has earned a 1/2 credit.

 

Alternately, you buy Susan Boe's "Total Health" or an A Beka Health book. He reads the book, answers the chapter questions. Perhaps he takes the chapter tests. You have him read one other book, or do one of the suggested projects. When he has done he has earned 1/2 credit, even though he only took 45 hours. Even if he took more than 60 hours, you might only assign him a 1/2 credit.

 

So this might be where the books you are reading are getting the 'keep track of hours' from. Most of us who self-design classes usually do not have to worry about being UNDER the 120 hours.

 

Homeschooling high school in preparation for college, especially without the 'easy' outside verification from community college and/or online classes can be a bit tricky but can be done.

 

My usual piece of advice is to figure out where you want to be at the end of high school - diploma? IB certificate? AP scores? applying to a 4 year college? attending community college or trade school? Because the hoops you must jump through a just a tad different for each of thosel And can change a bit dependent on the college (or the country!) where you want to be.

 

Kate in Seattle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

My guideline was 120 hours = 1 credit. So if your dc is doing 2 hours per day, 5 days per week = 10 hours per week, then how many weeks a year do you do school? If it's the typical 36, that would be 360 hours! That's WAY more than just one credit! If it were me, I would divide it up into three course titles, depending on what exactly he is doing.

 

But I don't know. If my son was in public school he would be responsible for reading and papers, etc, outside the hours of instruction time. He would have homework outside of all his classes.

 

 

 

Does anyone else want to chime in on this issue?

 

Like Laura, I see additional hours outside of instruction as "homework". For example, my son works for more than an hour on math most days. But if my son were in a traditional school, he would have class, as well as homework--more than an hour--yet he would only receive one credit or unit.

 

AP Biology required an overwhelming amount of work--two hours a day, plus more time on the weekends. I had toyed with the idea of giving more than one credit, until consulting with folks on this board who pointed out that traditional high schools only give one credit for the course.

 

I guess what I am fearing is that an admissions person might feel I am padding my son's transcript if I am too generous with credits. But, at the same time, it is true that my son's English class for ninth grade which includes grammar, vocab, writing and Ancient literature far exceeded 120 hours of the defined Carnegie unit.

 

Shouldn't there be some rule of thumb that 120 instruction hours be accompanied by x amount of homework for a unit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was no book and very little homework. He and I were both disappointed -- he decided to take the class during the summer to lighten his workload this year. It wasn't even 30 hours worth of work. There's no way I can count that for even a half credit unless he does extra work, and I don't know how to help him continue because the topic is foreign to me.

 

You're right, every parent has to make her own choices for themselves about what will appear on the transcript and how many credits everything will be worth. That's why threads like this are so important, so I can hear everyone's reasoning!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I quote from the first edition of WTM: " Traditionally, 1 credit in high school equals 120 hours of class work...Labs and projects, field trips, and independent reading can all count as class work...you can give elective credit in world literature for every year of great books study."

 

WTM then breaks the 320 hours of great books into a credit of Lit and a credit of History for each year of high school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't quote anything here--it has been way too long ago when I read this. But I can say that I've read a study of how much time the normal classroom in schools actually do instruction. 20 to 40 minutes is the norm. Outside of the normal 50 minute period, there is the handing in of paper work, discipline (in some cases, lots and lots of discipline), group paper grading, time to work on assignments, chatter and nonsense, sitting down in class after the bell rings, collecting books and rustling papers just before the bell rings...it goes on and on.

 

I've taught in the public schools. I've talked to many teachers and have asked them how much instruction time they have. They laugh at the 40 minutes. They say 20 is more likely. It is sad.

 

I know that not all classes are this way. I had some good teachers in high school and we learned a lot. Maybe the AP classes are structured in such a way the they really do get 40 minutes of instruction. But when you add the days up that no instruction is given--pep rallies, school trips, sports, sick days, days the teacher is absent...it still does not come to 180 days of 40 minutes. 160 days of 40 minutes of instruction is 105 hours. Even if you add another 1 hr/day of homework, that only comes to 165 hours. All of the A students I talk to in our area do almost all of their homework in class time and study hall. Ugh. A couple of hours of homework at night is a biggy. I'm sure other schools require more, but do the kids really do more than an hour of homework per credit hour of schoolwork? I'd call that a REAL RARE.

 

So, I count 160 hours of work as a credit. I count a book (science, math, Traditional Logic I & II) a credit of work. From what I can tell, my kids are getting SO MUCH MORE than the children they are interacting with. I am not taking into consideration those schools that are pushing really hard and are known for the high, quality academics--I'm sure there are those out there. But even those classrooms probably have 50 minute classes. They still have to get settled, take roll call, give announcements, collect assignments. They are NOT giving 50 minutes of instruction. No way. And do they REALLY give 2 hours of homework PER CLASS each night? That would be 12 hours of homework. NO WAY.

