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kohlby

Too many high school classes in middle school?

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kohlby

I just realized that my eldest will be doing all high school level courses as of Wednesday this week.  (We just continue on with a course, no matter what the year does so courses aren't always finished in a pretty school year).  The thing is that he's officially an 8th grader on the forms  - and a young 8th grader at that due to a grade skip.  I am very hesitant to call him a high schooler.  I don't want to rush his childhood nor send him off to college at 16.  (Nor reduce his opportunities because I'm not sending a 16 year old off to college and want him to be able to choose a college away from home).  

Is this going to be a problem on his high school transcript?  The plan was to list courses by year, with a category for "before 9th grade," as he's been doing high school math for a while.  (That was the only subject that I was counting as high school courses before 8th grade because there's really not a way around that with the specific math courses colleges may want to see).  I'm not worried about running out of courses - there's plenty of that. 

To throw another kink in the issue, he might decide to do Governor's school for 11th and 12th grade. Only 10th graders can apply.  I need that school to consider him a 10th grader when he applies.  I'm hoping that waiting on lab Bio until real 9th grade will be enough.  (His sciences this year are computer science and engineering.  I was going to call it a middle school course initially.  He's been creating his own course though and he's putting more time and work into that course than expected,  making it easily look like a rigorous high school course).

Edited by kohlby

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Dianna

Emily, for transcripts, I list subject areas instead of years in order to better accommodate the free-flowing nature of homeschooled high school students.

 

Even with that, though, I don't recommend including too many credits on a transcript (visit the high school guidance office in my members area for a more in-depth explanation of my reasoning).

 

Instead, I would just include (as an example), Algebra 2 as the beginning level math on the transcript. Admissions staff would understand that lower levels were accomplished in earlier years.

 

Would that work for your situation?

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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kohlby

Would it matter how many 8th grade courses are listed?  He's finishing up a math review during the next month and then will be taking Pre-Calculus - as an 8th grader.   (His math review is actually a full Alg II course - but a different one than the first time around.  I want his foundation super solid).  And though Alg I, Alg II, and Geometry might be obvious, Intro to Number Theory is not.   I've heard of some colleges needing to see certain math classes on there, like Alg II, though I'd think it would be obvious.  

For the other 8th grade classes, I'd think it's important to have most on the transcript.  He's taking some to get them out of the way - ones that a college will want to see.  (For example, if a college sees French 2 and 3, then it's obvious he took French 1 before.  But - since many colleges want 3 foreign languages, I would want all three on there.  Or if he's taking Latin 1 and that's the only Latin he'll take on the high school level, then it would make sense to have it on there too.

I'll go and check what you consider too many credits.  We're far from transcript time, but with the chance of him switching to a public magnet school in 11th grade, I'm having to think ahead - since they will want to see a transcript.  (He might do dual enrollment instead for 11th/12th, so that would either make this easier or more complicated, depending on how many credits he did through dual enrollment).  

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Dianna

Emily, when colleges say they want 2 or 3 years of a foreign language, and you put Spanish 2 and Spanish 3 on the transcript, that shows that he's had three years of the language. You don't have to list all three courses in order for them to be "counted," if his transcript is becoming too credit-heavy.

 

However, classes that don't build on each other (numbered levels like Algebra 1, 2, Spanish 1, 2, etc.), do need to be listed (as with your example of Intro to Number Theory).

 

I think one of the best things you can do (and probably already have), is talk to the colleges he's interested in attending (and Governor's School) and ask if they'd need entry-level courses (Algebra 1, Spanish 1, etc.) listed on a transcript if higher level courses are listed.

 

(Some admissions folks have tunnel vision and honestly can't see the big picture, no matter how obvious or logical it is. I was considering a second master's degree in a different field and in order to enter the program, they told me I had to take the GRE again. The purpose of the GRE is to show readiness for graduate-level work. Well, I already have a master's degree, so that proves that not only was I capable of doing graduate-level work, I had successfully completed a program and was awarded a degree for it. However, they said I had to take the GRE again to prove that I was capable of graduate-level work. It didn't matter how much I explained that I already had one master's degree already that showed I was more than capable of graduate-level work, they couldn't see beyond the box on the form that had to be checked.)

 

So, all that to say that although the way I do transcripts results in focused transcripts that highlight a student's strengths and interests, colleges may insist on transcripts with every high school-level course listed, even when it's not necessary (and in some cases detracts). Just because that's what's on the form.

 

Let me know if this helps.

 

Warmly,
Dianna

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kohlby

Thanks!  I feel it's too early to talk to colleges now - They probably get enough of "those" types of parents.    But when the time comes, we'll do that.  I'll also ask them about the sequencing because if they specifically say 3 credits of foreign language, instead of 3 years, then I'd think they would want to see all.  It probably would be worth it to ask the governor's school about it soon though - as I don't want that option to disappear if they end up considering him a grade ahead of what I consider due to prior coursework.  

I have heard of schools having that tunnel vision - I'll have to read their requirements when the time comes.

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Lindsay Gassner Wilson

BTW, if you haven't read the entire Governor's School of Math and Science application (I have!)...you actually CAN apply before you are in 10th grade (by age) as long as you have fulfilled the pre-requisite requirements. I have a son who is far ahead in school and interested in that as well. I would probably not send him though until he was at least 14-15...bc he would be in a peer group of only 16-19yr olds...and there can be a big difference between those age groups of boys :-)

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kohlby

BTW, if you haven't read the entire Governor's School of Math and Science application (I have!)...you actually CAN apply before you are in 10th grade (by age) as long as you have fulfilled the pre-requisite requirements. I have a son who is far ahead in school and interested in that as well. I would probably not send him though until he was at least 14-15...bc he would be in a peer group of only 16-19yr olds...and there can be a big difference between those age groups of boys :-)

He skipped a grade and has a May birthday.  So, he would start a few months after turning 15 if he started as an 11th grader.  I did see that on there but knew there was no way I would send him as a 14 year old.  (Actually, at 12, he's almost completed everything on the prerequisite list except for lab science, which I purposely held off on). He did the summer camp there this past year and did just fine even though he was at least a year younger than the other students.  However, he said it was too "schoolish" so I'm thinking he's leaning towards not going.  In that case, dual enrollment is highly likely but again, we're waiting until his jr year at the earliest for either option since he'll only be 15 then and I don't want to rush him.  (Also, the dual enrollment option is an engineering program, not just taking random classes).  He's an advanced kid, but an advanced kid who likes to be a kid and likes to have a LOT of control over his own learning and I want to be careful not to take that away from him.  We are keeping options open though.

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