From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


12/7/2006 10:02:49 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--December 2006

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--December 2006
High School Graduation Requirements--Part II
Dear Friends,

"Christmas is coming; the goose is getting fat...." It's that season
of the year again and we are delighted to extend our Christmas
greetings to each family. In the hustle and bustle of your
preparations, we encourage you to set aside time to enjoy the true
meaning of Christmas and receive refreshment from the newborn King.

As you remember, last month we began a two-part series on high school
graduation requirements. We covered your state's graduation
requirements for homeschoolers (if any), your child's post high school
goals, and your child's personal interests. To review this information
you can go to . This month
before you break for Christmas, we want to complete the series by
discussing how to structure your child's high school program to
include the five core academic subjects, electives, and
extracurricular activities.


Let's begin with the high school academic requirements. There are
five core academic subject areas: English, Math, Science, History
(Social Sciences), and Foreign Language. These academic courses are
typically a year long and are 1 credit courses (notable exceptions
would be semester-long courses such as U.S. Government or some
Geography courses which would be 1/2 credit courses). When planning
out your program, always be sure to use high school level
textbooks/resources. Your homeschool may also desire to consider Bible
as a core academic course; however, most colleges will consider Bible
courses to be electives.

For help in evaluating credit, go to .

Also, for more information about the types of courses available to
fulfill these core courses, take a look at our brochure on Sample
Four-Year High School plans at


Electives are not as academically rigorous as core academic courses,
but they still have educational value. Electives supplement the core
courses and provide your child with the opportunity to examine the
fine arts (including, for example, such areas as Art, Music,
Photography, Drama), to acquire a practical skill (some examples: Home
Economics, Auto Mechanics, First Aid, CPR), or to be well-equipped as
an adult (for example: Computer Skills, Financial Management,

Phys Ed and Health are important electives and most high school
programs include them. Choose your electives well and consider a wide
variety from many different categories. Having your child assist you
in choosing and planning which electives he or she will complete helps
to involve and motivate your child, especially when the electives
chosen are in areas of interest to them. These courses can help
introduce them to a possible career/vocation.

A couple of great electives you could include are Career Development
(, Current Events
( and, or a study in Worldviews

An SAT or ACT test preparation course will be a valuable use of time.
See for test prep resources.
Also, don't forget the great SAT/ACT test prep CD offered by HSLDA for
$9.95 (


We are asked many times how extracurricular activities differ from
electives. In most instances electives and extracurricular activities
are differentiated by how the activity or course is reflected in your
child's high school record. An elective is considered a part of the
academic program and it will be noted on the high school transcript.
An extracurricular activity is considered outside of the academic
record and is not reflected on the transcript.

Here's an example: Let's say your son participates in the summer swim
team. His practice times and swim meets may be considered an elective
(Phys Ed) and you would note this item on your transcript. However,
your friend's son may be on the same swim team, but your friend
chooses to treat the swim team participation as an extracurricular
activity. In this instance, the swim team activity would not be
reflected on the transcript, but Swim Team Participation would be
noted on job or college applications as an extracurricular activity.

So, as you can see, not all activities that your child is involved in
need to be recorded on the transcript. Purposefully, keep activities
off of the transcript so that you can fill up an extracurricular sheet
with those activities to show your child had a life "outside of
bookwork or academics." Employers and colleges expect students to be
involved in their communities and to have an active life, so don't
feel the need to translate everything your child does into credits and
schoolwork. Community service, church involvement, missions work, and
other activities are wonderful and worthwhile additions to your
child's extracurricular activities.

One of the advantages of homeschooling through the high school years
is the opportunity you have to tailor a high school program to fit
your child. Your child does not have to squeeze into the one or two
tracks offered by most private and public schools. The possibilities
are endless. Enjoy planning out your high school program, and let us
know how we can assist you.

Next month is the beginning of a new year, a time for new resolutions,
new beginnings, and new goals, so we want to bring you a word of
renewed hope for 2007. We all need hope to survive! You may be finding
it difficult to look beyond the temporal or you may be generally
concerned about your child's well-being. On the other hand, you may
be enjoying a season of blessing and prosperity but you desire to be
an encourager to others and give others hope for their journey.
Whatever state you currently find yourself in, we trust the January
newsletter will lift you up and keep you running the race for which
you are called.

Merry Christmas,
Becky & Diane

Coming next week! NCSAA Homeschool College Fair online at during the week of December
11-16, 2006. Come and participate!

Christmas giving and gift ideas:

Homeschoolopoly, a fantastically fun and educational homeschool game!

Make a donation to help homeschooling families in need through the
Home School Foundation:

-> "I saved my entire membership fee with one discount"

"When I called Liberty to find out what kind of discount we could
get, they told us we would 10% off our car insurance and 5% off
our homeowner's insurance. What we will save is more than double
what it costs to join HSLDA. With one child getting his driver's
license this year, the savings will be a real blessing!"

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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