Homeschool High School Transcripts in 5 Easy Steps
Place me in a room with homeschooling parents, and I thrive! Let’s talk homeschool curriculum all day long. Put me with parents who are not familiar with the concept of homeschooling or have had a bad experience with homeschoolers, and I brace myself. In the early years, I was not prepared for the pointed questions I would receive when I told others that I homeschooled. I was caught off guard. After the issues of socialization and prom were out of the way, the next concern was usually “What about a high school diploma?” “How will they graduate?” “Will they only receive a GED?” Like a deer caught in the headlights, I was at a loss for words. I knew I was going to give my children a diploma, but I was not prepared to answer my own questions about the subject, much less the skeptics.
Can you relate? Do you dread the thought of planning for your child’s graduation not because you don’t want to but because you don’t know where to begin? The good news is you can begin here in five easy steps. Once you are confident in formulating a high school transcript, you will be well on your way, and you won’t need to fear preparing your child for graduation and beyond!
Step One: Start Homeschooling High School with a Plan
Know the requirements for homeschool graduation in your state and be prepared to follow your state’s guidelines throughout your child’s high school journey. In addition to any required or standard courses, tailor your child’s remaining classes to their needs. Are they looking at a specific college? Find out what the requirements are for admission. Then, find or create a class that will meet those requirements. Is your student considering a trade school? Fit courses in that strengthen the skills needed for that trade.
Step Two: Keep Accurate Records
A homeschool high school transcript begins when your child begins high school. This is when you will start to track their courses, grades, and credits as you work toward the goal of graduation. If you have been keeping up with your child’s progress throughout their elementary and middle school years, keep it up! If you live in a lax state and haven’t needed to, no problem! Now is the perfect time to get started!
Begin by creating your own document or using a transcript template. Fill in your student’s information:
- Student’s name
- Homeschool name
- Homeschool address (usually your home)
- Phone number
- Student’s date of birth
- Graduation date (use projected graduation date for pre-graduation submissions)
You will then create a section for each grade or a section for each subject area in which high school courses were completed. Include a description of each individual course. Display the number of credits that was earned for each course. (We will discuss how to determine this in the next step.) Add up the credits received and write down how many accumulate each year. Include a place for the total amount of credits at the bottom. Also, include a place for your student’s GPA (discussed in step four), both cumulative and, if organized by year, for each year. Also include your grading scale.
For each course on your transcript include:
- Course name
- Grade earned
- Course weight
- Number of credits
Step Three: Calculate Course Credits
Calculating credits does not need to be intimidating. Simply put, one credit equals 120-180 hours or about one hour a day. One half credit equals 60-90 hours or about half an hour per day.
Step Four: Calculate GPA
Use the following formula to calculate your student’s GPA.
- Assign each course a credit value (e.g. 1).
- Assign each class a numerical grade (e.g. 4.0).
- Calculate grade points by multiplying each class credit value by numerical grade.
- Add all the grade points for all completed classes.
- Divide the total grade points by the number of credits completed.
- The answer is the current grade point average.
Step Five: Stay Flexible
We all have met the homeschooler who graduated at the age of sixteen with flying colors. We ask them what grade they are in (I know, a loaded question for a homeschooler) only to find out they are already in college! How is this possible? If your student is motivated to complete all their needed coursework a year or two early and it is allowed in your state, go for it! If not, no pressure; they have plenty of time. Some students might even take longer than you were expecting. Flexibility is paramount in high school. Plans may change. Ambitions may change. A student may want to work hard through the summers and graduate early while another may choose to test and try out several extracurricular activities to see what a good fit for them is. Enjoy the freedom. Enjoy the time you have to spend with your child. Don’t become overwhelmed with the details; be thankful you are able to be a part of this journey with them!