For Homeschoolers

Assigning school credit for this Israel Experience

If you are a homeschooling family and are bringing a student or students, here is my recommendation for assigning high school credits for their time in Israel (even if they are not yet in high school).

Do the math: Traditionally, a public school year is made up of 180 school days with approximately 50 minutes per subject (or, about 150 “academic hours”) in order for the student to earn 1 high school academic credit for each subject. However, when one considers how much time is spent daily on non-academic issues, it is fair to conclude that approximately 100 academic hours should equal 1 academic credit.

Your children will be spending around 16 hours per day immersed in all aspects of historical and political experiences related to Israel and the Middle East (this figure assumes 8 hours of sleep per night). 16 hours per day times the number of days you will spend in the Land will give you an idea of the true number of hours your child will spend “studying” Israel and the Middle East. So, if you are in Israel 14 days, that will equate to a total of 224 hours, or well more than 1 credit. 20 days times 16 hours equates to over 300 hours, or 2-3 credits. The totals I am suggesting do not even include any time preparing for the trip.

As a homeschooling parent you are allowed to create course titles at will. When assigning credits to the courses you create, put the courses under the broad category of World History or Political Science. Below, I have suggested course titles from which you may choose. Reword them, or make up your own titles:

  • “Geo-politics of the Middle East”
  • “Historical and Modern Politics of Palestine”
  • “Ancient Biblical History and Archaeology of the Middle East”
  • “History of Ancient and Modern-day Israel”

Give a course description or descriptions based on what was actually done and how many credits you are awarding. Include whatever books you read or have read. Have your child write an essay on his/her experiences if you wish.

What if my child is not yet in high school? Children younger than high school age may earn the same high school credits through Advanced Placement. Simply wait until your child is in the high school grades and add the credits from this Experience to his/her 9th grade transcript.

This has been common practice among homeschoolers for years and is, also, in common use in private schools.

If you have further questions about assigning credits, don’t hesitate to ask.

Chris Davis

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