Mom: I have purchased the official high school binder to keep all of M’s records organized. I have your helpful list (from previous support email) printed and highlighted in the front. etc… Last night I reread through all of the info concerning high school on the Faithful Scholars website. Thank you so much for being so thorough in the information you give us.
Faithful Scholars: Great job doing your homework. We have a lot of information on our pages and appreciate when you sweet mamas give it a read.
Mom: I have the four year plan I sent you last summer. THANK YOU again! The task before me is to write out course descriptions and determine my grading rubrics for each course.
Faithful Scholars: Don’t go overboard. Firt check the textbook publishing site to see if they have done the work for you. If so, cut/paste and celebrate. If not, don’t go overboard. Just hit the highlights with an aim of 2-4 sentences per subject.
Mom: M be a CC Challenge I student this year as a 9th grader. I printed the sample transcript for a CC student that you provided. I was anticipating Honors credit for some of the courses he will take this year. My understanding is that CC structures their program to be Honors level work. I am a little confused as to whether these Challenge courses would have to have additional assignments that extend the scope, sequence, and rigor of the subject material already required. ?
Faithful Scholars: CC courses are created to be honors with the additional projects being built in or availalbe through your classes. Make sure to understand that Honors means reading every page, doing every assignment, question, quiz, text, project, etc- 100% of everything.
For CC this typically evens out as the top 1/3 of each class is able to claim honors on at least some of their coursework, but like all students, being super strong in all subjects is not a typcial reality. That means that even if M ends up in the top 1/3 of the class over all, you must consider/assign honors class by class according to his (100%) completion of all work. The grade he earns is not relevant. Be more conservative in freshman year and add on a few more each year as M chooses to work to that level.
Mom: Are there any Challenge I courses that are considered not core subjects that need prior approval for the Honors level?
Faithful Scholars: Non-core/non-academic courses such as foreign language, debate, drama, music, art, public speaking, and such are rarely assigned honors weight. The exceptions being when the student is winning awards- and even then it depends upon what subject area.
There are places and ways to highlight the incredible non-academic achievements of our high schoolers, but it is not necessarily on the transcript/GPA.
How ‘weight’ is assigned is ALL about how college intake personel will ‘read’ each transcript. With too many honors in all subjects it can read as point grubbing or GPA bumping IF NOT supported by stellar standardized test scores, awards, and other supporting information.
Faithful Scholars researches thoroughly before offering guidance in areas that we do not understand. Behind our answers are many college registrars and a team of college prep private school guidance counselors with 100+ years combined experience and vase college connections. Our goal is to build the best transcript for each of our uniquely qualified students. None of our students will ever reveive anything less than a uniquely built transcript highlighted their strength, balancing their academics, and reading favorable at first blush (first brief-reading).
Mom: We were considering Honors level work for some of the courses this year, but not all.
Faithful Scholars: Very reasonable and authentic. This is the norm among most high school students, traditional and non-traditional, and what the colleges like to see.
Keep in mind that Honors is not assigned because the child worked super hard but rather because of 100% completion of work (and, if not an honors crafted text or course, an additional 30 hour project).
Mom: Some of CC Challenge I moms plan to meet soon to discuss honors, rubrics and grading practices for these students. Are there any words of advice that you can think of to give us?
Faithful Scholars: 1. Always ask your accountability association what their practices are before moving forward based upon another mom’s “I heard…”- unless she heard it from her association and you belong to the same association. Still, you may want to double check as there are many opinions and practices out there even from association to association.
2. Our lawyer encourages our families to work within the full breadth of the SC Home School Law. It is extremely broad. An example would be the recent debate over the need to take history and science each high school year even thought graduation requirements state less than 4 credits in these subject areas. Some associations would adamently state that you must in order to fulfill the law (that you agree to follow when choosing to homeschool).
Faithful Scholars will challenge you to find a day in your life that you did not teach/learn history and science? It is impossible. Sweetly, our law does not state the number of hours, the requirement of texts/books, or the need for these ‘teachings’ to be formal. That is not to say that you can count daily living/learning as credit (I know you unschoolers understand what I mean because all of your dailing living learning is purposeful–here we are talking about non-purposeful learning that simply can’t be avoided unless you game your day away, listen to nothing, talk to no one, etc).
3. An ultimate source of wonderful information when selecting course work are your (student’s) college(s) of choice. Each college is a little different. — Have your student call. It is great practice for them and the colleges absolutely love it!
4. Begin taking the PSAT, ACT, SAT early, decide which one suits your child best, and take them several times. Prep classes are worth the money. Spend the extra to get the questions missed as this will help pinpoint areas in need of further study, test taking skills honing, and/or rusty areas. Many libraries have wonderful standardized prep programs, so begin there and allow your tax dollars to work for you.
5. Consider at least one dual credit course to acclimate your student to learning from a professor that may not care a lick beyond his/her research, signing up for classes, getting around a campus, organizing their time, showing up to class, etc. It is a great pre-view to college.
Mom: I am a little confused about Saxon Math and how it translates into the more recognizable course names once you move past Algebra 2.
Faithful Scholars: Typically parents will not .5 credit of geometry alongside 1 credit of Algebra 1 and 2. If your student is not a strong math student and needs to move slower, that is possible by breaking Algebra into Albebra 1a and 1b. At the end of 2 years you wuold count .5 credit of geometry. Then Algebra 2a and 2b with a .5 credit of Geometry.
Other math options for non-math minded students are Business Math, Consumer Math, Finance, Accounting, and so on.
Think more akin to a private school student than a public school student. We do not have to follow their course requirements nor their course order.