Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Can My Daughter Get an Explanation for her English Grade?


Dr. Mary Kay Clark has answers about Seton book reports, receiving explanations on graded high school papers, and focusing exercises for active learners.

I don’t think I can finish up my son’s lessons by June. Can I get an extension?

Your enrollment is for a full 12 months, beginning on your start date. For example, if you sign up in June, but don’t start schooling until September, you need to call for an extension only if you continue beyond the following September.

If you need to keep your son in the same grade beyond that, even for one course, please call the Seton Registrar at 540-636-1324 for an enrollment extension. You can also email registrar@setonhome.org your questions about extensions.

My son wants to read a different book for his book report. What should I tell him?

Unfortunately it’s not practical for Seton graders to read all the books students might like to read. Please explain to him that the books recommended in our lesson plans are books that Seton teachers have evaluated over the years and that Seton graders are prepared to grade reports on those books.

All of these chosen are recommended because they are rich with good qualities for Catholic students.

Will colleges accept students who have been homeschooled for high school?

Homeschooling is no longer new or unknown to colleges. In fact, since homeschool students tend to be good self-learners, most colleges are happy to accept them.

A good percentage of our students earn scholarships, so be sure to have your high school student take all the college entrance tests available, even taking tests two or three times to increase the score.

My boys don’t like to sit still for their bookwork. Any ideas?

Boys tend to be active learners. Give them some sort of activity while they are learning, such as writing while standing at a blackboard, going up and down stairs while memorizing math facts, bouncing a ball while repeating the parts of speech, whatever!

Have you noticed office workers now using stand-up desks? Children don’t need to sit while doing many of their assignments!

My youngest in Kindergarten seems bored, but I am busy with the older children. Have you any suggestions?

Consider having the older children take turns helping to teach your kindergarten child. An older daughter might like to help with sounding out the letters and shaping letters; an older son might like to help with basic math problems.

Give the “teachers” a little allowance or some sort of treat for being Mom’s Helper.

I never had the English courses like you have. Why are they important?

Many people think the English courses are not necessary unless one is going to become a writer, but Seton English courses develop correct thinking skills as well as correct writing skills. Your children may think they will never need to write an essay or a long report. However, everyone needs correct thinking skills or they will develop incorrect conclusions.

In today’s society, we see people voting for candidates with whom they don’t agree, but they don’t recognize the incorrect arguments. While religion is the most important course for students for understanding the teachings of the Catholic Church, the English courses are a close second in importance to recognize logical and correct thinking.

My daughter wants more of an explanation for her grade for high school English. Who can help her?

When it comes to answering questions for the English assignments and grades, it is best for students to send an email to ask the question. However, before the email is sent, I suggest that you or your husband take the time to go over the specific directions in the lesson plan with your daughter.

Sometimes students might assume a direction from the first quarter, for example, which may not apply to a different quarter.

Also, it would be worthwhile for your daughter to review the Introduction pages for the English course, and then discuss her daily English assignments with you before she does them each day.
Why cannot the grader accept my daughter’s opinion in her interpretation of a character in the story?

Unlike other courses, the answers for Literature or Book Reports are not always objective, but a matter of opinion which, however, must be supported by facts. The Literature courses and Book Reports demand a considerable amount of thinking skills which ultimately should develop a student’s ability to examine why a character acts in a certain way.

When students attend college, the professors do not insist the students agree with them, but the students need to give facts or evidence which would or could lead to a certain conclusion.

When may we contact Seton’s academic counselors?

The academic counselors are available from 9 am to 5:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, but not on national holidays. Other times, please leave a message which will be answered by the next available counselor.

Sending an email is suggested, as it is an accurate way to communicate both the question and answer.

As always, we do suggest that the student takes a good look at the directions, both in the Introduction to the course and the specifics of the assignment.

If a student phones and leaves a message, please ask him to speak slowly and repeat his name, phone number and ID number.

About Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Director of Seton for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark left Mater Dei Academy and began teaching her children at home at seeing firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of private schooling. Meet Dr. Clark | See her book
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