5 Reasons To Use Notepacks for Your Highschooler

Convenient Way To Organize Information Across the Subjects. Notepacks can combine subjects to make an interesting follow-up project. With Literature, history, Science and art appreciation you can learn about the biography of an author more in depth, biography of a scientist or a timeline of inventions and  Art Appreciation–Information about the art time period, other artists working at the same time, biographies, and other influences on the artist.


Personalized Learning. Notepacks give students a place to record what they know and what they found interesting from their reading. Teenagers learn research skills as they ask their own questions and then find the answers.


Budget Friendly. With notepacks, there is no need for workbooks or fill in the blanks type pages you use up and don’t look at again. Notepacks can be used with multiple children, so no need to buy more than one per family.


Encourages Creativity. Using notepacks gives the opportunity for a balance of writing and artwork. Teens love the variety of ways that they can build a notepack page including drawing maps or diagrams, finding images to include, or copying quotes. 


Great for Review and Long-Term Retention of Information. Use notepacks to review before taking college testing such as the SAT or any type of college tests. Notepacks can also be used to refresh your memory as you build transcript records or high school portfolios.


I hope that these 5 tips help you to see why notepacks are a great resource for your budding high schooler. Use them to build a very put together high school portfolio.


How to Put Together a Homeschool High School Portfolio

Putting together a high school portfolio is fairly simple even for home-schooled students. Portfolios can be used to show what a student has learned and how the student has grown educationally over the course of their four high school years. A portfolio can be presented in a physical portfolio, but in this day and age, more students are choosing to present digital portfolios. Having a high school portfolio can help when searching for a job right out of high school or when applying for college.

First, decide between which type of portfolio you will be using. The benefit of an electronic portfolio is that it doesn’t require any special care to keep the contents safe from spills or damage. A downside is that some colleges and employers may not accept an electronic portfolio. A benefit of the physical portfolio is that it can be taken anywhere and shown to anyone who’s interested.


Next, you will want to select the works to go into the portfolio. Typically, a high school portfolio will contain work samples from all four years from various courses your child may have completed. Students may also want to include information on any volunteer experiences completed while in high school. Also, include any awards received while in school. 

Your student will want to organize the portfolio. It is best to organize the portfolio chronologically.  This will highlight how the student has grown over the years. Your student may decide to have the first page be their statement, the next page the resume. The following pages could be the student’s awards and accomplishments, volunteer experience and then work samples, all in chronological order.

Once the portfolio is complete, the student can begin using it at job interviews or when applying for college.


Are you looking for electives that you can use to add to your child’s portfolios? We have many options that we can offer you. Just send an email to sales@handsofachild.comwith “Highschool electives” in the subject line and we will do our best to direct you to the ones that will best fit your student’s portfolio file!

What Credits Will My Highschooler Need to Graduate?

During our Facebook party last week, one of the topics that kept coming up is “What if I forget to teach them something they need in order to graduate?” With that being said, we thought it would be a good idea to share what a general credit lineup looks like for a high school graduate.

There are no national standards–every state has its own minimum requirements–but the average number of credits needed to graduate is 20. Credits have to be distributed among math, science, languages, social studies and electives that include technology, physical education and art or music.


Most students have to earn four credits in math during high school. These credits are most earned for algebra I, algebra II, geometry and trigonometry. Other math courses like business math and calculus also count toward the requirement.


Students have to earn three or four credits in science. Courses that meet this requirement are biology I and II, chemistry, physics and earth and space science. Students might earn additional credits for science classes like Anatomy and Physiology.


High school seniors must earn four credits in English. Each credit represents one year of study in English grammar and literature in grades 9 through 12.

Foreign Language

Foreign language requirements vary. Students earn one credit for each year of study of a foreign language.

Social Studies

Students usually graduate with four credits earned in social studies courses. These include American and world history, civics, state history and geography.


Students can earn credits for elective courses that will count toward the overall number required. These include classes such as art or music appreciation, keyboarding, accounting, technology and physical education. Students earn a half-credit for classes that last one semester.


Now that you have a basis on what credits are needed, now you can map out what they need to do for their course of high school.

Using Project Packs as High School Credits

High school seniors must have credits in English, Math, Science, Social Studies and various electives to be able to graduate from high school. The exact number will be different according to the state, but generally ranges from 13 to 24 credits.

Did you know that our project packs make great portfolios for high school credits? We have many packs that can be used as semester electives which would look great on a transcript.


But first off, do you know how many credits are required in high school? Here is a general breakdown of a high school credit list:


Math–at least 3 credits (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry)

English—4 credits (English Grammar 1-4 plus literature)

Science– at least 3 credits (Biology 1 and 2 and Chemistry)

Social Studies– (American and World History and one civics or government class)

Foreign Language—2 credits (if your state requires it)

Electives—whatever credits remain must be taken as electives


Here are a few project packs that would be great for your high school student’s portfolio:


·       Consumer Math course (a great business math elective)

·       US Economics (a great refresher course)

·       Let’s Dance (used for art appreciation elective)

·       State Study (all students are required to do a study of their state)

·       Art Appreciation project pack

·       Human Reproduction (a great anatomy study)

·       Interior Design (could make a great careers elective)


There are many project packs that you can choose from to build a great portfolio for your child.


Have you started your portfolio yet? It’s never too late to start!