Electives - Recommendations by year

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Electives - Recommendations by year

Unread post by Rhondabee »


In the back of the World History manual there are guidelines for "Introduction to Logic" (pretty much what is in the catalog), but also pretty detailed instructions and log sheets for a Fine Arts credit. Not day-to-day instructions, but guidelines on several different types of activities you can choose from and how to document them. Basically you count up the hours, and earn either 1/2 or 1 full credit. I think it would be a really neat thing to do alongside World History (especially using God and the History of Art), but I don't know that my son will think so - LOL!

New to MFW - 2010
15yo DS - World History
12yo DS - EXP to 1850
5yo DD - Kindergarten
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Just curious: What (if any) are the "electives" in AHL?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Rhondabee wrote:Curious if there are any suggested electives in the Ancients guide.
I'm thinking MFW does recommend certain electives are best for younger students. The AHL guide does mention foreign language, logic, and driver's ed.

But a couple things I wanted to add, too:

1. Even without any of those electives, the MFW plan includes 6 credits per year (History, English, Bible, Science, Math, Foreign Language, which all have boxes on the grid). Of course, not everyone will continue all six of those for all four years of high school, so there may be more room for electives later on. But if you did do these six classes for four years, that would be 24 credits, which is the usual total in my area (I know some areas average more).

2. In 9th or possibly spanning more than one year, I'll assign a credit in phy ed, because for some reason some colleges require that (and I surely don't want to pay good money for a make-up college phy ed course!). It will probably include things he normally does (YMCA, snowboarding, bowling, and so on) plus a short study of the rules & safety & such for each activity.

3. I plan to give half a credit related somehow to computers. In some ways it will be silly, considering my son's knowledge of computers, but it just seems like the thing to do these days & he wouldn't mind ;)

4. I want to leave more room in the last two years for allowing my son to develop his own interests, such as possibly doing an internship, taking college classes, or other opportunities. I want to have both the time and the space on his transcript for those.

5. I'm considering how to include the SAT prep book and possibly other general study skills & such into a credit, accumulated over time. I've seen some high schools do a credit like this.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: Just curious: What (if any) are the "electives" in AHL?

Unread post by 4Truth »

I was reading this page on evaluating credits on the HSLDA website last night: http://www.hslda.org/highschool/docs/Ev ... redits.asp It says (in part) about electives:

For courses that do not use a standard high school-level textbook (perhaps you are putting together your own unit study, or you are using an integrated curriculum), log the hours that your child spends completing the course work. One credit is approximately 120-180 hours of work. The upper end of this range (180 hours) is usually appropriate for lab science courses, while 150 hours is the average for a year long academic course such as English or History. Don't become legalistic in keeping track of each minute, but generally, when evaluating credit for an academic course, a good rule of thumb is 50 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 36 weeks, for a one-credit course.

Logging hours is a good method of determining credit for elective courses such as art, music, sewing, carpentry, web page design, etc. The lower end of the range (120 hours) is fine for elective courses. For a half-credit elective, log approximately 60 hours; for a quarter-credit elective, log approximately 30 hours.

That might help someone. :)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
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Finished Day 1 of AHL... worried a bit...

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

ilovemy4kids wrote:Well we finished day 1 of AHL yesterday, it went well. We started Math and SAT prep a few weeks ago. He is doing the following:

AHL 1 english, 1 bible 1 history credit
Saxon Alg 1 1 math
Apologia Biology with Apologia online academy 1 science (Dr. Wile suggested finding someone who could keep up with his thinking. This is a kid who when the cicaida's hatched stayed outside all night long photographing the process - literally overnight.)

I am worried about the amount of electives we have for our son.

Sat prep book with literature books suggested (it's a LOT of reading so I'm thinking a lit credit, so far he's done 4 lessons and read, Life with Father, Kon Tiki, Lost Horizon, The Invisible man by wells, and filled out the summary type page for each one, and made vocabulary cards)

Rosetta Stone Portuguese finish level 1 and start level 2 (he's 75% through level 1) 1 credit


Composition 1 through writeathome.com (he has done this the past two years and chose this himself for an elective) combined with Easy Grammar plus

We planned on Fallacy Detective and thinking toolbox but I just don't see how to fit it in time wise.

He is also a boy scout and will begin working on his Eagle Scout project next week. It is the last thing he needs for Eagle.

