January 22, 2018

High School Courses – Take or Make?

Most of us have just finished with the school year, but I know that you are already starting to think about what classes you’re going to need to take next year, so I want to spend a few moments discussing various ways that high school students can take (or make) courses for high school credit.

high school courses

Yes! You can build your own courses!

We all own some sort of device that connects to the internet, and one of the exciting things about being online is the ability to take classes. There are many online high school classes available these days. Some require that you be online at a specific time so that you can participate in a class and others will simply make all of the information available and a student will work through the material at his or her own pace. A good hybrid of these two methods is when the material is online but there is a teacher available to the student. Many good online systems are set up this way. HSLDA has provided a good list of online classes available or check out my recent post about distance learning for another list of available online courses.

Your area may also have co-op programs available. A co-op is a group of homeschooling families that has agreed to work together to teach their students. Parents often trade the role of tutor. For example, I will teach your children science if you will teach Algebra to mine. Co-ops typically meet one or two days a week and the student (and his parent) are responsible for completing the work at home.

Rather than trade teaching jobs, you can choose to pay for teaching assistance. Many families hire a tutor – especially when they reach the upper level maths and sciences. You will also find many areas have tutoring programs directed at homeschooling families that allow you to take your student one or two days a week to classes.

In the latter years of high school, you may also choose to dual enroll at your local college. I will post more details later on dual enrollment, but contact your local college if this is something you are interested in.

Remember that even if you choose to delegate the teaching to a tutor or class, you are still a homeschooling family and are responsible for record keeping.

And, of course, there’s still the option of truly working at home. You can purchase a textbook and work through it during the year. Many textbooks are written today with the homeschooling family in mind – meaning you don’t need a classroom full of material to make it work. The key to working through a textbook at home is pacing. Determine at the beginning of the year how many pages you must complete each week in order to finish on time. Build in a few extra weeks in case you meet a tough subject or in the event life happens and school falls behind.
And, lastly, you can build your own credit.

There may be something you are participating in that does not meet the standard high school track. For example, I know of several families who participate in horsemanship. They spend much time in the sport and have trophies to prove it. A few of them have written out their own course description for a high school credit in Horsemanship. They have set goals that must be achieved and have determined a grading system. This requires more information in the portfolio – but it is an excellent way to add to your high school transcript.

And, the beauty of homeschooling is that you can mix and match these methods of obtaining credits. Take a few classes online, attend some at your local co-op and work through a textbook on your own.

~to your success


Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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