Credits - Assigning credit when student is behind

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Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Credits - Assigning credit when student is behind

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:40 pm

DS4home wrote:OK, I need help. My sophmore is just not keeping up. Last year she was only able to finish 18 weeks of AHL. Then she was gone most of the summer (8 weeks) on a missions trip, so she couldn't catch up over the summer. This fall we decided to just move on. So I bought WHL. This is our 15th week of school and she is just finishing week 8 of WHL. :(

She does take a couple of classes at our local high school, so she is gone from the house some of the afternoon. But mostly she is a terrrrrribly slow reader!!!! She gets her math done every day, and usually her Apologia Science, but all the reading with Bible, History, and Lit. is just killing her. The hard part is that I just don't know what to let go of because it all seems like such good information to learn. :~

She is starting to get into that why bother kind of attitude. But that isn't really her. She is just a bit of a perfectionist, and likes to be very thorough. She isn't the quickest to grasp new ideas, she needs time to let it sink in and make sense to her. I am writing a book here, sorry. I am looking for some ideas on what to do to help her succeed. I'm thinking of dropping the Church History book. Do I have permission to do that? Any other ideas?
- Dawn
Hi Dawn,
We're only in AHL, and you've probably already thought of this, but have you tried audiobooks for the literature? Or, I'm not sure how busy you are, but can you read the church history book aloud to her? I'm sure there are other ways to get her that information, too, such as discussion or internet search/notebooking. Some kids like those kindle type versions or MP3 type things.

I had a girlfriend in high school who just took so long to read a book that she stayed up all night and read all weekend. We giggled at her, but she did it. Some people are just like that, I think. She is in her 50's now and has a job she loves at the University, so it can turn out okay :) However, the amount of literature reading in our local public schools (both in my day and today) is far less than most homeschool programs, including MFW. So dropping something here & there seems like it would be okay to me.

My middle dd was also a turtle slow reader. I even took her through a speed reading program and an outside reading program, to no avail. In the end, I had to think through my goals, priorities, and minimum requirements. This child was probably way more of a problem than your dd is, but time did not turn out to be my #1 priority. My priorities and requirements might have been different with a different child, but I feel it's good to think them through.

Anyways, audiobooks are good :) Very portable, too.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

cbollin

Re: need high school help

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:03 am

Do you have permission to drop the church history book? Last time I checked, MFW is not a school that any of us have to report to in order to meet their graduation requirements. MFW is a curriculum. Use accordingly.

If you drop a book that is not working in your house, you know what? You either adjust the grading scale for Bible, or you have another book to use in its place. Just because this book worked for some pilot families a few years ago, doesn't mean you can't use another book in its place to meet that section of "bible grade", or adjust to be creative how you use that book right now. (wasn't your oldest one of the pilot families?) This might be a book that you act as her tutor to help read to her, or find a way to study the book together. Find a way to re tell the information. I don't have any specifics to share on that as I'm only in AHL. But if she did a 8 week missions trip in the summer - she was making church history, so. .... yeah.. uhm...

but, we're also at that time of year where at least 2 of us in this house are "starting to get into that why bother kind of attitude". So many (((hugs))) to you on that. got to take a FLYlady attitude on that and just start, don't try to catch up.....
or something like that. just (((hugs))), yeah, I have some burn out tips, but I'm in the midst of burn out myself, so.... I'll preach to myself after the coffee and let you read it if you want to. I'll get all preachy at myself in a few minutes

Slow reader: Julie mentioned audiobooks. What about things like cliff notes? My library is full of those things. I know we used them in high school and I was an honors college prep kid. Well, I remember now there was another brand of those notes too. oh well, the point is the same. Audio books and some kind of notes to help see the plot and highlights and then experience reading it... It's more about learning how to learn, rather than having to read the entire book on your own at this stage. Yes, in the real world we might need to let our high schoolers work more on their own, but if you have a student who needs to have more attention and helps, give that to them.

-crystal

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: need high school help

Unread post by DS4home » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:22 pm

Thanks for the hugs. Yes, my oldest did the first pilot of AHL, but since they piloted that year twice I had to go it alone after that. So this is our first time through WHL - with my second dd. I did consider her mission trip as part of her 9th grade Bible credit :-) She did continue to read through the OT during her summer. She is looking at going on another trip this summer, so again, that will help fill out her Bible credit for 10th grade.

