FOUR YEAR PLAN SAMPLES: Classical Conversations, Non Traditional, Trade Bound, Traditional College Prep

SUMMER SCHOOL is considered any course taken or completed during the prior summer and will be credited to the upcoming academic year (NOT the previous year).  Our year officially ends June 10th for high school even though you are welcome, even encouraged, to school year ’round.

Often a public or home school high schooler will take this time to fit in classes they struggle with in order that they might better focus during the year or to cut down on the number of courses required.  A common example is completing PE/Health over the summer when planning to attend traditional high school.


A Planned, Fair, & Methodical Manner of Grading:  Grades are not required until high school, and not recommended by Faithful Scholars in elementary school, so begin this practice sometime during the middle school years in order that you might be at ease once it becomes a (high school) necessity. Each and every teacher has their own unique manner/method of grading which may seem ‘grey’ and frustrating, but it’s truly good news for we home school graders–This means that we can create our own methods/forms that work accordingly with our unique styles of organization and individual levels of expectation.

What is a Rubric A rubric is is a pre-set plan or strategy created by the instructor (you) to insure the consistent grading of assignments, tests, projects, etc per subject to insures consistent outcome.

Why use a Rubric?   Giving your student(s) a clear understanding of what is expected in order to succeed in each subject.  Each subject/course will have it’s own rubric.

  • For Math there may be partial credit or simply correct and incorrect.
  • For Composition there might be effort, neatness, content, grammar, spelling or any variation thereof -or more -or fewer (requirements).
  • There are as many rubrics as there are teachers, but is is simply an efficient and fair minded manner in which an instructor puts forth his/her expectations to the student and then arrives at a grade.

Rubric Samples:  A basic rubric includes the following items, but can be greatly varied according to your focus:  First, determine the areas of your assignment that you wish to measure (grade) and the criteria you wish to include.

  • content, spelling, number correct, effort, etc
  • define areas listed– example: content includes number of audiences addressed, appropriate materials used, varied style and technique, required length, neatness, and etc.
  • a self created measurement scale (weighing of criteria)– example: 25% assigned to each area therefore a perfect content score would be 25 of 100 points.

Recording subject assignments, tests, projects, and etc. can be done in a variety of manners, but we cannot stress how important it is to record them as they are completed.  This will save such a mountain of unearthing, sorting, calculating work at the end of the year that you will count this preemptive time invaluable.- I promise!

Record keeping can be maintained in simple or complex form as long as you are tracking graded assignments, tests, projects (per subject) for end of semester or year GPA.  This is an example of paper/pen record keeping methodology, but as our personalities vastly vary so do our means and methods of record keeping vary.  From complex spreadsheets to simple teacher planners, the range is wide.

The only common variant is that keeping up with your daily/weekly records will bring peaceful surety when the high school deadlines (to submit end of year high school subjects/graded) approach, and you are quickly able to submit courses/grades/weights.  For this step please use our Faithful Scholars Electronic Transcript Worksheet.


Do you need to calculate your student’s unweighted GPA for college applications? The full article on unweighted GPA calculations can be accessed by members through their 20-21 welcome email. In the meantime email to request this info now.


Faithful Scholars tabulates your child’s cumulative GPA using the South Carolina Grade Conversion Chart (page 4)  commonly referred to as the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy (SCUGP).

SC uses a weighted (for Honors, AP, DE) 10 Point Scale which is called a 4-point-scale on college applications.

The three brackets within the scale are:

  1. College Prep uses a 4.0 scale maxing out at 4.875
  2. Honors uses a 5.0 scale maxing out at 5.375
  3. Dual Credit/AP uses what is commonly referred to as a 6.0 scale but maxes out at 5.875

COLLEGE PREP is what you would think of as typical course using a textbook or material that is geared toward high school.  If you are uncertain you can check the website of or call the textbook publisher and request their opinion.  This can be helpful in creating your course description as well.  It is a good idea to have this supporting material in your Records Notebook.  This will be required if you are transferring 8th grade core subjects to your student’s high school transcript.  Homeschoolers typically complete 100% of their subject work while traditional schools aim toward completing a minimum of 80% of the course.  Which leads us to…….

