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Home > Academics and Advising > High School Planning > Discerning When to Take Honors Courses
Discerning When to Take Honors Courses
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Our advisors are often asked how families can appropriately discern if their high school student is ready to complete honors-level courses. We hope this article assists our families in this discernment.

Questions Parents Can Discern with Student:

  • Does the student have a desire to go into a certain field post-high school and taking an Honors level course now would assist them?
  • Is the student willing and able to put in the extra 2-3 hours (sometimes more) a week to do the extra Honors level work required?
    • See "Expected Online Hour Class Commitment" below.
  • How are the student's writing skills and learning speed?
    • Humanities Honors courses go deeper with more writing. The homeschool Honors courses require 8 essays each semester. The student will need both writing skills and speed.
    • Math/Science Honors courses go quicker, teach the whole book, and often leave out most review material from previous levels.
  • How are the student's grades?
    • Please note: Grades could mean the student can put forth excellent but is working a large number of hours to achieve that grade.
  • Do you typically amend your homeschool course plan for the student?
    • Please note: Honors courses do not allow the parent to change our course plans at all.
  • Do you prefer your student to be challenged in their learning, earning a B in a Honors course but learning additional content, or do you prefer your student to take the non-Honors course without the additional content and earn an A?

Expected Online Hour Class Commitment

This chart outlines the number of total hours required for courses offered online by Kolbe Academy for the average student. The hours include both in-class and out-of-class hours. It does not include breaks, and will vary by student ability, diligence, and focus.

Indications a Student Is Ready for Honors Courses:

  • Parent and or student notice student is bored with the material and need a challenge.
  • The student completes more than one lesson of math per day.
  • The student completes the whole math book when they are not required to.
  • The student is a quick writer and can handle the writing demands of an Honors Humanity course.

  • Speak with your advisor about your conclusion on if your student is prepared and can handle adding Honors level courses to their course registration.
  • The advisor might suggest:
    • Student registers in one Honors course in 8th grade, such as H Algebra 1, or one in 9th grade to test their success in Honors courses.
    • Student register for additional Honors courses the next school year if the student can successfully complete one Honors course.
    • Student takes an Honors level course in the Homeschool or Self-Paced/Plus format to allow the student the most flexibility of due dates. Online classes have the least flexibility with the pacing of assignments.

Note: All Kolbe Academy Honors and AP courses as well as all college courses earn an added value of 1.0 point in the weighted GPA.

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