Honors credit is about applying the learning and creating something new. It’s about higher level thinking, processing and problem solving. It’s about group collaboration and student-initiated research.
Honors credit is not about doing every problem in the math book instead of just the evens or odds. It is not about the effort of trying really hard or doing the work earlier/in middle school. It’s not necessarily about which curriculum you use either.
If you’re going to count honors weight for any credit, you should be prepared to justify it. Some homeschool associations have specific policies that outline what they will approve as honors. Others will leave it to the parent to decide. Check with your association’s policies to find out more about designating honors.
If you enroll in a class that says it counts the course as “honors,” it’s still up to the parent to verify it’s really worth honors. Even a curriculum company may promote their product as “honors” level. These resources may not be using the correct meaning of the term. We have to be discerning for ourselves.
Class Ranking Guidlines
As an added service to our members, AHA is now calculating a student rank for all degree-seeking students in ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. Degree-seeking students include all students who will earn a high school diploma. Only non-degree students (special needs or those who will not be earning a high school diploma due to exceptionalities) will be excluded from the class rank. Because rank is based on student GPA’s, parents of high school students must send course titles and grades to the association on the appropriate form and include final copies of any necessary supporting materials to substantiate the designation of Honors, Advanced Placement, or Dual Enrollment (course descriptions and/or transcripts from issuing school or program). Parents who wish to have a course considered an honors-level course must submit the course description to be reviewed on or before October 1st before the course is taught to ascertain that the course meets the requirements of the honors-level designation. If they fail to submit the course description for review on or before October 1st, the course will not be accepted as honors-level work. If the student is taking a course at a co-op or through another program, the course or curriculum provider should be willing and able to help parents complete the course description and syllabus to provide the required support information. Parents are the ones who are finally responsible to provide the supporting information. Parents need to refer to the Honors Policy and Checklist to be sure the paperwork they provide contains all the required information. Do not send links to websites. For the purposes of ranking, all senior student course information and final numerical grades must be submitted by June 1st of the current school year. Students in ninth through eleventh grade must have their final course information submitted by June 1st . Students that are in ninth through twelfth grades who are members of AHA whose parents do not submit their numerical grades by the deadline will receive a GPA of 2.0 for the purposes of ranking for that school year. Additionally, the family’s membership will be placed on probationary status until the final course information is submitted. The ranking report is generated based upon our GPA calculations. Parents may request a personal report indicating their child’s rank. During the admissions process, we do not disclose the rank of students on the transcripts. However, rank is printed on the final official end of year transcript and it also available upon request. Although parent-generated transcripts are legal and all parents are welcome and encouraged to create their own transcripts, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SC CHE) requires that all students who qualify for the Palmetto Fellows or LIFE scholarships have transcripts that are reviewed and signed by their accountability association representative even if class rank is not used to determine eligibility. For those who need the association to create transcripts, allow at least three weeks for an initial transcript to be generated. You must watch your email and be sure to review and make any corrections as soon as possible. Transcripts requested after the deadlines may not be completed in time for submission to colleges. Keep in mind the additional time required for mailing the final official signed transcripts as faxes, emails, and copies of the final official transcript are not accepted by many colleges and will not be accepted for state-sponsored scholarships. Any fees associated with express, priority, or overnight mail will be the responsibility of the parent and must be paid in advance. Parents are welcome to create their own transcripts using their own format or one of the templates provided by AHA but they will not be signed or reviewed by the association representative unless the parent submits the completed template and necessary supporting documents.