HONORS, per the SC State Board of Education, states, “Honors courses, which extend and deepen the scope and sequence of a typical college prep level high school course, are academic in nature and are designed for students exhibiting superior abilities in the particular content area.  The honors curriculum places emphasis on critical and analytic thinking, rational decision making, and inductive/deductive reasoning.”

  1. There must be evidence that the honors-level course represents extension, acceleration, and enrichment of a typcial CP course of study. Curriculum should indicate depth in rigor, complexity, challenges, and creativity beyond the CP level course.  A good SC resource to compare and guide creating your supporting documentation.  It need to be overkill, just enough to submit to colleges as evidence of Honors Level Rigor.  Translate:  greater rigor.
  2. There must be evidence of appropriate differentiation in instructional practices for advanced learning that will enhance the delivery of instruction while strengthening the components outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.  Translate:  beyond the textbook/integrated learning.
  3. There must be evidence that purposeful assessment practices align with the honors level curriculum and instructional best practices include per-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment.  Translate:  harder testing.
    One half of a quality point (.5) is added to the College Preparatory (CP) weighting for honors course that meet ALL of the three criteria above.

Faithful Scholars grants honors credit in academic courses beyond core subjects but may require supporting evidence of honors rigor.  Supporting documentation is becoming commonly required by the colleges.

Honors courses must extend the scope, sequence, and rigor of the subject material meaning that either the text publisher states on paper that the material/class was created as an honors course;  or involve the completion of 100% of the textbook/course work;  in which case it must be completed along with an in depth project, research paper, mentor-ship, internship, or other of 30 hours.  Honors is not a small additional project, nor a subject difficult to your child on which they worked really hard.  It should be pre-planned when creating your course outline, or purchasing your curriculum.   It should be well supported and clearly documented in your Records Notebook.  The aim should be to complete the coursework.

To award honors weight, we will need documentation of honors level rigor for each of the following courses.  That documentation must include:

  • Curriculum guide that includes the following
  • Course description
  • Key concepts
  • Expectations of performance
  • Pacing guides with examples of assignments, time tables and deadlines, assessments rubrics, grading practices
  • Instructional materials needed to successfully complete the coursework
  • Materials that could provide evidence of varied texts and/or supplemental materials
  • Student work samples that demonstrate student-initiated research, project-based learning problem-solving and critical thinking, etc.
  • Scoring guides
  • Rubrics for essays, projects, and other non-test assessments.

DUAL ENROLLMENT/CREDIT:  Faithful Scholars automatically generates a Permission Letter for students that are aged 16 and up, or hold Junior or Senior year status, giving them permission to apply and attend a secondary school.  The form is found in your member portal dashboard area under Forms. This letter along with an up to date transcript will be requested by the college during your application process.

Earning college credit while in high school is a wonderful way to get a jump on college and possibly even earn an associates degree by the time you graduate high school!   A definite savings along with a great GPA bump.  After the age of 16 (you can appeal for a younger student to be accepted), or upon Junior status, your child will be eligible to apply to a secondary school (brick and mortar, on line, long distance, or local) and begin earning dual (high school and college) credits.

Advanced Freshmen can consider Clep courses through College Board.

An official transcript for each college course is required in order to assign/weight as dual credit.  This can be  a snapshot sent to us via e-mail  or the ‘old fashioned’ method of snail mail to: Faithful Scholars; 1761 Ballard Lane; Fort Mill, SC 29715

If your child should make a grade that is below par (in a dual enrolled course), we are required by CHE (Commission on Higher Education) to calculate the grade into the GPA in order for our students to remain eligible for SC lottery money scholarships.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP):  There are more and more AP offerings through online/distance sources and local sources, however, ALWAYS check with the College Board to see that not only the course, but also the instructor is approved. To do this, you can contact the College Board directly.

