If you’re homeschooling a college-bound child, the time will come when you need to prepare him or her for college. A major part of this is creating a homeschool transcript that provides college admissions officers with a summary of what your child has studied, and typically, how he has performed (grades) in your high school program. Confused about how to get started? Here’s what you need to know:
Some of the work starts before your child begins high school. During his or her 8th grade year (or before), do some research. You need to know the exact requirements for a high school diploma in your state (credits, courses, etc.). This varies from state to state, with some states setting strict requirements for homeschoolers and others leaving the course choices up to the parents. Then, look into the colleges your child may take an interest in and find out what the schools are likely to require. Most will not have any special requirements, but it pays to find out sooner rather than later. Use the requirements you discover in planning the next four years of schooling for your child.
It also helps to view examples of high school transcripts. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s example, or make your child’s transcript look exactly like those from the local school. But examples can help you decide how you want yours to look.
Here are some links to places to look for homeschool transcript examples:
- DonnaYoung.org: This site lists a few different types of transcripts.
- Oklahoma Homeschool: You’ll find a couple of sample transcripts in pdf form.
- HSLDA: This site lists several different sample transcripts you can view or use for free. There are both Word and PDF files from which you can choose.
Make a Choice
Decide how you’d like to proceed. While you can use the above sites just to find samples, you don’t have to create a transcript from scratch. You can use one of the transcripts at one of the above links and just fill your child’s information in. Or, if you’re more the DIY type, you can start from scratch, creating a transcript in Excel (convert it to a pdf when you’re done), Word, or even using Google Docs. There are also many online programs that allow you to simply plug in educational information while the program does all the creation, tracking, and GPA calculation for you. Here are some of the sites that offer that type of setup:
Once you’ve decided on the transcript to use, the next step is figuring out what to include on it and making the process of maintaining grades as easy as possible. One of the most valuable pieces of advice for homeschool transcripts is to keep up with them and add grades as your child completes courses. Trying to do it all at the end of the year or during the senior year will lead to a great deal of frustration.
Now that you’ve gotten this far, read How to Create Your Own Homeschool Transcript Part 2.