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High School Computer Science Credit

computer science
Are you confident on how to give grades, assign credits, and create transcripts for all your classes, including Computer Science? Let me show you how. Click to register: A Homeschool Parents Guide to Grades Credits and Transcripts Webinar

Does your child need a computer science credit? It’s easy to cover in your homeschool! There are many topics you can cover for a computer science class. Colleges want to know that your children are computer literate. Learning to use Microsoft Word, internet skills, email, and keyboarding skills all demonstrate computer literacy. In some states, one of the graduation requirements is a technology credit for high school. But don’t worry, it’s a VERY broad, nonspecific requirement, and almost anything goes.

If your child is already computer literate, then you can give them credit based on the skills they possess. Put together a course description listing your child’s skills. Ask the child to help. A more computer savvy teen will be able to list quite a few programs they can use. You can also go through the programs file on your computer with your child and ask which ones they are familiar with. Can they use Excel? How about PowerPoint? Some kids are online almost constantly, so ask them if they can make YouTube videos, code a website, or write on a blog. These are great skills to learn and have for the future.

Computer Science Credit

Computer science is about the software and coding - the binary code of computers. This might be a good class title if your child is learning computer coding languages, creating software, developing apps, learning operating systems, and developing websites. There is an AP Test in Computer Science. If your child is good at this kind of techie stuff, consider if taking a Computer Science AP Test might be a good option.

Computer Engineering Credit

Computer engineering is about the hardware, or the physical pieces of the computer. This might be a good title for kids who are putting hardware together, and working on computer equipment, circuit boards, routers, microchips, and electrical stuff.

Computer Technology Credit

Technology is a basic class describing how to use different kinds of technology. If your child is NOT computer literate, then you can create a computer class emphasizing basic skills. I would focus on basic Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), keyboarding, (perhaps using the Mavis Beacon program), as well as basic internet skills. Remember that the goal is computer literacy, and independence at college and in life.

What are you using as a Computer Science credit in your homeschool? Please share!

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Looking for ideas for planning high school courses? Check out my ebook for Kindle/Kindle app, Planning High School Courses: Charting the Course Toward High School Graduation.


Please note: This post was originally published in July 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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Comments 16

Guest - J W on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:19

I've heard that schools aren't teaching typing (OK, keyboarding) anymore. Is that true?

My children did not start out with primitive computers ("The Little Professor" digital math game, programmable calculators, TI-99, etc.). They did not work their way through increasingly more sophisticated hardware and software technology as I did. They have not known anything different than Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office programs, and the Internet. Yet they have easily taken to it - the equivalent of swimming right away after having been thrown into a lake. I think it's due to a willingness on their part to try things just to see what happens. That and, as homeschooled students, they have the time to think and explore. Unfortunately, it's taken the skills of a full blown computer programmer (my husband) to stay one step ahead of my younger daughter's experiments so she doesn't cause any real damage!!!

I've heard that schools aren't teaching typing (OK, keyboarding) anymore. Is that true? My children did not start out with primitive computers ("The Little Professor" digital math game, programmable calculators, TI-99, etc.). They did not work their way through increasingly more sophisticated hardware and software technology as I did. They have not known anything different than Microsoft Windows operating system, Microsoft Office programs, and the Internet. Yet they have easily taken to it - the equivalent of swimming right away after having been thrown into a lake. I think it's due to a willingness on their part to try things just to see what happens. That and, as homeschooled students, they have the time to think and explore. Unfortunately, it's taken the skills of a full blown computer programmer (my husband) to stay one step ahead of my younger daughter's experiments so she doesn't cause any real damage!!!
Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:38

Joelle,
You and I live in a particularly rotten school district, and if they don't require typing that wouldn't surprise me. But in other states, technology credits are REQUIRED, in the same way that Washington required occupational education. One way or the other, though, it's up to the parents to make sure their children are well educated, and it this environment that means computer-literate. In order to be efficient on the computer, it helps to be a good keyboardist, rather than hunt-and-peck. I hope that helps. You and I aren't "required" to teach typing, and our schools may not teach it, but that doesn't mean when can't decide it's a great course to teach our kids.
Blessings,
Lee

Joelle, You and I live in a particularly rotten school district, and if they don't require typing that wouldn't surprise me. But in other states, technology credits are REQUIRED, in the same way that Washington required occupational education. One way or the other, though, it's up to the parents to make sure their children are well educated, and it this environment that means computer-literate. In order to be efficient on the computer, it helps to be a good keyboardist, rather than hunt-and-peck. I hope that helps. You and I aren't "required" to teach typing, and our schools may not teach it, but that doesn't mean when can't decide it's a great course to teach our kids. Blessings, Lee
Guest - J W on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 16:23

Actually, I did require keyboarding at a very young age for my oldest because she used to have a ton of problems with handwriting. Typing and MS Word liberated her - she finally had a way of recording all her fantastic stories and dreams.

