So you want your middle schooler to start earning high school credit. Or, maybe your middle schooler has asked if they can. But, you’re not sure how that works or even how to know if it’s doable. It’s very simple, probably more than you think, I promise.
In this post, I’m sharing a few things to help you get going in the right direction.
Why Earn High School Credit In Middle School?
Offering your sigh school credit worthy course options to your middle schooler is a really neat way to challenge them in their studies with the added benefit of accelerating their accumulation of high school credit. This also means that your kiddo is one (or however many is applicable) credit closer to completing graduation requirements. The benefit of this could be:
- They are able to graduate early. Or…
- they are able to free up room in their overall High School plan allowing more room for elective course work that they have an interest in. Thus contributing even more to their college life and adult life skills.
How to know if your student is ready
Things to consider
- Current attitude towards their studies.
- You must consider their overall interest in their current school work. If your student is already struggling with maintaining an interest in their school work, pushing them to do a higher level of work, or more complex work may not be beneficial. Instead, it could backfire and set your student back.
- That being said, their lack of interest or struggle with staying interested may be due to not being challenged. I’ve experienced that with my kids often, at various ages and school levels. And when I challenged this with higher level work, or more complex work, they excelled. It was just what they needed!
- Their maturity level
- Some course material is a bit mature for children, so taking into consideration their maturity is essential. It may be something you will need to work on before moving forward.
- Maturity also applies to their ability to manage their coursework. If your student can’t handle coursework on their own, or are very lacking in self-management skills, increasing their workload or adding more complex concepts may not be ideal.
- Their non-school related activities (extracurricular)
- What your student does outside of school-learning is something that is super important to take into consideration. Are their extracurricular activities already taking up time that they would need in order to take on more complex school work?
How to find curriculum that fits this need?
There are various ways to determine and credit High School credit:
- The text-book company says so (for example it says “this is a high school course”)
- Course work completed at High School age
- They have proven or demonstrated an expertise in a particular area
My suggestion – stick to curriculum that is pre-written or pre-designed for High School. This means either an online program or an in-print text-book. Taking this approach just makes your life and your kiddos life a lot easier. Investing in your kiddos education is worth this investment. That being said, I assure you there are programs out there that are affordable.
For example, North Star Geography from Bright Ideas Press is an excellent choice for Geography. Which by the way goes nicely with their WonderMaps program. It’s a total High School level worthy curriculum, that can be used with a middle schooler, should they show readiness for it. The course is available in three formats – traditional text-book studies (comes with a CD), as on online class, or as a PDF download. We’ve been using the traditional text-book in hand avenue this year with North Star Geography and have absolutely adored it. Stay tuned next week for a full review of what we’ve thought of it this year, as well as an inside in peek of the curriculum.
Another is the English program from Rod and Staff Publishers. It’s an incredibly thorough program. Don’t be alarmed by it only going up to level 10, level 10 can be done at a 12th grade school level and be considered advanced English. In the Well Trained Mind book it recommends doing levels 7 in 9th grade, level 8 in 10th grade, level 9 in 11th grade, and level 10 in 12th grade. That’s because the content within the program is not only thorough and complete, it also meets the need of high school level English. So if your student is doing Rod and Staff by their levels, and you’re coordinating it with their current grade level, you can begin counting their coursework towards high school credit. To further explain: If your seventh grader is doing level seven of Rod and Staff English in 7th grade – you can count that towards their English high school credit needs.
Tip: 120-180 hours during the overall school year is the hour range you want to shoot for. At the lower end is what you would use for electives (such as art, music, and so on). Closer to the higher end is what you would shoot for your standard classes such as Science and History.