PACESC: SERVING HOMESCHOOLERS, ONE FAMILY AT A TIME

Home for High School:

High School should not differ from any other year of homeschooling in the fact that it your plan for your student should be an individually tailored plan based on their needs, abilities, and goals.

You may decide to stick with the typical course of study commonly followed by public school students in SC. 

You may follow a block schedule.  This variation of schedule is followed in many high schools and is known to most of us that attended college.  An example of block scheduling is for a student to complete Algebra I and Geography during the 1st Sememster.  They will then not take Math and Social Studies the 2nd Sememster because these courses have already been covered for the academic year thereby satisfying the SC requirement.  During the 2nd Semester Biology and Spanish could be covered.  Notice that I did not include Language Arts.  This could be done by block, however I wanted to make the point that while some classes are "block", others can be done across both semesters.  You can mix and taylor this anyway you wish.

Is your child going to a four year college? Then your high school plan should be tailored toward that end.  What career field will your child most likely seek?  Is it a science or math field?  Then higher maths and sciences should be taken in high school.  It is a business field?  Then look for business related courses such a accounting and business math.  Is it a liberal arts field such as history, English, foriegn language study, or arts?  Then advanced chemistry or physics may not necessarily be required.

For more information on what college prepatory courses are required by SC colleges and universities, visit www.che.sc.gov/New_Web/GoingToCollege/CollPrepPrereq.htm   

If your child is not going to college, you may want to tailor his high school plan to what their interest and goals are for after high school.  Are they going into a trade?  Is there an apprenticeship program available?  Can they work part-time or during the summer with someone in the field?  Is there a certificate program available at the local community college, online, or at the Technical College?

Can my child get a high school diploma?

Yes.  Although the homeschool high school diploma is not a state issued diploma, it has been recognized by employers, colleges/universities, and the military as a valid graduation document.

Can my child go to college if he is homeschooled?

Yes.  It is important to tailor you child's high school plan to your child's academic goals.  Should your child wish to go to college, you want to have prepared them to have that option.

PACESC has prepared transcripts and diplomas for students that have successfully gone onto colleges from SC to Nebraska and states in between.  Students have gone into the Reserve Services and into the Military.

Graduation Requirements:

Homeschoolers in SC under 3rd option law are not required to follow the SC Graducation Requirements as set forth for public school students. 

SC Code of Law Section 59-65-47 (3rd option homeschool law) requires that a homeschooled high school student be taught the following subjects each year they are homeschooled:

 MATH, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, READING, WRITING, COMPOSITION, AND LITERATURE

Note that the subjects of reading and writing are clearly covered across all subject areas, especially writing and composition.  Therefore, they are not usually given individual attention and credit.

If a parent sticks to the letter of the law, a student can take 4 years each of Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts and have fullfilled the legal requirement for SC homeschoolers. But you must determine if that is sufficient?

SC Graduation Requirements for Public School Students: (The following is provided for information only and is used by many homeschoolers as a guide only.  These are not required for homeschooled students under SC Law 59-47-65.)

 4 English1/2 Economics 1 CPT Science 
 4 Math 1/2 Government 1 Foreign Language*
 3 Science 1 Other SS 1 Career Technology*
 1 US History & Constitution 1 PE/ Jr ROTC 7 Electives

*Students in College Prep progam of study must take 1 credit of foreign language.  However, be aware that many colleges require at least two years in the same foreign language.  *Students in a Tech Prep (non college bound) program of study must take at least one course in technology or career education.

What is a tehnology course? What is career education?

Technology courses can be any course that a student would take to prepare for a work related path after high school.  It can be a workstudy credit involving a student's part-time job including an evaluation and goal oriented checklist.  It can be an apprenticeship.  It can include business courses (business math, occupational math, accounting, entreprenuerial studies), automechanics, carpentry, etc.  Many of these courses are parent designed.  If that is the case, be sure to set clear objectives and evaluation standards.  If there are also outside sources of instuction or evaluation by employers, include those in the student's porfolio.

