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Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High School Paperwork Review by Wendy Walker

Janice Campbell
P.O. Box 549
Ashland, VA 23005

Now that our sons are teenagers, I often get credulous looks and the gasped question, "You're planning to homeschool through high school?" "Yep," I respond, "and maybe even beyond!" I didn't always feel so confident, though. The thought of homeschooling through the high school years once sent chills up my spine. And honestly, I still have moments of panic as we tread new territory. Recently though, a task that I previously feared is no longer a source of confusion or a chore that I face with trepidation: high school transcripts and records. Everyday Education's Transcripts Made Easy by Janice Campbell takes the guesswork out of the paperwork challenge and simplifies the often daunting process of creating the paper trail and documents that many colleges and employers require.

I don't know how many times I've asked "Is this 'A' work?" or "Am I evaluating this paper fairly?" Campbell's chapter on grading ethically helped answer those questions. Her sections about keeping records, naming classes (as in, "Mowing the lawn is P.E., right?"), grading, and credit granting, instilled confidence that we were on the right track. While we're not free-spirited homeschoolers, the chapter about transcripts for the unschooler and the chronically relaxed is great for those who are. I haven't used any of the book's nearly twenty-pages of reproducible worksheets, but it was helpful to take a look at the forms as a guide. For anyone looking for an easy way to keep reading logs, activity logs, and subject records, Campbell's done the work. When it comes to record-keeping, I'm personally more comfortable at the keyboard than with pen in hand, and Transcripts Made Easy helped me out there as well. Step-by-step computer instructions walked me through the task of creating professional-looking documents--including diplomas. I didn't even have to guess at font sizes! Her instructions are so clear that even a computer novice could create quality transcripts with minimal effort.

This book is loaded with valuable information: calculating grade point averages, using portfolios, weighting grades, keeping records for special-needs students, recording standardized tests, and scheduling. If you're wondering about graduation requirements or puzzled about what universities look for in college-bound students, this book addresses those concerns. Janice Campbell has a practical way of making paperwork seem manageable and end results appear professional. If you already have a high school student and haven't begun the process of keeping a transcript, or if you're planning ahead so that you're ready to continue the joyous task of homeschooling when the high school years arrive, Transcripts Made Easy is a simple yet indispensable guide that you'll want on hand.

Product review by Wendy Walker, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2007