The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Transcripts



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Are you looking for tips for doing your teen's homeschool transcripts?  Or are you, a bit overwhelmed with the prospects of doing them, like I was?

When I thought of doing my own transcripts, I was more than a bit nervous....at first.  But talking with other moms who already had been there, done that..really helped me a lot.  And I was able to see a bunch of transcripts that they had put together for their teens.

My daughter is junior in college now, having graduated from our homeschool almost 3 springs ago.  That seems like yesterday...She was pleased to get accepted by each college that she applied to with scholarship offers.  Just sharing that as an encouragement….

I learned a lot from doing her transcripts and going through the college admissions process with her.  Knowing what to put on her homeschool transcripts was key to her getting into college.  

But transcripts are not just for college.  They show all the hard work and learning activities that your child has done, during their high school years at home, wherever their journey is after graduation.

"Preparing the homeschool transcript is anything but typical and normal because your journey was unique." Tina @ Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus 

 

Here are 10 key steps for doing your teen's transcripts, whether you are showcasing them to college admissions or to share with a trade school, community college, or a prospective employer. 

First, let's look at a definition of transcripts, from our friends at HSLDA:

"Transcripts are a record of the courses your child completed in high school, the credit he earned for each course, and each course's final grade. Transcripts also include personal information used for identification purposes and, usually, a grade point average (GPA)."  

So, to get started:

1.  What should be included in the homeschool transcript? 

The Homeschool Transcript

BJ's Guide to Transcripts

Your teen's transcripts are to include all courses and studies your student has done, in the home and out.  It is the place to compile all courses, including those from a community college. 

For college bound teens - Be sure to choose a name, like Johns Academy, instead of Learning and Growing School, as that helps to led a serious tone to your transcript, and that is what the colleges are looking for.

 --------------------What to Include----------------------------- 
  • School name and address, phone number 
  • Name of student, DOB
  • ALL courses from 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years, with grades and credits earned  (One year study = 1 high school credit.  One semester = 1/2 credit)
  • Add in any community college courses, dual enrollment, any online courses, etc, as the homeschool transcript should include everything taken, so the college can see it all in one place.
  • For those going to a 4 year college - Scores from SAT or ACT.  Chose the highest scores and list them on your transcript.
  • Student's graduation date and GPA - grade point average
  • Parent signature with a date.  

This list was compiled from HSLDA and Let's Homeschool High School, and taken from my post BJ's Guide to Doing Your Teen's Transcripts.  


2. What should the transcript look like?

Sample Transcripts

I liked looking at the samples.  That got me started on the right track and helped me see that was really not hard to make my own transcripts.  

I recommend putting your transcript all on one page, if possible. That is what the colleges are used to seeing.  


HSLDA High School-Transcripts also shares sample transcripts here.  

-  I also have a sample transcript in my book, which is based on the one that my daughter used when she applied to college.  

Also, activities, awards, and honor societies don't need to be on the transcript, as there will be space for those important things on the actual college application itself.  That is also helpful to the admissions folks.


3.  Where can I find free transcript forms?

Downloadable Forms

Tina has a Editable High School Transcript, with tons of helpful guidance, step by step, for how to fill it in.

-    Blank forms are available from HSLDA link here HSLDA High School-Transcripts.  Scroll down to HSLDA- Sample Transcriptand click on Blank Forms.

-    
Middle Way Mom shares how she used Homeschool Tracker to put together her daughter's transcript, another helpful resource, on The Online Homeschool Planner.

-    
If you want to add a reading list to your transcript, click on  Homeschool High School Recordkeeping: Reading List.   Amy @ Walking by the Way has a nice form for doing just that. 

-  I also have transcript forms included in my book and are downloadable for my e-book, if you want one that you can type into.

-  Subscribe to Annie and Everything to get her downloadable transcript form, which is a fillable PDF form. 


 4.  What about the GPA - grade point average?

Calculating the GPA

Here's a resource to help you to calculate your student's GPA> homeschool grade point average (GPA) from LHSHS.

GPA on the Homeschool Transcript - Weighted or Not -Vicki, from 7 Sisters, shares some helpful advice here, on weighted transcripts.

- I have a simple, easy to follow guide for calculating the GPA, and where to put that on your transcripts, in my book, below.



 5.  How about calculating credits?

For any high school courses, done at home, at co-op or online:

 One year of study = 1 high school credit.        
 One semester = 1/2 credit

For dual credit courses or straight college level courses:

Generally, a one-semester three-credit college course is equal to a year-long one-credit high school course.
(.....from my post on transcripts, here.)

Tina shows us how to log in credits for all the different types of learning that your teen might do...including volunteering, community projects, and internships, for example.  

Vicki, from 7 Sisters, shares many ways for your teens to earn credits in Homeschool Transcripts How to Earn Credits.


I also have a chapter in my book which shows and illustrates 3 ways to assign high school credit.  All of your teen's work counts, AND assigning credit it easy to do!

Let's stop, and take a breath, and hear some good news...

 

Homeschool transcripts are being widely accepted by the colleges, and many are even dropping their extra requirements for homeschoolers, or simplifying them.  One of the college in our state is now using CLEP to verify their homeschool transcripts, instead of asking for SAT subject tests or AP courses.  

