FAQ: Giving high school credit
Some of the most popular questions we receive in our mailbag regard assigning high school credit for WriteShop I or II.
Common Questions about High School Credit
- Is WriteShop I considered an English course?
- My daughter will be starting WriteShop II. Would this count for high school English credit?
- My 10th grader has almost completed both WriteShop I and II. How much credit can I expect to assign him?
- I’m teaching a WriteShop co-op class. How much credit should enrolled high schoolers receive?
- Can I give high school credit to my 7th grader upon completion of WriteShop I?
Know Your State’s Requirements
A course can be content- or hours-based. Your student must complete a prescribed course of study or log a certain number of hours to receive credit. And requirements for high school credits differ from state to state. For hours-based courses:
- In many parts of the United States, a semester of study (65 hours) equals 1/2 credit and one school year (125 hours) equals 1 credit.
- California requires a student to invest 65 hours (one semester) to receive 5 credits and 125 hours (one school year) for 10 credits.
Options for Assigning High School Credit
Option 1: 1/2-Credit Composition Elective
- Based on hours alone, WriteShop I or II qualifies as a one-semester, stand-alone composition elective, separate from English or other language arts credits.
- The average student spends about 4-5 hours on each lesson (more in WriteShop II), or 64-80 hours per WriteShop level. If your student completes both books in one school year, you could consider each semester a 1/2-credit composition elective.
Option 2: 1-Credit Complete English Course
- WriteShop assignments may be figured into a student’s total language arts or English grade (along with literature, grammar, and/or vocabulary).
- One WriteShop level, plus grade-appropriate grammar and literature, would together comprise a 1-credit English course.
- Since most students will spend about 65 hours completing one WriteShop book, we recommend that you give writing (WriteShop) at least 50% weight when determining your child’s grade.
Option 3: 1-Credit Composition Elective – Co-op Class
- Many students are enrolled in WriteShop co-op classes. Depending on class length and frequency, a class effectively adds 1-2 more hours per lesson to the 4-5 hours a student spends at home.
- This can amount to an extra 30-60 hours per level of WriteShop, which would make each BOOK qualify as a 1-credit course.
7th and 8th Graders
When my son took WriteShop II in 8th grade, I did not give him high school credit. He worked hard and wrote decent compositions and essays, but he needed a great deal of help from me and certainly did not produce what I considered high-school quality writing. He wrote like a junior higher.
On the other hand, a 10th grader working through the same book is 1) actually in high school; and 2) more likely to write compositions that reflect his or her age and maturity.
So even though some homeschool umbrella schools or ISPs will allow an 8th grader to get high school credit for a course that is considered high school work, please make this call with care. Remember that even though WriteShop may be used with students as young as 6th grade, it is the rare 12- or 13-year-old indeed who can actually write at the high school level.
For more information on the WriteShop program for your junior high or high school student, visit writeshop.com. Or give us a call if you’d like to ask specific questions about using WriteShop. Debbie and I are glad to help!