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How Many Credits?

How Many Credits?

 

Homeschool parents can be worriers, "Do I have enough structure in my homeschool? Not enough? Are my grades too lenient? Too strict?" In addition to a long list of other potential worries, some parents wonder about homeschool credits and whether their child will have enough to graduate, while others are embarrassed by the large number their child has accrued. How many is normal? Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

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Evaluating Classes and Estimating Grades

Evaluating Classes and Estimating Grades

Evaluating Classes and Estimating Grades


Unless you’re one of those super-conscientious homeschool parents who keep all your homeschool records up to date, you probably need to spend a little time catching up on record keeping. Grading, filing, and planning are all important, especially in the high school years!

If any of this feels intimidating to you, let me encourage you that you’re not alone. Many parents feel unsure of themselves, especially when it comes to grading high school work, because it seems so ... subjective! While grading subjects such as math or science can be done objectively if you use tests, there are many courses that aren’t nearly so easy to grade, such as creative writing, culinary arts, speech, or logic. How do you evaluate these types of courses?

Mastery


Although grades are a very important tool to evaluate your student’s work, there are other equally useful and valid methods you can use for courses that aren’t easily gradeable. In our homeschool, we used the idea of mastery to evaluate courses. Mastery simply means that your student has mastered a subject and learned what you expected them to learn. I’ve found that homeschool parents tend to have high expectations for their children, so using this method is an effective way to evaluate your student’s work.

Here’s an example of mastery: suppose your child is studying something unusual such as culinary arts. You could evaluate their work based on what they produced - how it tasted, its appearance, and overall presentation. You could evaluate your child's attention to detail and organizational skills, economic performance (budgeting), and even marketing efforts. All of these factors could be considered in a final grade.

Mastery vs. Perfection


Keep in mind that there is a difference between mastery and perfection. You need only examine my checkbook to learn the difference! While I have mastered the simple skills of addition and subtraction, I am not perfect, and have made errors in my check book on occasion! In the same way, whether you grade with or without tests, a grade of 100% mastery does not necessarily mean perfection. When you have high expectations, and your children meet your expectations, it’s fine to give them 100% on their work, even if it takes a few tries. I gave my sons 100% when I knew they had mastered the concepts I wanted them to learn, even when they weren’t perfect.

Including Intangible Tasks


Grades can be given for intangible tasks, such as oral presentations, classroom discussions, class participation, or completed homework. When my sons completed a chapter of math, or finished a chapter test, they earned 100%. They worked hard and spent a lot of time on their assignments, so I believed they deserved to have intangible work included in their grade.

If your child achieves mastery, meets your high expectations (especially when their work is corroborated with good standardized test scores), and they love the subject, by and large they will probably achieve a grade of A or 4.0. If they did fairly well but their work wasn’t worth an A, they will probably earn a grade of B or 3.0. If they didn’t do well at all but kept doing on to the next level, they might earn a grade of C or 2.0. But in the end, mastery is what you want to encourage your children to strive for.



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Take This Class and Love Every Minute of It!

Take This Class and Love Every Minute of It!

Take This Class and Love Every Minute of It!


Each time someone takes my free class on grades, credits, and transcripts, I ask for feedback. I update that class every few years, and feedback helps me to improve the class each time. But, I have to say, Cindy went over-and-above on her specific review of “A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts”. She said she loved every minute of it!
    Dear Lee,

I am happy to provide feedback.  None of it will be improvement because I loved every minute!

I was home all week with my six-year-old while my husband took a group of 22 on a mission trip.  Included in that trip were my 15-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son.  One of my goals was to update transcripts and START course descriptions.  We have homeschooled since the start and I was feeling uneasy about some aspects of our transcripts.  Books and research are my stress relievers so I began there.  I remembered some moms mentioning liking your talk last year at Modesto, CA so I started with you.  Wait! I prayed, then felt certain I was to start with you.  What I found was the friendly voice and mentorship I have sought for years and could not find.  You echoed so many of my own fears and pleasant discoveries and I knew you were a gift from God.

