Creating A Homeschool Transcript

Okay so I have only just graduated one, and she only intended to go to community college- and I don’t REALLY know how she will do in the real world. I don’t know the answers. BUT I do feel fairly confident that I can answer for what we’ve done in our school. Her (and the youngers’) accomplishments. I feel confident that I did all I could do for her here and that it was better than our alternatives would have turned out. That’s it. That is all the security I have for you. 😉  Here is my real security- God chose you as your child’s parent and He knows you will do what THIS child needs. You’ll do OK mama. Don’t sweat it. You’ve raised a good kid.

Now, first things first. I don’t use a fancy online, app or program to keep track. I’m pretty simple. I tend to be a procrastinator and I get bogged down with redundancy. So this is how I operate:

I keep record books. I always have. Maybe some fear of ‘someone checking in on us’, maybe for me. maybe because I didn’t know where to go with all of the paperwork….

I’ve decided not to panic about ‘High School’ I’ve been schooling with my kids’ interests all along. I’m going to continue.

I use HSLDA’s transcript template.

At the end of each semester/year as we put our record books together, I’d make a list of each of the classes we’d done. This was also a chance to reflect on any ‘extra’ classes that would count. You know a home ec credit for all of the cooking and housework… you’ve all read Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La right? or you’ve at least heard form others about adding in your time spent on things like this, right? … anyway so I’d make this ‘list’ and I would  grade them. (yes. that is what I do. all grades are subjective. I expect a lot.)

I put it together. We live on a farm. My kids help a lot. They have their own livestock, as well as helping us, and they show them. It’s a lot of hours. I gave them credit.

transcript4

(0ur area does 2 credits per year, 1 per semester so that is how we worked it)

Then I took it to a friend for help. She has two at a state university with many scholarships. Her advice is this- keep in simple. One page. Nothing stands out- raises any flags. short, sweet, simple. I followed her advice. Here is what she saw:

transcript4a

all of these are English credits. That may be easy to see now, but I’ll be you too kept more than you should have. We completed each of those classes, but in the end: English I, English II, English III.

transcript4b

still too many credits she says. While they did spend a great deal of time in livestock work- too many credits. This was hard to give up but it didn’t undo their work. remember that!

we combined the consumer math, financial peace and Livestock records into Personal and Business Finance.

we listed all of her theater work on the back and just left the speech and drama she took at public school (note on this: she took the class as the local public school. they did not write ONE speech. They did silly theater pieces- no they were silly!- but she learned to use imovie which became important later, she got involved with the speech competitions using her connections here which were important. She was highly involved in 4H and FFA which helped her more than any speech class we did here or at public school…. and it is one of her gifts. In the end- she is accomplished in speech and drama and even though she didn’t learn it at the public school class- she did learn it and it is recorded here.)

*classes she took at our local public school.

and the ones edited out in purple we opted to just list on the back. (note here- the sign language class was one she did on her own with a curriculum we bought, but she struggled not having anyone to ‘talk’ with and practice it so she taught a couple of friends.- I listed it as American Sign Language Club- she kind of started one right?)

The edited version looks something like this:

transcript 6

on the back of the transcript is where you list accomplishments- things that don’t fit on the front.

transcript back

I opted to list her livestock work as well work. employment: “Cow/Calf producer since 10 years of age” and her job at a local store since 2014…

I apologize it is not a very good image but I think you get the idea. I know too that I didn’t compare for other changes. (I didn’t create these or save these for blogging 😉 )

*EDIT *  I’ve been asked to upload a copy that can be easier to read and zoom. Here is an edited copy. I chose one that was midway through her senior year- noted with *classes not finished* This is what was attached to many of her scholarship applications.  e-hslda-transcript-blog-copy-edited

…laughing…crying….confessing….I struggled with loading her ACT score. I know that many homeschool families (maybe all families) are competitive about the ACT score. She did not score well according to many standards. She scored ENOUGH- is what I think. She qualified for the State University. She didn’t earn a big scholarship. It’s OK. (I’m still telling myself. but you know, I went to public school and I scored one point BELOW her and went to university.)

She NEVER scored well on tests. She doesn’t learn easily. She struggles. We pulled her from public school for EXACTLY this reason. So, I champion her accomplishments. I’m OK with her score. I pray. I know the the Lord is leading her down her own path- not mine.

I decided not to exclude it here. Maybe some of you struggle with this very thing.

If you look at the back of her transcript you will see a snapshot of THIS child and HER GIFTS are not on the ACT. She likes to write and give presentations and act and give speeches…. She did not earn a scholarship based on her academic performance but she did earn scholarships from a variety of small places 4H, FFA, American Legion, the power company, two local farm businesses (she went into Ag business AA and Ag Teaching BS) each kid has their own path. This is my oldest’s path so far.

