Calculating and Awarding High School Credits
This is our second post on High School Record Keeping. To read the first post, click here.
In this post, we're going to give a little information on how to calculate and award credits.
There are basically two generally accepted methods for calculating and awarding high school credits.
1. Ready-made curriculum. This would be a high school textbook or curriculum (for example, Teaching Textbooks Algebra I or Apologia Biology) or a college course (online or on campus).
2. Counting hours for high school level–work. This method is particularly geared toward the delight-directed or unschooling approach, but is also a great way to earn elective credits through things your child is already doing.
Basically, 120 to 180 hours are equal to 1 high school credit. One hundred twenty hours or more are suited to an elective; 150 hours or more are for lab sciences or weightier courses. Any study that exceeds 180 hours by a significant amount or where the quality of the work exceeds a normal, reasonable expectation can be awarded honors credit, which is weighted more heavily when calculating GPA.
The easiest way to award your child credit using hours, is to keep track of their activities, then tally the hours and combine for credits. (Our High School Record-Keeping Journal has Daily Record and Hour Tracking sheets to make this easier; download for free when you subscribe!)
So, let's use a simple example first. Rachel's child plays a musical instrument. By keeping track of her lessons, theory books completed, practice time, hours spent playing at nursing homes or church, she can earn a Fine Arts credit.
Tara has a child who participated in the National Bible Bee. First, he spent about 40 hours in a local competition where he memorized scripture and completed a Discovery Journal that studied the book of Genesis (including Greek/Hebrew, cross-references, etc). This culminated in a test, where he qualified for the national competition. In a twelve-week period he spent an additional 400 hours of in-depth study of the book of Colossians and scripture memorization. This was enough to award him at least two honors credits in Bible as an elective.
This is just scratching the surface of ways your child can earn credits from things he or she is already doing!
For part I of this post, click here.
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