I just mostly worry about what makes a credit. I feel I can only give her a half credit for both History and English completed in 9th grade. She did do some English type stuff with the missions trip: writing letters to raise support, thank you letters to her supporters, etc. But not enough for a semester's credit. And since she was in South Africa I wondered if I could give her some Social Studies credit from the things she experienced while there, culture, food, etc. But how much of a credit would that be worth? It wouldn't be fair to just count hours would it? I mean, she was there 24/7 for 5 of those 8 weeks, that's a lot of hours :~

We haven't tried audio books yet, but I have thought about it. I doubt there would be one for the Church History book. I'm sure you are referring to using that with the Lit books, right? This first quarter there was only one Lit book scheduled, the rest of the time has been devoted to writing a research paper. So these last few weeks she hasn't even had to do any of that reading. This paper has been like pulling teeth too - English is definitely not her best subject. But looking ahead, it might be a good idea to find an audio for Pilgrims Progress, and maybe a cliff notes for A Tale of Two Cities.

I know I need to feel the freedom to tweak as needed for our family, but it's easier to just trust Marie's plan as being the perfect plan to earn your credits with! :-) I hate having to reinvent the wheel with this child 8| Wow! After reading that last sentence I feel really bad. Bad Parent Award! Isn't that why I am doing this? Not necessarily to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, but yet to do what is necessary for her to succeed. Thanks for letting me talk this out. I don't usually make it this far when I am just ranting in my own mind ;) you guys are the best.

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

LA in Baltimore
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:01 pm

Re: need high school help

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:44 pm

Okay, I read this (and replies) quickly, so bear with me if I am missing something... :~
If you are trying to do WHL, math, and science, you would already have 5 FULL credits.
How many courses and what kind is she taking at the local school? It is very possible that you both are setting your goals very high. We found 10th and 11th grade to be the toughest course load wise. Is she taking a foreign language at the school? That is always a HUGE undertaking (unless she is already very familiar with the language).
I found that for my 2 children that are avid (and VERY fast readers), the school day has always gone much more quickly. My other two have always spent more time accomplishing the same goals because of their reading speed.

All that being said...if she is doing more than 6 credit hours (7max), she probably can't complete it all, especially without a fast reading speed.

Using the missions trip as part of the Bible credit is EXACTLY what real life is all about...way to go!
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: need high school help

Unread post by DS4home » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:54 pm

Yes, I concede. Our goals are probably too high for her for this year. She is doing a foreign language and band at the high school. I always have such great ideals, and then reality hits. ;) We have been talking and analyzing and coming to those hard conclusions. So yes, we are attempting to establish new goals. Thank you for helping to open our eyes. Hopefully this will bring about a fresh start!

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Highschool questions

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:55 pm

flackattack wrote:We are new to MFW. My son is doing AHL this year and I had a few questions about highschool. I remember hearing multiple times that in a public school if the teacher gets through 75% of a text book then that is considered acceptable. I wondered if most families finish every assignment and all 36 weeks of the MFW. I know in the past that we have never successfully finished a guide or curriculum and I feel like that could easily be the case this year with AHL. We are only on week 4 and my son is doing pretty well, but I would love to slow down some of the writing assignments so that we can beef up his skills instead of just rush through paper after paper. We are sticking to the schedule for the most part, but I hate feeling stressed about finishing by the end of May (we usually travel to Nicaragua for a good portion of June and then have some other things lined up for summer). I don't want to end up rushing through things just to check them off. Hopefully I am making sense... :)
I would love to hear any thoughts on this from veteran highschool moms!
Thank you,
Katie
I do think you can switch out some experiences in Nicaragua or other things you are doing. Classroom teachers sub things in and out. However, I'm not sure that the percentage rule works in the same way with curriculum written for homeschoolers as it does with curriculum written for classroom teachers, especially at the high school level? But of course it is your school.

LSH in MS
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Re: Highschool questions

Unread post by LSH in MS » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:00 pm

I heard 85% which is about 32 weeks of the plans. Life happened last year and my son did not complete everything. For the last few weeks we chose what we thought he needed the most at the time. History is a strong subject for him so I focused on his weaker areas.
Lori

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

cbollin

Re: Highschool questions

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:15 pm

welcome along!