More and more, homeschool transcripts are being readily accepted, especially when they include two things...strong reference letters and clear course descriptions.

6. What about course descriptions and reference letters?

Reference letters were key to my daughter getting accepted to the colleges on her list.  And they were not hard to deal with.

Usually the colleges ask for a counselor letter and a letter from a teacher, but that is simply because most of their applicants are  public school kids.

As homeschoolers, we can use teachers or counselors if our teen s have them, or other adults who know them well, such as coaches, a co-op teacher, etc.  We used the leader from my teen's Youth and Government program, a parent teacher, who had supervised her as a teacher's assistant, and one more.

Now re course descriptions - Not all colleges require them, but some of them do. They are not hard to write.  Listing the books, resources, unit studies, videos, etc that were used, and what you required for the course to be completed  such as essays, projects, etc - come together to makes up your course description.

Check out Chapter 8 of my book for more information and tips, including printables for college reference letters as well as  some for making your course descriptions.


7.  Where can I find free transcript forms?

Downloadable Forms

-  Homeschool High School How to Prepare THE Transcript - Tina has a wonderful Editable High School Transcript, with tons of helpful guidance, step by step, for how to make your teen's transcript.

-  Blank forms are available from HSLDA link here HSLDA High School-Transcripts.  Scroll down to HSLDA - Sample Transcriptand click on Blank Forms.

-   
Middle Way Mom shares how she used Homeschool Tracker to put together her daughter's transcript, another helpful resource, on The Online Homeschool Planner

  To add a reading list to your transcript, click on  Homeschool High School Recordkeeping: Reading List.  Amy @ Walking by the Way has a nice form for doing just that.  We did not include that, and were not asked for one from any of our colleges.

If you do choose to do a reading list, be sure to include any free reading books as well as literature, as the colleges want to see that your student is a well rounded individual.

What if you just want a little help with "what" to put "where" on your transcripts? 


 8.  Are there frugal resources for transcripts?



This post lists my favorite frugal resource for transcripts.  Sometimes it is nice to have a little help and let someone else compile the transcript for you.

Now that you know what needs to be included in your transcripts, are you wondering what courses need to be there as well?

9.  Are there certain courses that should be covered before graduation?

As homeschoolers, we do not need to follow the public school graduation requirements.  Did you know that?  Those are for public school kids.

Now, as far as graduation requirements for homeschoolers, ie, us…Most states give this decision to the homeschooling family.  

For example, in my state of WA, the parents choose which subjects to focus on, and decide when their student is ready to graduate. 

This means that a student going to a vocational institute after graduation, do not need to follow the same recommended courses for teens who will be headed to community college or a 4 year college.

Unless there are specific homeschool graudation requirements in your state, you are the one who decides what your teen needs to do to be ready for graduation.

But, catch this please - There are some states that do have specific requirements for homeschool graduation, so it is advisable to check with your state on that.  Let's Homeschool High School has a link, where you can look that up for your state. 

Here’s some more ideas on that - Vicki has a list of the suggested courses to be covered for high school, based on the 7 Sisters umbrella school general guidelines here -  Courses for Homeschooling High School What Needs to Be Covered

What if your child is headed to college?

10.  How about the college bound?  What courses should they be doing in high school?

Kids who are headed to college need to know what their specific college entrance requirements will be.  This will vary from college to college.  

Chapter one of my book discusses how to find out your teen's college entrance requirements.  They will help shape your college bound teen’s high school years.

More resources:


Tricia, from Hodgepodge, shares tips and resources for transcripts, based on her recent successful college application process for her eldest daughter in The Imperfect Homeschooler's Simple Guide to the College Search.  

Congratulations for having made it through the 10 steps to transcripts.  Now that you know how to do transcripts...pour a cup of coffee and savor it!  You deserve it!

Here is my book that I referred above.....

Kindle and Paperback 
PDF is at Educents

Here's a review of it by Amy, from  Rock Your Homeschool.  Just click the title to read Amy's review it if you like. 

My book is your guide to high school, including what you need to know to get started, how to assign high school credits, find good curricula, and research the requirements that your teen will need to graduate high school at home. 



In addition, it has 13 planning printables, to help you organize your high school, including a blank editable transcript form, ready for you to just fill in.



"Our author, Betsy Sproger has a very practical guide just for you! Betsy homeschooled her daughter all the way from preschool through high school - including homeschooling high school with college in mind.  Her daughter is attending college - her first choice."
...from Tricia Hodges of The Curriculum Choice.




 Good News!
Subscribers will get the first chapter free! 

Click here to get yours!



Have you seen Tricia Hodges's video courses in art yet?



Taught by a master artist, and offered by Tricia Hodges, mom of 5 blessings who are all homeschooled.  This is a full one year course, ideal for your teen who is interested in art.   Get your fine arts requirement done (for college bound teens) with this easy to use video course!  

Perfect for independent study! No need for a long list of supplies. Just get some paper and some chalk art pastels and you are ready!




Don't miss the other Ultimate Guides, by the veteran homeschoolers @ iHomeschool Network, full of resources and tips for you.  

Please share in the comments, any of your favorite high school resource that you have found. 


Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years



Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy


Betsy is mom to her now rising college senior, whom she homeschooled from preK through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

Want to stay in touch?


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