High School Credits for College Preparatory

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  • csmamma

    I’ve been sketching out a general plan for my oldest ds’s highschool years. He is college bound, and beginning 9th grade studies this summer. Do most colleges have a general requirement for credits? Does the below sound pretty standard and reasonable?

    • English (including all language arts) 4 Credits / 4 years required. Ephasis on vocabulary and writing skills.
    • Mathematics (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Advanced Math) 3 Credits / Algebra and Geometry are generally required. Advanced Math is recommended.
    • Social Sciences (World History, World History, American Government, Economic) 3 Credits / One year courses in U.S. & World History required plus 1 year combo of Gov’t & Economics.
    • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) 3 Credits / Biology and Chemistry usually required. Lab work highly recommended.
    • Foreign Language 2 Credits / Two years same language – 4 years even better.
    • Fine Arst (Art, Music, Drama, Dance) 1 Credit / 1 year minimum – though I would like to add more in to educate the “whole child”.
    • Physical Education 1 Credit / 2 yrs- 0.5 credit each
    • Health 0.5 Credit
    • Electives (Keyboarding, Computer, Home Economics, etc) 3 Credits / Keyboarding & computer skills highly recommended

    I’m hoping this is a pretty safe course of study for college preparatory? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks & Blessings,



    Hi Heather,

    I think this looks great.  I was doing this last year and I looked at Calvin, Cornerstone, and Grand Valley’s requirements.  If I remember right , they were all pretty much the same.  Not that you are thinking of any of these schools but these are the ones in our area. I went to a class that handed out a sheet on MI requirements and they are as follows:

    English/Language Arts   4 credits

    Mathematics                 4 credits  (Alg. I, Geometry,Alg. II,1 additional math)

    Science                         3 credits  (Biology,Chem or Physics,1 additional science)

    Social Studies                3 credits  (.5 civics,.5Economics, 1 US History/geography, 1 World History/geogrpahy)

    Health/ PE                     1 credit   (.5 each)

    Visual,Performing,Applied Arts  1 credit

    World Languages            2 credits  ( this begins with class of 2016 )

    Online Learning Exp.        You may take a class for this or incorporate it into each of the required credits.


    Now, since you are home educating your students, I believe you set the requirements for graduation.  But you do need to think along the lines of college prep.  Looks like you are doing great! 



    PS We are doing Navigators this summer — Did you ever decide what you are doing for driver’s ed?

    Heather that is pretty close to what we have done with our daughters.  We have are doing 4 years of German, only because the girls want to, and we have one daughter who is doing 4 science courses and one who is doing 4 history courses.  We will have 3 main math credits and consumer math (math is not their interest), 5 language arts for one daughter as she has done an additional credit course and written a novel – so that would be a creative writing on top of her other language arts.  We also have a full year of geography for an elective.  I think 23-26 credits is a good amount to aim for.  Our electives are home ec, keyboarding/computer, driver’s ed, communication, music and art and then one daughter has done equine studies and the other a culinary arts course. For PE one daughter swims and one rides horses, and works out at the gym, though is unable at the moment because of her health.

    We have done most of the courses using a CM method except for math and science.  I have tried to incorporate their individual interests and desires when doing my plans.  One daughter loves history, so she has more of that in her schedule, the other loves writing and German, so she has more of that – I really have geared more to their interests now we are in the final years.

    I think if you follow the plan you have it will be fine, just make sure he has time for his special talents and interests – I think that is really important.  It is exciting and scary isn’t it?  Blessings,  Linda


    If competitive schools may be in your children’s future, I really recommend 4 credits of English, AND math, AND science, and three social science/history at least.  We are deep in college brochures/catalogs right now and a large number of the ones we have specifically state that successful candidates should have four credits of math and science.  And, if you will be interested in merit aid as well, the tougher schedule is really important.  I am on a homeschooling list of parents home educating to get into colleges and a large number of their kids have multiple credits in math and science–some as many as 6-8 each!  I don’t know that one needs to go THAT far 🙂 but I must say based on the information we are seeing that 4 credits of math and science are a real plus.  And for that foreign language–make sure that it is the SAME language for at least two credits. 

    In our particular case, both of our high schoolers are completing four credits each of math, English, science, and both will have at least four foreign language AND at least four social science/history (we are doing minimum one each on government, economics, world history, and American history, plus individual interests) My oldest is well on his way to racking up EIGHT foreign language credits, lol. 



    I have been reading and I cannot seem to find an answer to my question.  I am considering picking up the CM approach with my 9th grader but I am unclear as to how I can translate into a credit for the year.  We have used unit studies up until this year among other things, but I have never had to log things into a transcript for college like I have to do now.  How do I do these lessons and then grade, when there are no grades, and translate into a year’s work of stuff that I can prove to the proper people?  It just seems a little comfusing to me. BTW, I have homeschooled since the beginning – currently have a 7, 11, 13 y.o.


    Thank you so much ladies! You have been so helpful and given me more peace of mind.

    Suzq, I was going to check out our local college credits, but you did the hard work for me Wink – thank you! Also, we are still undecided about drivers ed. You’ll have to let me know how Navigators go.

    Linda, thanks so much for the reminder to leave room for special interests. You’re right its very exciting and scary Undecided!

    Michelle, thanks for the extra academic push! I really want my ds to be prepared. Yours must be one determined young man to be racking up all those foreign language credits Laughing.

    Hhnannies, I’m sorry I can’t answer your question directly as I too am asking these questions. Hopefully someone more knowledgable than myself can help you. God Bless!

    Thanks again! ~ Heather


    these schools but these are the ones in our area

    Suzq, we must be in the same area!! Laughing  I have a son starting 9th grade level now as well. 

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