Most of the help that you gave me was the confidence to get started revising what I have already done and the courage to begin that which I have put off doing.  Specifically helpful to me was:

- You validated my one year over semester approach to transcript.  I have been using a template from HSLDA and it does not have a semester option.  We found that the grade didn't vary from semester to semester so this was fine, EXCEPT, every other sample (from the internet) was in semesters.

- You shared what you did.  As mentioned above, I only had samples from the internet.  No one will show me what they did.  I know some people feel embarrassed to share but seeing a real example from a person you know actually used what you are seeing makes a world of difference to a mom.  Which leads me to my next point.

- You don't see homeschooling as a zero sum game.  I love helping people.  I will happily share anything, and I have shared so many things.  Sadly, others don't always feel the same way.  My husband and I quietly did our own homeschooling thing since we didn't know anyone who did it.  Recently (since High School started), we have been more involved as the Lord has brought the opportunity.  We have met a few families who are very competitive.  I have been discouraged (more than I realized) but you have given me new hope that on a personal level I can turn things around and share you and your website and materials and underscore your attitudes of wanting all homeschooling families to succeed in their own way.

- You helped me see that it is okay to put on the transcript everything my son did.  We were embarrassed when we listed everything (and ran out of room since my husband must have it look pretty) so I began lumping things together in such a way as to make it look "normal."  I have had this nagging feeling that we were negating his accomplishments and hard work.  My husband is a youth pastor and often has my son teach.  We had none of that on there either.  He does so many book studies for personal devotions that I never thought of putting on his book list (Do Hard Things, Thirsting for God, Mere Christianity to name a few). In a nutshell, the truth is the truth and I need not fear what others think.

- You reminded me that colleges love homeschoolers.  I have heard that but not from a person who has actually experienced it.

While I didn't buy your transcript service (though I was sorely tempted), I would have had I not already done so much on it already.  I was happy to see you had books.  The webinar was a treat and one I hope to repeat often.  However, having your words in print will be wonderful.  I bought the one on admissions and scholarships for my son who is making applications this year.  While I wait for it to arrive I am reading your book on transcripts and course descriptions on Kindle. I will certainly share your link and the blessing that you are.  Please thank your whole family for me as I know it would not be possible without your husbands support and the inspiration God gave you to do your best for your boys.  Thank you for telling me in your book to consider you a friend because I do!

With a grateful heart,
Cindy

Have you learned about high school grades, credits, and transcripts yet? It's often the most-feared thing about homeschooling high school, and is a stumbling block for many parents. I feel that if I can remove the fear of high school transcripts, then parents can make an informed decision about homeschooling high school. You can take my free class on “A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts” and feel much more comfy-cozy within a short time! The class is about 1 hour, with about 1 hour of questions at the end, so you're sure to get the information you need.

Don't let the fear of transcripts prevent you from homeschooling through high school!

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Andrew Pudewa Recommends The HomeScholar

Andrew Pudewa Recommends The HomeScholar


Andrew Pudewa Recommends The HomeScholar


Recently I worked with Andrew Pudewa of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) on a series of classes teaching parents how to determine high school credit for IEW products. We’ve known each other for many years and collaborated together on a number of projects before, and it's always fun. This time I enjoyed chatting with him about my Total Transcript Solution. This is what Andrew had to say:
“If I could go back to the very, very beginning, and say to my wife, ‘Sweetheart, I know this woman who will help you – let’s just get her services and do this the easy way,’ it would have saved a few hours ... Lee is just one of the most encouraging and common sense, down to earth, but careful people in this whole business. I recommend her highly.”

~ Andrew Pudewa,  Director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW).

If you are experiencing anxiety about your child entering college and the real world, you want to hear Andrew’s entire review, including some great encouragement for homeschoolers, check out the YouTube video below to listen.



If you need to learn more about determining high school credit for your curriculum, or if you need help getting started on your transcript, I'd love for you to take this free class "A Homeschooler’s Guide to High School Grades, Credits, and Transcripts".

If you are ready to jump in, and make your transcript, but you'd like some moral support, check out the Total Transcript Solution.



Have you used the Total Transcript Solution? Please share your experience!

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How Do You Get Enough Credits?

