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!
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