Any thoughts? Thanks,
Hi Sandra,
With AHL, science, math, Portuguese, and additional composition you already have 7 full credits.
And since 2 1/2 of the credits are English based, it probably is very time consuming, unless you have a very fast reader. Does seem like adding anything more is just too much. That's just my opinion. If you complete 7 credits each year of high school that is considered a FULL courseload.

You might want to call the MFW office and talk with them about it. They are always very helpful.
Praying for you that God will give you the wisdom you need to settle into your new school year!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

Re: Finished Day 1 of AHL... worried a bit...

Unread post by cbollin »

Personally, you need to keep in mind that SAT prep book is just meant to be done very quickly once a week in 9th grade and beyond. You don't have to read that many books to be well prepared for SAT. Go to the online version of SAT question of the day and enjoy that, and the practices. and the College Board has a booklet about SAT essays. It's called 20 Outstanding SAT Essays. Check the college board website for some of that. over the years, your son might enjoy seeing some of the notes in those timed essays for what made a really top score even in stress of time. That doesn't have to be done until next year or closer to the time when you take the real test. Just saying that free publication is out there. But something just tells me inside that your son will be more than adequately prepared with all of the English he is taking.

You are going to get lots of composition instruction in AHL. It is all step by step for the student. Marie Hazell gives us parents quality rubrics for grading and how to improve our kids writing. It's nice that he's done WAH for 2 years. But he is already doing advanced English in AHL. other individual English electives might need to wait until he is in 11th and/or 12th grade and has clear direction that he is going into that field. Of course if you are saying he is in 11th or 12th... but i think finishing the Eagle Scout is more important than duplicating English.

save the Logic for second semester of AHL.

just one very opinionated opinion this morning.
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Re: Finished Day 1 of AHL... worried a bit...

Unread post by ilovemy4kids »

Thanks for all of the input and advice....... It was very helpful. I think we will drop the extra reading, book summaries, and vocabulary cards from the SAT prep book and just go with the MFW suggested books for the "reading block". We aren't doing the bible journaling from SAT prep.

My son really, really wants to do the write at home comp 1 with Easy Grammar so we'll let him continue it as an elective... he has a bent toward reading and writing. Weird considering his parents. :)

I also think we are going to do the logic books at a rate of 2 lessons per week over the whole year instead of 4 per week over 1/2 a year.

So that lead to the following credits, I think:

English 2
Algebra 1
History 1
Bible 1
Science 1
Foreign Language 1
Intro t Logic .5
Music .5
Total 7 credits

Sat prep.... no credit just good practice.

Continue on and get that Eagle Scout!

What do you think? Does the revised plan sound good?

Re: Finished Day 1 of AHL... worried a bit...

Unread post by cbollin »

Some people do the logic book in shorter spurts throughout the year (like you suggested). others do it in a semester. Some do it all in a summer course. Give it a try the way you are thinking and see how it goes for him. tweak as needed.

hoping he does well on Eagle Scout.

One other suggestion:
if you haven't done so, make a tentative 4 year high school plan. go to page 10 of the WHL sample
for the chart.
page 9 of that sample is also in AHL plans.

Begin to really think long term on this for this and next year. and pencil stuff in for when to do it. Let him be part of that.


High School Electives question

Unread post by cbollin »

Winni wrote:I am trying to figure out what electives to give my 10th grader this fall. She has already done the logic ones this year.

Ok, I looked here: http://www.mfwbooks.com/downloads/pdfs/ ... _Study.pdf, and am wondering why EVERY elective isn't listed there?

When do all the rest of these (http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/19/Electives/) get done? Is there a recommended order? Do I just guess with the rest?

And for 10th grade elective it says: Electives: Fine Arts (see appendix in Daily Lesson Plans). So, I don't find out until then?
Hi Tracey,
Let me try this. Electives are just that. elective. that can be used in other place. some work better in some years than others.

The electives are:
*Logic - 9th grade recommendation

*Health - 11th

*Drafting: this is one of those courses that not everyone will do. It is a .25 credit for those who might go into a career to be introduced to those topics. So that is why it is not listed on the course of study. I'd wait until 12th grade for it only if a student wants it.

*Personal Finance: do in 11th or 12th grade. mfw says 12th.

