From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


5/6/2010 11:36:36 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- May 2010

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
May 2010 -- The Lowdown on AP, CLEP, and Dual Enrollment

---[ Summer Film Camps, July 18th to August 1st 2010 ]----------------

Epicenter Pictures is offering vocationally focussed film camps from
July 18th through August 1st 2010. The camps have been designed by
Christian industry professionals for high school students, and are
designed to provide advanced training to students of all experience
levels, so each student leaves with knowledge and a well made
portfolio piece.


Dear Friends,

Homeschool parents know how important it is to stretch available
dollars as far as possible. Two for one deals (such as earning both
college and high school credit for the completion of one course) or
saving tuition dollars by testing out of certain courses are
attractive options for homeschooled teens.

Some teens--but not all--may be up to the challenge of working hard
and possibly earning college credit for coursework completed during
high school. If your teen is not yet ready for these advanced courses
and testing opportunities, don't feel badly or think that your
teaching is substandard. The Lord created each of our children with a
variety of talents and abilities, and teens should not be encouraged
to take courses that they are not prepared to successfully complete.
(You may want to reread one of the past newsletters entitled, "Eureka!
Average to the World but Special and Unique to God.")

On the other hand, if your teen is capable and motivated, you may want
to explore ways to maximize your dollars through completion of
Advanced Placement courses and tests, CLEP, or dual enrollment
courses. Let's take an in-depth look at these various ways of earning
college credit while in high school.

Advanced Placement Courses and Tests

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in more than 30 different
subject areas. These rigorous courses are taken in high school but
taught on a college level. Because there are stipulations placed on
the content of the courses, we direct you to the College Board website
for their helpful information.

In addition to covering the subject material in a yearlong or
semester-long class, the student prepares to take the AP exam
administered by the College Board on a specific date in May. If a
student scores well on this test, it is possible to earn college
credit. Each college determines which AP tests they will recognize,
and the minimum score necessary to earn credit. The College Board has
a list of colleges that accept AP test scores for credit on its

AP courses and related test scores are well-recognized by many
colleges as objective indicators of the student's ability to do
college level work. In addition, the grades and scores from these
courses will help to validate your parent-issued grades in the eyes of
college admission counselors. AP courses may be taught by the parent,
taken online, or through an outside instructor. In the curriculum
section of our high school website,, we offer a sampling of course

The designations, "AP" and "Advanced Placement" are trademarked by the
College Board and may not be noted on the transcript unless the course
syllabus has been approved by the AP Central Department of the College
Board. AP tests cover specific
material, so the instructor of the course should be aware of each
test's content in order to prepare the student well for the exam.
Because AP courses are challenging and time-consuming, most students
do not take more than two or three AP courses in any given year. You
may want to have your teen begin by taking just one AP course in order
to become familiar with the amount of work these courses require.

Due to the rigors of an AP course, when computing a grade point
average (GPA), the letter grade points are increased by one point. As
an example, an "A" in a standard course receives four points, but an
"A" in an Advanced Placement course receives 5 points resulting in a
"weighted" GPA.

Homeschoolers should contact the counselor's office at a local public
or private school to make arrangements for your teen to take an AP
test. Since not all schools proctor every AP test, it's best to check
with a school early in the fall to see whether or not the AP test your
teen requires will be ordered by it. Your teen will use a special
homeschool state code , when
registering to take the AP exam so that his score is not reported in
the school's scores, but instead comes directly to you, the parent.
The College Board has additional tips for homeschooled students
wishing to take an AP test.

One complaint of homeschoolers regarding AP courses is that the course
content is secular. If this is a concern to you, then you may want to
choose a course developed by an instructor that will bring a Christian
worldview to the material. Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy
will offer such a slate of AP courses beginning fall semester 2010. Members of HSLDA receive a
discount for each course.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Another way to accumulate college credits economically is by taking
CLEP tests. While a typical 3-credit college course may cost upwards
of $400 and in many cases significantly more than this, doing well on
a CLEP test may earn college credit with the cost of the test ($75)
being a great savings. It is advantageous for your teen to take the
CLEP test as soon after studying the course material as possible while
it is still fresh in his mind. There are many study tips and test prep
help available to students prior to taking a CLEP test. Each test is about 90 minutes
long and consists primarily of multiple choice questions.

