The Indiana Academic Standards have been raised to new heights with the 2007 adoption of the Core 40 Plan. On the one hand, I'm pleased to see that standards are being raised instead of lowered, but on the other hand, there'd better be an effort made to make sure Indiana students are fit for all this academic work: Back when I was teaching in our public schools, I frequently came across high school kids who could not read at their grade level. Or even, say, the third grade level. Nor could they write. It was very depressing, even when my female students used to try to cheer me up by dotting their i's with little hearts or smiley faces.
At any rate, the the ambitious Indiana Core 40 plan is outlined here. I found it very interesting, and I don't think it would be difficult to structure Meelyn's high school course work according to this plan. Truth be told, homeschooled students have such a wide variety of experiences that I don't think it would be impossible to exceed the Core 40 requirements.
Take physical education, for instance. Since Meelyn trains for the Mini-Marathon with her father, plus plays volleyball all through the summer and fall, I hardly think she's going to have a difficult time meeting that 2 credit hour phys ed requirement. She'll meet that per year if she keeps on going the way she's begun. And I know that what she's doing is a heck of a lot more meaningful than the "golf" I did in high school, where Nancy, Jennifer and I picked up our golf balls and threw them every time the coach's back was turned: he thought we had extreme talent. And let's not forget dodgeball, oh no no no no.
Literature also won't pose a problem. With me teaching two Shakespeare Workshops per year (I do hope to keep doing that), plus literature at ARCHES (I hope to keep doing that, too), plus whatever supplemental work we fit in at home, she'll be more than covered. Easily.
Indiana Academic Core 40 Standards
English/Language Arts -- 8 credits
Credits must include literature, composition and speech
Mathematics -- 4 credits
2 credits: Algebra I or Integrated Mathematics I
2 credits: any math course
Science -- 4 credits
2 credits: Biology I
2 credits: any science course
Social Studies -- 4 credits
2 credits: U.S. History
1 credit: U.S. Government
1 credit: any social studies course
Physical Education -- 2 credits
Health and Wellness -- 1 credit
Career Academic Sequence* -- 6 credits
Flex Credit -- 5 credits
To earn 5 Flex Credits a student must complete one of the following:
• Additional courses to extend the career academic sequence
• Courses involving workplace learning, which may include the following
o Career exploration internship
o Professional career internship
o Business cooperative experiences
o Cooperative family and consumer sciences
o Industrial cooperative education
o Interdisciplinary cooperative education
o Marketing field experience
• Advanced career-technical education, college credit.
• Additional courses in:
o Language Arts
o Social Studies
o World Languages
o Fine Arts
Electives** -- 6 credits
40 Total State Credits Required
* Career Academic Sequence – Selecting electives in a deliberate manner to take full advantage of career exploration and preparation opportunities.
** Specifies the number of electives required by the state. High school schedules provide time for many more electives during the high school years.
Schools may have additional local graduation requirements.
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