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Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School

If you are sure your child is doing high school level work in an academic subject area like math, science, or foreign language in middle school, put that on your transcript and earn early high school credits!


Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School


Why? Because when it's honest and true it goes on the transcript. And because schools do it too!

My record keeping earned our family $187,000 in scholarships. Click this link if you could use that sort of college cash: The HomeScholar Record Keeping Samples
I stumbled on the Frederick County Public Schools website describing their policy.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT EARNED IN MIDDLE SCHOOL

The Maryland State Board of Education allows local boards of education to grant graduation credit to middle school students who take high school courses in middle school. These courses must have the same expectations, curriculum and final exams as the equivalent courses taught in high school.The following FCPS middle school courses have been identified for high school credit:

• Algebra 1
• Geometry
• World Language levels 1 & 2 (i.e. German 1, 2, Spanish 1, 2, Latin 1, 2, French 1, 2, etc)


Students who pass these courses and the final exam will automatically be granted high school credit. These grades will be reflected on the student’s high school transcript and included in cumulative GPA calculations.

So, if your child is in middle school, he or she can still earn high school credit. If they have done Algebra 1 or higher, high school biology or higher, or high school foreign language, then it does go on the transcript. One way to determine if a class is a high school class is to look at the curriculum description from the producer of the class in question. Often, they will say if it is a high school class or not. Electives typically aren't considered high school classes, but an advanced history class might be. It's also a good idea to check your state homeschool requirements to see if there are any regulations for your state regarding this. (Just be sure you are looking at HOMESCHOOL requirements and not public school requirements. They are generally not the same.)

Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School



There was an article in The Columbus Dispatch a couple of years ago, called "Middle-schoolers get additional shots at taking high-school courses." In Hilliard, 8th graders are eligible to take classes for high-school credit, including science, math and foreign languages.

Are you surprised?

As a side note, it is really quite interesting the angle that the public school article takes. They claim that by allowing students to take high school classes early, they will burn out, like in sports when too much is allowed too soon. The article goes on to say that the public school works closely with the parents to decide whether it is a good idea to allow middle school students to take those early classes. The beauty of homeschooling is you know your student best, and you know when they are ready. Homeschooling is a go-at-your-own-pace world, and our kids often thrive because of it.
Learn more about high school credits in this free webinar!  “A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts

If middle school is causing you to have anxiety, never fear! You can read my article, Taming Middle School Anxiety for guidance. It will help you formulate a plan for success!

Will your child earn Early High School Credits?

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Comments 23

Guest - lisa on Tuesday, 25 August 2020 19:30

Should I take Algebra 1 or Spanish 1?

Should I take Algebra 1 or Spanish 1?
Robin on Tuesday, 25 August 2020 19:36

Definitely. WHEN you take them is completely up to you, however.

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Definitely. ;) WHEN you take them is completely up to you, however. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - RHONDA HUTCHINSON on Friday, 10 July 2020 18:14

Hi my son took physics in 8th grade then again in 10th grade. Both are listed on his high school transcript that I just received. Do they both count towards cumulative high school gpa or only 1 of them. He received 1 credit in both. Im thinking maybe he didn't need to retake it in 10th but we did not know at the time that the 8th grade classes counted for high school

Hi my son took physics in 8th grade then again in 10th grade. Both are listed on his high school transcript that I just received. Do they both count towards cumulative high school gpa or only 1 of them. He received 1 credit in both. Im thinking maybe he didn't need to retake it in 10th but we did not know at the time that the 8th grade classes counted for high school
Lee Binz on Friday, 10 July 2020 20:20

Rhonda,
If your student was in public/private school then you can't change the transcript, and I would add those to your homeschool transcript exactly they way they listed it. It's possible that the 8th grade and 10th grade physics had different content.
If your student was homeschooling for both of them, or for either of them, then I would only count the 10th grade class on your homeschool transcript.
I hope that helps!
Blessings,
Lee

Rhonda, If your student was in public/private school then you can't change the transcript, and I would add those to your homeschool transcript exactly they way they listed it. It's possible that the 8th grade and 10th grade physics had different content. If your student was homeschooling for both of them, or for either of them, then I would only count the 10th grade class on your homeschool transcript. I hope that helps! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Princes on Saturday, 22 February 2020 06:59

My daughter is in 7th grade and wants credits high school can she and how

My daughter is in 7th grade and wants credits high school can she and how
Guest - Shelly on Thursday, 02 January 2020 15:50

Lee,
I have a question that is basically the opposite of this article. What if my child is behind in say, math. And he is working through a 8th grade curriculum (textbook) that is marked '8th grade'-though the content is algebraic in nature, but he is a freshman... How would I present that on a transcript?
Thank you for your help