 

And then, in high school, I do not give instruction time the way I did in elementary school. My kids do a lot of the work on their own. Some classes are DVDs, some are reading the book and taking the tests. Some are reading the book and discussing it and then writing a paper. I do not give 20 or 40 minutes of instruction--we skip this stage. We do the WHOLE BOOK (don't know many schools who do this (and in my area, books are considered too expensive, so they use the chalkboard and photocopied worksheets). It is apples and oranges--we teach it in a different way and we cannot easily count the hours in the same way.

 

From what I can tell, my daughter has a LOT of public schooled kids in her college classes that did not learn much in high school. They call her the intelligent one and ask her to explain concepts she had in high school. I've decided that I want to teach my kids well. They need to study hard, do the book, fill in the hours. But I also want my kids to have a life. We are not trying to get into Harvard--and even if we were, we would need them doing something other than just studies. We'd need hours in the day to start a business, do volunteer work, or invent something grand.

 

Mind me, don't think that you should not do more if you want to! Your life is not mine; your kids are not mine. We homeschool so that we can do what we see right and fit for our individual families. That is what is SO GOOD about the course we have set.

 

There. Said my mind. I'll get off my box and go read more about John Muir. Seems to me that he was a bit of a fruitcake...but accomplished a lot of interesting things! Great read.

 

Back to your regular programming...

 

Jean

Edited by Jean in Wisc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's also true that all the hours in school are not "on task" working on the topic, but the students still get the full credit. What about the child who daydreams through the whole thing - not usually possible for homeschooled students - and still passes? What about assemblies, delayed openings, field trips unrelated to the subject, absences, etc? I taught high school Spanish last year and for the last month of the school year, students were pulled from my class to review for their end of year tests in their core classes. They still got a full credit of Spanish.

 

IMO, a homeschooled student working on their own for 120 hours has done way more than the equivalent of a credit in a regular high school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It never occurred to me to separate grammar and writing from literature. My son does an easy two hours a day in language arts, but I was going to just count it as one credit.

 

Is this common, to list these separately on a transcript?

 

I don't know how common it is, but we did it too, for the most part. This was because we integrated credits from various outside sources (American School and dual enrollment in the cc), neither of which combines grammar/comp and lit into full courses. If colleges felt our sons' transcripts were padded, none said so. Perhaps because even if we had combined the grammar/comp and lit credits, they would still have had more than enough English credits. We weren't striving for lots of credits, but rather clarity.

 

Truthfully, I had no interest in modeling our transcripts after those of a regular public high school. If we were leaning in any direction, it would have been that of a college model (colleges don't lump comp/grammar courses with literature courses -- literature is classified as "humanities" not "English".)

 

Edited to add: It is my opinion that there is no one "right" way to approach transcripts. Your transcript should satisfy colleges' admissions requirements. It should make sense to you. It should make sense to a college's admissions staff. It should, as clearly as possible, reflect your child's academic experiences. It sounds to me as if your approach does all of this to your satisfaction. Many of us used a different approach, not because it was better in general, but because it was a better way to communicate our own particular child's academic experiences.

Edited by Janet in WA
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my older kids take a chemistry class at local high school the number of teacher absences, required 'advisory' periods (to make sure kids were on track with their senior portfolio) shortened periods due to assemblies, in-training days, etc, was incredible. And it certainly wasn't all 'instructor face' time as they did homework, worked in groups, etc. etc.

 

Most of us know when our kids are working hard or hardly working! and can give credits accordingly.

 

kate in seattle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Edited to add: It is my opinion that there is no one "right" way to approach transcripts. Your transcript should satisfy colleges' admissions requirements. It should make sense to you. It should make sense to a college's admissions staff. It should, as clearly as possible, reflect your child's academic experiences. It sounds to me as if your approach does all of this to your satisfaction. Many of us used a different approach, not because it was better in general, but because it was a better way to communicate our own particular child's academic experiences.

 

Agreeing with Janet that there is no one "right" way which makes this thread so interesting. What I am seeing in part now is that a transcript can imply much about a homeschool experience--particularly how it is different than a traditional education.

 

Thank you all for your comments!

 

Jane

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreeing with Janet that there is no one "right" way which makes this thread so interesting. What I am seeing in part now is that a transcript can imply much about a homeschool experience--particularly how it is different than a traditional education.

 

Thank you all for your comments!

 

Jane

 

Jane,

 

I think you are definitely correct on this point. I was looking back over all the "stuff" we sent in with the college aps and really appreciating the fact that by being our own guidance counselors, we can really personalize the application to highlight our childrens' strengths and the uniqueness of their education.

