Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

May I Enroll My Student in Only a Few Courses?


The needs of every family and student are different so Seton offers a full program or just a single course or two, to address a family’s particular needs.

Is it okay to enroll my children in only a few courses?

Yes, absolutely, you can enroll in only a single course or only a few courses. Families usually choose single courses for one of two reasons.

First, families sometimes choose single courses because even though they are mostly homeschooling on their own, they want a more formal program for some core subjects, such as math and language arts.

Second, parents often enroll in single courses when they do not have the particular expertise to teach a subject (such as advanced math, science, foreign language, or computer programming) and they want lesson plans, grading, and counseling available.

Although we think our full program is great and would love to see every student fully enrolled, we understand that the needs of every family and student are different. So, we’re here to help, whether with a full program or just a single course or two, to address a family’s particular needs.

Is it okay if I grade my children’s tests before I send them to Seton?

It certainly is a great idea for parents to look over or even grade their children’s tests. By looking over the test, you can usually see if the student has learned the material.

If a student clearly has not learned the material, then we would generally suggest that the student re-study the material and then take the test again if possible. (Retaking a test under such circumstances is not considered cheating as long as the retake is the student’s own work and reflects the student’s real ability.) Remember, the point of study is to learn, and if a student isn’t learning, then testing alone isn’t necessarily going to help.

Of course, a parent can simply submit a failing test for grading anyway. Most tests and assignments can be redone once after being submitted. In some cases, it might be a “wake up call” for a student to receive a poor grade to understand that he needs to put in more work on a specific subject.

Can my 8th-grade daughter do the schoolwork on her own? I am so busy with the younger children.

The ability to work independently varies widely from one student to the next, based upon ability, situation, and the specific courses being studied. An 8th-grade student who has been homeschooled for a few years should be able to do most of her work independently in most subjects; however, a student just starting to homeschool in 8th grade will likely need more direction.

We send detailed lesson plans for all the courses. The lesson plans are technically directed toward the parent, but any student who can follow simple directions should be able to use the lesson plans independently.

Of course, there may be subjects in which the student needs some direction and explanation of the material.

This is often true in math. For example, a student taking Algebra I may be perfectly capable of reading and studying the lessons, but some of the concepts are not easily understood, which would necessitate a parent (or other teachers) explaining and reviewing the concepts until the student understands what is being taught.

As in many areas of life, there is no set rule here, and what works best for each student and family will need to be determined through experience.

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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