This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topics–and the answers!
Q. Some homeschool co-ops offer credits for courses. Should I give my children credits for the classes I teach them at home?
A. A credit is simply a way to translate homeschool or school work into commonly understood educational language. Whether or not to give credits depends on the grade level of each child. If a child is in grade K-8, you do not need to assign a credit value for the subjects he completes each year. However, when high school begins at ninth grade, homeschooling parents should keep a high school record or transcript.
A transcript for grades 9-12 should include the courses your child has completed, the grades for each course, the credit value, and any other important information such as a GPA and College Board scores.
Generally, one credit is given for a year’s worth of work or approximately 50 minutes a day, five days a week for 36 weeks, or about 120-180 hours of work. A credit can also be given for completion of a course that takes about a year, or the completion of at least 75% of a textbook.
The credits on a high school transcript can be given by the parent or a by combination of people: by a parent if he or she teaches the course, by co-op teachers if a student is enrolled in co-op classes, by a school if a student is enrolled part-time in public or Christian school classes, by a college if a student is dual-enrolled in college classes, or by distance learning programs and correspondence courses when a child is enrolled. When the required number of credits is complete as determined by the parent or program, the student can graduate.
The parent of a high school student is NOT required to submit a transcript with grades and credits to the superintendent. However, it is very helpful to have a standardized record when applying to colleges, joining the military, or applying for certain jobs.
NOTE: Parents can develop their own transcripts or use the new easy-to-use homeschool transcript service provided by HEAV.