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Special Needs Credits & Transcripts

Special Needs Credits & Transcripts

You have a special needs kiddo, and they are in high school. They are not quite up to grade level in Math or English, or it takes them a few years to get through what is traditionally a one-year program. How do you award special needs credits and special education transcripts?

The basics and therapy eat through your week, there is no time for extracurriculars, and the list of concerns goes on. Special Needs parents have unique life challenges, including creating a Special Needs Transcript for their High School years.

Twenty-Five Clues Hinting at Learning Disabilities that Hint at Learning Disabilities. Need a helping hand? Our SPED Academic Advising will save you time and money!

Creating a Special Needs Transcript

The Basics of a Special Needs Transcript

  • Vocational Transcripts are often 19 credits total, compared to a 24-credit College Prep or 28-credit Honors Transcript.
  • You will want to list 4 credits of English, 3 of Math, 3 of Science, 3 of History, 1 of PE, ½ credits of Health, Speech and Computer and Bible, and other electives.
  • A credit is generally considered to be 120 hours of work. You can organize this work by book study, lessons, practice, time logs, recitals, performances, hands-on work, etc.

You can list courses and subjects using a traditional 4 x 4-course grid (which you can find on our True North Homeschool Tribe FB Group) with the subjects along the left-hand side and years along the top, or you can list courses by subject area. My only caution is that if your students hope to enter the military, they might not accept a by-subject transcript.

Transcripts, Special Needs, and Graduation

Your special needs student may be unable to handle high school level classes or struggle with what would be considered traditional high school work in a specific subject area. It is perfectly acceptable to list courses that your students are capable of, regardless of the level of “grade.” If your student is 15 and capable of 4th grade English, list English on the transcript and give them full credit for an entire year’s work and the grade they earn.

According to Federal law, children with disabilities have the right to stay in school until they complete their school program or until they turn 21, whichever comes first. That is good news as you manage and balance life skills, academic and vocational training, and therapies. Give yourself – and your student! – the time they need to develop and succeed!  

Can therapies “Count” for Credit?

Absolutely! You can log PT and OT for PE credit. Special needs tutoring or educational therapies can count towards credit in subject areas. You can use logs to keep track of credit hours.

How About Hobbies and Electives?

Inevitably, parents underestimate what their students have done and what they can do. Dramatic or musical theater can count towards Speech, Music, Drama, etc. Working in a computer repair shop can be logged and count towards Community Service, BCIS- depending on how detailed and involved the work was -or sales and marketing.

I worked with a student a few years ago who, at age 16,  could not manage to write a complete sentence. This same student successfully co-owned and operated a model train store with his Mom. He had customers worldwide who understood that his speech impediment would in no way impede the high quality of service and attention to detail that he would offer every customer.

The Power of the Parent

So many parents of Struggling Learners and Special Needs students go above and beyond looking for resources, experiences, tutors, and therapies that bolster and build their student’s ability to succeed. Too often, the parent doesn’t understand how to transcribe these experiences, travel, therapies, and P.E. opportunities into credits.  Boy Scouts, 4-H, etc., and other similar programs can translate into many academic credits. Think creatively!

Now, where to start?

Parents of struggling learners and Special Needs are often thrust into a world that requires much research and goes beyond normal. High school can be especially daunting. But you don’t’ have to go it alone! Connect with other Special Needs parents and homeschooling companies that partner with Struggling Learners and Special Needs.

Our favorites include SPED Homeschool and our Special Needs Academic Advising, Classes, and FB Group: Survive and Thrive Special Needs Homeschool.

Our Special Needs Academic Advising program was created to come alongside struggling learners and special needs families. We will do a credit evaluation (and find those “hidden” credits you may have overlooked), recommend curriculum, classes, and programs, develop a Personalized Learning Plan, and provide the support you need to manage to homeschool successfully.

The world of Struggling Learners and Special Needs can be tricky to manage, but thankfully, with the resources available today, you don’t have to go it alone!

What’s the Difference Between Study Skills, Executive Functioning Skills, Life Skills, Personal Finance, and Career Exploration?

What’s the Difference Between Study Skills, Executive Functioning Skills, Life Skills, Personal Finance, and Career Exploration?

