How to give high school credit for WriteShop I and II

by | Jun 1, 2020 | High school, WriteShop I & II

Homeschooling parents often ask how they should give high school credit for WriteShop I and II.

Common Questions about High School Credit for WriteShop I and II

  • 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 finished both WriteShop I and II. How much credit can I expect to give?
  • 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 who has finished WriteShop I?

You may have one of these questions yourself! Keep reading to find the answers.

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.
Can homeschool parents give high school credit for WriteShop I and II? Here are three options, plus tips for giving high school credit to 7th & 8th graders.

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 add up to an extra 30-60 hours per level of WriteShop, qualifying each BOOK as a 1-credit course.

WriteShop I and II are great programs for teaching and reinforcing the steps of the writing process to your junior high and high schoolers. 

Step-by-step instructions and self-editing checklists help them grow in their independence. And detailed parent rubrics ensure that you’re assessing their writing objectively!

For more information on the WriteShop program for your junior high or high school student, check out this WriteShop I & II Overview. Or contact us if you’d like to ask specific questions about using WriteShop. We’re glad to help!

Should 7th and 8th Graders Get High School Credit?

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.

Some homeschool umbrellas allow 8th graders to get high school credit for a course that’s considered high school work. But make this call with care. Even though WriteShop may be used with students as young as 6th grade, it is the rare 12- or 13-year-old who can actually write at a high school level.

6 Comments

  1. Ann

    Thank you so much for addressing the high school credit before high school issue with such wisdom. I have said the same thing myself; the middle schooler (or younger) may be taking in high school level content, but they are probably not putting out high school level work. I will give credit for high school level math, foreign language, and science in 8th grade (although not younger), because those subjects are objectively graded and the student will either be able to do the work/provide the answers or he won’t. But for subjects like English and History, with higher level thought and writing, I do not feel comfortable giving high school credit younger than 9th grade.

    Reply
    • Kim Kautzer

      Thank you so much for weighing in, Ann. You hit the nail on the head regarding objectively graded subjects such as high school level math. (And I humbly apologize that I didn’t see your comment sooner. We had an email-notification glitch.)

      Reply
  2. Kim

    Good eye, Rebecca! You’re so right. It was a plain ol’ typo. Can’t believe no one else caught that before, but I’ve made the correction. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca

    Under “Know Your State’s Requirements”:
    “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 10 credits and 125 hours (one school year) for 5 credits. ”

    Isn’t that backwards…why would 65 hours give you 10 credits when 125 hours only give you 5 credits? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    Reply
  4. Kim

    Unfortunately, we won’t be at CHAP. Debbie is taking WriteShop to Arlington, TX that weekend, and I’m staying close to home to await the birth of my sixth darling grandbaby! :o)

    But if you want to preview WriteShop and can’t find it in your area, we do offer a 30-day return policy so that you have some time to pore over the material.

    ~Kim

    Reply
  5. Heidi

    Thanks for sharing this information. My daughter will be in 9th grade next year. I’ll have to look more closely at Write Shop. Will you be at the CHAP convention (in PA)?

    Reply

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