How Do You Get Enough Credits?

How Do You Get Enough Credits?


Are you worried about your child earning enough credits in your homeschool high school? It's easier than you think! Click on this week's video, below (or here) to learn more!



What classes are you working on in your homeschool? Please share!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will be notified when I create new videos on homeschool high school topics!
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Ooops! Not Done With Math!

Ooops! Not Done With Math!

Ooops! Not Done With Math!


What do you do, when you just aren't done with math before the year is done? Let me give you a few options, and you can decide which is best for your situation.

One Book In One Year is Impossible


You could measure math credits by counting hours spent on math. Some moms know their child can't complete a whole level each year. For them it makes sense to embrace the way God made your child, and give math credits not by textbook, but by the number of hours worked. In other words, it your young person worked at math for 45 minutes to an hour a day, then give credit for math, 1 credit per year. The title of the class is extra important in this option. You don't imply that your child got farther in the textbook than actually accomplished. To clarify that, you can call the class Algebra 1A, for 1 credit, for a whole year of work, for the first half of the textbook. Then call the class Algebra 1B for 1 credit, for a whole year of work the following year, for the second half of the textbook.

One Book Completed In Random Intervals


You could decide to give credit based on the completion date of each textbook. Some parents know the child is just working on their own time-table, being successful while only slightly slower than the average bear. Sometimes families will do year-round schooling, with math completion dates occurring at random intervals throughout the year. For them, it makes more sense to just give the credit on the month and year when each textbook was completed. So for this situation, math classes on the transcript might look like this:

  • Pre-algebra, 1 credit, completed 06/2014

  • Algebra 1, 1 credit, completed 12/2015

  • Geometry, 1 credit, completed 09/2016


That way is sometimes easier, I think, because there is less to keep track of other than completion dates. This may not be a good choice if a child is FAR behind, while still working hard all day, because they get short-changed for all the work they did just to get 1/2 way through a textbook.

Measure by Semester,  Not by Year


You could decide to embrace the random start and stop time of your homeschool classes. Some parents prefer to give grades each semester, rather than each year, because the timing is just too difficult to figure out when each class begins and ends otherwise. If you do that, then each 1/2 textbook you can enter half the number of usual credits and give a grade. So on the semester system, a math book is still 1 credit, but each semester is 1/2 credit. I to have some transcript templates with semester grades available for you to look at, but templates are usually just by semester or by year. You can still add one class at a time that ends at the semester, if you like. This works well if your child starts and stops many classes at somewhat random intervals. Every 6 months, update the transcript with what was completed in the previous 6 months.

Over-Picky Parents Expecting Perfection


You may need to just lighten up, and your child can complete a math book per year. Other moms are just expecting more than a public school expects. In other words, expecting a child who struggles to complete every single problem in the book, from beginning to end isn't always the best choice. After all, a child only needs enough practice to learn, not all the practice problems that are provided in the universe. And homeschoolers don't need to complete all the chapters in every textbook, either. If you complete 75-80% of the curriculum, then it's done. So maybe Algebra 1 or Geometry will be done sooner than expected.

If you need more help, I have some math articles to encourage you!

9 Ways to Actually Get Math Done This Year
High School Math Without the Moaning


What do you think? Which method would you choose?



 
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Homeschool Credits - How to Calculate Partial Credit

Homeschool Credits - How to Calculate Partial Credit
What do you do with hours that don't add up to a full credit? Can you give partial credit?
I have a question for you. Last year, Katie's sophomore year, she spent only 28 hours on Spanish. This summer she added about 15 more, for a total of 43. What can I do with these hours, since they don't add up to a half credit? Would it be alright to assign no credit for the sophomore year, and use these credits toward the junior year? We could even try to achieve an entire credit for the junior year, using these 43 hours toward that goal. Does that work?
~Jan in Washington

How to Calculate Partial Credit


When you don't have quite enough hours for even a partial credit and you are counting credits based on hours, then the answer is "wait."  Just keep adding up those hours until you DO have enough hours for a credit. Then write "Spanish 1, 1 credit" on the transcript. It's OK if that happens in December, June, or October - whenever they get to the 120 -180 hour mark, give the credit. Then you can keep working on Spanish throughout the year, and when your child arrives at the next 120 hours, record a second high school Spanish credit.

