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High School Courses and High School Credits

High School Courses and High School Credits


Typical High School Program

Hawaii’s homeschool Law, Chapter 12 Compulsory Attendance Exceptions, does not require homeschool high school students to meet the Department of Education’s graduation requirements.  This means parents can customize their teen’s high school program.  What a blessing!

That being said, guidelines are often helpful – below is a typical high school program.

Core academic courses generally include:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 3-4 credits of History/Social Sciences
  • 3-4 credits of Math
  • 3-4 credits of Science with lab
  • 2-4 credits of foreign language

Core academic courses total 16 – 20 credits.  //www.christianhomeschoolersofhawaii.org/w/index.php/mapping-out-the-…h-school-courses/


Electives are also part of the high school program and should be included each year to supplement the core courses.  These courses provide a well-rounded high school experience.  Life skills (such as home economics or computer skills) as well as areas of interest (such as music, art, physical education) are possible elective courses.  Courses that reflect your teen’s future plans should also be considered as electives.  If college is in the horizon, perhaps a SAT prep course would be helpful.  If your teen is planning to enter the workforce, an elective in financial management may be a wise choice.

Elective courses total 7-9 credits when credits for physical education, health, fine arts are counted with the elective credits.  //www.christianhomeschoolersofhawaii.org/w/index.php/mapping-out-the-…h-school-courses/

High School Credits

Once you have determined the courses for your high schooler, you will need to evaluate the credits for each course.  This is especially important when putting together your teen’s high school transcripts (to be discussed in another article).

High school level texts written by a reputable publisher for the academic courses are meant to be completed in one school year and considered to be one credit.  So, generally speaking, you can assign one credit for a one year course when your teen completes the program.  (Note some flexibility here – completion does not necessarily mean you need to assign every question or problem but that a majority of the material has been covered.)


If you are using a unit study or an integrated curriculum, consider logging the hours your student spends to complete the work.  One credit is about 150 – 180 hours for the core academic courses such as English, history or lab sciences.  While it may not be necessary to document very minute, a comfortable rule of thumb would be 50 – 60 minutes per day, 5 days a week, for 30 – 36 weeks of instruction.  That equates to 150 – 180 hours for 1 credit and 75 – 90 hours for a ½ credit.

For the elective non-academic courses, consider assigning 1 credit for 120 hours.  Likewise, you would assign a ½ credit for 60 hours.  Remember – use hours just as guidelines.

You want to be sure your high schooler is doing high school work.  Don’t short change your teen by assigning a credit if it is not rightfully earned.

College courses

If your teen is enrolled in a community college, keep in mind that a one semester college course is comparable to a one year high school course.  Therefore, if your child takes a foreign language class, e.g. Japanese 101 for one semester at the community college and earns 3 college credits, this is comparable to satisfying a full-year, one-credit high school course.  College credits are determined by hours of instruction and don’t equate to high school credits.

Email CHOH if you have any questions.  We are here to serve you!