If you have studies a subject to the depth of an AP course, DO take the AP exam as passing an AP exam indicates wonderful academic rigor on the part of your student’s. Unfortunately, unless the course and instructor are College Board AP approved, you may not count your course as an AP class nor assign the grade point bump. Being awarded college credit (from having passed the AP exam) will be dependent upon the specific policy of each college.

CLEP courses are basic independent courses of study followed by equivalency examination that represents the typical amount of knowledge for a college level course. Being awarding college credit will be dependent upon the specific policy of each college.  Study guides and tests are available through the College Board.

9th-11th grade:   GRADES DUE BY/BEFORE JUNE 10                                     SENIOR’S GRADES DUE BY MAY 31

Our academic year (for high school only) closes on June 10th in order to rank our high school students.  This means that should your student not have his/her work completed and submitted by June 10th the courses will be counted as summer school and placed on the following academic year’s transcript.  **email for exceptions**

For seniors, any grades submitted after June 10th will require that you join Faithful Scholars for a 5th high school year and cause your students to not be eligible for the Life, or Hope scholarships which are based upon a typical 4 year high school.  –even though he/she can apply/attend college in the Fall of the (immediately) following year.


A Carnegie Unit is a more appropriate method of gauging subject/course completion when a traditional textbook is not involved. It consists of a minimum of 120 hours of study in one subject. This is set by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. All schools have the option of expanding the number of required hours, so do not be surprised if your local school states one Carnegie Unit to be 150-180 hours of study per course.  The actual number ranges from 120 hours to 180 hours.  The first would be College Prep while the latter would be Honors.


if you are a member of, or are joining Faithful Scholars, AND graduating a senior, please read below and mark your calendar for May 31st

Faithful Scholars requires all high school students to annually submit numerical grades via our transcript worksheets (link below) in order that we might rank our students and keep them eligible for the lottery money scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, Life, Hope).  This requirement does not apply only to those who will seek those scholarships; it applies to ALL of our high school students.

Submit numerical grades on the Faithful Scholars Electronic Transcript Input-Worksheet in order for our registrar to build and maintain your student’s transcript.  *

  • *DUAL CREDIT:  Have colleges mail a copy of your student’s transcript directly to Faithful Scholars, 1761 Ballard Lane, Fort Mill, SC 29715 or email us a photo of most recent transcript.
  • *AP weight can only be assigned with  College Board’s approval of both the course and the instructor being submitted to Faithful Scholars via written (email is fine) verification.

Faithful Scholars builds each student’s transcript to be as strong as possible and adequate for college admissions, sports participation, entry to public school, insurance discounts, and more. Faithful Scholars is on a list of approved South Carolina high schools which validates the integrity or your student’s transcript and ensures colleges, and other third parties, that you are represented by a legal, honorable, and accepted SC academic entity.

*  Why does it take 21 days???  Each transcript is given extreme personal care.  We make sure that course descriptions are recognizable to admissions personnel; we check for possible weight bumps; we verify DE/AP courses; we work with you to insure that your child’s strengths are built in; and more which requires communication.  The time taken by the goings of back and forth from your desk to ours and back can be surprisingly extensive.   This part of transcript building continues building/editing until both parties are satisfied with the final draft.  This will usually take 1 to 7 days, but if an email sits for a few days (pending) on your desk, a few days pending on mine, a weekend here and there, 21 days can breeze by.

If your student is in process of applying to colleges, contact us requesting copies of your student’s year to date transcript as well as rank.   You will receive informal transcripts in the form of .pdf copies that should be printed/filed in at least 2 locations, and stored electronically in at least 3 locations.

MAILED TRANSCRIPTS:  If a third party is requesting your transcript, in most cases they will want it to come directly from our offices.  This service can be accessed here.  Before inputting your request, please check with the college/entity for their physical (admissions) address or electronic email address as to which method is preferable to be included with your request for mailed/emailed transcripts.