Lee, I have a question that is basically the opposite of this article. What if my child is behind in say, math. And he is working through a 8th grade curriculum (textbook) that is marked '8th grade'-though the content is algebraic in nature, but he is a freshman... How would I present that on a transcript? Thank you for your help
Lee Binz on Thursday, 02 January 2020 17:10

Hi Shelly,
Thanks for asking that question! When a child is high school age, ALL classes are counted on the transcript. After all, if your child was in public school, every class would be on the transcript, right? You should do that too! So you put it on the transcript for SURE, and then you are honest about the content, naming the class accurately. 8th grade curriculum is equivalent to pre-algebra, so you can call the class general mathematics (if you decide to do pre-algebra next year) or call it pre-algebra if you are going into algebra next year. And by the way, while algebra is the most common math class for 9th grade, pre-algebra is a very normal class for a freshman to take.
Blessings,
Lee

Hi Shelly, Thanks for asking that question! When a child is high school age, ALL classes are counted on the transcript. After all, if your child was in public school, every class would be on the transcript, right? You should do that too! So you put it on the transcript for SURE, and then you are honest about the content, naming the class accurately. 8th grade curriculum is equivalent to pre-algebra, so you can call the class general mathematics (if you decide to do pre-algebra next year) or call it pre-algebra if you are going into algebra next year. And by the way, while algebra is the most common math class for 9th grade, pre-algebra is a very normal class for a freshman to take. Blessings, Lee
Lee Binz on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 22:12

Yes, absolutely! Just call it "Algebra 1 with Integrated Geometry" and put that under "Early High School Credits" on your transcript. You can see record keeping samples with that kind of information on the transcript here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/record-keeping-samples
Blessings,
Lee

Yes, absolutely! Just call it "Algebra 1 with Integrated Geometry" and put that under "Early High School Credits" on your transcript. You can see record keeping samples with that kind of information on the transcript here: https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/record-keeping-samples Blessings, Lee
Guest - Guest on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 17:04

My son completed Algebra 1 w/Integrated Geometry in 8th grade. Is there a way to carry those credits over to 9th?

My son completed Algebra 1 w/Integrated Geometry in 8th grade. Is there a way to carry those credits over to 9th?
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 29 July 2016 09:45

Hi Kathleen,
I suggest keeping early high school credits to JUST math, science and foreign language, with few exceptions. If a child takes a high school class - then perhaps yes. But in middle school, you are trying to keep kids challenged, and using a high school level English program is part of keeping them challenged. It doesn't mean you need to give them high school credit. That said, mom always knows best For more information, you might like this book: Homeschooling Middle School with Powerful Purpose: How to Successfully Navigate 6th through 8th Grade (It's a Coffee Break Books, intended to be a quick and easy read.) https://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Middle-School-Powerful-Purpose/dp/1515358402
Blessings,
Lee

Hi Kathleen, I suggest keeping early high school credits to JUST math, science and foreign language, with few exceptions. If a child takes a high school class - then perhaps yes. But in middle school, you are trying to keep kids challenged, and using a high school level English program is part of keeping them challenged. It doesn't mean you need to give them high school credit. That said, mom always knows best :) For more information, you might like this book: Homeschooling Middle School with Powerful Purpose: How to Successfully Navigate 6th through 8th Grade (It's a Coffee Break Books, intended to be a quick and easy read.) https://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Middle-School-Powerful-Purpose/dp/1515358402 Blessings, Lee
Guest - Kathleen on Thursday, 28 July 2016 18:48

Hi! I'm sorry if this seems already answered, but I just want to confirm my understanding. I have noticed a pattern in discussions around the web regarding Early High School credits in that everyone mentions math, science, & foreign language. I have even seen one public school website that specifically said only those subject classes would be allowed high school credit when taken during middle school. So, I was beginning to think colleges maybe didn't like seeing Early High School Credit for subjects like English or History until I read your response to Samantha's comment. So to clarify: My student may earn Early High School Credit for any subject he takes in Middle School *so long as* that subject course is done at a high school work level (i.e. completing an English course written for high schoolers). Is that correct?

Hi! I'm sorry if this seems already answered, but I just want to confirm my understanding. I have noticed a pattern in discussions around the web regarding Early High School credits in that everyone mentions math, science, & foreign language. I have even seen one public school website that specifically said only those subject classes would be allowed high school credit when taken during middle school. So, I was beginning to think colleges maybe didn't like seeing Early High School Credit for subjects like English or History until I read your response to Samantha's comment. So to clarify: My student may earn Early High School Credit for any subject he takes in Middle School *so long as* that subject course is done at a high school work level (i.e. completing an English course written for high schoolers). Is that correct?
Guest - Kimberly on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 21:37

Hi Lee, My daughter will be entering 7th grade and starting Algebra 1. Do I have to wait until 8th grade to count it on her high school transcripts?

