Free homeschool transcripts
Making a homeschool transcript is very easy and can be done for free. When we were first approaching our daughter going into high school, making a transcript was one of my biggest worries. What was all the information I needed? Could I make it at home? How much did it cost? So many questions. But as I started studying what is needed for a transcripts and what homeschool transcripts really are, I realized they weren't hard at all. In fact, with the free documents out there, I found they were very easy.
This is the fourth article I have written about homeschooling. My first one addressed whether we should homeschool? Then I wrote about how to start homeschooling. My last one tackled the subject of homeschooling through high school. Now I want to share with you what I've found to make a homeschool transcript, what is needed in a transcript, and an easy way to make a transcript.
Electronic Homeschool Helps
Yes, to have to have a good homeschool transcript you have to keep good records. But there are many helps out there for this. I tend to be an organized person, but when it came to keeping records of my kids grades, it seemed almost impossible to me. I kept getting lost on writing down the grades, where to keep the grades and how best to record them. I had a rocky year, but I didn't give up on it.
I started my record keeping journey while my daughter Sarah was in 8th grade. I figured if I was going to mess up, not keep complete records or things like that, I wanted it to be before it really counted. That way it gave me a chance to learn and see what worked best for us.
The best information to have for high school transcripts is first, personal information. Your child's name, address, name of school (if you named your homeschool), phone number, parents name and date of birth. Then you want to make sure you have the course title, final grade, credit given and grade level. A grading table, total credits and GPA helps to finish off the information you need. That is the basic information. I know it sounds like a lot and complicated, but please stick with me, it really is easy.
If there was a 'hard part' for me, it was being consistent in keeping track of her subjects & grades. I tried different approaches, different worksheets, and different online things. I was getting ready to pay for a program to do it all for me. But then I realized that paying for it or not, I was still going to have to fill in the information of subjects & grades. Since I was going to have to do that work anyway, why pay for someone else to 'keep' the records. So I searched and searched and found a free Excel spreadsheet that worked great for me.
If you haven't heard of Donna Young or her website DonnaYoung.org, you are really missing a great resource for your homeschool. A friend of mine showed me her Grade & Attendance Excel worksheet. This was exactly what I needed. All I needed to do was fill out the tabs with what courses she was taking and remember to record her grades. This spreadsheet does absolutely everything else for me. It will keep a record of her attendance, her grade average and her GPA. Over half the information I need for her transcripts all in one place and free.
I found the easiest thing for me was to make sure I put in her grades every day. If I let her grades pile up for even a week, it was a bit too overwhelming for me to get caught up. But you need to find what works for you, and then stick with that routine. I have two children, junior high & high school. I have a file for my junior high son's grades too. When they have finished their work for the day, I grade what I need too (some of their curriculum is computerized and grades itself). Then I enter their grades into the worksheet before our school day is over. It takes me about 5 minutes to accomplish. I can see easily how my children are doing in their subjects, what their current GPA is, and if there is a subject they need help with.
Plus, another benefit is that my children also have a visual copy of how they are doing. It really encourages them to do better. When they were in younger grade levels, we didn't worry about the actual grades as much. We just wanted to make sure they knew the subjects and information. But now they are in the higher grades, they like seeing how they are doing with each subject. With this spreadsheet it is very easy to put in the grades and have all the information we need at our fingertips.
Homeschool Transcripts Links
- G&A Whole Number, donnayoung.org
Donna Young's spreadsheet file: excel grades and attendance. Made for homeschoolers, use this file to keep track of the homeschool student's grades and attendance. Requires Microsoft Excel.
- HSLDA | Homeschooling Thru High School
- Academic Superstore : Academic Software discounts for students, teachers and schools
Academic edition software discounts for students, teachers and schools. Educational pricing available to college students, k12 students, homeschool students, faculty, universities, educational institutions and parents.
- Typical Course of Study with Annotated Links
Typical course of study with annotated links for Preschool to 12th grade. Find help for covering each topic and check mastery of that skill.
You have already taken care of the 'hard part', the record keeping part. If you have been keeping up with your kids grades in the spreadsheet, or whatever other form you have chosen to use, actually writing up the transcript is quite easy. Homeschool Legal Defense Association has a great site that shows you what a transcript looks like. They give you samples of different types of transcripts from simple to complex. All you have to do is plug in the information from your spreadsheet and you have a very professional looking transcript with all the pertinent information that colleges look for.
You also have a personal record of your child's high school years. It's great to see them grow in what they know and see them bloom. In my next article I will be writing about putting together a homeschool portfolio for you child.