EDIT** UPDATE** This child has all A’s at community college so far, is active in clubs, picked up an internship, and has not yet paid for any tuition. She continues to apply for (and earn) small scholarships and applies great financial sense to her expenses….. just wanted to let you know. ESPECIALLY those of you struggling with AVERAGE test scoring kids!!

Hope that this is helpful.  I’d love to hear if you have any questions or comments. (kind of helps to know I’m not talking to myself 😉 ) Thanks for reading!!

 

Homeschool -Record Books!

I began keeping record books early on. I’m so glad I made the habit- especially once we reached HIGH SCHOOL.

Records. Transcripts. Grades. High School. If you are a type A, organized, grading, testing homeschool this may not seem so tricky. If you are like me- laid-back, eclectic, spending-time-learning-with-my-kids kind of a homeschooler– this is absolutely terrifying! Don’t be scared. I did it. I graduated one now…. I grant you she is headed into the big unknown- college. I’m not certain how she’ll do. But I don’t think I’d feel any more comfortable about this if she had been through public school either.

School Records:

I’ve heard some colleges and military will want to see work from high school. This scares me a little. I haven’t had to do that. But, I have always kept some records. Here is why:

  • there is some part of me that always wonders if the government will come knocking on my door and ask what we’ve been up to.
  • our state’s homeschool law has changed since I started. Some records were required at first, and some are required now. I just really haven’t changed how I’ve kept them.
  • you know that end of the year feeling? You know. The one where you panic and wonder what you did ALL year?  How have we not finished a,b,c,d,e,f,g…. that I had planned to to? Well, I’ve found when I look at these record books I can remember Oh, yeah. We did some cool things. Maybe we were too busy to get everything-under-the-sun done,DID do…;)

If you’ve seen my post on digital resources, you know I love 3-ring binders. And that I am particular about them. Well, this is no different. We keep a binder. But not just any binder. this one is recognizable (easy to find- doesn’t mix in with the rest) and is color coded.

binder bundle

These babies are like $5.50! This is big money for me. especially x 4 kiddos 😉 but I like the distinctness for records. (you could use ANY binder!!)

This baby is all set up for me. It has 4 divider tabs (math, social studies, language arts, science) then there is a clear pocket in the back.

now, we’ll have more than 4 subjects- no worries but we’ve already covered the basics. Again, I am a simple person and my aim is to keep it all together.

 

 

SHEET PROTECTORS – we go through  a LOT of these. I have one kid that puts every sheet of paper in one. Mostly I have them so that those hard to contain items (i.e. we folded a paper Phoenician ship- cool right? now what? – we rolled over it with a rolling pin and put it in the book!)

we include photos in these, or paper rockets from the science center,  or that paper model of an eye, fingerprints from Forensic science lab…. So  if you just have a few remember this binder has a pocket- if you need more? sheet protectors!

FRIDAYS – We started something new this year. Friday is notebooking day.

I used to stack up all of our stray papers into one box until the end of the semester and then separate them into 4 piles and start filing into our record books. I still do this but there is a LOT less with my new system.

We schedule 4 day weeks.  Fridays are a catch-up day, a dive deeper day, a flex day- for field trips, for sick days, for work days (we live on a farm and there are days that require all hands on deck) We watch videos. I do not feel like we take Fridays off. ever. But I DO feel like Fridays are a lot. less. stress. yeah!

WHERE DO YOU PUT THE OTHER STUFF? okay so I listed core stuff on the tabs right? well, after that can be a subject, before that can be a subject, after the clear folder can be a subject? Did I say I was good with organization? Bingo. no. We stuff it in. It’s fairly organized 😉  what else can I file?

  • Sunday School Certificate
  • Awards or Certificates
  • Pictures
  • Artwork
  • Sheet Music
  • flyers/info from field trips
  • do you get the idea?
  • programs from shows you’ve attended or participate in (band, dance, piano recital…)

Now… WHY keep a record book?

  1.  Do you know that feeling you get at the end of the year when you still have a ton of stuff you meant to get to? Open your record book. I guarantee you that you forgot stuff you did. you’re welcome 😉
  2. Just-In-Case the state asks or should I decide to enroll them in a school somewhere and they want to see work…
  3. Are you worried about transcripts? Which records to keep? Which classes you’ll need on the ‘final’ draft? how about you keep a record of it? I print  a list of classes we’ve done that year and a grade and tuck it in front. I didn’t do a transcript until She was going into 11th grade.
  4. It’s fun to look back on!
  5. What else do you do with all of this bulk?/Helps to know what to save and what to toss.

I’d love to hear how you keep records!

**Okay, so  I intended to make a post about transcripts when I began this. It turns out I begin with record books. So if this seems geared toward High School- that is why. I recommend this kind of record book or portfolio of work as a habit from the beginning or as soon as now. I found it was an invaluable resource when it came to eclectic homeschooling and transcripts.