  • If your student is a currently homeschooling, this service is free for up to 5 (five) requests
  • Beyond 5, we require a $10 fee per additional request
  • If your student is a post high school graduate, there is a $10 fee.

TRANSCRIPT BUILDING:  If you are graduating your first child we will guide you through each step explaining why we suggest and build transcripts as we do.  We have no desire to offend or upset our moms/dads, but building the strongest transcript for your high schooler is a big part of what you are hiring us to do, and we approach this professionally utilizing expertise from private school college  prep guidance counselors, college admissions personnel, our on staff high school specialist, and our on staff lawyer.   There is no guess work in the building of a Faithful Scholars’ transcript!


Graduating your first child is like entering homeschool for the first time- unknown and wrought with worries of inadequacy on all fronts.  Pray, breathe, believe.  You have poured yourself into your child, you are powered by a Higher Power, you have been enough, and your seeds are deeply planted to grow forth when He sees fit to expose the fruits of your labors.  If things go astray for a bit, they will return.  Trust.  You have deposited righteousness and righteousness will return.

GRADUATION CEREMONY:  We have created a fun, relaxed ceremony that allows your child to participate by selecting a walk up song, wearing a cap/gown of their color/choosing, and enjoy food trucks and (usually) a bon fire following the ceremony.


HONORS NOTE:  Assigning honors weight needs to be done with care and diligence.  Honors is NOT simply working hard, participating in a co op offering honors level coursework, or completing a text created for honors level.  It IS going beyond the normal academic rigor with a worthy 30+ additional hours of work.  If in CC, it means your child is in the top 1/3 of the class in that given subject(s), if it is a textbook it means that your child has completed each and every question, assignment, project, test, and page of the book.  Nothing less.  Be certain to include supporting documentation for all Honors classes as colleges are beginning to be leary of all of the honors they see coming out of homeschool.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOTE:  Most four-year colleges and universities like to see, and some require, 2+ years of the same foreign language with sign language not usually accepted. TRANSCRIPT NOTE:  Faithful Scholars spends a marked number of hours building each transcript to read ‘strong’ by colleges.  During this process we help our members understand the purpose and use of a transcript, how/why we build each transcript to highlight individual student’s strengths and passions, and what to do with items that are not best served by being on a student’s transcript.
COURSE PROGRESSION NOTE:  homeschooled high schoolers need NOT follow the same course outline as public schooled high schoolers.  Examples:

  • physical science need not precede biology
  • math can be non traditional (business math, accounting, consumer math, etc)
  • health is not a must have outside of science
  • computer can be completed in various manners but needs to be more in depth than keyboarding


if you are a member of, or are joining Faithful Scholars, read below and mark June 10th on your calendar!!

Ranking is calculated year to year by June 15th in order to comply with CHE (Commission on Higher Education) requirements.  Our choice was to either comply or to forego eligibility for our students to receive lottery money scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, Life, Hope).  SC colleges now look for this information on each transcript in order to apply scholarships (through CHE for PFS and college’s Financial Aide office for Life, Hope).

Ranking is based upon student’s numerical grades and course weight (College Prep, Honors, AP/Dual Credit) using the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy (SCUGP) to attain year by year cumulative Grade Point Averages (GPA).  This is based on a 10 point scale.

Numerical grades, credits earned, and weight MUST BE submitted to Faithful Scholars by the parent-teacher NO LATER THAN June 10th of each academic year.  Seniors must submit grades by/before May 31st.  If any courses are dual credit or AP we also require transcripts mailed directly to Faithful Scholars, 1761 Ballard Lane, Fort Mill, SC 29715, supporting numerical grade correspondence/downloads, and/or AP course and instructor verification-documentation from College Boards by or before June 10th of each academic year.

Courses assigned HONORS WEIGHT-GPA BUMP must be supported in your course description to be submitted to the college your child attends.  This is becoming more common each year as they seek to insure that our homeschool weighting is fair and accurate.  For CHE guidelines on honors level criteria read page 7 here.