Charting Course – for High School Credits!
I remember starting out: the thought of homeschooling through high school seemed daunting! There are credits to keep up with, transcripts to create, ACT/SAT prep… and the bane of my existence – GEOMETRY! Arrrrrrgh!
I was reminded of my journey to not only acceptance but actually movement to a position of savoring this period with my teens. You’ll get there! DO benefit from my hindsight, however. A bit of careful planning early will allow you to skip headaches later on!
As military homeschoolers, how can you ‘plan’ for high school when you likely haven’t a clue where you may be living during your child’s Senior year!? How do you determine the number of credits needed when each state has different requirements for graduation? (At this point, I’ll lament once more why military homeschoolers should be awarded the right to follow the laws of their state of record to promote consistency and lower stress!)
If stationed in the States, you must follow your current state of residence. Ok… fair enough on the surface. If you’ll still be stationed overseas, ‘officially’ you will not have specific laws to abide by. If OCONUS, you must then try to determine whether you believe you’ll PCS before the end of high school. Gosh – even for those in the states, if you are facing (yet another!) PCS mid-stream, trying to guess what’s coming next can get nerve wracking.
If your kids plan on attending college, a trade school, or get a j-o-b (or you want to prepare them to give them the option) creating a high school plan is HIGHLY recommended. Typically, a college track will require approximately 22 – 28 high school credits/ (22 – 24 as a norm.)
An average plan may include the following:
- English/Language Arts: 4 credits
- Mathematics: 3 – 4 credits (*Note: More colleges are requiring a higher/4th year math class for admissions.)
- Science: 3 credits (1 should include a lab course)
- S. History: 1 credit
- Social Studies: 1 credit
- Foreign Language: 2 credits (Must be same language.)
- Visual / Performing Arts: 1 credit
- Health: .5 credit
- Economics: .5 – 1 credit
- Physical Education (P.E.): 1 credit
- Electives: 4 credits
Often overlooked – you can assign high school credit for ‘electives’ such as outside job or training which meets the # of hours needed for credit. This site has several different high school credit planners to choose from — either college prep or by grade level: LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com
Also at the above website, you can obtain a template for a high school transcript. In going through the college application process with my older kids, the amount of detail requested varies widely. Save yourself time as you are creating your high school planner to list the title, publisher, edition (if any) and/or copyright date and a brief (1 – 2 sentence) description of the class. If using more than one resource — write that down too! For those using a complete online curriculum – you will still list the class title and curriculum source. In this case, grab the scope/sequence overview to include along with final progress reports. Later, if your high school student needs this information for his/her college app, you can access it easily! (MUCH easier than trying to dig up old text books or resources years after the fact. *sigh* Lesson learned!)
DO continue to review your state’s requirements whenever you move and again yearly to ensure you stay on track with the current standards. Taking time up front to prepare a road map through high school will keep you on course to graduate your high school student prepared for his or her future!
Submitted by Missy Jaramillo 2/4/16
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