High School Botany

For those students who do not need advanced science on their transcript for their decided major, I have a great junior or senior science course that is also fun. This year we decided to include Botany for science because my son loves to garden. He basically runs our garden; planting it, weeding it, harvesting, and taking care of both pests and nutrients.

I searched around mainly for some type of course that would offer me a way to give him a “grade” for his transcript. I mainly wanted to be able to give him the quizzes and tests and record the grades, but also fill in the gaps that he might not have gotten from just taking care of the garden.

In searching I found that 99% of the botany curricula out there is written for elementary and is very minimal and basic at best. They didn’t dig into soil pH or pesticides, organics, or any of the actual scientific meat of botany. Finally, however, I found a great botany book for high school, Botany Adventure by Kym Wright. Best of all it sells for less than $20!

This book is a unit study format, but has great labs, and research guidance. There is no textbook for your student to read and then quiz them on. Instead, each chapter is on a different topic of botany with a series of questions that the student has to research and answer on their own. This is coupled with labs and worksheets to flesh out the material they are researching. Depending on the questions, I assigned anywhere from 3 – 10 per day for 2 days /week. That gives my student plenty of time to research and respond. In the below sample, you can see these are NOT elementary questions and these are some of the easy ones!

I added daily grades to his grade book from the research questions and quiz grades from the lab sheets. Occasionally I would use the flash cards as a quiz as well. At the end of the book are 4 lab sheets that cover the majority of the material to be mastered. These are each used twice, once for review after each quarter of the book (semester test) and again as a final exam.

Included in the book is a grid of lesson plans, chapter questions, flashcards for the various items they have to memorize, vocabulary words for each chapter, and lab sheets. The lab sheets vary from microscope work to labeling parts plants, to vocabulary crossword puzzles. It is a very well thought out curriculum for a high school credit and meets all the criteria for a rigorous botany education.

In addition to this book, I added a botany coloring book (adult level) that adds an element of study and can stand in for some of the research questions. Instead of having to look up the parts of the flower/plant cell/etc. I had my student do the corresponding coloring book pages. It was less than $20 as well. You can click the image below to find it on Amazon.

Cathy Duffy has done a review on the botany unit study book. I have posted the link below for your convenience.

Botany Adventure Review by Cathy Duffy

I hope you learned something and that I provided resource information you may have needed! Feel free to forward these posts to your other homeschool friends who might be looking for this!

Praying for y’all!

High School Pdf Transcript

Hi all! As promised I am posting a pdf transcript that you can edit and print. It does not do calculations so you will have to do those things yourself. So let me explain how those things work. First type in all the pertinent information from graduation date to school information and student information. Social security numbers are not required on transcripts. That is only required for financial aid applications.

Course Information

If you have an AP or Honors class you need to type it like the below examples.
Example- AP: Calculus AB
Example- Honors: Apologia Biology 1(2nd Edition)

This makes it easier for the college to identify those classes. How do you know if a course is an AP or Honors? In order to claim AP credit your child must have taken an AP test and passed it. It is not enough to take the AP course. In fact you don’t have to take an AP course, just the AP test to get AP credit for it. AP tests can also count as college credit so they don’t have to take that class their freshman year. Check with the colleges you are applying to see what applies.

Honors courses are harder to determine. Some curriculums by default are considered “Honors” because of the rigor of the curriculum. If you complete the textbook and all the activities (worksheets & assignments) then it is an honors course. Two well known brands are Apologia and Saxon. Anything by those publishers are considered honors courses (if you complete the coursework – you might need to keep the tests to show it). However you can adapt any course to be an honors course. The requirement is 120 hours of documented coursework.

The reason this is important is that an AP course gets an extra 1 point on the GPA. So an “A” in an AP course is a 5.0. An honors course gets an additional .5 of credit so a “B” in an honors course gets a 3.5 GPA.

All other classes just type in a general description of the course. For instance Algebra 1, Biology, US History, etc. You do not need to extrapolate on the publisher and edition UNLESS you are going for that honors credit.

In the example below I have already typed in the classes my student took in grade 9 and the final averages for each. Next type in the credit for each class. Typically a one semester course is .5 of a credit and a full year is 1 credit. In the example below, my student only took piano for about 5 months and decided it wasn’t for them. But I am giving them credit for the effort because they did well while in the class. Other examples of half credits are 1 semester of Health and 1 semester of Physical Education.

Now we get to the calculations. Your GPA is determined by the grade scale. Mississippi uses a 10 point grade scale as depicted on the bottom of the page. You can edit this if you prefer.

So the above courses of study would end up with the below credits.

