Monday, January 22, 2018

Menu Monday for 1/22/18

 Menu planning keeps me sane and keeps life running smoothly day to day. But this week I am sick. Chest cold, cough... generally exhausted, no energy. So as I planned my week I got together with my husband and we talked about easy over healthy. I normally spend an hour preparing dinner, cutting vegetables, etc. I know I'm not up to it this week. So my apologies in advance for this less healthy meal plan, but it is still healthier and less expensive than fast food!...

Saturday (1/20):
Baked Beans and Hamburger, salad

Sunday (1/21):
BLTs, milk shakes

Monday (1/22) (Troop Mtg.):
Beef and Barley soup (from freezer), salad, bread

Tuesday (1/23) (CAP)::
Hot dogs, baked beans, cole slaw

Wednesday (1/24):
Chicken Caesar Salad, rolls

Thursday (1/25) (CAP):
Dinner out

Friday (1/26)
Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Planning your High School Course Plan

 Maybe you are thinking you don't need to think about high school yet. Your student is only 11! You've got plenty of time, right? Or do you?...

When exactly should you be thinking about your "high school plan" for your student?

This post is intended to help you be ready sooner rather than later. Seriously, if you have a 7th Grader you need to be thinking about your high school plan. If your 11 year old takes a course at the high school level, it can count towards high school credit, even if it is spread out over two years!

I am not a proponent of pushing high school courses early or pushing your student to graduate early. However, if they do the work early, give them credit! Many middle school students take Algebra I, high school Biology or a foreign language. If it is a high school course, make sure they complete 75% of the course, keep good records and some work samples. Keep a course portfolio, and give them credit.

In another post I will address portfolios. Today my focus is on courses you should have in your student's high school plans.
What you include in your high school course plan is affected by a couple of things:
  • state law for home school and state guidelines for high school graduation, and
  • what coursework the potential college requires for admission.
Homeschool laws vary from state to state. I am not familiar with the laws of the U.S. 50 states, let alone laws in other countries. Where I live, state requirements for high school graduation are a guide for home schoolers.

In general expect your student to need:
  • 4 years of high school English;
  • 2-4 years of high school Math;
  • 3-4 years of high school science, some with lab;
  • 3-4 years social studies;
  • 0-1.5 years Physical Education;
  • 0-1 years art;
  • 0-1 years music;
  • 0-2 years of the same foreign language
for at least 21 credits. ******************************
College admission requirements:
If your student will start at a community college, you can pretty much expect him to be accepted if he completes the courses required by your state. He will probably have to take a college entrance exam, as well as college placement tests called the Accuplacer test, to place in English, Reading and Math. From the community college your student should be able to transfer fairly easily to your local state college, particularly if an Associate Degree is first completed.

If your student wishes to begin at a standard college or university, you need to look at those academic requirements for admissions! My experience was that the colleges wanted more coursework than my state required, and we had to do some course plan shuffling to get the courses required for admittance!

Here is what we experienced:

State Requirement
College Requirement
4 Credits
4 Credits
3 Credits
4 Credits
3 credits of which one shall be in biology; the other two credits
will be obtained from earth, life, environmental science, or physical sciences in which laboratory experiences are an integral component
3 Credits ALL with lab
Social Studies
3 credits: 1 credit in US history, 1 credit in world history, and 1 credit in
local, state, and or national government
2 credits
Fine Arts
1 credit in visual arts, music, theatre, or dance, or a combination
1 credit
Physical Education
½ credit

½ credit

1 credit

As well as
One of the following:
a. Two credits of world language or two credits of American Sign Language;
b. Two credits of advanced technology education; or
c. Successfully complete a state approved career and technology program.
2 years of a foreign language (the same language both years)
As well as
75 hours mandatory “volunteer” work


The state graduation requirements are not required for a home schooler to graduate their student, so what becomes important is what the college is looking for. The colleges do like to see volunteer work, but it is not required for high school graduation. The above example is of a specific college, so requirements vary, but if you have a specific college in mind you can adjust which courses you consider important.

If you look above you can also notice that following state requirements might bring you up short of what the college requires. My high school plan for my son had been based on my state's requirements. As we focused on a college we found he needed more Math and more Lab Science (the wording has since changed, but the science requirement used to say "3 credits including Biology and 2 other sciences, 2 with lab"). Going into senior year my son had 2 Math credits and 2 Science credits! Fortunately the college permits two "deficiencies" in the applicant's required credits. Unfortunately only one deficiency can be in Math and/or Science. Fortunately my son took one more Math and one more Science, and the college is happy with his credits for admission.

The lesson to learn is that the high school course plan is important. It is even wise to chart out a plan on how you want to "do" high school even when your student is in middle school.

In future posts in this series I will present:
  • course portfolios;
  • formats for high school plan;
  • formats for high school transcript;
  • delight-directed courses;
  • extra curricular activities and volunteer work;
  • Comprehensive Curriculum Package (by Lee Binz);
  •  college applications, and making your student stand out!

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