Actually, I did require keyboarding at a very young age for my oldest because she used to have a ton of problems with handwriting. Typing and MS Word liberated her - she finally had a way of recording all her fantastic stories and dreams.
Guest - Ben Wagner (website) on Thursday, 23 July 2009 06:51

Hello Mrs. Binz,

I am fifteen years old and have started my own business with the help of my parents. I decided to comment on this post because it was most applicable to the starting of an online business. (I think I could have commented on a lot of your other posts, too.)

I have always had an interest in owning my own business, and my parents helped me to achieve that goal through my homeschooling. They purchased the Homeschool Entrepreneur Course for me to learn basic business skills. I used this course along with other sources to develop my online business.

I greatly enjoyed the experience of developing a website with the help of my parents, especially my father. He learned HTML along side of me in order to design a website using my ideas for my online business. My mom also helped me learn marketing to advertise my website.

I hope this encourages parents to help their high school sons develop their interests using some of their high school courses like computer or economics.

My business sells e-Books of public domain authors of the 1800's. My website is http://www.olde-books.com. I am also a vendor at the Heart of the Matter Conference this year. I would greatly appreciate it if you would visit my website. I am always open to suggestions. Please use my contact page on my website to leave your recommendations or suggestions for books that would interest the homeschooling community.

In Christ,
Ben Wagner

Hello Mrs. Binz, I am fifteen years old and have started my own business with the help of my parents. I decided to comment on this post because it was most applicable to the starting of an online business. (I think I could have commented on a lot of your other posts, too.) I have always had an interest in owning my own business, and my parents helped me to achieve that goal through my homeschooling. They purchased the Homeschool Entrepreneur Course for me to learn basic business skills. I used this course along with other sources to develop my online business. I greatly enjoyed the experience of developing a website with the help of my parents, especially my father. He learned HTML along side of me in order to design a website using my ideas for my online business. My mom also helped me learn marketing to advertise my website. I hope this encourages parents to help their high school sons develop their interests using some of their high school courses like computer or economics. My business sells e-Books of public domain authors of the 1800's. My website is www.olde-books.com. I am also a vendor at the Heart of the Matter Conference this year. I would greatly appreciate it if you would visit my website. I am always open to suggestions. Please use my contact page on my website to leave your recommendations or suggestions for books that would interest the homeschooling community. In Christ, Ben Wagner
Guest - Lee (website) on Thursday, 23 July 2009 06:55

Ben,
Your site looks great!
Best wishes with your business!
Blessings,
Lee

Ben, Your site looks great! Best wishes with your business! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Ben Wagner (website) on Thursday, 23 July 2009 08:06

Thank you, Mrs. Binz. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

My Mom looks forward to hearing you at the conference in August.

In Christ,
Ben W.

Thank you, Mrs. Binz. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. My Mom looks forward to hearing you at the conference in August. In Christ, Ben W.
Guest - Sue (website) on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 06:13

Lee, This is EXACTLY what I was wondering! This is such a huge help to me a relief that my son will get a technology credit for skills that he already possesses! How do you know so much?! (:

Sue

Lee, This is EXACTLY what I was wondering! This is such a huge help to me a relief that my son will get a technology credit for skills that he already possesses! How do you know so much?! (: Sue
Guest - Carrie on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 08:26

A high school credit is worth more than what you have suggested. A course in technology or computer science goes into more depth. If we're going to give credit, make it worthy of a credit. There are free courses available online that cover the programs completely and more accurately would reflect a student's knowledge.
Homeschooling parents giving credit for next to nothing is why some colleges discount the value of a homeschooler's GPA, which does not help future students.

