Homeschooling high schoolers and preparing them for college can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Yes, you need to do your homework and find out what your child needs to learn to successfully complete a high school program, but with the help of the internet (and other homeschoolers), you'll find a variety of resources to guide your through this educational milestone. If your child plans to continue onto college, you will need to be able to provide a high school transcript documenting courses taken, grades earned, and achievement test results. (Even if your child isn't planning on going to college, it's a good idea to document his or her coursework.)
Preparing a high school transcript can be time consuming, so keeping good records from the start is the key. Begin planning your child's high school courses and preparing your child's transcript in his or her Freshman year. You may find our free downloadable Homeschool High School Dual Enrollment Planner and Homeschool High School Transcript helpful. While transcript formats and layouts differ, there is certain information transcripts should include.
What to Include
School Information (if any)
- Include the name, address, and phone number of your child's school or home school.
- In a separate area on your child's transcript, include the names and addresses of any previous schools your child attended during high school, too.
- Include your child's full name, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, gender, etc.
- Some parents choose to leave the Social Security Number off of their child's high school transcript.
- Include course names, numbers, GPA's, and credits earned.
- A good place to find course names and numbers (as well as what courses are required for a standard high school diploma) is at your state's Department of Education. You can also find them on your virtual school's course catalog. If your child is taking dual enrollment courses, you can also get course names and numbers from college course catalogs.
- If your child's courses are not taken at an accredited school, you will want to create a separate document for course descriptions. (You probably won't be able to keep your child's transcript on one page if you include them there.) You can find comparable course descriptions at the same place you get the course names and numbers. Alternatively, you can make copies of the Table of Contents and/or state correlations found in your child's books.
- Use your grade scale (see below) to calculate your child's GPA. Award 4 points for A's, 3 points for B's, 2 point's for C's, 1 point for D's, and no points for F's. Total your child's points then calculate the average. Your child's GPA should be calculated yearly and cumulatively.
- Typically, a one credit course requires one school year to complete, and a one-half credit course requires one-half of a school year to complete. Alternatively, you can calculate course credits based on the number of class hours spent on a course over the school year (a/k/a Carnegie Unit). Between 120-180 hours is equivalent to one credit; between 60-90 hours is equivalent to one-half credit.
Achievement Test Results
- Includes SAT, ACT, CLEP, etc.
- Only include your child's best scores.
Achievements, Awards, Extracurricular Activities
- Include volunteer hours/community service here, too.
Grade Scale, Class Attendance
- Your grade scale can be anything you like, but it will probably look something like one of these:
Remember to sign and date your child's transcript. Don't want to do it alone? Want to learn more? Here are a few resources and books we have found that you may find helpful:
Resources—How To's, Templates, Software
Total Transcript Solution: Create professional homeschool high school transcripts and college transcripts using The HomeScholar's homeschool transcript template and tools.
Free Homeschool Transcript Template: Use this free homeschool transcript template to easily create your own professional transcripts for your high school students. This template is an editable Excel spreadsheet.
Transcript Creator: A free, online tool you can use to create a simple high school transcript. It will even compute your GPA's for you!
My Homeschool Transcripts: This online application gives you the ability to customize the transcript-creating process to your homeschool’s requirements, print your transcripts on demand, and more. There is a limited free version and licensed version available.
TranscriptPro: Software designed to make transcript production and presentation easy for busy home-educating parents. TranscriptPro offers more than a mere template to fill in. As you complete each data entry field, you will be prompted to provide all of the information that education professionals require for up to 8 children. Available in digital and CD formats.
Books We Recommend
|Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships by Lee Binz provides you with the tools and information you need to create homeschool records to perfectly document your amazing homeschool education in a way that will demand attention.|
|The Homeschooler's Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts by Loretta Heuer provides advice, examples, and resources for designing powerful and persuasive admissions presentations. This guide cuts through the veil of mystery that surrounds the admissions evaluation process to provide frank, practical, advice on such topics as when and how to start building a record, choosing the best medium to convey high school achievements, and what records and documents must be included or are better left out.|
|Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork: Offers easy-to-follow instructions and free e-mail support so that you will have more time to spend enjoying life and building relationships with your family as you home school high school. You'll learn all you need to know about home school transcripts, high school diplomas, and simple record-keeping. This book is also available on Amazon.|
|Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission by Jeanne Gowen Dennis is your comprehensive resource for the crucial high school years. Find answers to your questions about grading scales, diplomas, prerequisites, entrance exams, financial aid and scholarship eligibility, application procedures...all while reaching your family's ideal balance between autonomy and accountability in your home high school.|