This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: What Formats Can Be Used For Homeschool High School Courses? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. AND there’s not ONE right way to earn those important credits for the homeschool transcripts. One of the most asked questions that we receive is: What are the formats that can be used to earn credits?
Vicki will give an explanation of the basic ways to earn those transcript credits. Here are the basics:
In most states, teens will earn Carnegie credits
Carnegie units are the basic way to earn and assign high school transcript credits. You can actually go to Carnegie.com to learn the history of credits (the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching set about in 1906 to try to standardize the way high schoolers show the amount of time they have studied a subject).
Carnegie suggests that 120 hours of study will earn a credit. This has been adapted over the years so that each state has a different number of hours needed (anywhere from 120-180). Check your state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.
A few states use different credit units. Again check state homeschool organization or Department of Education to find out for certain.
Some courses have such rich and interesting information that a textbook will not do it justice. If your teen has a specific interest but there is not a good-fit curriculum, allow them to explore their interest with a log system. Include:
- Time spent
- What was done
Keep it in a master portfolio or other record keeping system.
Things that can count:
- Relevant documentaries
- Relevant field trips
- Relevant audiobooks or real books
- Relevant short courses on a MOOC such as Edx (often only a few lessons long)
- Time spent or interviews with a tutor or expert
Studying with a textbook
Sometimes teens just want to blast through a textbook. It feels cleaner to them than logging hours. If your teens like no-busywork, adaptable, downloadable texts, check out 7Sisters ebookstore.
Independent study with real books
Use real books to dig deep into a topic of interest. Choose approximately sixteen relevant books that help your teen really understand their topic. The self-designed course is capped by creating a large project or research paper. Keep book lists and brief reflection on each book, also. It will also help to keep a course description in your records.
Participate in online courses
Make sure of the amount of credit being assigned (check the course description to find out).
For lots of ideas check out this post.
- Live courses
- Self-paced courses
Dual Enrollment College Course
Teen participates in a course at a local community college. Some universities also offer online courses to high schoolers. Usually a one semester course in college is equivalent a full-credit high school course. (This can be frustrating to teens because the college says they earned 4 or 5 credits. That’s because they are on a different credit system.)
That college course is a college course, they need to be ready. Assignments on time, work hard, participate. Usually colleges do not transfer the grade in the course (some do, ask). Also make sure the credits are transferrable.
For teens who are expert in an area of interest, CLEP testing can allow them to test out of a related college course. Check college website that your teen may be interested in to see if it accepts CLEP. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.
Homeschool high schoolers can take AP courses and tests. (College Board has to approve the course, you can’t just call a course AP.) High AP scores will allow teens to skip that course in college. We suggest using a practice test also because it will help teens get into the mindset of the test format and vocabulary.
Allowing teens to use a variety of formats will keep them interested and owning their courses. Be sure to include your high schoolers in the planning and format choices as often as possible.
You can do this! Homeschooling high school years can be the best years yet! For more in-depth information check out 7Sisters Authoritative Guide post suite:
- Authoritative Guide to Homeschooling High School
- Authoritative Guide to Transitioning from Traditional School to Homeschooling High School
- Authoritative Guide to Planning Homeschool High School
- Authoritative Guide to the Homeschool High School Transcript
- Authoritative Guide to Literature for Homeschool High School
- Authoritative Guide to Electives for Homeschool High School
- Authoritative Guide to Out of the Box Credits for Special Needs Students
- Authoritative Guide to Co-ops for Homeschool High School
- Authoritative Guide to Career Exploration for Homeschool High School
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