Combining for Electives only in High School

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sahervey
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Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by sahervey » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:24 am

I am wondering if I should combine my highschoolers for electives next year or if there's any benefit to that. My son will be 9th grade, doing WG. My daughter will be 10th grade, doing WH. So, my 9th grader would skip Religion and Cultures and Logic, to do Fine Arts and Health with his older sister. She's already done the R&C study and Logic (is doing this year). I would then have him do those two credits as a senior since he will have done all the rest of the electives alongside his sister. The bonus would be that by that time, his younger brother would be in 9th grade, so he could do those with him. Would there be any benefit to this or would it be more of a headache, do you think?
Amy
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LynnH
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by LynnH » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:36 pm

Honestly I think it would be a big hassle plus then the electives don't connect as well. I think Religions and Cultures makes a lot more sense when done with the World Geography and I think Health coincides very well with Biology. You also loose the balance and flow of the guide. Their days might also be more lopsided time wise. I truly can't see any benefit to combining the electives and several negatives.
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Tiffini
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by Tiffini » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:17 pm

I agree with Lynn. The electives are planned very carefully to coincide with the rest of the studies for the year. For instance, in the US History Guide I am doing now, the Constitutional Literacy and Government electives match perfectly with the time period being studied. I wouldn't want to mess with the balance and flow! I think a lot would be missed that way. :)
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
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8arrows
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by 8arrows » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:35 pm

I am going to disagree with a couple of the posters above and say that you have a great idea. Of course, your plan is exactly what I do, so of course I would agree. I am just not able to keep up with everything unless some of my kids are combined. Electives are a simple way to streamline with high schoolers, plus you get great discussions going within the family. I combine as much as I can or chaos erupts.
Melissa, wife to Jim for 28 years
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Isaiah 40:11 ...He gently leads those that have young.

Gwenny
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by Gwenny » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:14 am

Haha, 8arrows, you are so funny! We love to have different ideas flowing out there! I love that you are willing to come from the other side. :)

I would tend to agree with most of the others, that it will interrupt the flow. Things working together is such a great benefit of the curriculum. Also, by the time the son is a senior, who knows what will be going on by then as to getting back to do those things with the new 9th grader. I think it depends on why sahervey wants to have them do them together. Just for them to be together for something, because chaos is erupting at her house like it would at 8arrows, or just to shorten her time in something?

Great question!
Nancy
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sahervey
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by sahervey » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:55 am

Between this post and the FB one, you guys weren't much help....haha! Sounds like it's pretty split. I totally understand how it would flow better as written. I need to pray about it some more. It's a tough decision. I like the idea of them being together to allow for more discussion though. Sometimes when we sit down with all four kids, it's hard to keep up with all the things we'd like to keep up with and discuss.

Thanks for all of your input though. I appreciate your thoughts.
Amy
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Carrie
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Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by Carrie » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:27 am

Amy,

While I can definitely see the reasons why you would be considering combining for electives, I also wanted to add a few thoughts that may help as you ponder what is right for your family. From a typical school perspective, electives are often just what they are named.. elective credits ... or credits that your student (or you as the parent) elect to include which typcially are not as necessary or as important as the required coursework. While this is true within HOD as well, the unique aspect of the elective credits within each HOD guide are that they are also designed to complement or enchance credits already being earned in the rest of the guide. This means that they were specifically chosen to be done in a certain year of study because they are more meaningful when combined with the other learning within the guide (due to subject content, or time period, or topic, or previous knowledge that we desire to the student to have exposure to prior to completing the elective). :D

For example, the World Religion and Culture's study will make much more sense and contain deeper connections when completed alongside the World Geography study. The two courses were written to complement one another. This foundation in world religions and cultures is also hugely helpful to have prior to progressing into World History the following year.

Another example is the health study in the World History Guide. This study was written alongside the Biology study, because the two courses complement each other very well. I also wouldn't want a child below the World History level to study the Health too early, as it contains many mature topics that are better suited for an older student who is also currently studying the content within a biology course. :D

The Fine Arts study in the World History guide pairs very well with the study of World History. This is because study of the art and artists makes so much more sense within the framework of the study of history.

Yet another example is the Government and Constitutational Literacy credits within the new US1 guide. The Constituational Literacy credit is very challenging and definitely needs the Government study alongside it in order to make sense of what is being studied about the Constitution and the law. Both have overlap with the U.S. History study, and so together the three work to provide a fuller picture of the formation and governing of our nation. 8)

Another aspect of elective credit that is different in HOD is that the credits get progressively more difficult as the student's critical thinking abilities, maturity, and level of academic skills rise. This is an often overlooked aspect when selecting electives, but in HOD it is very important.

For example, the Logic study within the World Geography guide is scheduled at a time when students are ready to think more critically and logically. The fallacies students learn to spot in this guide are excellent training in how to think sequentially and logically, which is of benefit as students progress in the guides into more assignments that require these skills. :D

The World Religion and Culture's credit in the first year of study is meant to be easier than the Fine Arts and Health credits that are in the second year of study. The Government and Constitutional Literacy credits are meant to be much more challenging than the previous credits, which is why they are scheduled within the third year of study. Students below the third year of study would find these courses quite difficult, without first gaining the skills and knowledge within the World History guide (of various governments and types of law in past history - and their positives and negatives - and resulting successes or failures.) :wink:

So, within HOD, credits such as these are selected to rise in difficulty and to connect to other subjects scheduled within the guide. To do these credits out of order means that the harder credits may be done before we planned and that easier credits may be done later than we planned. It also means that the connections and foundation we are planning for the student to have will not be there.

The last thing to consider is the balance within each guide and the role that the elective credits play within that balance. Just as within any other HOD guide, all areas within the high school HOD guides are designed to complement and balance one another in reading level, quantity of pages, whether or not DVD viewing is included, the involvement level of the parent in the subject, the amount of writing required to complete the subject, and the way the assessments are handled. When courses are shifted from one guide to another this balance is affected.

So, while you can certainly do as desired with these credits, when writing the guide it was not my intention that the elective credits be used out of order for those reasons. It is no different in high school, with HOD, then it is with previous guides in borrowing subjects from one guide to add to another. It would honestly be easier to borrow a language arts, math, or science credit from another guide than it would be to shift around many of the elective credits. :wink:

I do realize that for some families coming late to HOD, or for those families who need only certain specific credits for graduation, there may be more tweaking involved to get the needed credits. In those situations, my advice would differ in order to help the families get the credits they need in the least confusing way. I was thinking though, based on what you'd shared thus far, that wasn't the situation you were asking about for your family.

Blessings,
Carrie

sahervey
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:46 pm

Re: Combining for Electives only in High School

Post by sahervey » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:58 am

Carrie, I was hoping you'd chime in. I appreciate your detailed answer. I've got more to consider now for keeping it as written. Thanks so much!
Amy
Married to a Navy Chaplain
Mom to 4: Addie, Joel, Silas, and Lincoln
AH2
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