Boring Groups, College Credits, and Graduations | The Unplanned Homeschooler

Dear Unplanned Homeschooler,
What do you do when your homeschool group is just completely boring? When I pulled my kids out of public school this year, I told them homeschooling would be fun and exciting, and that they would meet new friends and do interesting things, but all the homeschool group in our town does is have play days at the park. We’re sick of the park.

Bored and disappointed

Dear Bored,
If the leaders of your local homeschool group are failing in their duty to provide your family with exciting and enriching activities, I think you should definitely gather together with other parents and threaten the group leaders with a cut in pay!

I am kidding, of course, since the leaders of most homeschool groups are unpaid volunteers—with the exception of well-compensated directors of groups affiliated with for-profit corporations such as Classical Conversations. The typical leadership of homeschool groups consists of volunteers, usually other busy homeschooling moms, just doing what they can.

If you find the offerings of your local group boring and disappointing, I strongly suggest that you ask your kids what they would enjoy doing, and then volunteer to lead an activity or two, while working to drum up support from other parents. It takes many hands to lighten the load, and that’s never more true than in a group where everyone is stretched thin already.

Dear Unplanned Homeschooler,
My son is starting high school in the fall. As I was looking over the required credits for graduation in our state, I noticed that he may have already fulfilled his foreign language requirement. We’ve studied Latin for several years, beginning with early elementary. How would I add these years of Latin study to his transcript, so he doesn’t have to repeat the credits?

Giving credits where credits are due

Dear Credits,
Awarding credit for courses taken prior to the high school years is tricky. A high school level algebra course, taken in the 8th grade, for example, can usually be credited on a homeschooler’s high school transcript. The material is exactly the same, just taken a year earlier than usual. Language courses taken through elementary school do not likely cover the same depth and breadth of knowledge as a high school level course.

Giving credit for Latin taken before high school is particularly problematic, because although the study of Latin is beneficial in many ways, it may not satisfy foreign language requirements for either graduation or college admissions. You will need to check both state guidelines and college admissions requirements to see if your son will require credits in a modern language. If so, choose your curriculum carefully and make sure that his courses are at a high school level. They should come easily to him, given his solid background in Latin.

Dear Unplanned Homeschooler,
My daughter’s friends in public school are busy planning for graduation. They’re ordering announcements and having graduation portraits made. I want to do these things for my daughter, too, but she’s not part of a big homeschool co-op where she’ll have a formal graduation ceremony. We don’t even really know what to put on the announcements if we do order them. What would be appropriate in our situation?

Graduating with questions

Dear Graduating,
Congratulations! Your daughter’s big milestone deserves to be recognized, regardless of whether she will be walking across a stage with hundreds of her peers or celebrating at home with family and friends. She’s come a long way, and so have you!

I think graduation portraits are a wonderful idea. Book a session with a photographer and make sure to get the digital package so you can print copies for everyone who loves your girl and will be happy for her success. Include them with the graduation announcement, which may be as simple or as fancy as you wish, and may or may not include an invitation to celebrate with your family at a place of your choosing. The point is just to share the happy news with the people in your daughter’s life, and give them an opportunity to congratulate her and wish her well in her next adventures.

Tavia Fuller Armstrong is the Unplanned Homeschooler. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three kids. You can find her writing regularly about life, love, homeschooling and sometimes bacon at www.unplannedhomeschooler.com.

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