1. Complete two-thirds of a textbook
2. Have 120 daily logged entries
3. Have 120 hours of logged study
4. Complete a 10 page research paper
5. Complete a college course
6. Pass an AP exam
What Can We Learn From Homeschoolers in Pennsylvania?
Do any ONE of the following
You don't have to do ALL of them. You don't have to complete a textbook AND write a 10 page paper AND pass an AP exam. In Pennsylvania, you only have to do one of these things to get high school credit. In other states, you may have the freedom to choose other ways of determining credit. Homeschoolers may read the list and think they have to do them ALL, but you don't - even in Pennsylvania.
Complete two-thirds of a textbook
Wow. That's not at ALL like finishing the whole book. I try to tell parents that sometimes it's OK to lighten up, and not finish every last chapter. Most public schools say 75% of the book means you are "done." Teachers in public schools plan ahead for which chapters they will skip. I always liked to finish things in my homeschool, but that didn't ALWAYS happen. Even if you don't live in Pennsylvania, don't feel bad if you don't finish a textbook.
Have 120 daily logged entries
Some experts require 120 hours, some require 150, and some require 180. Instead of being regimented, just guess. Unless your state requires daily logged entries, you don't have to keep a log of hours and attendance.
Have 120 hours of logged study
Unless your state requires daily logged entries, you don't have to keep a journal with the number of hours your child has studied. I read one expert who said homeschoolers couldn't count "homework." Excuse me? Isn't almost all homeschool done at home, and is therefore homework? Unless this is a state requirement, you don't have to keep a log with hours checked off - you can estimate.
Complete a 10 page research paper
In other states, you may decide to award credit for an 8 page paper or a 9 page paper. I liked assigning a written paper for each course because I liked having something to document every class. 10 pages? Wow! I'm glad that doesn't apply to other states.
Complete a college course
If your child knows enough to pass a college course, they know enough to pass the course in high school, right? Dual enrollment means you get credit for high school and credit for college at the same time for the same class.
Pass an AP exam
This is the same idea as the one above. AP tests measure a college amount of knowledge. So do CLEP Exams. If your child passes either, you can give a high school credit.
Remember that state laws vary. I don't want you to think I'm picking on Pennsylvania. I don't know PA homeschool law in detail, and I'm not familiar with the Pahomeschoolers.com website. I just want to encourage others to learn what they can. Some things may not apply to you at all!
Please note: This post was originally published in August 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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