Let’s find out:

Name of ClassScheduling Skills/ Budgeting TimeDevelopMemory SkillsDevleopBudgeting SkillsUnderstanding Personality & SkillsExplore Vocational InterestsSoft Skills DevelopmentDevelop Interview& Research SkillsStudents discover & develop personal strengths & skills
Study SkillsXxxxxx
Exec. Functioning SkillsXxxxx
Life SkillsXXxxxxx
Personal FinanceXxx
Career Explorationxxxxx
Scroll right to see the entire chart.

Executive Functioning Skills 

The Executive Functioning class focuses on intentional self-regulation, along with touching on all seven forms of executive functioning, which include: 

  • adaptable thinking
  • Self-control
  • time management
  • working memory (for reasoning and decision making)
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • self-monitoring

 Using multiple resources, the educator will encourage discussion and offer helpful tips to help students gain control and mastery in their everyday lives. The students will also be able to improve their day-to-day school and family life as we work in the following areas:

  • making schedules
  • creating a personal calendar
  • creating short, effective lists
  • tips to help our memory
  • understanding how our actions affect others

Study Skills 

The Study Skills class will cover material to help students explore different methods, tools, and resources for studying well. Students will begin to identify their learning preferences using multiple senses, 

  • organizing a study space
  • managing time
  • handling stress
  • Memorizing
  • taking notes
  •  annotating and outlining
  • Researching
  •  Proofreading
  • citing sources
  • preparing for tests. 

Students will build their confidence as they build their study skills!

Life Skills 

The Life Skills class will allow students to develop an understanding of the skills necessary for launching successfully as a young adult.

The sections of this one-year course are centered on three broad topics:

  • Making the most of your life
  • Life transitions
  • Preparing for your first job. 

Units include:

  1. Finding & Creating A Healthy Life Balance
  2. Organizing Your Life -A deeper understanding of time management and how to prioritize for the best possible outcomes when life gets overwhelming.
  3. Can You Afford to Leave Home? Students create a move-out budget & checklist,
  4. Budgeting & Money Management – students create a sample budget & meal plan,
  5. The Interview – students participate in a mock job interview experience.
  6. Resume– Students complete a resume and cover letter
  7. The Workplace Experience

Personal Finance 

Personal Finance focuses on three key areas of money management:

  1. How to make wise money choices now
  2. How to make wise money choices in the future
  3. How to prepare for financial independence
  4.  

Lessons Included in Personal Finance:

  • College and Careers
  • Budgeting
  • Car Purchase Apartment Rental
  • Spouse Selection
  • Credit Cards and Interest
  • Baby & Payroll
  • House Purchase
  • Insurance
  • School Choice
  • Investments,
  • Business Basics
  • Layoffs and Reconciliations
  • Income Tax
  • The Dangers of Divorce
  • Retirement

Career Exploration

The Career Exploration Class takes students on a wonderful adventure of discovering themselves, their families, and possible career paths. It’s a must-take class in high school, given that students take 6 years to graduate from college, not 4, and graduate with an average of $37,000 in debt. Furthermore, many of our kids will have 7 vocations during the course of their working life. Preparing them in high school to understand their interests, skills, and family strengths and beginning to develop leadership skills will save them so much time and money throughout their life. 

  • Students will identify the intersection of passions, interests, and the necessity of work.
  • Students will explore the difference between work and career and how both fit into their personal pathways.
  • Students will learn “How They Learn.”
  • Students will identify their strengths and weaknesses using a multitude of assessments.
  • Students will leave class with a Personal Pathway based on strengths, interests, passions, and gifting paired with real-world career exploration, utilizing the Holland Code. 
  • The student will identify spheres of possibility instead of a single job or career.
  • Students will also create an occupational interest inventory.
Life Skills to Teach Your Teen: Even Planning 101

Life Skills to Teach Your Teen: Even Planning 101

 

It’s fall and the weather is crisp and glorious and perfect for a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Why not use this opportunity to teach your teens how to plan an event?

Event planning is a great way to build your teens’ executive functioning skills as it requires creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. These executive functioning skills are tools that will benefit themselves and others as they learn and grow.

While some kids will have natural abilities with these life skills, others will need to be shown a basic structure and be reminded more than once of how to put it into practice.

Event Planning is Easy When Using This Basic Structure

Name of Event:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3.  When
  4. Where
  5. How much
  6. Follow Up Activities
  7. Supporting books, films & YouTube Videos

Adding Goals Keeps Field Trips Focused

I also like to add in Goals for field trips. Goals can be as simple as, “have fun” and “fellowship” or more academic such as “to grow in our understanding of world politics”. Goals help keep us focused and can help us understand how much of an investment we want to make in terms of both time and money.