Career planning is slightly different in that it usually involves an investigative approach.  It can cover independant living skills, time management, goal setting, etc.  Many parents choose to have a reading list which may include:

7 Habits of High Effective Teens... check out the BOOK / JOURNAL/ and the WORKBOOK... click on link to see each

Uncle Eric Talks About Personal, Career, and Financial Security... check out the BOOK and the STUDY GUIDE... click on link to see each

What Color Is Your Parachute?

More Resources:

HSLDA has a nice list of resources... CHECK IT OUT
Career Direct... http://www.careerdirectonline.org/


What about P.E.?  Home Economics?

Remember that PE is not required under SC 3rd option homeschool law.  Most colleges will not even blink if it is not on a homeschooler's transcript.  However, a homeschooler may claim a PE.  Many homeschooling students track hours they participated in organized sports (with their homeschool group, church, or community), dance lessons,spirit teams, or home/ gym membership created fitness progams.  Grade is based on goals and evaluation procedure: be sure to set clear objectives and evaluation standards.  If there are also outside sources of instuction or evaluation by employers, include those in the student's porfolio. 

Home Economics or any other living skills program are acceptable.  Remember, you set the direction and educational plan for your child that best suites his needs.  As long as you are adhering to the required subjects, you may add any additional courses and requirement you feel best prepare your child to face their future. 

Your High School Plan:

What courses fulfill subject area requirements?...
(Note: Following are generalized suggestions only and are by no means an exhaustive or exclusive list of courses that can fulfill any of the subject areas listed.)

ENGLISH:

Grammar Mechanics, Composition, Literature, Vocabulary, and Spelling are inclusive components of ENGLISH I, II, III, and IV.

Additional credit may be earned in  Composition, American Literature, British Literature, World Literatue, Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Speech/Communicaiton, Journalism, Debate.

MATH:

General Math, Occupational Math, Business Math, Accounting, Consumer Math, Algebra 1&2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics.

SCIENCE:

Physical Science, General Science, Earth Science, Astonomy, Life Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Biology, Human Anatomy, Advanced Chemistry, Marine Biology

SOCIAL STUDIES:

World Geography, World Cultures, Ancient-Middle Ages-Modern Histories, World History, US History, American Government or Civics, Economics, Constitutional Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Comparative Religions, Current Events, Ethics

FOREIGN LANGUAGE:

Study in any foreign language is acceptable.  For college bound students, at least one year is suggested.  Many colleges and universities require two years/credits in the same foreign language.  You may want your student to study three years in the same foreign language if they intend to go to a highly selective or competitive college or university OR if they wish to pursue a foriegn language career or study.

PE:

As discussed above...

FINE ARTS:

Art Appreciation, Art Instruction, Music Appreciation, Musical Instrument Instruction, Band, Photography, Drama, Voice,

ELECTIVES: 

Any of a number of courses and unit studies can be classified as electives.  Driver's Ed, a comprehensive study on one subject such as Veitnam or the Civil War, Bible, Computer Skills, Life Skills, Cooking, Sewing, HomeEc.  Any of the courses listed in the core subjects can be electives.  An example would be if a student took Alg 1, Geometry, Alg 2, Consumer Math, then took Accounting as an elective.  Also in Social Studies: a common course of study is to take World Geography, World History, US History, and Gov/Economics.  The W. Geog is an elective, the W. His fulfills your "Other SS" requirement, and US His and Gov/Eco are required.  If you then take Sociology, Church History, and 2 years of Bible- you will have 4 more electives.

Can my child take the PSAT, SAT, or ACT? How does my child register for these tests?

Yes, these tests are available to homeschoolers and are the same tests given to publicly and privately schooled children.

See our page on Testing....

What is a "Carnegie Unit" and how do I count them?

A "Carnegie Unit" is a measure of credit assigned to a certian level and amount of high school work completed.  The terms "Carnegie Unit" and "Credit" are interchangable.

One credit is typically a full year course, while 1/2 credit is typically completed in a semester and 1/4 credit is completed in 9 weeks.  However, it is the amount of material that generally determines this in a public school.  Homeschoolers can complete the same work often in less time.  So... length of completion time is not the determining factor.