*Driver's Ed -- eeek!. ok, we started in 9th with oldest because of when her birthday is. You have to get a learner's permit. get 50 driving hours per your state. 30 classroom hours. We plan to do the book from that driver's ed recommendation between June 1 and October. It might be weekend. It might be summer. I don't think my state demands that we take a 30 hour classroom course (which the MFW recommendation provides), but I am not willing to let oldest try for her license until she finishes that book. And, check with your insurance carrier to see if it matters. But that is not going to show up on the 4 year plan. Some people don't ever put it on the transcript unless they need to show an elective or something. it's more about showing that certification of completion from Driver's Ed training to your DMV and your insurance agent.

*College Prep stuff: College w/out Compromise is for parents to read. the CLEP things match the specific course and the SAT Prep book can be done over 3 years to prep slowly but steadily. so that's not going to show up on the plan (but they should put it there.... it's a few minutes each week for several years)

*Foreign Language. get 2 years in there of same language for most university requirements.

So... let's look together at the link you gave to the HS Course of Study PDF.
what's missing?
Drafting. explained that
Driver's Ed (will vary based on state and student and parent wishes)
College Prep stuff - built into the curriculum over the subjects

added to the 4 year plan is the Fine Arts:
Ok, for Fine Arts, there is no Product to purchase on that. In the WHL guide, Marie gives guidelines to individualize the 150 hours to build a credit based on how the student wants to arrive at the fine arts. It can be with performance credit, attending shows, composer studies, art studies, any mix thereof.
that's why there is no product listed.


ps. on the fine arts.

some students will have fine arts on their transcripts due to band, instrument, community drama, etc. So they may not need a formal course,

However, that's not the case over here. My oldest plays an instrument. It's called iPod. and while she takes ballet, that;s counting toward her PE credit hour accumulation, along with her archery classes (and earning her letter in Archery~! go baby!) heee heee.

anyway, for my oldest, she will still work toward her fine art credit in WHL, but knowing us, my oldest and I are well. uhm... well, we need more structure. So, we're going to use Carol Reynold's music program. It ties in well with world history and composers and all of it. It's designed for homeschool students to do either semester or year credit in fine arts. Neat lady, Professor Carol. I was so blessed to met her at memphis. anyway...
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: High School Electives question

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Agreeing that each student's electives are going to be unique. Just to join in the conversation, here is how it looks at our house right now:

MFW elective credits we will "probably" do:
Foreign Language - started in 9th, will do yearly for 3-4 years

Logic - would've done in 9th except my son's book club did logic in 8th

Fine arts - there is a plan in the WHL manual that basically has you use things we have on hand from the 2-8th grade cycle, review some performances, etc. I also have some materials from Sister Wendy that I like, and Crystal mentioned a cool music appreciation course, plus we like going to the Children's Orchestra near us. So, I imagine this will accumulate at our house over time before graduation.

Health - wanted to wait until at LEAST 10th (since my experience with older dd is that it's a lot, and since 9th seems like adjustment enough), but will for sure do this since colleges expect it

Finance - will probably do in 12th, as my experience with older dd is that it will cover things like buying a car or apartment

Geography - my son will probably earn the 0.5 credit in years 2 & 4 of MFW

MFW elective we probably will NOT do at our house (even tho I'm sure it's good):
Drafting - probably won't do this; it requires a pencil %|

MFW electives we may do but not give credit for:
Drivers Ed - starting this now, though may not give "credit" for it (update: did not give credit on final transcript); I had my older kids wait until age 16, but youngest has been a back seat driver since birth :~

College Prep - this is an every-year thing, and I'm not sure I'll give credit for it, although I'll consider adding more test prep and such to create a "study skills" type of course, if ds needs (or really works hard to earn) the credit

Other electives:
Phy ed - will count this 0.5 credit for 2 years, because I heard of a college or two that will make you take this (and PAY) if you don't in high school; youngest doesn't need a plan, older dd did

Computer programming - started in 9th, didn't finish

Other thoughts:
In my area, 6 credits is the norm. The only kids who take a zero hour (7th class) tend to be ones who want to take band/choir plus foreign language. MFW's 3 credits plus science/math/foreign language is 6 credits. I'll only push on this if ds starts dropping any of those basics.