Extend the Learning With Follow-up Activities

Additionally, follow-up activities are a great way to extend the learning and fun! Again, simplicity can rule- – carve the pumpkin and roast the seeds; or simple events can turn into larger events- invite friends over for a fall potluck and bonfire!

Supporting books, films, and YouTube videos can preface the event, or be add-ons after the initial event, to extend learning opportunities.

Example of a Simple Plan Using the Basic Structure

  • Name of Event: Visit to the local Pumpkin Patch
  • Who Family and friends from co-op
  • What Trip to the local Pumpkin Patch
  • When October 2021
  • Where You Pick Pumpkin Patch; 45 min from home. Need water bottles, simple snacks, and shoes.
  • How Much $5 car, $10 for corn maze, $4 pumpkin, $4 Caramel apples, and $5 Gallons of cider- $45-50, not including gas.

Examples of Follow-up Activities: 

  • Decorate your pumpkins: carve, paint, or permanent marker, depending on age.
  • Create a pumpkin vase for fall flowers
  •  Roast pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
  • Roast pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin soup or pumpkin bread
  • Make Pumpkin Spice Lattes (recipe below)
  • Save seeds to grow next spring

Supporting Books/ Films/ YouTube Videos 

Pumpkin Seeds for Snacking

Scoop seeds from pumpkin and clean well. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes; then toast them in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 min (watch so that they don’t burn).

For savory seeds, toss with a few teaspoons of garlic and rosemary, curry powder, or cilantro lime seasoning.

For a sweet and salty snack, dust with a pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon and sugar!

Pumpkin Spice Latte for Momma 

Prep Time: 5 minutes, serving Size: 2

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin

Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium-high heat until the coffee is steaming hot. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!

Event Planning Helps Your Teen & You!

Helping your teen grow their event planning muscles will help them handle projects that require multiple steps and follow through on the tasks assigned to them. It also develops soft skills that are so necessary for them to navigate in today’s world.

And while they are learning, they are helping you. It is important to enrich your family with fun activities that build memories but it can be time-consuming. It may take a couple of times overseeing what your teen is doing, but before you know it, you will be able to provide them with the resources and support they need and let them take some planning off your plate!

 

Why Homeschoolers Hate Math

Why Homeschoolers Hate Math

I sighed and dropped the math materials onto the table. My children’s laughter and wriggling twittered into silence as their faces now reflected my own anxieties. I was burdened with perfectionism, lack of confidence, and my own math-relationship baggage. There are several reasons why homeschoolers hate math. Perhaps this is the main one. 

What’s Your Relationship with Math?

Charlotte Mason explains “Children are born persons…with possibilities for either good or evil” and that parents-teachers are “limited to three educational instruments – the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas.” Our children may be born with talents that make certain skills easier to learn than other skills, but they are not born with love or hate of any subject. Their attitude is shaped by their experiences and environment, and Charlotte calls this atmosphere.

Our children have a bad relationship with math because we have not properly introduced them to the subject. We prejudiced them against it from the start with mutterings, sighs, anxiety, and frustration. We must revisit and repair our own relationship with math so we may model and nurture a proper one.

Repairing Our Relationship with Math

Let’s start at the beginning:

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness….And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

In the first 4 verses of Genesis, we see form (or shape), volume, measurement, time, and the beginning of symmetry and pattern – all mathematical distinctives. When we see the application of math in the beauty of creation, might we begin to enter a place of wonder and delightfully infuse this into the atmosphere of our home education? One may enjoy nature without fully understanding it, and the same applies to math. If we approach the subject with a sense of discovery (instead of dread), we begin a lifelong interest in something larger than ourselves.

Understanding and Application

No matter our level of mathematical talent, we can develop our math skills as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of how math is hidden all around us. What we do understand, we may then apply. Those who understand more will be more adept at application, and that is their gift and responsibility. We are all limited in our understanding, and it is an act of humility to actively learn what we can while appreciating those who can go further.

Once we have corrected the atmosphere, we may move on to the discipline of habit. Math requires attentiveness, focus, and regular interaction. The disciplined student will reap the rewards of steady growth in mathematical comprehension as well as the skill of precision and the virtue of patience. Mastery is the goal at each level, and repetition of levels may be necessary. 