There are some exceptions. If you are using a curriculum that is designed as a one year or one semester credit, then you can give credit based on how much curriculum your child has finished. In other words, if your child completes level one of Bob Jones, Rosetta Stone or Power Glide, you can give a whole credit regardless of hours.

If your child is good at Spanish, and didn't do much bookwork, then you can measure the level of Spanish achievement with a SAT 2 Subject test. If your child passes the exam, even with just a sample test at home, you know they have learned two years' worth of Spanish. That only works if your child has become relatively fluent. Here is a link to the SAT 2 Subject Test.

If your child is a junior, the time is getting just a bit short to cover enough foreign language credits. To finish in time, it would help to make sure they do Spanish FIRST each day, before everything else. That will help your child be consistent and complete two credits by graduation.



 

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

Looking for more information? Check out my Total Transcript Solution to help you with all your transcript questions and to help you create a transcript for your child that colleges will love!
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Three Months of College Can Equal One Year of High School!

Three Months of College Can Equal One Year of High School!



Three Months of College Can Equal One Year of High School!


In community college, they don't spend a whole year working through a calculus textbook; they spend three months. Students in community college also don't go through a level of French in one year, they spend three months, instead. It takes a whole year to get a credit in high school American History. In college, you can finish the course in a quarter or semester. Students will usually take three full courses at a time, then three months later they take another three classes, and then another three classes. In high school, calculus covers...just calculus. In a year of college calculus, students cover calculus 1, calculus 2, and differential equations. This is why...




  • What a high school calls one credit will be covered in one year, while a college will cover the same material in three months and call it 5 credits.

  • In other words, three months of college can equal one whole year of high school.


Each high school has its own way of translating community college credits into high school credits, and some colleges don't like credits for community college classes. However, if you are looking to try to reconcile college credits onto a high school transcript, you may want to consider that 5 college credits = 1 high school credit.

Is your child taking dual credit classes at a community college? Please share!




 

 

Please note: This post was originally published in August 2008 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Would you like to learn more about how you can homeschool college? Check out my Coffee Break Book for Kindle/Kindle app, How to Homeschool College: Save Time, Reduce Stress, and Eliminate Debt!
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A Matter of Honor

A Matter of Honor



A Matter of Honor: Honors Classes


Honors credit or no honors credit, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to give your child a C grade for an honors credit, or a B for a regular credit. First and foremost, your job is to teach your child at their level. Teach for success. It doesn't matter what the course is, or what the books you used. An honors course refers to the depth and extent of how far your child takes the content. Any course can be an honors course when accomplished by a student who goes above and beyond. However, there is no shame in having regular courses on a transcript. If it means a class without honors for your child to be successful, then that's what they should be doing in order to learn at their level.

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The difference between accredited and official transcripts

The difference between accredited and official transcripts

Have you ever wondered about the difference between an "accredited" and an "official" homeschool transcript?

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Is Logic a Math Course or English?

Is Logic a Math Course or English?
Course descriptions are an important part of your high school student’s records, but sometimes it’s easy to get stumped about what to call certain courses, or what to count them as.


 

Audrey recently asked me,
“What category is ‘Logic’? Math or English?  I want to know where to give my son credit. Our math course (Geometry: Videotext) has logic in it, but I always thought logic was an ‘English’ subject. I also will be using ‘Introductory Logic’ by Wilson and Nance, and will probably give my son ¼ credit.” ~ Audrey

If you use a separate course for logic, I suggest you consider it an elective.  If the logic is included as part of your math book, then consider it part of your student’s math credit.

Logic is critical thinking, and critical thinking can be a part of many, many different subjects.  I suppose it is most often applied to math OR English (or other subjects as well!).  I don’t think you could say that Logic IS math or English, though.

I used “Introductory Logic” by Nance, and we LOVED it!  In fact, my son liked it so much he continued his Logic studies in college!  The video is wonderful!  I'm not very good at logic, myself, so I was very thankful to delegate that to a video tutorial.