A high school level text by a reputable publisher that is meant to be covered in one year (say Alg. 1 or Biology) would carry 1.0 credit.  A high school level text for Government is typically covered in 1/2 year or 1 Semester and so would carry 0.5 credits. 

If a course does not use a standard high school level textbook or you are creating your own study or course, log the hours that your child spends completing the course work.  Count a course 1.0 credits if the course work was 120-180 hours of work.  The range of 120-180 is suggested to pertain to elective courses which can be as few as 120 hours, average college prep courses in English or Math that should be closer to 150 hours, and Science with Labs courses that should reach the 180 hour mark.  For a course counting 0.5 credits log appoximately 60 hours and for a course counting 0.25 credits log approximately 30 hours.

If your child is enrolled in Dual Credit courses, those college level courses taken for 1 semester equate to 1 full year of high school level study.  Therefore, 1.0 credits will be given to a Dual Credit course.  Note that the college credits earned may be more (4 college credits for some lab courses, 3 college credits for English and Math), but that is based on a different system and the course will only recieve 1.0 high school credit.

Is there a thing such as "fast track"?

A child can take as long as, or as little time as is necessary to complete the high school plan of study that you have mapped out.  Early graduation is not unusual.

My child does not want the public school "cerfiticate of attendance".  How cna my child get a diploma even if he is learning disabled?

What is the "SC Uniform Grading Scale Policy"?

SC Commission on Higher Education requires that all transcripts submitted for scholarship or college admission be bases on the guidelines in the SC Uniform Grading Scale Policy.  These transcripts must have the cummulative GPA on them using this policy.  This is very important for college entrance and scholarship eligibility determination.

For the SC UGS go to http://ed.sc.gov/agency/stateboard/agendas/archived/2007/jan/5503.doc

Can you explain Horors courses, AP, and Dual Credit?

Honors:  For a course to carry "Honors" status documentation (syllabus) must establish that the course is a more rigorous than a regular high school course.  Many homeschoolers use courses that are designated by the publisher to be "Honors".  Some may take traditional courses and add additional reading lists, reports, projects, and research.  Honors courses are given for courses in the core subject areas of Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.  An Honor credit may be given when taking a 3rd or 4th level course in a content areas where the standard requirement has already been completed.

AP:  Homeschoolers can take AP, Advanced Placement, courses.  AP courses are taught at a college level and can, depending on the attending college's policy, recieve college credit.  In order to claim a course as AP on a transcript, the course syllabus must now be pre-approved by the College Board AP Central, and they must take the AP exam for the course.  It is very important that the homeschool keep AP Central's notice of approval for the AP course.  Homeschoolers must make arrangements through a local public school or private school to make arrangements to take the AP Exam.  Do this  in December or January. Tests are given usually in May. For more information on AP exams, call (888) CALL-4-AP.    

Dual Credit: Homeschoolers may enroll as a high school student at their local community college or technical college as long as the college has a program available.  The student can then take college level courses and earn both high school credits and college credits for the same course.  (Just a note of caution:  Be aware that many scholarships are based on "Freshman status" and that earning too many college credits may change your status.  Also, if you will be wishing to transfer your college credits once you graduate high school, check with the college you will be transfering to in order to assure that your particular courses will transfer.)

My child failed a class.  He retook it and passed it the second time.  Can we just drop the first attempt?

The policy on retaking a course is set on in the SC Uniform Grading Scale Policy found at http://ed.sc.gov/agency/stateboard/agendas/archived/2007/jan/5503.doc

It states that a student can retake a course, but that the transcript has to reflect all attempts and classes taken.  That includes those classes retaken to better a grade and the prior attempt.  The exception is for courses taken prior to high school that the student did not pass and wishes to retake.  In that case, only the retake will appear on the transcript regardless at to whether the grade was lowered or raised. 

Additional Resourses:

Commission on Higher Education has some great information for high schoo students:  http://www.che.sc.gov/New_Web/Students&Parents.htm 

***  Nothing we say or post is intended to be legal advice, and is distributed for information purpose only.  It is not intended to be and does not constitute the giving of legal advice.  For more information about the laws and regulations in SC, please contact your own attorney.***

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