Growing with Math

We must grow past the initial memorization of processes and move into the understanding of principles. The question now becomes “Why do we solve this problem in this way?” Now it’s important to either understand math or partner with someone who does. Hire them, barter with them, but do what it takes to acquire personal assistance in comprehending mathematical principles.

When partnering with a text, tutor, or teacher, be sure that learning and assessment are purposeful. Do not fall into the trap of doing math just to say it was done, move on, and do more math. This is the fallacy of the teachers in 2 Timothy 3:7 who cause others to always learn but never come to a knowledge of the truth. Math comprehension is just as important as reading comprehension and doing math because “that’s the way it’s done” is like only knowing sight words. Move into comprehension.

Math is our Friend

Dear Parent, if you never moved past rote math and into the beauty of understanding, please stop hitting your head on the wall and begin to model the path of the humble learner. Normalize the humility of not knowing all the things and still being curious. This is the presentation of living ideas – noticing symmetry in nature, measuring ingredients while adjusting a recipe, counting fingers and toes, planting seeds at the correct depth and distance, and asking the lady behind the paint counter how to calculate the number of gallons needed to paint the room you measured together. Let me introduce you to my extraordinary friend, Math.

Just use the coupon code: July4TNHA5 at checkout and save 5% off of your entire cart. No exclusions. Including our award-winning CTC Math classes! 

The coupon expires soon, so go ahead and start planning for Fall 2022 and your best homeschool year ever with True North Homeschool Academy. 

Article was written by Mrs. Tamara Pool.

Tamara Pool

Tamara Pool

TNHA Teacher: Latin I, section II; Medieval World History, National Latin Exam Prep, and Study Skills

One of Tamara’s favorite things is encouraging parents and inspiring teens to pursue deep relationships with God and family and embrace their educational journey. Tamara has served as a writer, conference speaker and homeschool consultant for over 10 years. When she’s not teaching, you’ll find Mrs. Pool enjoying family time, making (or tidying) a creative mess, or studying for her Master of Arts degree in Classical Studies.

How Online Learning Can Level Up Your Homeschooling Game

How Online Learning Can Level Up Your Homeschooling Game

You Can Homeschool, Online Learning Can Help

With the current state of the world, many parents are finding themselves in the position of homeschooling their children. While this can be a daunting task, there are many resources available to help make the transition smoother. One of the best resources available is online learning. Online learning can help to supplement or even replace traditional homeschooling methods, and it has many benefits. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the ways that online learning can level up your homeschooling game.

Benefits of Online Learning

Flexible Planning

One of the great things about online learning is that it provides a more flexible schedule. Homeschooling can be a full-time job, and it can be difficult to find the time to fit everything in. With online learning, you can set your child’s school day up in a way that works for you. You can also take advantage of online resources to help you plan and organize your homeschooling schedule.

Range of Online Courses Available

Another benefit of online learning is that it offers a more diverse range of courses. When you homeschool, you may be limited by the courses offered by your local school district or by what you are able to find online. With online learning, you have access to a much wider range of courses. This means that you can tailor your child’s education to their specific interests and needs.

Individual Learning Experience

Online learning also provides a more individualized learning experience. In a traditional classroom setting, it can be difficult for children with different learning styles to get the attention they need. With online learning, each child can learn at their own pace and in their own way. This means that your child will be able to learn in a way that is best suited for them, and they will be more likely to retain the information they are taught.

Preparing Children for the Future

Finally, online learning can help to prepare your child for the future. Many jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago now require some level of online skills. By getting started with online learning now, you can give your child a head start in developing the skills they will need to be successful in the future.

Opportunity for Social Interaction with Online Learning

Some parents worry that online schooling won’t provide enough social interaction for their kids. However, there are many ways to ensure that your child still gets plenty of social interaction. You can sign them up for extracurricular activities or have them join a homeschooling co-op. You can also connect with other families who are homeschooling and set up playdates or field trips. With a little planning and effort, you can make sure that your child gets plenty of social interaction. Our live, virtual dynamic classes have a social outlet baked in. The classes take place via Zoom, where students interact with other students and the teacher.

Is Online Learning a Good Fit for Your Family?

As you can see, online learning has many benefits. If you are considering homeschooling your child, online learning should definitely be a part of your plan. With online learning, you can give your child the best possible education while still maintaining a flexible schedule and providing a more individualized learning experience. Online learning is an excellent way to level up your homeschooling game.

Do you homeschool your child? What online learning resources do you use? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Celebrate 4th of July!

Celebrate 4th of July!