I've heard 75-85%. but we tend to finish most of our curriculum plans in terms of weeks. (we're like upper 90% so far..at least with math, science, mfw stuff...... I know with foreign language, we struggled and I was thankful to hit the 85% mark and say ok..)
I know in AHL, I changed one of the English requirements on an assignment so we were done. We're just driven like that to do it. My daughter likes to finish, she's self motivated on getting it done. although... I admit in end of her 10th grade year, some things were finishing at the very end of school year to get done.

I wanted to encourage you a bit that there is coming a natural slow down in the long essays to give you time to do what you are saying with working on individual writing needs. There will still be some of the shorter, more creative style of history reports, but a break in the longer essays after week 5 for a few weeks.
Or when you get to reading Iliad, you can adjust and do more in writing if needed for your student. Iliad reading is "quasi optional", so you can sub in one of the other books mentioned in the front of the LP (lesson planner) and work more on writing to fill "english hour". I can't remember off the top of my head which week that is...

If you're looking for materials to help teach on specific part of writing... be encouraged to ask that too.

-crystal

flackattack
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:14 pm

Re: Highschool questions

Unread post by flackattack » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:19 am

Thank you for the replies! It takes the pressure off a bit to know that there is a little wiggle room there! :)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

high school question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:29 pm

donutmom wrote:I'm wondering if anyone could tell me how many weeks of the high school curriculum would need to be complete to still count the full credits for each subject? It seems at one time I saw this alluded to on the boards, but can't come across it now.

I know there are generalities using textbooks that if you finish 2/3rd or 3/4ths (depending on where you look) it can count as a credit, but how do I count MFW?? Is there a certain number of the scheduled weeks that could be done and count. If it matters, we are doing the AHL with a 9th grader.

I ask because my son has had some health issues this year, so we've gotten "behind" with all things involved. If it was up to us, we wouldn't worry about it and just have him finish in the summer. BUT, we live in a state with regulations, and we must submit paperwork to the school district by June 30th.

Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Dee
Hi Dee,
These kinds of questions need lots of input from different perspectives in order for you to find what works for your family. I'll just start but don't claim to be the final answer.

In my opinion, most "homeschool curriculum" is written to be used for the full year. MFW in particular has been carefully tested in hundreds of pilot families to create a body of work at the high school level. Public school curriculum, on the other hand, is often not completed, either because the teacher has mixed in other things during the year, or because the textbook offers lots of options for teachers to choose from, or because the school had too many pep fests and snow days and such -- and I always puzzle with my son's friends about how those students can possibly be prepared for the next level of math, etc. But I digress...

I also think that "stopping early" can leave the wrong impression on our children and potentially future admissions to places like the military or an especially nosy college.

That said, I have had kids in public high schools and I feel the MFW curriculum far exceeds what any of them did, so I think there's room to sub or to leave things out along the way, here and there, and still have complete high school credits. I know you're probably very exhausted, but if you can deliberately choose some things that your son doesn't need, I like that idea better than "stopping early." (Maybe I'm just splitting hairs, my kids have accused me of that in the past LOL.) Some random thoughts on things you might choose to skip:

- The AHL manual mentions that the Iliad is somewhat optional. So skip it if you'd like. High schools near me just read the Odyssey.
- I chose not to include the service hours as part of my son's credit, but instead to list his service projects as extra-curriculars, for several reasons. So as you can see, I felt the Bible credit was complete without that.
- I've heard of some folks skipping bits of the Bible, such as the Daniel study. Some of these folks are very academic sorts, so I wouldn't feel bad about having your son just read Daniel instead, or skip PDL if you like (though my ds got a lot out of PDL).
- Eric Liddell is just read through, without any assignments that I recall. It sort-of ties in at the end with Greece, since he was in the Olympics. If you want your son to read this, you could have your son read it in the summer after the June 30 deadline, since there is no grading involved. In fact, you might check the grading list in the manual, start filling in grades for the things he's finished, and see what's left that could be completed after the deadline?
- We used audiobooks for most of Homer. And I read the Answers Book and Pharaohs chapters aloud to my son. If your son is still in poor health, that might help him?
- I probably shouldn't say this out loud ;) but often I would just summarize the "Bible lessons" in Notgrass in order to speed things along. These were usually the last chapter of every unit, plus the first complete unit or two in the book, not sure if there was more? I felt my son's reading of the complete Bible and participating in family discussion had shown me his mastery of the points Mr. Notgrass was making for students, so I just did a quick once-over from mom.
- My son has basically been behind every year, due to our family life, and just my son's character. However, he is rarely behind in all 6 credits. AHL is only 3 of his credits, and I usually try to have my son complete his other credits first. In other words, it feels less stressful to me if some of the credits are completed first (although I have to be careful not to pile up the things he likes the least all at the end).
- If you find it impossible to complete the history credit, you could conceivably award him just half a history credit this year. Ancient history is not usually essential.
- One filler credit, if you choose to shorten the ancient history, could be fine arts. One credit in some sort of fine arts is expected at our state university. If you still have the composer biography CDs from earlier MFW years, your son could listen to the bios and example pieces being played, and record/summarize. That might be something your son could do when he didn't have much energy. Or maybe he's into some other sort of arts such as photography or jazz, that he could study while relaxing on the couch, if necessary. I do sometimes give my kids a half credit for something they are already involved in, such as phy ed or drama or maybe your son has learned enough to get a health credit. I just add a bit of reading/research and writing to be sure they are processing what they are learning at a high school level.
- I'd forget any electives or credits beyond 6 for this year. It is very unusual for a high schooler to earn more than 6 per year unless they are heavily involved in band.
- If you are using MFW lesson plans for math, you are in a way doing less than 100% of the books, because some problems are skipped (at least they were in the MFW Geometry lesson plans we used). Make sure you know your math problem options, because math is a huge subject at this age, and an important subject in my opinion, so it's better to have good advice on what to skip or whether the final chapters are not essential, rather than to just stop early and leave the student unprepared for the next level. I think MFW could help you through that if you use their program, and I have even emailed authors of math texts and received helpful replies. I will say that if your son is in geometry, that has been the least crucial of the math courses my son has done. He's in pre-calculus now and the algebra foundation has been very necessary, since each level just goes deeper and deeper.

Don't forget that you can call the office, too. Bret is the high school consultant, and he's amazing. Here's a post from someone who called the office about a similar issue:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 800#p74800

Well, those are some thoughts to start with!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: high school question

Unread post by DS4home » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:20 am

When my dd was a freshman she also fell behind in AHL. I put a call into the office and ended up talking to David Hazell about what to do.

Every family is different and it will depend on just where your son is and expects to be by June. We ended up just giving our dd a half credit for ancient history. When she made it to week 18 in the spring we just stopped there. They do need 4 full credits of English on their transcript for colleges and such, so we focused more on completing that for the year. The rest of the Bible readings she did in the summer, and didn't do the Daniel study for that year.

She kept up in Math, but we did spred Biology out over 2 years.

That's how our one little family did it. I'm sure there are other varieties of solutions out there as well. Like Julie said, writing it out on paper and seeing what has been accomplished helps to see the big picture. From that vantage point you may be able to find the solution that works for you.

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

donutmom
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:41 am

Re: high school question

Unread post by donutmom » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:20 am

Thank you so much for your ideas, Julie and Dawn. Our goal initially was for him to get close enough (into one of the 30 weeks) and then just finish up in the summer (even if after June 30). But with the tiredness, etc., even on a good day he just can't finish a day of work in a day. He works the same length of time, but doesn't' get as far, so he just gets further behind. I've been trying to not fret, and just pray! Your comments have helped so much.

Our evaluator (part of state laws, too) also said to focus on English, since 4 credits are required. So we'll keep plugging away at English. I will look into some audio books--great idea as reading has been more difficult for son (medication makes him sleepy. Sleepy and reading don't mix!! Well, if you want to sleep, then. . . :) ). I will also try to read some of the things aloud as I can (between schooling the younger ones??!!). Oh, I guess I could include them, depending on what it is. Hopefully, those 2 things will help him move along. Julie, did your son follow along in the book or just listen? I'm trying to think of when he needs to answer questions/write responses and wanting to look up a detail.

Do you think dropping some of the writing assignments from the Notgrass book would be alright? I don't know if they're considered part of English or history? He does have a writing class with which he's been able to keep up. I was hoping to have it count as an extra class, but I'm thinking I could sub the Notgrass writings with what he does there, and not count it as extra. Thoughts?? They aren't long assignments for the class. If I keep the argumentative essays, I thought that may work.

