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  1. #11

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    Another bit of advice I will add is as the parent(s), don't procrastinate on making the transcript/course descriptions. I didn't put one together for dd until she was starting junior year. Going back through daily logs and such to recall and describe her classes was tedious and time consuming. However, after that I would update it each semester--soooo much easier. Some go-getter moms I know even start in 8th grade, just to "practice".

    Also, don't try to re-invent the wheel. There are all kinds of sample transcripts out there. And course descriptions can be found either through where you get your curriculum or even on your local school's website. Use those as starting points if you create your own courses.
    Last edited by inmom; 04-07-2016 at 12:50 PM.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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  3. #12

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    I'm not a parent of a high schooler but I do work at a 4-yr college. Check out the school that you are interested in, and their requirements. For example, our school does not give credit for dual enrollment courses, so it may be best NOT to give high school credit for the courses and only get college credit. In addition, very few community college classes transfer in as despite what the syllabus says, the level is usually lower than what we expect of our students. Taking the AP exam is a better choice as the knowledge required to do well on those is very high.

    Again, this will likely differ by University, but be sure to check before your student ends up having to retake a course they have already had!

  4. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamalump View Post
    Check out the school that you are interested in, and their requirements. For example, our school does not give credit for dual enrollment courses, so it may be best NOT to give high school credit for the courses and only get college credit. In addition, very few community college classes transfer in as despite what the syllabus says, the level is usually lower than what we expect of our students. Taking the AP exam is a better choice as the knowledge required to do well on those is very high.
    Indeed, check with the schools interested in is the best route. However, when my kids started dual credit courses, they had no idea where they wanted to apply yet. As a family, you have to decide what you are willing to pay for and what kind of experience the student wants. In some states where tuition is free or very much reduced, just the chance to try might be interesting. It would also show that the student is ready for college-level work, whether or not it transfers.

    We were willing to run the "risk" of some courses not transferring. The opportunity to take chemistry within a well appointed lab was worth it, even if the course may not transfer. For my son, who had finished high school math early, taking 3 semesters of calculus and a differential equations class showed continuing progress to potential admissions staff.

    We were extremely lucky in that the kids took dual credit courses from a Big Ten university. DD's courses all transferred to a different Big Ten school, while all of DS's credits will transfer as he's simply going to the main campus of the school where he already has credits.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  5. #14
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    I have a question about taking high school credit classes early like in 7th or 8th grade. Back in my day, many kids took at least one high school math and the first year of a foreign language before the 9th grade. And back then, those counted in the graduation/college requirements. So, if you needed 3 credits of math, you only needed 2 more during high school, if you got one out of the way in middle school. But, nowadays, I know that many competitive colleges require 4 credits of math and they have to be during 9-12th grade. So, if I teach my 8th grader Algebra 1, do I need to put that on his transcript? Or am I just wasting my time because nobody cares what he did before 9th grade? Or can it count as an elective credit?

    On a somewhat related note, could a foreign language AP test score be used as evidence of "credit by examination" for high school language classes? And if it's taken before 9th grade, does it count? (I don't even know if they would let a 7-8th grader take an AP test.). My kids are growing up bilingual, so there is really no point in going through 3 years of the regular high school language courses unless they want to pick up a third language. I know there are also tests offered by the teachers' associations representing various languages that are more like a test for each level. But each of those tests costs as much as one AP test, so I'd rather get the 4 credits for 1 test deal with the AP.

    I still have a while to work these things out, my oldest is only in 5th grade. I just like to plan (way) ahead.

  6. #15

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    Great comments! I understand the desire to plan far in advance. Some of this stuff though it is really impossible because you are dealing in unknowns. Most people don't know exactly what college their kids will attend. This is often not known until the admissions and financial aid/scholarship packages are available senior year. Also policies at colleges can always change. The school that accepts a particular dual enrollment course or AP course may decide not to do so in the future. I advise that parents go in to APs and dual enrollment knowing that they are a good experience and it is likely their student will benefit - but there may be a credit they didn't get or a course they wish they hadn't taken. That's part of the experience.

    What I think we can feel safe in saying is that you should never hold back your child from what they are ready to do and they want to do. It is very common for stronger public and private students to take at least algebra 1 and geometry during middle school. It is no problem at all to have a category on your transcript for high school work completed during middle school. That is standard for many schools. This is especially common for math and foreign language. It is still advised that the student take math all four years in high school. In some states that's required no matter the student's level of math. There is always more math so it is no worry that the student will run out. It is a common expectation now for students headed to highly selective colleges that they have some calculus during high school.

    There is not an age restriction on taking AP tests. Most essays do have a fair amount of writing, so that can be a hold up for some younger students who don't have as strong skills writing or writing quickly. But, if that is not an issue for your student it is fine to have them take APs younger if they wish to. As a counselor, I have worked with students who have completed language through the AP level during late middle or early high school. Some who enjoy language choose to go on and take another language. Others will decide to use that time for other things.