Introductory Logic Workbook
Introductory Logic DVD

When I did Logic, I considered it a ½ credit course.  Like you, we also had some logic in the math textbook we used (Jacobs Geometry - which we also loved) but I didn’t really consider that as part of our logic course. Most credits are 1 or ½ credit, and it’s pretty rare to have ¼ credit.  If you feel the course is just ¼ credit, consider finding “something else” that you can combine with it to make ½ credit.


I am now writing for the “Seattle Homeschool Examiner.”  You can find great homeschool articles when you visit my column!
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Free Live Training Webinar on February 19th

Free Live Training Webinar on February 19th
Join The HomeScholar for a free LIVE presentation!



“A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts” will give you the information and confidence you need to succeed in creating AMAZING homeschool transcripts that the colleges will LOVE! There will be lots of time to get your high school record keeping questions answered by an expert!

Everyone who registers will receive an audio recording of the class, so while we are together you can just sit back and soak in the knowledge, store some of it in your short-term memory, knowing that you will be able to review the information at your convenience.

This online class will be on Tuesday, February 19 at 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
Hawaii-Aleutian....3:00 PM
Alaskan.................4:00
Pacific...................5:00
Mountain.............. 6:00
Central .................7:00
Eastern ................8:00
Atlantic..................9:00

 

Register TODAY for free! 


Plenty of time to ask questions and lots of fun prizes! Feel free to share with your friends!


Gain confidence! Get questions answered!
Learn the easy way to calculate grades and credits!



The HomeScholar’s Total Transcript Solution will take the fear out of homeschool transcripts! 
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Human Error: Admission Staff Misunderstands Homeschooling

Human Error: Admission Staff Misunderstands Homeschooling
Don't be surprised if some colleges have a misunderstanding about homeschoolers.  College admission personnel have a lot on their plate. There are rules, regulations, urgent issues, and heart-wrenching decisions to make.


I can imagine it's a difficult job, and probably hard to keep up with all the details.  I'm sure that to some people, homeschooling might seem like a detail they don't need to understand.  Of course, if their lack of understanding has a negative impact on your child, it's time to "help and encourage" the admission personnel.  Calmly and kindly explain the situation, using small words if necessary.  Kathy wrote to me explaining how successful her homeschool transcript was, at least once she explained to the admission office a few details about homeschooling.

Dear Lee,

Your help and knowledge were so much appreciated in creating a very nice and professional transcript for my daughter.  I was very confident with how we were able to translate our unschooling, and bible studies into class credits.

The trouble I ran into was human error at the college level.  I came into contact with a woman, who, number one, thought that I needed a "governing" entity over me that I would be "reporting" all our school activity to, so that they in turn would be printing out a transcript and diploma.  Secondly, she informed me that no scholarships would be awarded to anyone with only 6 semesters on their transcript (my daughter graduated at the end of her junior year).  She kept on pressing this point.  I kept on insisting that she has graduated and therefore qualifies.  She finally relented and went into the directors office and had a small discussion with him, all the while emphasizing that there were only "6 semesters" on this transcript.  After a seemingly long two minutes, she emerged to tell me that "we were good to go" and then proceeded to tell me how much the scholarship would cover towards tuition.  I thought to myself, "how many people have been totally discouraged and turned away by this woman?!"

In looking back on the situation, I felt my only saving grace, was this:

1. I knew the state laws of Kansas concerning homeschool record keeping and that no governing entity was required.
2. I had personal experience with early graduation. I, myself, had graduated at mid term from my own high school and therefore did not have 8 semesters on a transcript, I only had 7 semesters.  If not for this personal experience, I possibly would have turned away and been very disappointed for the sake of my daughter and beat myself up, thinking I had done my daughter a disservice in some way.
3. I am so thankful for the strength from the Lord, the knowledge from you, and for my own personal experience, to persevere through this instance.
4. My daughter now has a presidential scholarship (which pays for 90% of her cosmetology education) and a Pell grant which pays for the rest!!

Thanks again for your help!  It was so worth it to be able to talk with you personally and have access to the templates and other information!  I would recommend your services to anyone who might have the slightest bit of doubt when it comes to making a transcript for their young adult who is entering college.

