Welcome to the month-long series “Homeschool HIGH SCHOOL Made Easy,” a follow-up to the popular “Homeschool Made Easy” series (now published on kindle). I’m sharing tips from my experience as a homeschool graduate and homeschool mother, showing YOU how easy and enjoyable these high school years can be for you and your teen. Be sure to sign up for the entire series so you don’t miss a thing!
Finally, we approach one of the most-asked questions for homeschooling high school: how do we produce a transcript. When I first asked my friends what were their top homeschool high school questions, this was the number one concern. Preparing a high school transcript sounds intimidating, official, and scary. But guess what? It’s not. And just to prove it, I’m giving you a free sample transcript you can use today at the end of this post. Don’t forget to grab it!
Making your student’s transcript is the single easiest homeschool task. Seriously, you can’t mess this up. And just in case you aren’t convinced, I’m going to hold your hand all the way through the process. Here we go.
How to Make a Homeschool High School Transcript Without Losing Your Mind.
One of the scariest things we do as homeschool parents is preparing for graduation. How do we know if our homeschool high school student is finished? Are we sure we did enough? Did he complete enough credits? And what in the world should that transcript look like, anyway?
Preparing for homeschool high school graduation is not, as it turns out, rocket science. It was nearly rocket science when I graduated from my basement homeschool *mumble, mumble* years ago. Today, it’s hard to find a college or university in America that has not admitted homeschool students already; many top schools are even actively recruiting homeschool students.
That’s not an exaggeration, as I feared when our turn came last year. When my oldest son neared graduation, I was unsure how his transcripts and test scores would be received by prospective colleges. As it turned out, I need not have feared: once his ACT scores (along with his grades and classification as homeschool student) hit admissions office desks, our phone started ringing off the hook. Not an exaggeration. We could not get them to stop calling and sending full-color brochures.
It was not just his top-pick schools, either. Ivy League colleges would not take no for an answer for months but kept calling and mailing and emailing and begging him to just give them a chance. In frustration, he asked Cornell why they wouldn’t leave him alone. The recruiter told him, “Because you are a minority who was homeschooled and likes math. We need that.”
In spite of the fact that public and private students are finding college acceptance increasingly competitive and scholarships harder to obtain, homeschool students who work hard and produce objective measurements of aptitude find universities eager to work with them.
Demonstrate hard work
By work hard, I mean seriously do the homework. Homeschool high school students still need to complete — or exceed — their state’s minimum requirements for graduation. In our homeschool, my students complete the requirements for a recommended high school program as prescribed by our state by the end of the junior year. By the end of the senior year, they exceed the requirements for a distinguished achievement program.
In addition to academics, homeschool high school students should pursue sufficient outside interests to demonstrate work ethic. Performance groups, competitive sports, and part-time jobs over and above academic credit show universities the student is willing to put muscle and sweat into his own future.
Provide objective measurements
And by objective measurements, I mean other than the parents who obviously love them very much. Homeschool high school students should pursue other opinions on their work and life skills to corroborate their grades. My teens take a few challenging classes online, and the grades they receive are similar to those they make on mom-graded projects; this gives another layer of objective proof. Similarly, standardized tests (like the college entrance exams) should be in the same vicinity as school grades. If a student scores a 19 on the ACT but turns in a 4.0 transcript, the admissions office will wonder why this doesn’t match.
In addition, homeschool high school students should have cultivated working relationships with adults outside the home who can recommend their work ethic and character. This is another reason extra-curricular programs like sports and music, ministry opportunities, volunteer work, and regular employment are so valuable for homeschoolers. These recommendations will provide another layer of objective testimony about the student’s abilities.
Begin transcripts early
At the beginning of our high school journey, I made sure I was clear on my state’s requirements for graduation. Then I planned my tentative high school course so I would have a clear picture of where we were headed. Finally, I began a working transcript. At the end of each semester, I added grades and course descriptions.
For my first transcript, I made a really simple form in Google docs. I started it during my son’s freshman year by listing the courses he was taking and the grades he earned. At the end of each semester, I updated the doc with his grades and included a course description starting on the next page. Finally, I shared the doc with him, giving him “read only” permission so he could see his progress.
When it came time to apply to his first-choice college, he did most of the paperwork himself. But when he needed a transcript, I was ready for him. I quickly viewed the university’s sample homeschool transcript and found they wanted even fewer details on a one-page transcript. So I spent a quick twenty minutes making a simple transcript for them. Easy-peasy!
Free Homeschool High School Transcript Form!
Want help starting your student’s homeschool high school transcript? Here’s the easiest form you’ll ever keep. Just give me your email address, and I’ll send it right to you. Keep it updated each semester, and by senior year, you are ready to go!
Is your teen considering college? How do you help him decide?
This article contains affiliate links to help support this site, but all recommendations are products I actually use and love. I am not a legal expert on graduation requirements in any state; please do your own research and plan accordingly.