 

An applicant from ps has a guidance letter from someone who probably hardly knows them, teacher recs from teachers that are probably writing 30 or 40 other recs that year, and a 1-page transcript that just lists course names and grades.

 

Pulling everything together for the aps is a lot of work, but I think it's definitely worth it in the end.

 

Brenda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, there are all different ways to make a transcript! When I was doing my son's, I just looked at various samples on the Internet and then made up something that made sense to me.

 

My son got into his top choice but decided not to go there when his safety school offered him a full ride.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems our transcript exceeds the file size limit here. I don't have time now, but when I do, I'll break it into parts (transript, resume, course descriptions) and see if I can attach them separately. For now, I'll share that our sons were accepted to every college to which they applied. From my recollection:

 

University of Washington

Western Washington University

Washington State University

University of Puget Sound

Seattle Pacific University

Whitworth College

University of Idaho

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Katia

So....is the Grinnell college you all are talking about the one in Iowa? Is there something special about it?

 

When my dd was 15yo, she took harp lessons from the harp professor at Grinnell in Iowa....was just wondering if it was the same one and why anyone would want to go there...(not that I don't think it's special, I just honestly don't know).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So....is the Grinnell college you all are talking about the one in Iowa? Is there something special about it?

 

When my dd was 15yo, she took harp lessons from the harp professor at Grinnell in Iowa....was just wondering if it was the same one and why anyone would want to go there...(not that I don't think it's special, I just honestly don't know).

 

Yes. When you live on the edge, as we do, corn fields for four years could bring an interesting perspective.

 

Grinnell is ranked as one of the nation's top LACs. Given my Midwestern roots, I would like my son to consider going to school in the Midwest--although he thinks the Mid-Atlantic or New England would be far better. As Grinnell says on their website, "Io-where?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Katia
Yes. When you live on the edge, as we do, corn fields for four years could bring an interesting perspective.

 

Grinnell is ranked as one of the nation's top LACs. Given my Midwestern roots, I would like my son to consider going to school in the Midwest--although he thinks the Mid-Atlantic or New England would be far better. As Grinnell says on their website, "Io-where?"

 

Thanks. I had no idea anyone would want to go there, lol! I really don't know anything about it at all, other than my dd took lessons from a prof from there, and she was fantastic, btw!

 

I just honestly never hear of anyone around here going there, kwim?

 

And, as far as what they required from homeschool students: my dd applied to a very different LAC in Iowa and they wanted the very same things, so I wonder if perhaps those are across-the-board state requirements regarding home schooled students in the state of Iowa.

 

Once I had put together the materials for that school, I just went ahead and sent them to all the other colleges she applied to, even if those schools didn't require it all....and we found that they were very happy to have it!

 

Ok, so if dd needs to come home from her current college for any reason....we can look at Grinnell. I would never even have thought about it before this thread.

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. Even after all these years, I still don't have all of "American" down :).

 

Most Americans probably wouldn't know either, unless they're in the "College Mode" as we are. Along w/all those other things like FAFSA, EFC, FA office. . . :tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That might help you to see what sorts of decisions go into making a transcript.

 

I had to choose what our minimum graduation requirements were. I had my oldest son's public school transcript, which listed the school district's minimum requirements for graduation, and I just used those.

 

I had to choose what we thought was the minimum for being accepted into college. To do that, I had to decide if I was going to try to make him acceptable to all colleges, or if we were willing to narrow his choices. To do that, I had to decide on our educational goals and philosophy. I chose to narrow his choices and accept that some colleges just weren't going to want him because we hadn't done what they wanted for prep or validation (like testing). We did this because we wanted his education to include some non-traditional elements (he learns well non-traditionally) and because our educational goals and philosophy were going to require a lot of time and didn't line up exactly with a typical high school education and its resources, leaving no extra time to jump through extra educational hoops just to satisfy some colleges' entrance requirements. I remembered what colleges wanted (in composite: 4 math, 4 English, 2-4 foreign language, 4 science some with labs, 4 social studies). I spoke to an admissions person or two and figured out that they wanted at a minimum SATs (or ACTs but those aren't as usual where I live) and some sort of outside validation of my son's ability to do college level work. Community college classes would probably be acceptable but he needed a variety of core academic ones; he couldn't just take a drawing class. All of this varied greatly from college to college, but I looked a few likely sorts and put them together.

 

We had to decide what our family goals were for an educated adult.

