This is a post from contributing writer Roan of Joyful Always.
This year in my homeschool, I have a twelfth grader, a tenth grader, and a eighth grader, along with a first and third grader too! I first began thinking about and planning my oldest child’s high school course of study when she was in the eighth grade.
Until that point in my homeschooling, I had not really thought about earning high school credits (also called Carnegie units). I quickly realized that the time had come to consider a plan for high school. Each state has its own laws and procedures for record keeping and required (if any) high school courses and standardized testing. That is the place to begin when planning your high school student’s credits. Here are the steps I suggest when planning high school credits for your college bound children.
- Check with your state homeschool organization for any specific requirements for your home schooled child to be awarded a high school diploma. Begin following any requirements they state when your child begins the 9th grade.
- Learn how many hours constitute 1 high school credit. I have found sources citing from 130-160 hours. If your state has no specific number, base your hours on the curriculum you are using. For our home school, I award 1 high school credit for 150 hours of school work. Keep in mind that schoolwork can include much more than actually studying from a book.
- Research the typical credits offered to high school students in your local city and state.
- Research the credits required for admission to the colleges your child is interested in attending.
- Plan your child’s high school course of study based on the above research.
- Keep a transcript of your child’s coursework, including his grades and standardized test scores. Determine which grading scale you will use, and fill in the transcript at the end of each high school year. DonnaYoung.org has several high school transcripts available for viewing and downloading for your personal use. I keep my children’s transcripts saved on my computer, but I also print out a hard copy for my personal files each year.
In my state, a student needs 24 Carnegie units for high school graduation. In addition to the 16 credits listed, the other 8 credits include health (1/2), computer literacy (1), physical education (1/2), and fine arts (1). The remaining 5 credits are electives.
Roan recently began her 12th year of homeschooling. Since she also has a 1st grader, she is now halfway through her homeschool career! You may read about her homeschool, her family, her running, and her life in general by visiting her personal blog, Joyful Always.