Hi Lee, My daughter will be entering 7th grade and starting Algebra 1. Do I have to wait until 8th grade to count it on her high school transcripts?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Friday, 12 February 2016 14:36

Dear Kimberly,
Lee often recommends including high school level work from middle school on your high school transcripts. You can read about that here: Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School
Blessings,
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear Kimberly, Lee often recommends including high school level work from middle school on your high school transcripts. You can read about that here: Early High School Credits Earned in Middle School Blessings, Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 13 November 2015 11:23

I'm so glad it helped, Lita! "It will and should look different" - good words!
Blessings,
Lee

I'm so glad it helped, Lita! "It will and should look different" - good words! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Lita on Friday, 13 November 2015 11:14

Hi, Lee. It is helpful to me that you encourage creative and even courageous ways to see our kids through, making the most of all their efforts. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I think kids who enjoy learning and preparing for college will apply themselves all the way through...and that will and should look different for each student. You are a blessing to this me. Thanks again. :-)

Hi, Lee. It is helpful to me that you encourage creative and even courageous ways to see our kids through, making the most of all their efforts. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I think kids who enjoy learning and preparing for college will apply themselves all the way through...and that will and should look different for each student. You are a blessing to this me. Thanks again. :-)
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 13 November 2015 10:00

Hi Lita! That's the opinion of HSLDA, and you are the principal of your own homeschool, so you get to make the decision for YOU that will work the best for your homeschooler. I have not seen that in practice in public schools, so I'm pretty sure it's a preference decision.
Blessings,
Lee

Hi Lita! That's the opinion of HSLDA, and you are the principal of your own homeschool, so you get to make the decision for YOU that will work the best for your homeschooler. I have not seen that in practice in public schools, so I'm pretty sure it's a preference decision. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Lita on Thursday, 12 November 2015 20:02

Hello Lee (and Robin), I had this question earlier this year and thought it helpful to share this: HSLDA recommends "students completing a high school course prior to 9th grade do so only if they intend to take more advanced levels in that subject area in later years of high school. For example, a student may take Algebra 1 in 8th grade in order to have time to fit in Calculus before graduating. Or a student may take Physical Science in 8th grade in order to take a college level or AP science course later in high school." My son studied World History in 8th, but if I do not have plans for an advanced history course before graduation, I was dissuaded from including it on the transcript for high school credit. Apparently colleges want to see progression in a subject all the way through to graduation if early credits are recorded. I think in most cases this would happen naturally for college bound students, but their information reminded me look ahead and make sure I was planning well.

Hello Lee (and Robin), I had this question earlier this year and thought it helpful to share this: HSLDA recommends "students completing a high school course prior to 9th grade do so only if they intend to take more advanced levels in that subject area in later years of high school. For example, a student may take Algebra 1 in 8th grade in order to have time to fit in Calculus before graduating. Or a student may take Physical Science in 8th grade in order to take a college level or AP science course later in high school." My son studied World History in 8th, but if I do not have plans for an advanced history course before graduation, I was dissuaded from including it on the transcript for high school credit. Apparently colleges want to see progression in a subject all the way through to graduation if early credits are recorded. I think in most cases this would happen naturally for college bound students, but their information reminded me look ahead and make sure I was planning well.
Guest - Samantha on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 19:07

Why shouldn't you count high school level social studies? If a child takes hs level government in eighth grade do they need to retake it in high school?

Why shouldn't you count high school level social studies? If a child takes hs level government in eighth grade do they need to retake it in high school?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Thursday, 03 September 2015 16:43

Exactly, Samantha!
In her blog post Earning Early High School Credit in Homeschool, Lee talks about giving children high school credit for high school work---even in middle school. She's with you---why wouldn't you?! I think you'll like this blog post too: How Do I Show 8th Grade Classes on a High School Transcript?
Blessings.
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Exactly, Samantha! In her blog post Earning Early High School Credit in Homeschool, Lee talks about giving children high school credit for high school work---even in middle school. She's with you---why wouldn't you?! I think you'll like this blog post too: How Do I Show 8th Grade Classes on a High School Transcript? Blessings. Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Tracey on Friday, 15 May 2015 17:15

My rising 8th grader will take Alg. 1, Physical Science (w/ lab), One Year Adventure Novel (HS creative writing credit), and a Church History (elective) credit. North Carolina public universities want a 'rigorous' senior year schedule. Getting some of the early credits completed in the 8th grade creates a great way to focus on the student's potential major during the senior year.

My rising 8th grader will take Alg. 1, Physical Science (w/ lab), One Year Adventure Novel (HS creative writing credit), and a Church History (elective) credit. North Carolina public universities want a 'rigorous' senior year schedule. Getting some of the early credits completed in the 8th grade creates a great way to focus on the student's potential major during the senior year.
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