 

Then we had to decide how mesh our family goals with the minimum college prep requirements, in other words, how were we going to do high school, now that we had decided what needed to be covered. We decided to cover history and literature and philosophy via great books. I decided he needed to keep doing some sort of writing curriculum each year, ending with CC composition. I decided that he was going to continue using Singapore math's NEM and then finish his math at CC. My son decided that he was going to keep peace walking because he learns huge amounts traveling. I decided that to count it as an academic high school course it needed to involve some reading and writing. It occasionally requires language study, as well. We decided that chemistry and physics would be taught traditionally, the chemistry at CC with a full lab, and the physics at home. We decided that the first years of science would be applied and ones that would enrich his life. We chose natural history, which can include just about any science subject and is the easiest way to "do" science not just study science at home, I think. We decided he would continue to do Latin for his foreign language. He decided to keep doing competative gymnastics. I decided that I wasn't going to give grades, that colleges would have to judge him by his CC class grades and his SATs. That decision was one of the best that we made. It allowed me to teach properly, and it allowed my son to be bold with his learning and try things that he thought he might not be able to do well. It kept us from being limited.

 

I had to decide how to translate what we did into a traditional-looking transcript. This meant deciding what a credit was. I found the concept of hours rather unhelpful. If we had counted hours, my son would have had a very, very unlikely-looking number of credits. He put in 7-8 hours a day 5 days a week and between 2 and 6 a day on weekends when he was home doing school, about 3 hours 7 days a week during the summer vacation, and every waking hour when he was traveling. And that isn't even counting the gymnastics. That is too many hours to list LOL. I'm not worried about it. Colleges are not going to see my son's whole education no matter what we do. It simply is too big, and too varied to fit on paper. In public school, a clear distinction is made between general education (moral, life skills, etc.) and academic education. That distinction is much blurrier homeschooling. Yes, I tried to make the transcript and cover letter reflect who my son is, but I didn't try to make it cover everything, and it didn't bother me that we did tons of writing (for example) that didn't show up on the transcript. I also had to decide what was going to be counted as a credit course and what was going to be listed as extra curricular. My school system requires a year of phys ed, so I gave my son a year of phys ed credit - rock climbing and snow boarding. I saved the gymnastics to list as a sport. The peacewalking could have been listed as an extracurricular event, but it was such a key part of his eduction that I wanted to give him credit for it. I also decided that it was so arduous and such an intense learning situation that I wanted it to be counted as honours. I decided that I wouldn't give him double credit for the community college classes, some of which weren't worth it in my opinion, and some of which would be worth AP credit (I can't believe what he is learning in chemistry!), so instead, I counted them as honours. I put a note at the bottom of the transcript saying, "honours because required extensive travel" or "honours because taken at blank community college".

 

So in the end, I had a good balance between his academic classes, electives, and extracurricular activities, and a not-unlikely-looking number of credits. I had clear guidelines for what counted as an academic course for credit, and what made it honours. I had two sources of outside validation: SATs and CC classes. I had high school plans to give the school department and a way to write up the assessments at the end of the year. I had a transcript that colleges could compare to other transcripts, and a short explanation of how I translated my son's education into a transcript. And amazingly enough, it still looked unique. Not all colleges would like what we did, but there are many, many colleges out there.

 

Hope this helps. There are tons of decisions and balances and compromises to make. Now I am remaking them all for the next son, who is a different person with different goals.

 

-Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've taught in the public schools. I've talked to many teachers and have asked them how much instruction time they have. They laugh at the 40 minutes. They say 20 is more likely. It is sad.

 

 

A rabbit trail from a different thread led me to this online essay:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6952/is_1_84/ai_n28130089/?tag=content;col1

Don't let the title put you off. The teacher discusses not just discipline, but her early experiences with on-the-job learning of how to teach in a public school. Quite a lot of it at the students' expense.

 

Item: "A wonderful teacher, Sue Case, told this story about her first year. She felt so nervous that she just kept handing out ditto sheets. (For you younger readers, that was an early method of duplication.) She just tried to keep students occupied. She couldn't possibly grade all the papers, so at the end of the year, she had a barbecue at her house and burned hundreds of quizzes, worksheets, and papers in her backyard grill! She still developed into a marvelous teacher."

My unsolicited thoughts: Well, good for her that she developed into a good teacher, but what about the kids who had that entirely meaningless busy-work inflicted on them?

 

Item: "Don Thomas (former head of our English Department) used to say that, during his first years in the classroom, he figured that 10 minutes of real teaching in a period qualified as a successful class."

My unsolicited thoughts: Jean, you stand affirmed.

 

Not all of the essay is bad. There is some useful thinking in there for all of us, but boyoboy did this thing ever add to the affirmation I still feel when I read Jean's "rant". :)

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on school, we used Jean in Wisc.'s transcript, for others we submitted the transcript along with a CD portfolio.

 

For me the CD is a novel idea (maybe I'm very unexposed), so I'm curious if that was a soundtrack (if your daughter is in music) or art or papers or....?

 

Nan - thanks for more ideas!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...