Certain Holidays get celebrated big time at our house, and the 4th of July is one of them! We love this country and the principles it was founded on. But we don’t consider ourselves proud Americans- more like grateful Americans. We had the opportunity to choose our education, vocation, spouse, faith, location, and lifestyle. Is it any wonder that people are clamoring to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

So, yep, we celebrate by decorating the house with red, white, and blue buntings that look about perfect on our 100-year-old house, along with Old Glory flying, friends to celebrate with and fun to be had by all!

Family recipes, activities and traditions are an important part of every holiday – here are some of ours!

Good Food

  • Grilled Chicken or Flank Steak, marinated in soy sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and a ton of cilantro.Celebrate 4th of July
  • Deviled Eggs: My deviled eggs are de rigor for holidays and perfect as is. Peeled boiled eggs, sliced in half. Smash yolks with real mayonnaise and mustard to taste.  Set egg white halves on your beautiful carnival ware deviled egg plate, and spoon the generous yolk mixture into each half. Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy. Perfection!
  • Veggie Tray: all the veggies. Sour cream with Spike and lots of Dill if you want a dip.
  • All the Fruit is in a scooped-out watermelon half. Get fancy and scallop the edges if you want.
  • A beautiful charcuterie tray
  • And Cheesecake, with berries and a swirl of chocolate, or topped with berries, like ours!
  • Easy Punch: Grape juice with 7up and Lemonade and lots of ice, because we can our own grape juice every year and it’s just part of the summer holidays. Serve in pint-sized mason jars, of course.
Celebrate 4th of July!

Celebrate with Good Fun!

We often spend the afternoons doing target practice and then eat. When everyone is full and just schmoozing, everyone gathers together and my husband reads the Declaration of Independence out loud.

We take time to read the signers’ names. It’s sobering. These men, and their families, were willing to give up so much for an ideal. An ideal that we have all reaped the benefit of. I am grateful to each one of them for their vision and willingness to sacrifice for the long view.

Declaration of Independence

Reading the Declaration of Independence used to be the main focus of Independence Day celebrations in small towns across America. A national remembrance and vision casting for who we were and are as a country. It’s worth re-visiting annually. As one of my favorite pastors, Skip Heitzig says, “Truth needs a memory”.

Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about the importance of reading the Declaration of Independence as they celebrated the 4th of July, (she and her sisters have it memorized, of course) and the natural law on which this country is founded!

Fireworks & Savings!

And then comes the fireworks. We live in a state that allows fireworks and our property is situated so that we have an entire valley to light up.

At True North Homeschool Academy, we appreciate and celebrate Faith, Family, and Freedom. In celebration of this great country, we are offering a store-wide sale. Thanks for standing with us, in appreciation for this sweet land of liberty!

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee, I sing…

Long may our land be bright

With Freedom’s holy light.

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God, our King!

More About Freedom & Our Nation’s History

If you’d like to learn more about the values that our country was founded on, check out Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, taught by Adam Pruzan. Classes are filling up and we can’t always add a second section, so take advantage of our last sale of the year and sign up now for a live online class where the students and teacher engage in discussions about our heritage.

This is the perfect time of year to tune in and listen to our five-part Podcast Series  Authentic Values which speaks directly to the ideals upon which this country was founded. Download these episodes and add some learning to your summer road trips!

More About the SALE

And stay tuned to all our social media accounts for more information about our sitewide 5% off sale. It is the last sale before our True North Homeschool Academy Classes begin on August 22! You’ll want to be on our mailing list to grab your coupon code! Subscribe here:

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History Classes

  • World Geography: Expedition Australia live online class taught via zoom
    World Geography: Expedition Australia
    $389.00
  • Live online homeschool class for Geography - Expedition Everest
    Geography – Expedition Everest
    $389.00
  • Medieval World History taught live online for homeschoolers
    Medieval World History
    $539.00
  • World History of the 20th Century taught live online for homeschoolers
    World History of the 20th Century
    $539.00
  • Middle Ages Exploration taught live online for homeschoolers
    Middle Ages Exploration – Elementary
    $439.00
  • high school world history class taught live online for homeschoolers
    World History – Strategy: War & Peace
    $539.00
  • TNHA JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL GEOGRAPHY ONLINE CLASS
    World Geography – Full Year
    $539.00
  • TNHA Modern History Exploration - Elementary Class Online
    Modern History Exploration
    $439.00
  • American History in Films
    American History
    $539.00