Crediting Unusual Courses
Above and beyond the normal academic courses students take lies a myriad of elective classes–limitless for homeschoolers!
Do you have a student taking ballet? Drafting? Computer language/batch encoding? Helping to remodel a room/section of your home? Landscaping? Film Making? Writing a blog? Desiring to learn how to provide regular service maintenance on your family vehicle? Interested in photography? Starting his or her own business? ALL of these examples can be given high school credit toward graduation!
But how do you do that and where do you start?! It’s actually rather simple. One semester credit is granted for every 120 hours of work; 60 hours of work is counted as a half credit. These are literal hours spent working in the field or doing coursework. If the student is learning to write batch code (a type of computer code), for example , then have her or him log the time spent watching the YouTube videos and practicing what they learned (my son did this!). You will be surprised at how quickly your student accumulates hours! We do the same thing with writing a blog, ballet class, photography, film making, and auto mechanics.
When granting letter grades for these sorts of classes, that is left up to the parents. You can determine a standard for acceptable completion or you can seek out friends or ask for recommendations of professionals who might help evaluate your student’s accomplishment in the course. We have done all three for our children.
As homeschoolers, it is not often that our children will take part in a graduation ceremony since it is usually only that one student graduating. What my husband and I have done with our previous graduates is allowed them to orchestrate their idea of a graduation ceremony! Our oldest son chose to stand in his grandparents’ front yard, under the American flag, for us to present his diploma. He further personalized his ceremony by reciting his Navy recruitment oath with his recruiters. That was an amazing moment for us, and there was not a dry eye watching our son take a step into manhood! The next two opted to commemorate the event with a party, but it was just what each of them wanted for their graduation celebration.
We have also given our children the opportunity to work throughout the year on a “Senior Project” that sums up who they are and where they see their lives going. Our oldest sons created slide show presentations set to music of their choosing; our oldest daughter did a photo montage of her senior pictures; and our middle daughter and next to graduate is writing a one-act play to present to friends and family.
Other ideas include: performing a community service project, going on a missions trip, or planning to do something within the scope of the career the graduate will pursue after graduation. The possibilities really are limitless!
“And at the end of ten days it was seen that they were looking better and had taken on more flesh than all the youths who ate of the king’s rich dainties…As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all [kinds of] visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:15 & 17, Amplified Bible)