This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Powerful Homeschool Transcripts by Combining Credits. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
One of the ways to build a college-attractive transcript is to develop credits that have what college admissions officers call “sparkle” or “pop”. These are credits that show that your homeschool high schooler has worked on exploring interests and developing talents.
We at 7Sisters help our teens develop some sparkle on their homeschool transcripts by combining credits. (You might call it “integrated learning” or even high-school level unit studies.) Join Vicki today as she give an example of some ways one of her homeschool high schoolers combined credits for a powerful transcript.
Vicki’s youngest son, Seth, has graduated from high school now, but when he was a teen, he was part of his church’s worship team. He played guitar, sang and sometimes, led worship. As adolescents will do, he asked probing questions like:
- Why do we sing the kinds of songs we sing at our non-denominational church?
- Why do some churches have different kinds of music? Some have hymns with organ and piano. Some sing a cappella hymns…or chants.
- What’s the right kind of music?
- How did we get to this kind of music?
Asking questions is a developmentally appropriate part of adolescents (have your teen take a Human Development course to understand this). So we leaned into his questions by spending several years exploring:
- His Christian faith
- The history of Christian music
- The theory and skills of music
We integrated many of Seth’s high school courses around his Christian Music questions (since these questions defined his interests).
- We studied Apologetics.
- We used the Apologetics lessons that are now available for free at 7SistersHomeschool.com. At the time, the author of the course, Dr. Gerald Culley taught a local class for homeschoolers live. (Dr. Culley is 7Sisters Sabrina and Allison’s father.) This is a wonderful course because the course shows some of the practical applications of Apologetics from archeology and science (and also because it is FREE).
- We used one of his Literature credits to study Great Christian Writers for a broader interaction with the history of our faith.
- (We developed this course because many of our kids wanted to know about the writings of our faith…along with some of the ways things of faith change.)
- We did a History elective in the History of Christian Music.
- Seth did a lot of research into the history Oxford History of Christian Worship, The Story of Christian Music, and other resources.
- He logged hours reading and writing his 20-page Honors-level research paper on this credit. (This counted as his required research paper for Language Arts while logging hours on it for his History elective.)
- He logged hours 135 for a Fine Arts elective credit in Church Worship theory.
- He logged 68 hours in watching instructional videos on Contemporary Christian Worship (Paul Belosh and others) along with Blimey Cow’s tongue-in-cheek How to Write a Worship Song in Five Minutes. He also logged hours in basic Music Theory skills. He also logged some of his worship team time to fill out the credit.
- Here’s a post about Seth’s combined credits for this project.
We have done this concept of combining credits (or integrated learning) in our other classes.
For instance, I had a goal of developing thinking skills in my homeschool high schoolers, so wanted them to learn Philosophy.
- To do this we developed a useful World History credit: History and Philosophy of the Western World. (This book was written by Vicki and her oldest son, philosopher Dr. Micah Tillman.)
- For that year’s Literature credit we used 7Sisters World Literature course. And for the required research paper (APA-style research paper that year) he chose a topic from World History that interested him that year.
- We followed up the next year with a full Philosophy course, 7SistersHomeschool’s Philosophy in Four Questions (written by Dr. Micah Tillman and a favorite course of Seth and his friends).
A simple Life Skills elective by combining credits that several of my homeschool high schoolers completed:
- They combined Human Development and Early Childhood Education. Here is a post on how to handle that credit.
Check these other ways we have combined credits with our homeschool high schoolers.
- Combining Literature, History, Geography and Writing
- Combining History, Art and Literature
- Combining credits is another way to describe integrated learning. If you would like a more in-depth discussion on how to create integrated learning experiences for your teens or homeschool co-op, check out this post.
BTW- How did it all turn out? Seth is a college graduate now, works as an elementary school’s music teacher and leads worship at his church.
Join Vicki for an informative episode on Combining Credits. And while you are at it, 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group is a great place to join and ask questions. SO would you join us there, too?
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