Our educational journey as a family began in British Columbia where we were registered homeschoolers. However, it was in Alberta that my first set of children (two older girls out of five) spent more years homeschooling traditionally. We found that the option for Traditional Home Education in Alberta suited our family’s educational goals and philosophy for raising our children. Although we found ourselves in the Philippines temporarily when they began their high school years (and where we continued to homeschool independently), we found ourselves back in Canada by the time they were to complete secondary school prior to university. And while the older of the two, having gotten here in her 12th grade year, did not have enough time to complete requirements for a BC high school diploma, the younger one still had two years to comply with graduation requirements locally. This post is meant to document how the latter transitioned from homeschooling purely to becoming an enrolled distributed learning student.
By 10th grade, second daughter had already gained the following US high school credits from our homeschooling traditionally since Kindergarten:
- Geometry – Math-U-See
- Algebra 1 – Math-U-See
- Algebra 2 – Intermediate Algebra 8th ed by Margaret L. Lial
- high school Biology – Exploring Creation with Biology 2nd ed by Jay L. Wile
- high school Chemistry – Exploring Creation with Chemistry 2nd ed by Jay L. Wile
- English 09 – Tapestry of Grace Year 4 literature (rhetoric), Classical Writing: Diogenes Maxim and Chreia, Revised Harvey’s Grammar
- Advanced Composition (online via The Potter’s School), Tapestry of Grace Year 1 rhetoric literature (at home)
- French 1 – BJU French 1 (online via The Potter’s School)
- US History (half credit) – Tapestry of Grace Year 4 history (rhetoric level)
- World History (half credit) – Tapestry of Grace Year 4 history (rhetoric)
- Ancient History – Tapestry of Grace Year 1 history (rhetoric)
- Church History (half credit) – Tapestry of Grace Year 4 worldview (rhetoric)
- Bible Survey credit – Tapestry of Grace Year 1 worldview (rhetoric level)
- Art credit – Artistic Pursuits Senior High Book 1
- Music credit – Suzuki piano (private lessons)
- Physical Education credit – tennis/swimming (private lessons)
*Standardized Testing – SAT II Literature
As a result of initial discussions with our BC curriculum consultant, the graduation planner below was drawn up to guide us through her last two years of high school. Courses we could go on with in 11th grade as planned are labeled “IP” while courses she could enrol in (at specified grade level) to meet requirements are labeled “P”.
Basically, although her past work in English and science were credited, it seems, in hindsight, that she had to study some math all over again (math courses here being more integrated). At that time, we were not clear what math track to take and ended up with Foundations of Math 11 that first year as a DL student. When we decided she should prepare in case she wanted to go into a science degree, she ended up having to complete both Precalculus 11 and Precalculus 12 in 12th grade. The resulting downside of this is we had to set aside AP Literature which she had planned for in her last year after AP English in 11th. Coursework for AP Psychology, math that needed to be completed, and the rest of the courses and provincial exam requirements already made for a heavy load for her senior year.
Obviously, she’s had to catch up with local social studies requirements (Socials 10 and Socials 11) and our non Canadian history work wasn’t credited (although all that world and US history gave her a better appreciation of Canadian history, I’m sure).
For all four subjects mentioned so far, she’s had to sit for provincial exams: English 10, Math 10 and English 12 in her junior year and Science 10 and Social Studies 11 in her senior year. French 1 which is equivalent to 9th grade French here did not count for a high school credit (high school here begins in Gr 10) but she continued on with French for two more years. Art and physical education credits were also counted.
According to the BC School Act, “distributed learning” is defined as “a method of instruction that relies primarily on indirect communication between students and teachers, including internet or other electronic-based delivery, teleconferencing, or correspondence.” As such, this child accomplished BC requirements through a combination of courses that were delivered online (through the school she was enrolled with as well as through cross-enrolment in cases where a course was not offered) and courses that were done using approved homeschool curricula (“individualised courses”) with output accountability to her teachers.
Here are the credits that were made official in Grade 11:
- Math 10 (challenge course and provincial exam)
- English 10, English 11 (challenge courses and provincial exam)
- Biology 11 (challenge course and final exam)
- Visual Arts 10: Drawing (term 1 of 11th grade)
- PE (with additional work throughout Grade 11)
Completing her junior year, she gained the following credits:
- Foundations of Math 11 – online course with DL school
- Biology 12 – Apologia Human Body 1st ed by Wile and Shannon (individualised course)
- English 12 – AP English via PA Homeschoolers online (AP exam and provincial exam)
- French 10 – BJU French 2 via The Potter’s School online (French 2)
- Social Studies 10 – Horizons Canada Moves West 1814-1915 (individualised course)
- Studio Arts 11: Painting – Artistic Pursuits Senior High Book 2 (term 2, individualised course)
- Planning 10 – online course with DL school
These credits in Grade 12 completed high school requirements:
- Precalculus 11 – online course with DL school (term 1)
- Precalculus 12 – online course with DL school (term 2)
- Science 10 – BC Science 10 (challenge course and provincial, term 1)
- Chemistry 11 – Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry 2nd ed by Wile (challenge course/final exam, term 2)
- Physics 11 – Apologia Exploring Creation with Physics 2nd ed by Wile
- French 11 – BJU French 2 (French 3) via The Potter’s School online
- Social Studies 11 – Counterpoints Exploring Canadian Issued (individualised course)
- AP Psychology – Psychology by David Myers via TLA online
- Art Foundations 12 – TLA online
- Graduation Transitions 12 – online course with DL school
By the time this daughter applied to universities, the credit for Chemistry 11 was not in place so she was lacking a science requirement to apply into UBC’s faculty of science. Needless to say, having to complete Grade 10 requirements these last couple of years didn’t allow her to take more than just one Grade 12 science course. In all the applications she sent (UBC, McGill, Concordia, and TWU), however, she was accepted into the faculty of arts. This may well be as this daughter has lately been leaning towards finishing with a degree in both English and Psychology (and looking forward to course work in these fields).
I am writing in the summer right after this daughter graduated high school. To date, she is set to attend McGill U in the fall with her older sister, gone there a year ahead of her. Although both children used the same US homeschool curricula for Biology and Chemistry, the older one took a more rigorous homeschool math route (Saxon and Art of Problem Solving) and had the time to complete more SAT exams (including the SAT I, SAT II Math, SAT II Literature) and AP courses (Computer Science aside from Psychology and English). This may be the reason the older was accepted into the faculty of science as a homeschooled student.
Whatever the case, I believe the education these two girls have received at home has prepared them well for university. My younger daughter may not have been able to take more science courses in time allowing her into the faculty of science in a university, but I have seen how the liberal arts heavy education she has received earlier on has given her the skills to tackle courses as a DL student in the last years of high school (and graduate with honors). And hopefully, her time in university will just be a continuation of that.