In a pass/fail class “Pass” = 4.0 and “Fail” = 0. Now we do the average. Add up and average all the grades and ignore the pass course.
Add the credits (even the pass class) which equals 6.5.
Now to average the GPA. This is harder. The pass class is again ignored.

Each GPA is multiplied times the credit it receives and then it’s averaged by the total credits (minus the pass class).

Total number of credits minus the pass/fail class. 6.5 – .5 = 6 That is the number we’ll divide by.

(4.0 * 1) + (4.0 * 1) + (3.0 * 1) + (2.0 * 1) + (3.0 * .5) + (4.0 * .5) = 19.5 / 6 = 3.25 GPA

Whew!!! Do that for each year of high school and then you get to the really fun part. This is why the other post was a self calculating excel spreadsheet. It does all this for you!

Summary by Grade

After you have each year entered you update the summary box. I am going to give you a sample set of final rows so you can see it for yourself.

9th Final AVG – 89 Credits – 6.5 GPA – 3.25
10th Final AVG – 90 Credits – 6.0 GPA – 3.45
11th Final AVG – 91 Credits – 6.5 GPA – 3.54
12th Final AVG – 91 Credits – 6.0 GPA – 3.67
(keep in mind that when you start sending out transcripts in the fall of their senior year, you won’t actually have averages or GPAs for that year, only a course list and potential credits.)

The first one is easy you just type in the 9th grade final row.

For 10th grade you add the AVGs for years 9 and 10 and divide by 2. Add the GPAs for years 9 and 10 and divide by 2. Type in the total credits including “pass” classes.

For 11th grade, Add the average grades from each year and divide by 3. Add the GPAs from each year and divide by 3. Type the total credits earned.

The reason I am spelling it out so specifically is that you might be tempted to just add the 11th grade GPA to the 10th Cumulative GPA and divide by 2, but you will not get a cumulative GPA that way. Cumulative in this use means evenly distributed between the years of information gathered. So each year has to be added on its own merit and averaged equally.

NOTE: For the 12th grade year add all 4 averages and divide by 4. Add all 4 GPAs and divide by 4.

Cumulative Summary (9th – 12th)

Finally this summary puts all the years of work together in one final number. Enter the total of all credits first. Simply add the Credits earned across the bottom of the Summary by Grade. In the second box, “GPA Credits,” you must add the credits that were not “pass” classes.

GPA points are the total number of weighted GPA points for classes with grades. So you will have to manually multiply the credit for each class that had a numeric grade by the GPA point it received and then add those up.

The final GPA is the GPA Points divided by the GPA credits.

With that you are done! The below link is for this pdf file. I strongly urge you to use the excel spreadsheet if you can. It does all this for you without the headache. I think you can save the excel transcript file to google docs and open it as a spreadsheet without having excel on your computer but, I have not tried it. Good luck and I am more than happy to help you figure it out if you get stuck!

HS Transcript

There have been several parents asking about transcripts. I am posting a self calculating High School transcript below in excel. All you have to do is type in your information and courses for each year 9-12, the final grade for each course, and the credits earned. If you have had an honors course type Honors: before the course name and the spreadsheet will automatically include the .5 additional GPA credit for an honors course. If you have had a certified AP course and they passed the AP test, type AP: and the course name and enter the final test grade for the AP test. It will automatically add in the addition 1 point GPA for the course. The link is below.

If you have any questions about the file, please contact me at trobinson@nmhea.org.

2020 Curriculum Sale

This year has been a doozy hasn’t it? Covid-19 self quarantine, murder hornets, riots; that’s quite a lot and plenty to derail our sale. However God makes a way and He made one by providing us another venue. We’ll be setting up in the parking lot of Grace Bible Church in Olive Branch, June 20th from 9am – 1pm.

You can register to sell your curriculum at ConsignYourBooks.com. Curriculum is sorted by subject and grade for the sake of quick and easy shopping. This comes in handy when the sale is a one day only, four hour sale. You will immediately know if the curriculum you want is available.



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Curriculum Sale 2020

You will be able to use cash or credit/debit cards at this sale, but no checks will be accepted.

Drop off locations will be outdoors as well and you will be required to print and bring your check in documents (Inventory list, by Item #) with you as we will not have access to a printer to print your docs when you get there.

You may enter and edit inventory until June 17th at Midnight. After that all access will be shut down so we can prep the system for the sale.

We will not require that masks be worn to this sale as it is outdoors, but if it makes you feel safer, feel free to wear one. Also if you feel sick or have come in contact with someone who has the coronavirus and cannot send someone to shop for you, please wear a mask. We trust everyone to make their own decision on this issue and we will not question that decision.

We look forward to seeing you at the sale and hope you consign your curriculum with us this year! Prayers for all of our members, consignors, and shoppers!