Joyfully in Christ....Kathy


There are people who just need a little more concrete information in order to fully understand the situation.  Give them the information they need in a calm and courteous way.  Notice that in Kathy's story, this incredible stressful situation was solved within two minutes of providing the missing information.  Human error did not truly cause disruption in the long run, because Kathy was assertive, and handled the situation well.

Usually I hear these situations resolve the same way.  One person consults in the office talks to someone else who knows the homeschool policy better, and it's quickly fixed.  Without an assertive parent, this situation could have ended differently.  I can image there are parents who might think the first answer is the ONLY answer, and could lose thousands of dollars in financial aide.

For more information about the transcript help that I gave to Kathy, you can read about The Total Transcript Solution or take the free class A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts.

If you face human error, take a deep breath, force yourself to be calm, and give them whatever piece of the puzzle seems to be missing.



For more information about how your child can earn great college scholarships, watch my video, “Getting the BIG Scholarships,” available both as an online class or DVD.
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Evaluate Without Grades

Evaluate Without Grades
When faced with courses such as math or spelling, most homeschool parents feel pretty confident in their grading methods.  But what about those more challenging courses, like fine arts, or even creative writing--how do you grade those things?  If you were teaching culinary arts, think about a yummy piece of chocolate dessert, and how you would grade something like that!



Of course, grades definitely have their place, but an equally useful method of evaluating your child’s education is using the concept of mastery.  Mastery simply means your student has learned the things you want them to and they are meeting your expectations.

Think about that piece of chocolate dessert again:  If you’re grading a student’s culinary arts class using the concept of mastery, you could use a variety of different criteria to evaluate them.  First you might consider their work based on taste, and then you might evaluate them on the appearance of their work, or their presentation.   You could really grade them on a variety of different things based on their overall mastery of culinary arts, all of which would be a part of their final grade.

It’s important to remember that there’s a huge difference between mastery and perfection. A great example of this would be my checkbook, because it looks like a bunch of chicken scratch.  Sometimes I do have to scratch things out and start subtracting and adding everything again, so I know that my checkbook is not perfect. At the same time, I do actually have mastery over addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; it’s just that sometimes I make mistakes in my checkbook (okay, a lot of times!). Whether you’re grading with or without tests, you still have to remember that a grade of one hundred percent may not necessarily mean perfection.

If you’re reviewing a test your student took, you could send it back so they can correct what they got wrong, or if you’re correcting an English paper, you could circle the mistakes you find and ask the student to correct it.  Both scenarios indicate that you have high expectations. If your child is meeting your high expectations, then it’s fine to give them one hundred percent for their work. That’s what I did most of the time; I gave my sons one hundred percent based on something they knew or produced or did, if they met my high expectations.

Don’t forget that you can give a grade for things that are not tangible, like oral presentations, classroom discussions, class participation, or finishing homework. Every time my sons completed a chapter of math, performed the end of chapter test and finished all their homework, I gave them one hundred percent. They were really working hard for these grades, and spent hours on math assignments each day, so I believed they earned some reward for all that work.  In the end, mastery of important concepts is really what you are seeking for your student.



Do you like getting this sort of help for homeschooling high school?  Gold Care Club members get extended answers to their most challenging high school issues.  Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is LOTS of freedom!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!
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Consulting with Computer Geeks

Consulting with Computer Geeks


Do you love a teenage computer geek?  Don't you wish someone had a user's manual for them?  They can be as difficult to decipher as a JavaScript manual written in Chinese!  Let me throw a few ideas into the mix!  When I'm consulting with parents of computer geeks, I always try to touch on a few key topics:

Grab credits where you can

Your child may be learning computer languages or other highly technical skills that are often learned in community college or in a university.  If your child demonstrates mastery in a technical subject, give them credit on the high school transcript.  For example, if they are fluent in C++, you might give 1 credit and use the class title Computer Programming: C++.  If they are doing robotics competitions, you migth give 1 credit and call the class Robotics.  That class may even repeat every year!  If your child is an intern, then you can use that as their Occupational Education credit.  Again, that class might repeat every year.