A high school credit is worth more than what you have suggested. A course in technology or computer science goes into more depth. If we're going to give credit, make it worthy of a credit. There are free courses available online that cover the programs completely and more accurately would reflect a student's knowledge. Homeschooling parents giving credit for next to nothing is why some colleges discount the value of a homeschooler's GPA, which does not help future students.
Guest - Lee (website) on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 10:54

This article might explain a bit more about how to determine high school credit: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/hours-in-a-credit/2398/
One credit can mean different things between different schools (public or private) and there may be a variety of opinions. However, parents get to make the determination in their own homeschool.
Blessings,
Lee

This article might explain a bit more about how to determine high school credit: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/hours-in-a-credit/2398/ One credit can mean different things between different schools (public or private) and there may be a variety of opinions. However, parents get to make the determination in their own homeschool. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Colleen on Monday, 01 September 2014 06:51

We used the homeschool computer science programs from homeschoolprogramming.com. The Java set is probably the best to start out with. It also helps to prepare a student for the Computer Science A AP test. Each of their highschool programs are worth a semester credit.

We used the homeschool computer science programs from homeschoolprogramming.com. The Java set is probably the best to start out with. It also helps to prepare a student for the Computer Science A AP test. Each of their highschool programs are worth a semester credit.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 18:04

Dear Colleen,
Good to know! Thanks for sharing the info!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear Colleen, Good to know! Thanks for sharing the info! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Michi on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:06

I agree with Carrie. Most students learn word processing, spreadsheet, surfing the net, etc. on their own and don't receive credit for it.

I think this article might be better titled "High School Technology Credit" or something similar. Community colleges offer "Information Systems," "Computer Information Systems," or "Information Technology" courses with content such as you describe.

Computer Science courses, on the other hand, go much deeper into the study of programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and so on. Calling a web design or keyboarding class "Computer Science" would raise eyebrows in admissions offices.

I agree with Carrie. Most students learn word processing, spreadsheet, surfing the net, etc. on their own and don't receive credit for it. I think this article might be better titled "High School Technology Credit" or something similar. Community colleges offer "Information Systems," "Computer Information Systems," or "Information Technology" courses with content such as you describe. Computer Science courses, on the other hand, go much deeper into the study of programming languages, algorithms, data structures, and so on. Calling a web design or keyboarding class "Computer Science" would raise eyebrows in admissions offices.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:16

Dear Michi,
Those students SHOULD receive credit. One of the many reasons it's important to keep track. A morning meeting can help mom and student touch base. Many homeschool moms use that time to get an idea of where students are spending their time. Here's a link for the article: Have a Morning Meeting
When defining technology oriented courses, Lee has found that course descriptions are very important. She talks about finding inspiration for course descriptions in this article: Inspiration for Course Descriptions
Robin
Assistant to the HomeScholar

Dear Michi, Those students SHOULD receive credit. One of the many reasons it's important to keep track. A morning meeting can help mom and student touch base. Many homeschool moms use that time to get an idea of where students are spending their time. Here's a link for the article: Have a Morning Meeting When defining technology oriented courses, Lee has found that course descriptions are very important. She talks about finding inspiration for course descriptions in this article: Inspiration for Course Descriptions Robin Assistant to the HomeScholar
Guest - BevG on Saturday, 09 July 2016 18:04

Having earned a BS in Computer Science and having graduated my first homeschooled son, I would agree that basic computer skills such as you listed are necessary. However, I would not call it "Computer Science". Computer Technology or Computer Skills would be a better choice. I completely agree with Michi's comments.

If your student wishes to learn Computer Science, here is a great website -- no computer required!! Although some activities require multiple students, many can be adapted for 1 (or just get the whole family involved). I taught this as a fun class for middle schoolers and they loved it. All of these topics were covered (in more depth of course) in my college course work.

Website is Computer Science Unplugged at http://csunplugged.org/

Having earned a BS in Computer Science and having graduated my first homeschooled son, I would agree that basic computer skills such as you listed are necessary. However, I would not call it "Computer Science". Computer Technology or Computer Skills would be a better choice. I completely agree with Michi's comments. If your student wishes to learn Computer Science, here is a great website -- no computer required!! Although some activities require multiple students, many can be adapted for 1 (or just get the whole family involved). I taught this as a fun class for middle schoolers and they loved it. All of these topics were covered (in more depth of course) in my college course work. Website is Computer Science Unplugged at http://csunplugged.org/
Guest - Amy D. on Saturday, 06 August 2016 10:04

Lee,

My son has taken several of the online computer programming courses offered by Youth Digital. We originally found them through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

We run them on a Mac, but they run on PCs as well.

When we have had technical problems, the YD team has been quick to email back and forth until a solution was found.

I can highly recommend these courses.

Amy D.

Lee, My son has taken several of the online computer programming courses offered by Youth Digital. We originally found them through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. We run them on a Mac, but they run on PCs as well. When we have had technical problems, the YD team has been quick to email back and forth until a solution was found. I can highly recommend these courses. Amy D. :)
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