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Straighterline and my 10th Grader’s Spring Semester

Almost as an afterthought, when my 12th grader started using Straighterline this past semester, I decided to enroll my 10th grader- for just one month.  My goal was for them to share the textbook I’d just purchased for my older son.  Efficiency is always an important part of our budget.  They’d share the text, learn lessons together (mostly) and we’d assess after the first class.  (NOTE:  In our second month, Straighterline’s policy for books changed, and they started to include the eBook with each course’s tuition, so we ended up not spending anything on textbooks after the first month!)

You can read about the basics of using Straighterline in your homeschool, and how I picked their courses in my post. Straighterline Dissected: What to Take

For this post, I just want to provide a brief overview of what my son did, what we spent, and his outcome.  As you’ll see, the first month was so successful (earning 9 college credits) that I decided to continue for the duration of the semester (Dec-May).  You should know that he dedicated about 1-2 hours per day to his Straighterline course Monday-Friday as part of his regular school schedule.  He was able to complete his other homeschool courses (Chemistry with Lab, Consumer Math, and Building Thinking Skills) during another 1-2 hours each day.

As you read the schedule, I list each course and credit earned in the month that I purchased it, not the month he completed it.  Some courses were completed in a week, others in a month, and others took longer still.  As an example, Nutrition and American Government, courses he’d already taken in homeschool, took him only 1 week each, but writing-intensive courses like English Composition I & II took him about 7 weeks each.

As I write this, he enters his final month of the school year with Straighterline and me. We take a summer vacation, so I’m ready to wrap things up with our kids by Memorial Day.  He has completed everything except Chemistry and English II.  He has 3 more papers to write for English II and hasn’t started their chemistry course.  Since he’s been doing Chemistry with Lab all school year with me, I expect Straighterline’s General Chemistry I to go smoothly and take about 2 weeks.  Writing, for him, is a long and arduous process.  I expect he’ll struggle through until the very end.

Grades:  His grades have been fine.  Straighterline requires a minimum passing score of 70% for their courses, and he’s finished most of his courses in the mid-80’s.  His best course grade was English Composition I (100%) and his lowest course grade was Introduction to Psychology (79%).  Final course grades issued by Straighterline are based only on quizzes and exams (except composition and lab courses) so testing acumen is important if you want to score well.  Since these credits will only appear as “credit” on his college transcript, the final grades aren’t important to his GPA.  While I used his Straighterline courses to inform the grade I awarded him on his high school transcript, in most cases, the grades I gave him differed slightly.  (NOTE:  Since Straighterline is not a college, you never have to disclose any grades or credits earned/not earned through them.  Dual enrollment, on the other hand, requires full disclosure on college applications)


 

Breakdown of Costs & Credit

Month Class Cost Discounts Applied Credits Earned
December Membership

 

Introduction to Religion

Microbiology

Business Ethics

$99

 

$49

$25

$69

-$20 coupon

 

-$20 coupon

9
January Membership

 

Cultural Anthropology

Medical Terminology

Introduction to Nutrition

$99

 

$49

$49

$49

  9
February Membership

 

English Composition I

English Composition II

$99

 

$69

$69

  6
March Membership

 

Environmental Science

American Government

Introduction to Psychology

$99

 

$59

$59

$59

-$49 coupon 9
April Membership

 

Chemistry I

Introduction to Business

$99

 

$59

$59

-$50 coupon 6
May Membership $99  
  $1376

 

-$139 coupons

$1237

  39

The total we spent over 6 months was: $1237

Total credits earned:  39 

Breakdown average per month:  $206/month

The average price per credit:  $32/credit

What I liked best about his semester:

What I liked least about this semester:

And no, you don’t have to take the AP exam to list an AP course on your transcript.  Taking an AP course and AP exam are two separate things and you can do either or both if you like.   If you’re sure that the ACE credit offered via Straighterline will be counted by your target college, the AP exam won’t give you “extra” credit – you’ll only get credit for one, but if you’re unsure or just want to take the AP exam for some other reasons, you’ll want to make sure you do extra study for the AP exam and find a high school that allows homeschoolers to register. You’ll need to register no later than October of the year prior to testing. Read more about AP  Advanced Placement Exam (AP)

 

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