You know you want to include fabulous fun electives on your homeschool transcript. But how? How do you put crocheting and other delight directed learning on a high school transcript!?
You know you want to include fabulous fun electives on your homeschool transcript. But how? How do you put crocheting and other handcrafts on a high school transcript!?
Mandi asked, "My daughter has taught herself to crochet and makes bags, headbands, coasters and whatever else pops into her head. Can count that as an elective art credit?
Yes! Art can be taught intentionally with books, or learned naturally and for fun like Mandi's daughter. School districts across the country include these kinds of classes, and we can do it too. Let me show you just a few examples.
Wallingford Public Schools in Connecticut offers a class called "Contemporary Crafts". Their online description suggests a variety of crafts, but of course you have unlimited options as a homeschooler. They call it "Career and Technical Education" instead of fine art, but high school kids can earn 1/2 credit each year. Here is their course description:
Course Description for Contemporary Crafts
"Contemporary Crafts is a hands-on course designed to give students opportunities to develop skills in a variety of craft techniques. The course delves into the history of each craft and its application to today’s society. There are numerous connections to the core academic areas. Each student will create an individual information based portfolio. The class will design a business based on a craft and market their product. Examples of the skills that may be developed include macramé, decoupage, charted designs, basketry, weaving, quilting, knitting, crocheting, paper craft, bookbinding, and stamping."
Bloomer High School Wisconsin simply calls it: "Crafts 1". It's available every semester for students in grades 10-12, but we have the freedom to provide the same thing in grade 9, of course. Their online description says "Some projects covered are: paper arts, cement casting, stamping, card making, clay, handmade books, fiber arts, and decorative painting."
Northland Pines School District is also in Wisconsin, but it uses a really fancy class title, calling it "Textiles, Arts and Crafts". Their online description says "Students will learn a number of handicrafts by taking this class. Students will work with the following areas in this class: crocheting, latch hooking, cross stitching, bracelet making, scrap-booking, cake decorating, beading, and glass decorating."
Wayne Westland Community Schools in Michigan calls it "Creative Stitchery" for Grade 9-12 and allows their students to take this class all year. Although each semester class earns 1/2 credit, the course can be taken more than once for credit throughout high school, so students can earn up to one credit per year of high school. The school provides this description:
Course Description for Creative Stitchery
"This course explores hand sewing and craft techniques. The student will make a sample project supplied by the teacher. This allows the student to learn a hand craft such as knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitch, and/or embroidery. Students will be required to purchase some additional materials. As the student’s ability increases, each project will become more challenging. Because this class is taught according to each individual student’s skill level, this course may be repeated to increase skill level."
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Do you need to do summer school in your homeschool? How do you know? Take this quick quiz to find out if you need to do summer school this summer.
1. Are you done with curriculum?
One way to measure a high school credit is when you finish the curriculum. You only need to be 75-80% finished to be "done" so there is some flexibility. While it's true that most homeschoolers finish curriculum in order to save money (you know who you are!) it's also true that if you are pulling your hair out, it's perfectly fine to be DONE when you are 3/4 finished with the curriculum.
2. Has your student put in the time?
Another way to measure high school curriculum is when you put in the number of hours required for a credit. If you have worked for 1 hour or more per day, or if you have 120-180 hours of work in the subject, you can say that your child has earned the credit, and you can be DONE for the year. Often this will happen if the curriculum is so full of books, worksheets and information, that most children won't finish in a year. This can also happen when parents supplement or add to the curriculum. If you are ready to be done for the year, and you have put in the time, you don't need to continue working until you have finished every assignment or book, you can just be done for the year.
3. Is it a core subject?
For core subjects like reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, you really do need to finish 3/4 of the curriculum to be done. But some core subjects are easy to finish, and others, like math and science, really take daily effort. When you fall behind in those subjects, it's hard to catch up. You can let non-core subject drop when you are done for the year. In high school, instead of granting a whole credit, you might give your child 1/2 credit for foreign language instead, and just stop for the year. Math is unique, though, and I encourage you to work through summer if necessary to finish at least 80% of the math book. Colleges want 4 credits of math, so it's important to teach a whole class each year, and without finishing the book, it will be even harder to understand math the following year.
4. Do you need natural consequences?
Sometimes kids just don't do the work they need to do during the year. They didn't work enough, they didn't put in the hours, and they NEED to get that core class done. When that happens, summer school is a natural consequence of not getting their work done. Have them work on their core subjects during the summer until they are done. As the kids are working on those areas, make a plan to prevent the problem from happening again next year. Remember my big two tips for making sure you are consistent with school for next year. First, have a meeting with your child every day to check in on each subject and make sure they stay on task. Second, put weak areas first, so the subjects they are most likely to "forget" are done first thing each day.
Taking a break in summer is important. Even if your child must take some summer school classes at home, that doesn't mean mom or dad needs to work too. Try to get them to work independently so you can get a break from the normal rigors of homeschooling. Breaks are a breath of fresh air that can rejuvenate your homeschool next fall!
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