Issue 36 | December 7, 2012 | Featuring Caleb Henney

Newsletters Archive


Gumption: "Shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness."
This attribute is more and more sought after by college enrollment officers. To learn about what gumption looks like in a student's life, read about Caleb Henney below.  

INSIDE NARHS: Grading Courses

Students working in our program must receive final grades for their course work. Parents of homeschoolers may not be accustomed to giving grades. But a high school transcript must show course names, credits and grades for each subject completed. It is preferable to report grades in percentage form rather than letter form. However, if the home school transcript lists letters for grades, this is how we convert them:
A+ 100 %       B+ 89%       C+ 79%       D+ 69%
A 96%            B 86%          C 76%         D 66%
A- 92%           B- 82%        C- 72%        D- 62%
Grades below 60 will not earn credit. Low grades can be changed when the course is taken over again. We will replace the low grade with the higher grade.


Caleb started his scouting career at an Air Force base in England. A friend invited him to try Boy Scouts. To begin scouting in the area that Lord Robert Baden-Powell  started scouting is quite an honor. To walk, camp and grow in the same setting as Sir Robert (or B-P, as he is affectionately known) only separated by 100 years is memorable. Being a part of an international troop was a great learning experience for Caleb. He had the chance to camp on the Prime Meridian, the line that separates the Eastern and Western Hemispheres just outside of London; His tent was split between the two hemispheres. Because of his father's military stations, Caleb was able to travel through England, Scotland, Wales and Normandy in France. Uncle Sam transferred Caleb and his family in 2010 to the state of Utah, where he joined troop 146 as a First Class Scout. With the local culture emphasis on scouting, this opened many doors for Caleb. Leadership involved national and state park camping experiences. Living the scout law was a critical stepping-stone for Caleb to advance in rank and stature. His service to the community not only touched boy scouts but also his church and his neighborhood. He now has earned 36 merit badges and holds an Eagle Scout distinctive. Beyond scouting accomplishments, Caleb is busy with academic challenges having just completed 8.5 credits last year including robust courses like geometry, financial literacy, civics, and robotics among others. In his "spare time" he serves as a leader at AWANA. What you need to know is that Caleb has just finished his 9th grade year.

Now hear from a college enrollment director at the University of Washington,
Philip Ballinger, as reported in a November 22, 2012, article from the Yakima Herald Republic newspaper:
What does it take to be admitted to the University of Washington? If Philip Ballinger could boil it down to one word, it would be this: Gumption. He describes it as "salmon, swimming tirelessly against the current to meet their goals." Going with the flow is not sufficient to gain the admission nod from competitive universities. Ballinger led the school's transition from an admission system that selected students based solely on SAT or GPA scores to a more holistic system that introduced special weight on difficulty of classes that students take. It's a system that aims to admit students whose diverse backgrounds together offer what Ballinger calls a richness of experience. ' You have these students who must be a new species - they're astoundingly accomplished.'

Let me offer you a word of encouragement. What better setting is there than home schooling in which students have time to engage in rich experiences that eventually equip them to be astoundingly accomplished? Home schoolers have the edge because they have choices on how to spend their time in quality pursuits. Considering Caleb Henney's accomplishments so early in his high school career makes you figure that if he keeps this up, college enrollment officers will give him an eager nod. He has gumption.