Demonstrate success when you can
Lots of techie teens can find great competitions to interact with others.  There are some fabulous activities that look great on a transcript and can get kids around others with similar interests.  Check out First Lego League, and their Robotics League. Look into  USA Computing Olympiad , Science Olympiad , and other science fairs and competitions.  If your child earns a certificate in anything, from Ham Radio to Java, put that on the transcript.

Take tests to demonstrate knowledge
Techie interests don't often fit into CLEP tests, but you can sometimes find them in DANTES tests, so make sure you look there.  Those tests would make wonderful outside documentation for highly technical skills. There is also an AP and CLEP in a technical category, but not such a wide variety.  You can learn more about extra tests in this article: Two for the Price of One.

Cover what geeks need to know to succeed
Computer-loving geeks are going to need to know biology, chemistry, and physics.  They'll need to get them into Calculus as well.  Because they'll need these in an engineering or computer science degree, the more science and math they get in high school, the better.

Cover the core to get into college

To get into a college engineering/computer program,  you can't be JUST good at computers.  You also have to cover the core classes.  Make sure you get the other classes out of the way too, using their geeky pursuits for electives. In other words, they'll still need English, some sort of fine art, foreign language, and PE.  Computer geeks sometimes understand Latin and prefer it over other foreign languages, so check to see if that is acceptable to colleges you like.

Teach in a way that makes sense 
Techie teens can often be convinced to take Digital Photography as their fine art.  Sometimes they'll read classic literature that includes wild and crazy geeks or sci-fi genre.  Consider these books, for example: Alas BabylonWar of the Worlds, Brave New World , Metamorphosis ,and  A Wrinkle in Time.

Beware of Technology Pitfalls 
Because of excessive computer use, make sure you and your child are both familiar with Internet Addiction, so you aren't caught by surprise.  You can find many articles about it here: Pinterest Internet Addiction Resources. Discuss the appropriate use of technology, and how to determine if it is becoming a problem.

Don't teach what they already know

If your child is naturally learning math (don't laugh - it can happen!) you don't need to teach it again.  You can give a placement test in math using the Saxon website to determine what they have learned naturally.  Fill in any gaps with SAT Prep Books like  “11 Practice Tests for the SAT”.  Use prep books as short math worksheets to cover in any gaps they skipped over, as they hurried into calculus so they could start programming.  That way they will be filling in missing math and geometry concepts while studying for the SAT.  If they are learning technology naturally and for fun, you don't need to teach them "computer skills" because you think they might be missing something.

Go beyond the basics.
If your child is ready to go beyond high school basics in technical areas, there are plenty of resources out there.  In the beginning, you might find classes through Khan Academy online.  Later, when they are ready for college level classes in this area, you can look into Coursera.org or MIT OpenCourseWare.   Remember, you as the parent don't need to know the material, and you don't need to teach it.  Your job is just to find opportunities for your child to learn.I hope that helps!  I love a geek too, and I know it's a challenge.

This information was actually what I shared with my Gold Care Club member Kim, pictured here with the Robotics Team Mascot. She was so relieved to talk to someone who understands!  She wrote me the sweetest note after I sent her these resources.


 
It was so great talking with you today!  Thank you so much for all of your advice, your time, and your encouragement.  I am so excited to know I have someone so knowledgeable that I can go to for help with everything regarding homeschooling high school!  The email you just sent my way today is a treasure trove.  You really know how to listen and know what to recommend!  I have already sent my son to look at the Computing Olympiad site.  Thank you for all of the personalized links and advice...you are the best resource I've ever had!  Wow! I will definitely "do my homework" this week, and I look very forward to talking with you again next Wednesday.

Thanks again for everything ~ Kim

If you would like encouragement, consider joining the Gold Care Club. Members get 20 minutes of consulting each week, either by phone or by email, and can learn from 7 online classes each month that change regularly.  I'll be happy to help you too!



 

Do you enjoy our monthly newsletter, “The HomeScholar Record?”  If so, would you write a brief review here, so others can benefit from it too?  Thanks!!

 

 
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