Math, too, we want him to keep progressing (it's not his strong suit when health isn't an issue!!! ;) ). He's in algebra now. We hope to finish enough to make a full credit, because I don't know how it would look on transcript to have 1/2 credit Alg. 1 one year, & 1/2 credit the following year?? He was to have music via piano lessons, but that isn't happening now. I do like the idea of pulling out the CDs from the past years on the composers. My kids love those, so that will be a fun thing to do altogether. Going to start that on Monday!

Thinking of a 1/2 credit in ancient history, etc. as bonus "extra" over the 4 years helps me mentally! Thanks for that thought. His classes this year are the 3 credits with AHL, Algebra, physical science, and German. If we make sure we do the English and the Algebra, in your opinion, which, if any, of the other classes would you deem most important to have a full credit in one year? I know it's not the final answer, but since you're farther along the high school path, and have each completed it with at least one child, you have a better bird's eye view than I have. :)

Thank you for your insights. We appreciate it so very much. These forums are so wonderful--well, the people who share are wonderful!! I feel much less stressed now!! I think I'd have been alright if it wasn't for the parameters the state law puts on us. It's hard to know when to quietly buck the system. We'll look things over and evaluate what we may drop or lighten up on. I will also take out our 4 year plan and work things through. I don't know why I didn't think to do those things--it seems so obvious now. Maybe it's because he's our first in high school, and I don't want to "screw" him up!

Sorry this got long,
Dee

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: high school question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:28 pm

Hi Dee,
I enjoy chatting with other high school moms like Dawn and you, too. Maybe more will surface as the week goes on.
donutmom wrote:Julie, did your son follow along in the book or just listen? I'm trying to think of when he needs to answer questions/write responses and wanting to look up a detail.
I think that depends on him. If it's *me* listening to an audio, I definitely read along if I want any serious retention. With my son, looking at the words swimming in front of him does nothing to help. I allow him to eat, move around, or get comfy -- but in the case of being to comfy, I stop every so often and check his alertness. Then I try to discuss something that I found interesting if I'm there or have him email me a short summary, just to process it through his brain a second time, and sometimes to check that he got it. Occasionally when I think he's way not paying attention, I have him "practice" taking notes :)
donutmom wrote:Do you think dropping some of the writing assignments from the Notgrass book would be alright? I don't know if they're considered part of English or history? He does have a writing class with which he's been able to keep up. I was hoping to have it count as an extra class, but I'm thinking I could sub the Notgrass writings with what he does there, and not count it as extra. Thoughts?? They aren't long assignments for the class. If I keep the argumentative essays, I thought that may work.
The Notgrass writing is part of the history grade. If you are considering doing 1/2 a history credit, then I think dropping half of those will happen naturally. If you need to do other tweaking, I'm sure there are other possibilities, especially if he can work any history subjects into that writing class he is taking.

With what I understand about your son, I might include that extra writing class as part of his English credit and drop some of his reading. Not sure where he's at, but maybe skip the end of Bulfinch or something like that?
donutmom wrote: I don't know how it would look on transcript to have 1/2 credit Alg. 1 one year, & 1/2 credit the following year??
I don't think it would matter at all. My son's college apps had 1/4 credit of geography this year and no one asked (2 different colleges).
donutmom wrote:If we make sure we do the English and the Algebra, in your opinion, which, if any, of the other classes would you deem most important to have a full credit in one year? I know it's not the final answer, but since you're farther along the high school path, and have each completed it with at least one child, you have a better bird's eye view than I have. :)
You could probably wait on the German. Usually colleges want 2 years of the same language, and often kids do it in 9th and 10th, because 11th is really busy and 12th is a year when kids are distracted by college apps etc. But in an ideal world, I think doing a foreign language the last two years of high school might be better, since it would stay fresher in the mind?

I think I'd really try to get through Physical Science and Algebra, since 9th grade is already a borderline late year to work on those. My son did do Physical Sci in 9th, but I would have been uncomfortable having him do it in 10th. If he just had not been able to finish, I think I would just move him to Biology the next year, and hope that I could fit in another half credit of science alongside Chemistry or Physics -- maybe a half credit in Anatomy or Bio Ethics, or something other than Physical.

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
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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