I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
This week’s TOS Blog Cruise is focused on the question “How do you handle high school requirements/transcripts, etc.?”
While P is not quite in high school yet, I have been thinking about this for the past few years.
To start off, I should say that being part of a charter school up here in Alaska means that we already have some organization to our record keeping imposed upon us. For now, it’s pretty basic. We submit individual learning plans for each child covering required subjects (and any electives we want tracked.) Quarterly samples of work get sent in as do semi-annual progress reports (aka report cards!)
But, I know that things change for high school. Changing your course of studies mid-way means talking with a contact teacher. The final goal is that the transcript will have the following:
Graduation Credit Requirements
Social Studies 2.5
Alaska History 0.5*
Physical Education 1.5
Life Skills 0.5
TOTAL 21 credits
All that being said, as the parent I still need to monitor and track grades.
For this, I plan to utilize what I am already doing…Homeschool Tracker Plus. This computer program allows me to form lesson plans during the summer to then issue assignments throughout the year. I can keep track of time spent on each assignment as well as the grade earned. Classes can have different assignment types (e.g. worksheet, quiz, research paper, etc.) be given different weight when it comes time to calculate out the final grade.
Tied in with the lesson planning feature of HST+ is the ability to share lesson plans with other home educators. While some obtained through different HST+ user Yahoo Groups are not an exact fit for how I plan to use particular materials, it does give me a starting place for customizing while saving me time. I can even ‘give back’ and share lesson plans that I created for my boys. And, when the next boy comes up to the grade already completed by his big brother, I have lesson plans all ready to go.
I also plan to have P do more tracking of his own for some things (e.g. a reading log.) Then, I can take his records and enter them into HST+ for safekeeping. The charter school also requires logs for any course not covering a specific body of knowledge (which a course like Algebra would cover.) The student needs 90 hours of logged study per 0.5 credit in areas such as physical education and life skills.
As for exactly what courses he’ll be taking to meet those requirements, that is still up for grabs. Depending on how his attitude and work pan out this year, there is the possibility of going TO school for high school. Assuming that he stays home for high school, we will be spending time this spring in conversation with his contact teacher about specific course options. That could be an interesting conversation as his son is the same age and facing the same decisions for next year.