Bret from the office posted this small hint: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 552#p57552
Like Crystal said, electives are designed to be opportunities for the student to explore areas of interest, and probably even the Hazell kids all did different things.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: High School Electives question

Unread post by cbollin »

it's just electives... they can change. no biggie... I mean my kiddo gets "health" at the dermatologist (warts and zits) and at chirorpractor. talk about a wide variety of opinions..

oh yeah, we did PE - ballet and archery and other

Bible get counted as "elective" on transcript of our umbrella school.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota


Unread post by Julie in MN »

deltagal wrote:Just wondering - is there a guideline for how many electives a student should take a semester? Should we limit it to one or is it reasonable to consider more?
Hi Florence,
In my area of the country, there are always 6 course hours to the day in public schools.
- 4 core courses at least for the first 2-3 years (English, Math, Social Studies, Science)
- 2 electives (MFW recommends foreign language and Bible, to start with)

The only kids who do a 7th course (zero hour) at the public schools are those who want to do things like choir, band, and foreign language (plus the 4 core classes).

I think that's a solid day's work for most early high schoolers. My son feels his days are full and he has just done the 6 credits above, plus a semester of phy ed each year, because he's pretty involved in that and I heard about a few smaller schools who required you to pay for college phy ed if you didn't have it on your high school transcript %|

That said, MFW has several wonderful electives and a general sketch of when to use them. Their suggested course of study lists 6.5 to 7 credits per year:
http://www.mfwbooks.com/downloads/pdfs/ ... dy.pdf?r12

Hope that helps,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:13 pm

Re: Electives....

Unread post by deltagal »

Yes, Julie that helps a great deal! Thank you for your quick response.

So, what happens in the later high school years, does the recommendation change?
With Joy!

dd 7: MFW 1st grade
ds 10, 13, 15: ECC - maps, missionaries, and reading on Wednesdays
dd 2: ?
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Electives....

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Well on that link, let's see if I can copy it here... Okay, it's not as pretty but this is the "Suggested Course of Study" on that MFW link:

9th Grade
1 Bible: Old Testament
1 English: Ancient Literature
1 History: Ancient History
1 Math: Geometry
1 Science: Biology
1 Foreign Language: Spanish 1
.5 Electives: Introduction to Logic
6.5 Total

10th Grade
1 Bible: New Testament and Church History
1 English: World Literature
1 History: World History
1 Math: Algebra 2
1 Science: Chemistry
1 Foreign Language: Spanish 2
1 Electives: Fine Arts (see appendix in Daily Lesson Plans)
7.0 Total

11th Grade
1 Bible: Biblical Worldview
1 English: American Literature
.5 History: U.S. History to 1877
.5 Government
1 Math: Advanced Math
1 Science: Biology 2
1 Foreign Language: Spanish 3
.5 Electives: Health
6.5 Total

12th Grade
1 Bible: Spiritual Disciplines
1 English: Modern Literature/Speech
.5 History: U.S. History 1877 to the Present
.5 Economics
.5 or 1 Geography** (optional)
1 Math: Calculus (or finish Advanced Math)
1 Science: Physics
1 Foreign Language: Spanish 4*
.5 Electives: Personal Finance
7.0 Total

So in the later years, MFW recommends a similar 6.5 to 7 credits per year. Because Bible and foreign language are electives each year, it does pare down the number of other electives that will fit, but often 1-2 are do-able, especially as the student gets older.

As for my own experience in the local public schools, typically they continue with 6 credits per year but change a bit of the content. By 11th or 12th grades, kids are gravitating in different directions. Some drop foreign language and take something in their area of interest. A few even drop some of the core classes like math and science, but that's getting less common. Other kids take courses over at the colleges, such as higher math or foreign language. My son has 11th-12th grade ps and hs friends who are gravitating in all different directions, but the college-prep ones are usually doing something similar to the MFW plan above.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: Electives....

Unread post by cbollin »

and not all students take 4 years of same foreign language. There are some colleges that really would like to see that, but don't require it. Many want to see 2 years in the same language.

or you might do just a semester of "fine arts" instead of a year of it. Around here,some things that are called electives in MFW are required by umbrella school for any college bound student. That would be "personal finance" and "econ" and at least 1 semester of fine arts. We are also "required" to have as "elective" to have .5 year of Phys Ed.

and for the most part... the college bound around here are doing tracks similar to what MFW planned.

My daughter got .5 semester of computer programming in 9th grade. took an online course as non degree seeking student at a university.
She did driver's ed - but I put that on her summer school courses. That way it shows on transcript that I gave to the insurance company.

I thought it might be nice to see this from one of the largest umbrella schools in TN..... might have some insights into what they suggest with all of the many students serviced...
http://www.homelifeacademy.com/faq/faq- ... redit.aspx

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