01 April 2013

Homeschool High School is Creeping Up Way Too Fast - Grade 9 Plans

Homeschool high school ..... those three words don't seem all that scary until the actual event is staring you in the face and creeping closer with each passing day.  My oldest will be a 9th grader this fall.  How did that happen???

I'm finding the whole process of attempting to get prepared quite stressful.  One of homeschool options in my state is registering with an umbrella school.  We've gone that route from the start for a variety of reasons.  Simply put, it made the most sense for our family.  Now as we are about to hit homeschool high school head on, I am required by my umbrella school to submit an entire 4-year high school plan (courses, credits earned, and which years/semesters these courses will be taken) by the end of this year.  I feel like a deer in the headlights.  It's a daunting, overwhelming task.  Thankfully the plan can be revised as needed throughout high school, but that makes the task no less paralyzing.  I am literally on about "plan R" at this point - I've written and scrapped that many 4-year plans.  I gave my son a say in some of the courses he wanted to complete during high school, but was warned on different forums that those classes were too easy and would be frowned upon by colleges.  At the same time, I must abide by our umbrella school's requirements which are in line (mostly) with the state public school graduation requirements.  These are.....

- 4 credits in English (these courses must be comprised of composition, grammar, literature, and vocabulary, with the composition and literature portion being emphasized as "strong in composition and literature")

- 4 credits in Math (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 are required)

- 3 credits in Science (Biology, a choice of Chemistry or Physics, and one equally rigorous to Chemistry or Physics are required)

- 3 credits in Social Science (1 credit in U.S. History, 1 credit in World History, 1/2 credit in  U.S. Govt., and 1/2 credit in Economics are required)

- 2 credits in World Language (not required for graduation, but required for college admission and a specific state scholarship)

- 1 credit in Fine Arts

- 1 credit in Physical Education and Health (1/2 credit for each)

- 8 credits of Electives (and there are some specifics I must adhere to in this category ... no more than a total of 8 credits for any elective, no more than a total of 4 credits for remedial or compensatory subjects, no more than a total of 3 credits in practical home economics)

Intimidating, yes???

In addition, 1 credit equals 135 logged hours and 1/2 credit equals 70 logged hours (in an unstructured curriculum).


As part of planning my son's tentative 4-year plan, I have looked up admission requirements for various colleges throughout our state.  What a difference!  Most are the same, but some require 4 years of foreign language, one does weight grades in admission consideration, and others have very specific requirements based upon intended major.  It's a lot to remember.  It's a lot to take in.  It's a lot to consider when making a high school plan of action.

Of course one of the colleges in which my son has expressed an interest is the one that does weight grades.  You guessed it ... our umbrella school has specifics about what can and cannot be an "honors" course for high school.  What counts?  Any college level course, any AP course or CLEP credits, any foreign language above level 2, any course designated as honors by the curriculum, or any course designated honors on my state's DOE website.

It gets better.  My son intends to be a biology major (his desire is to work with animals in a zookeeper or sanctuary capacity).  Biology is one of those majors that does have specific admission requirements at various colleges, so we've had to cross a few possibilities off the list because we more than likely will not make it through all the maths required.  (As it stands, we'll make it through pre-calc but not trigonometry.)

Is your head swirling yet just from reading this?  I believe all this explains why my head never seems to stop swirling!

So, are you ready for our 9th grade plans?  This is the current plan of action (and I really, really, really hope I do not have to modify it yet again).......

- Honors English 1 (1 credit)
- Honors Biology 1 with Lab (1 credit)
- Algebra 1 (1 credit ) (I really would like to do this as Honors, but I haven't convinced my son yet)
- World Cultural Geography (1 credit - counts toward Electives)
- Spanish 1 (1 credit - counts toward Electives)
- Taekwon-do (1 credit - 1/2 credit counts toward the P.E. requirement and the other 1/2 credit counts toward Electives)
- Drawing 1 (1 credit - counts as the required Fine Arts credit)

Total: 7 credits

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