Homeschoolers register directly with one of 1600 test centers to
arrange to take the test. To find a test center near you, visit the
College Board website.

The College Board site also provides a summary of the descriptions and
specific content for each of the 33 CLEP tests.

Before expending effort, study time, and money in taking CLEP tests,
be sure to contact the colleges your teen is interested in attending
to check if they accept CLEP credits, if there is a maximum number of
credits that may be earned through CLEP, and any other restrictions on
receiving CLEP credit. For example, Patrick Henry College accepts no
CLEP credits.

Dual Enrollment Courses

When a high school student completes a college level course at a local
community college or 4-year university, or completes a course online
through a distance learning program, the course is called a dual
enrollment course. The student typically receives both high school and
college credit for completion of the course. (See a more in-depth
explanation of dual enrollment credits in the Court Report article,
"Dual Enrollment: A Two for One Deal!")

Before enrolling your teen in a dual enrollment course, be sure to
assess whether he or she is ready to handle the work load. Does he
have good study skills? Is he mature enough to be in a class with
older students? Is she capable and motivated to handle the
responsibilities of a college level course? Remember that the grades
earned in dual enrollment courses will become part of your teen's
permanent academic record. Some colleges have a minimum age
requirement to enroll in classes--usually 16. Other schools give
prospective students placement tests to ensure that they are ready to
tackle college-level course work. Be sure to note any prerequisites
that your teen needs to complete prior to registering for a college

A dual enrollment course is a great option for those high school
subjects such as lab science or foreign language that some parents are
reluctant or unable to teach. Although we believe that any parent is
capable of teaching a high school course at home, circumstances may
make this not feasible for one reason or another.

On the high school transcript, list the dual enrollment course by the
course title as given by the college, asterisk the course, and note on
the bottom of the transcript that the course was taken at "Name of
College, Anytown, USA." This allows readers of your transcript to be
aware that the course was a college level course. When noting credit
awarded for the class, in most cases, a one semester college course
will be equivalent to a yearlong one credit high school course.

In Conclusion

As we mentioned at the outset of this newsletter, it is of the utmost
importance to assess your teen's maturity and academic levels before
venturing into AP, CLEP or dual enrollment territory. If your teens
are not ready for such courses, then know that not taking these
courses will in no way hinder them from following the paths and
accomplishing the goals the Lord has prepared for them. Our intention
is to merely provide you with helpful information on the various ways
your teen may choose to earn college credit while a high schooler.

If you are a member of HSLDA and you have further questions regarding
AP, CLEP, or dual enrollment, simply call us or send us an email and
we will be happy to assist you. If you are not yet a member of HSLDA,
we invite you to join and receive all of the benefits of membership.

In June we look forward to discussing ways to prepare your teen for
the next season of his life following high school graduation. What
skills will aid him in being ready for the future?

Until then, in anticipation of Memorial Day at the end of the month,
we send out our deepest thanks and appreciation to all of our readers
who are military families. We are grateful for the sacrifices that
you make on a daily basis. We encourage everyone to keep these
families in your prayers.

With hearts full of gratitude,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

PHC Prep
Looking for Advanced Placement courses taught from a biblical
worldview? Check into Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy.

Catch Becky and Diane on The Homeschool Channel

Preparing Your Teen for College (Diane)

Developing a High School Plan (Diane)

Becky and Diane's Speaking Engagements

Christian Family Schools of San Diego, CA (Diane)
May 7-8, 2010

Christian Home Education Fellowship of Alabama, Gallant, AL (Becky)
May 14-15, 2010

Families in Support of Home Education, Fairfax, VA (Becky
June 8, 2010

Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, Des Moines, IA (Diane)
June 18-19, 2010

Valley Home Educators - Modesto, CA (Becky)
July 30-31, 2010

Quote of the month:
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." --Beverly Sills

-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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