    So, basically - take it a year at a time. Do what makes sense now. When your child starts to do high school level work in any subject be sure you are keeping records so you don't have to invent that all later. Don't worry about getting "too much" you can always make decisions later in high school about how you want to put your records all together.
    Barbara Hettle, Homeschool and College Admissions Consultant, Founder of Homeschool Success
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  7. #16

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    My oldest is a rising 8th grader, and I have started looking at HS requirement and college admittance requirements just to help me plan. What I found is that at the closest state school, anything taken in 8th grade does not count toward HS requirements, just as a prerequisite. So, we are taking ALgebra 1 in 8th grade, and will not get to count it toward the 3 math credits required. Finding this out has caused me to pause and wonder if I need to push academics at this age or if I should just hold out where we are and have another easy year since it won't count anyway. My child is very bright, in Public school she was #1 student in her grade, in gifted, ect., so I know she is capable (in some areas) of doing more, but at the same time I do't want to burn her out before she even gets to college. I do know some people using the local CC campus for DE purposes, and I agree that the science labs would definitely be better there, but we have at least 3 years before she can DE (have to be 16), and I'm not sure if I want to do that if the courses won't transfer. It's so hard to figure out what to do! Do you have your 8th grader go ahead and do harder classes, or give them more time to just hang out and explore before starting HS? Sometimes I also wonder about even honors or AP classes (and tests)- should I not just let my child mature at her own rate, and then worry about college when she's actually college age? When she has more of a direction? Or do you go ahead and push your child now, giving them advanced work, trying to beef up the transcript? If a child is doing well, will she not still do better at an older age/maturity, especially in understanding things in history/literature? Is being able to pass the AP test or DE course as important as waiting until child is emotionally/mature for the class and it's content? Will she not get more out of say a sociology class after she has been out in the world a little more? I guess that is what I am trying to decide right now At this point, I'm leaning toward 8th grade being still discovery/child based and not academically rigorous.
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  8. #17

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    Algebra 1 is typically a middle school level course at most schools now. Some states will require the student to take four years of high school math and it is an expectation of most colleges as well.

    Many of the questions you raised aren't simple because that feels like "pushing" for one teen can feel like "too slow" for another! I do think most students benefit from some gradual ramp-up to harder level work. It makes sense to test the water before jumping in to a full schedule of APs and dual enrollment. Often it works well to have an out-sourced class in middle school that requires some homework, deadlines, etc. That can be a good first step to get the student used to a more structured experience.

    Also, it is important to remember that for high school that you don't have to choose just one approach and follow that through high school. Your student may benefit from trying out an AP or two and then later taking a couple of dual enrollment courses with a mix of other options along the way. Teens also have a way of surprising us. Some who are not very academically motivated that suddenly clicks part way through high school too. It can be tough to predict what that trajectory will look like.
    Barbara Hettle, Homeschool and College Admissions Consultant, Founder of Homeschool Success
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  9. #18
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    My impression from reading this thread and from other threads about homeschooling high school is that students who want to go to university need to be taking AP courses, dual-enrollment courses (which are supposed to be college-level, right?), and extra-curriculars. It sounds like you need to start early, and push your kids along. What about kids who are just "regular stream" and not particularly keen students? Can they not get in to universities? Is there room for late-bloomers? Do "relaxed" homeschoolers like me need to change everything and start pushing (or dragging) our kids along?

    Some of the public schools in my city offer AP or IB streams, but not all of them, and the students in the regular stream still go on to university or other post-secondaries. My daughter happens to be taking a couple of AP courses, but mainly because she finds them more interesting. I'm encouraging her to take courses that interest her and not to worry too much about getting top marks in every class.

    I have one student who is currently attending a public high school, and another one in Grade 8 who hasn't decided yet if he will go. (Mercifully, high school starts in Grade 10 here). This thread kinda freaks me out a bit.

  10. #19
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    From teaching in high schools for the last decade, I know that most "regular" kids get into colleges, too. They can't get into the highly competitive programs at large state universities, but usually they can find smaller, private colleges where they end up being very successful.

  11. #20

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    We just finished college apps and my dd is very strong academically. She has 48 college credits, mostly science and math with two years of foreign language (Japanese) with a 3.9 GPA. She also tests well and so had high SAT scores. But, and this is a big one, her apps were weak on extra curriculars/leadership. I am thinking this is what kept her out of schools in that top twenty-five ranking (I guess one did wait list her, small comfort lol) though I guess it is impossible to know and a lot of those schools are a crap shoot anyway. So I would just suggest, from lessons we learned in this process, that if you are going to shoot for the top schools, scores alone are not going to do it. It is really like building a resume. Fortunately, those high scores did get her some amazing aid packages in the schools where where she was accepted and she has three to choose from and they are all East Coast urban schools, which is what she really wanted.

    There are so many schools, including in our state the state universities which have something like an 83% acceptance rate, that finding a college that is a good match is not impossible for any student who really want to go to college. Paying for it is a whole other thing though. I wish dd was open to just finishing her undergrad here, but she just needs a go and spread her wings a bit. Anyway, I found this and thought it might be a place to start to assuage the "average" student worries?

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    Last edited by Accidental Homeschooler; 04-09-2016 at 07:57 PM.
    Julie,
    Former Homeschooler to two daughters, age 20 and in college and age 12 back in ps.

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