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Creating An Excellent High School Transcript for Your Homeschool

Mother and son working at table

You are resolved to finally do something about that transcript you know you need to create for your student.

This is your year to see this resolution to completion. But where to start?

Making a high school transcript can sometimes feel daunting, but the good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can do it!

Transcripts For Homeschool High School: Procrastination Can Be Overcome

Transcripts are easiest if you keep them up to date as your student is completing their high school coursework.

However, you can still reconstruct it if you belong to procrastinators anonymous.

Mother and son working at table

Getting Started When You Feel Behind

  1. Pull out the box, drawer, or plastic container with all that homeschool paperwork and make a list of all the courses your student took.
  2. Then note their grade next to the course.
  3. Finally, try to gather as much supporting documentation as you can to show where you got your information.
  4. Don’t forget to check and see if any of the courses your student took while in junior high (or in some cases elementary) count as a high school credit.

Simple, right? Now for some caveats.

What If My Homeschool Student Did Some Unconventional Learning?

Everything your child learns “outside the box” is worth time and effort. All forms of education can be put into a box for a transcript.

How do you know what fits where?

Research the high school graduation requirements for your state. List them in a transcript template.

Then, as your student learns something new, masters a skill, or accomplishes a goal, see where this learning best fits the transcript.

Remember, much education overlaps subjects.

Once you begin to understand how much your high school student has accomplished, you will gain the confidence you need to create a high school transcript.

Maybe your student took an interest in a recent election. Include that study time in Civics or American Government.

Perhaps your student is enamored with cooking and aspires to become a chef. Math, economics, food chemistry, and more are a part of learning to operate a large-scale kitchen.

The examples are endless.

Let Your Homeschool Student In On The Transcript Fun

A great motivator for keeping up with transcript information is to introduce your student to what your state requires to earn a high school diploma. Ask for input on how best to reach each of the goals.

By having a stake in the results, students feel more in control of their future. Knowing what is expected can help pave the way for engaged learning and mindful creation of goals.

Different paths require different transcripts. If your student plans to head to college, a transcript heavy on college-prep courses is vital.

If, however, your student wishes to go straight into a chosen career, a transcript may be less important. Focusing on those subjects which lend themselves to the vocation in mind will help both you and your student solidify high school requirements.

College Requirements Can Affect Transcripts For Homeschoolers

Not only must you know your state requirements for a high school diploma, you should also discover what your student’s preferred college expects before admitting a homeschooled student.

Often, colleges request additional credits or coursework for homeschoolers. Be sure your student completes the necessary studies, then list these credits on the transcript.

How Berean Builders Can Help With High School Transcripts For Homeschoolers

We try to ease the transcription process by providing a scope and sequence document for all of our high school credit courses.

This allows you to easily determine the number of credits, lab credit eligibility, type of science, and honors credit eligibility on a single sheet of paper (might have to print two sided for some courses) and easily have something to keep with the transcript to support the credit.

You can find a scope-and-sequence example here: Discovering Design with Chemistry

You’ll find this type of document under Product Resources on each textbook on our site.

Chronological High School Transcripts

One common way to arrange a transcript is chronologically (sample shown here). In a chronological transcript, you report what was done each year, typically breaking the year into two semesters.

You then list the subjects studied, giving 0.5 credits for each semester it was studied. You also list the grades the student received for each semester.

Honors Classes

If a class was particularly rigorous, you can label it an “honors” course and give the student more credit for it. On the sample transcript, for example, notice that the honors English courses were worth twice the number of credits as the other courses. Instead of giving twice the number of credits, you can increase the value of the grade points, as described below.

Grade Points

Grade points allow you to keep a numerical average of your student’s grades. You give 4 points for an A, 3 points for a B, 2 points for a C, and 1 point for a D. For an honors course, you can make the number of credits the same as all the other courses but increase the grade point values by 1, so that an A is worth 5 points. To report the grade points earned, multiply the number value of the grade times the credit. In the sample transcript, for example, the student got an “A” in English 9A, which was worth 0.5 credits. Her grade points earned for that course are 4×0.5 = 2.

Add all the grade points calculated in that way to get the total grade points for the year. Divide those by the number of credits earned, and that gives you the grade point average, or GPA. It usually runs between 0 and 4, but if you are giving extra grade points for honors courses, it is possible for the student’s GPA to be above 4.

You repeat this process each year, reporting the yearly grade points, the yearly credits, and the yearly GPA. However, you also keep a running total, reporting the cumulative credits, the cumulative grade points, and the cumulative GPA.

Outside Classes

It is important to note any courses taken outside the homeschool, where another teacher evaluates the student. On the sample transcript, for example, note the star next to the French and psychology courses in the third and fourth years. At the bottom, the transcript notes that the star indicates that the courses were taken at a local university.

Graduation Requirements

It is also important to make a list of requirements for graduation, because college admissions officers are used to seeing it. On the sample transcript, it is noted that 24 credits are required for graduation, which is rather standard when 0.5 credits are given per class per semester. It is also noted there that the student earned 29.5, which is more than enough for graduation, so it is noted that the student has met that requirement.

Below the credit requirement is a detailed list of “core” classes you require for graduation. These are the classes you have decided the student must take in high school. On the sample transcript, the requirements are listed, along with a note by each requirement that the student has met the specific requirement.

You need to end your transcript with a statement such as the one given in the sample. It indicates who was principally in charge of homeschooling and that the transcript is a fair an accurate assessment of the student’s abilities. Once again, this is important, because college admissions officers are looking for it.

Transcripts Arranged By Subject

There are two other issues that need to be addressed. First, you don’t have to arrange your transcript chronologically. You can do it by subject, as shown here. In this case, you typically list year-long courses only once, with 1.0 credit given. Honors courses can have up to 2.0 credits per year. If it is a year-long course, a single grade for the year is given. In addition, there is no running total of grade points and credits. There is just a final total for each, leading to a final GPA.

Classes Taken Before High School

Some students are advanced and take high-school-level courses earlier than when they are technically in high school. These classes should be listed on the transcript. If your transcript is chronological, begin it with a table entitled, “High School Courses Taken Early as Part of an Accelerated Program.” If the transcript is arranged by subject, they are just included with all the other courses.

Lee Binz, a terrific resource and help for homeschoolers, has information regarding  transcript preparation.

View it here: Homeschool Transcript Template.

She also offers a paid service to help prepare your transcript.

Making a high school transcript is one resolution you can definitely keep this school year!

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