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High School Credit in Junior High? You betcha!

High School Credit in Junior High? You betcha!

High School Credit in Jr. High? 

High Credits in Jr. High? Is this even do-able? I’ve done Academic Advising for homschoolers around the world for several years and one thing I find interesting is how rigid homeschoolers tend to be in their thinking about High School credits. For instance, what about 8th grade? 8th grade is a big transition year for most kids. They have gained in maturity (and usually height) and academic skills. Many of them are developing their own interests and often are out-reading their parents.

A Word About Rigor

Can a homeschooler count 8th grade classes for High School Credit? The answer to that is predicated on one simple question. Is it High School level rigor? Some classes, like Apologia’s Biology or Algebra I are easy answers. But what about Mock Trial, the Handyman course you designed yourself, Logic, Latin I or American History? Again, it depends on the level of rigor.

For instance, our daughter participated in Mock Trial in 8th grade with a group of homeschoolers. The kids spent the semester digging into the case, doing some difficult research, defining terms and preparing their parts. They had the good fortune of presenting the trial in front of a group of lawyers, had amazing feed-back and were relieved when it was over, satisfied with a difficult job well-done. In my economy, the work they did definitely warranted High School Credit. Not only did they fulfill hourly credit requirements, but the level of work demanded was every bit a high school class.

While I appreciate The Fallacy Detective and many other informal Logic programs, I would not use them for High School Credit, as they are easily accessible, digestible and learned at an upper level elementary level. Formal Logic programs such as Jim Nance or Martin Cothran’s, however, are every bit High School credit worthy.

How do you determine High School Credit worthy?

Elementary courses are really geared to be an introduction to subject material, Middle School (or Junior High) is the time when students are shown how to apply the previously acquired material and High School (Sr. High) is the time when students are invited to apply concepts, think for themselves, make connections and understand the bigger picture.

If a curriculum is focused primarily on introducing basic concepts or how to apply those concepts, it is probably not a High School level course.

The Benefits of Hacking 8th Grade

If your student is able to do High School level work in Junior High, there is no reason to keep them from doing so (especially if you plan to home school throughout High School). This allows your student time to CLEP or take DE courses during traditional High School years, saving parents and students literally thousands of dollars. This is also an exceptional way to make “room” in one’s schedule to pursue areas of interest or passion.

As seasoned Homeschoolers, we at True North Homeschool Academy fully support parents and families to think outside the box in regards to Jr. and Sr. High School, as well as College. We are here to help you succeed throughout High School, and beyond!

You might be interested in our Guidance Counseling Service. And don’t forget to check out our Course Catalog! 

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  • Academic Advising

    Academic Advising

5 Super Smart Clubs for Home School Students

5 Super Smart Clubs for Home School Students

Let’s talk Clubs 

When I was growing up we were involved in clubs, it was just part of life. We were Girl Scouts for years, part of a square dance club complete with crinoline poufed skirts, were in Music Clubs and community service clubs. People just did clubs. It was a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, get out of the house and create amazing memories!

My kids have participated in a ton of clubs over the past quarter of a century- Girl and Boy Scouts, Lego League, Music Clubs, Art Clubs, Horse Clubs, AYSO, Larping, Theater & Book clubs, Service clubs and more. The beauty of a club is that it is usually full of awesome learning and looks like fun!

Academics & Fun

Clubs can provide both academics and fun for our Jr. and Sr. Home School High School students In my opinion and experience, clubs takes some of the pressure off of academics, allowing the kids to learn and experience rich and varied skills and opportunities. As a Transcript Artist, I see a lot of homeschoolers selling themselves short on credits because they often forget to count clubs, service work, hobbies and areas of interest as “credit” on their High School Transcript. (Check out the Free Logs we make available to you on the front page of this web-site!).

For instance, my newly graduated son has had a serious interest in history and weaponry for years. This Christmas he found himself the happy recipient of a few encyclopedias on the history of weapons. He Larps regularly with friends -an informal club of sorts -and he has spent countless hours creating armor, swords, distaffs and more out of foam noodles, duct tape, cardboard, plastic and even more duct tape. It’s not a “class” per se, however, the amount of time he has put into not only learning about weapons, but constructing and crafting them, could certainly count for credit. Don’t think kids learn much through this type of activity? When watching movies, he can tell almost immediately if the armor is appropriate to the times. That’s history and craftsmanship, right there!

Super Smart Clubs Homeschool Students

5 Super Smart Clubs for Homescool Students

  1. Classics Club Facilitated by classicist Gus Henebry, this is the perfect club for students interested in taking the National Mythology or Latin National Exam (think scholarship money!), history, mythology or anything related to the Ancient World.
  2. Teacher Amber Fonseca is offering a 1 semester C.S. Lewis Club. If you don’t yet love C.S. Lewis, join this club and find out why he is considered on of the theological greats of the last century. Perfect for students intereste literary analysis, in-depth discussion and rhetoric skills!
  3. Writing Club will be a challenging, fun and interactive class with weekly writing prompts, understanding tropes and developing style, opportunities to read your writing out loud and so much more! If you are looking for a Creative Outlet for your writing, this is the club for you! Taught by experienced writer and teacher, Lisa Nehring, buckle up for a lot of fun and writing challenge!
  4. Allison Mitchell is offering a Spanish Club for all Spanish Levels. Each session will be theme based, such as eating out, travel, etc and Ms. Mitchell will guide the students in an immersion experience to gain fluency and ease of Spanish language usage. Of course, students can also participate in our Spanish I, Spanish II or Spanish III classes, but this is not a requirement for Spanish Club.
  5. Entrepreneurship is a new Club offering, taught by Lisa Nehring. Is your student interested or growing an existing business? This is a perfect club for them to explore business ideas and opportunities!

Each club will be worth at least a 1/4 credit per semester or 1/2 credit per year- so all of the fun of the a club, none of the pressure of a traditional course, and credit to boot! Of course, students and parents are welcomed and encouraged to add more to the club to make it full credit worthy (and we are happy to provide guidance on that, if you need it).

If you are looking for a Club that you don’t yet see, please let us know! We might just be able to make it happen!