Taking a Quick View at Credit Hours

I posted a curriculum selection a few weeks ago, but as you guys know, in practice we tend to follow an interest-led homeschool.  I consider the curriculum selection a place to go when the children don’t have anything that they want to learn about to spark learning.  It really works very interestingly in practice, but it works for us.

I’ve begun to consider this year, with an incoming middle schooler what we’re eventually going to do for high school credits.  It seems early to think about that, I know, but I like to be organized, so I’ve been waiting for an idea to come to me that allows me to track credit hours, but also allows me to keep a more loose and interest-led homeschool.  The organization of a basic framework to build on is what makes it look effortless and haphazardly put together 😉

Yesterday, I was listening to an I.E.W. podcast with Gail Ledbetter, author of Timeline of Classics, and she mentioned in passing the coolest way of tracking credits that I had heard.  She actually got it from another homeschool author.  (As an aside, I have the first edition of Timeline of Classics and I find it to be and excellent help in planning literature and history study around my children’s interests.)

At any rate, Ledbetter mentioned that she got the idea from Ruth Beechick that a great way of keeping track of credit hours.  You would get one of those jumbo (5 x 8) index cards, and write the resources and activities that you were using onto the index cards.  Once you get enough resources listed to give credit for it, then you would assign a credit for the coursework.

I immediately thought I should experiment with putting this into practice by monitoring Bennett’s current coursework.  The idea is to just monitor it this school year and to begin to fine-tune things over the next year or two so that I have a working model for assigning interest-led or project based course credit by the time that it counts (and that it will be and look effortless by then).

I started setting up credit hours for World history immediately because we’ve been reading a book together and discussing it on Corrie ten Boom.  This made me evaluate how many hours toward credit a book and a simple biographical sketch should count in history hours.

I’ve decided to go with the traditional Carnegie units for interest-led hours in our homeschool, meaning that I will give one credit for 150 seat hours in a subject for my students.  So, then my immediate dilemma was, so how much credit for an on-grade level book that we’ve been reading together with discussions and a simple biography sketch of the historical character?

It took me a while to come to an answer, but I do have one.  Since this post is rambling enough, I think I’ll share it in a separate post later this week.  In the meantime, do you have a system for credit hours for your junior high and/or high school student? How do you determine credit hours?


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