You ask yourself, how do we create a homeschool transcript template for my child? Resources are available to do this and some organizing will be needed.
One definition of the word template is from dictionary.com as, “anything that determines or serves as a pattern; a model.” The homeschool transcript template is creating a document with information that will serve as a pattern or model for recording specific information for each year of your child’s homeschool education.
What is a Homeschool Transcript?
A homeschool transcript at a minimum is an official record of each subject by name studied by your child, listing when it was studied, final course grade, the school grade level when it was completed and the transcript should be updated by the teaching parent when each subject is completed by your child.
The transcript is a diary of your child’s homeschool education which can be shared with future employers, college scholarship applications, college admission applications, job trade schools, volunteering to serve in a U.S. military service branch, etc.
What is Included in a Homeschool Transcript?
Homeschool transcripts may include some or all of the following information:
- student’s name and home address
- homeschool name
- each course completed
- month and year of each course completion
- grading scale used
- grade on each course
- grade point for each semester
- cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the end of each year and at the end of high school
- scores of any achievement tests (e.g., SAT and/or ACT), date test taken and the scores for each section and the cumulative score
- graduation date
- credits earned and weight of each credit (You can assign the number of credits you think is appropriate for each class.)
- volunteer work include hours worked by month, day, year and volunteer organization that benefitted, and
- extracurricular activities and awards earned.
You should sign your name at the bottom as the administrator of the homeschool and date it. You might even want to get it notarized.
Homeschool transcript requirements vary from state to state so please check with your state’s homeschooling organization. Keeping the transcript up to date is so important.
Optional Transcript Information
Dual credit course(s) taken at the local community college or employment performed as part of a homeschool course is some of the optional information to include. Be practical and creative that will show what your child did in the real world
Homeschool Transcript Templates
You can make transcripts with a homeschool transcript template in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, make a homeschool template using a template paper transcript, a homeschool online transcript generator, or homeschool transcript software. A separate computer spreadsheet or paper homeschool transcript should be created and maintained for each child.
You can find a free online high school transcript makers or a high school transcript template with a GPA calculator. Your state homeschool organization might offer templates like these. You may also use a paid homeschool high school transcript service to keep track of your transcripts for a monthly fee or annual membership.
How to Create a Homeschool Transcript
Step 1 Make a list of all coursework
With the benefit of careful records, creating a year-by-year listing of subjects and materials each student has studied should be fairly simple. If records are more scattered, compiling this list may take more effort.
Make sure to include extracurricular activities, independent courses of study the student has undertaken in subjects of their own interest, classes the student has taken at a community college or the local public high school, and online classes. If the student completed high school level material such as Algebra I or Biology prior to high school, include a section for eighth grade or even seventh grade in your list.
However, only include high school-level material covered during these grades, rather than all material.
Step 2 Learn your state’s requirements for high school graduation
A few states have specific requirements for homeschooled students, listing the number of courses or credits they must complete in each subject while in high school. Look up your state organization for more specifics. In states without homeschool specific requirements, you should meet the requirements for public school graduation in the state in which the student will graduate.
A homeschool transcript indicates a student meets state standards for high school graduation which is evidence of a quality education.
It is typical for a state to require 4 years of English, 3-4 years of math, 2-3 years of science, 3-4 years of social studies, and a smaller number of years in areas like physical education and health, foreign languages, and fine arts. These requirements are often broken down further; many states, for example, stipulate that the required 3 years of social studies must include one year of U.S. history, one year of world history, and one semester each of U.S. government and economics.
In addition, states generally require a certain number of years of electives.
Each state has its own system for calculating credits and its own credit requirements for graduation. Most states consider a year-long course as one credit, and require around 20-24 credits for graduation from high school.
However, this does vary. In Indiana, for example, a year long course is considered to be worth two credits, and 40 credits are required for graduation; in New Jersey, a year long course counts as five credits, and 120 credits are required for graduation.
Make sure to follow your state’s system for calculating credits and obtain the number of credits required for graduation. You can find your state’s high school graduation requirements on your state organization’s website or on the state department of education website.
Step 3 Create course names and assign credits
At this point you need to turn your list of courses and materials the student has covered into something you can enter into a transcript. Because homeschooling may look different from a more formal education, turning a student’s academic experiences into courses and credits can sometimes seem daunting. But you can do it.
If available, use your state’s high school graduation requirements as a guide. If your state requires 4 credits of English, you should have 4 credits of English listed, and so forth.
Ideally, the transcript you produce should verify that the student meets the requirement for high school graduation in your state. In some ways, this process is like a puzzle, fitting pieces together and making sure everything fits correctly.
Remember to pay attention to how your state calculates credits. Your transcript should reflect your state’s method of calculating credits. When in doubt, contact your state’s homeschooling association.
Most states consider a year long course to be one credit so we will use this standard as we offer you examples in this section.
A homeschooled student may earn 1 high school credit by:
- Completing a high school level textbook
- Taking a semester long course at a local community college
- Taking a standard year long course at a local high school
- Taking an online course at either the high school or college level
- Completing a year long unit study
Because homeschool education often takes place outside the box, you may need to think outside the box as well. While completing an Algebra II textbook or taking a community college biology class may translate fairly easily into courses and credits, other things may take more thought.
Remember that a transcript should showcase the student’s academic accomplishments whether or not they look like formal schooling.
While one credit represents a year long high school level course, ½ credit may represent either one semester of high school level coursework or a year long course that involves less time and effort than a standard course. A yoga class may become ½ credit of physical education, for example, and a semester long study of bugs and insects, including research, collection, and observation, may become ½ credit of entomology and count toward required science credits.
Participating in a robotics club may become ½ credit of robotics and singing in a homeschool choir may become ½ credit of choir. These would be considered electives and would count toward the total credit requirement.
When a course of study overlaps more than one school year, you may decide whether to list it in one year or the other, or in both. However, spending two years studying a specific subject may not translate into two credits.
For example, you should only assign one credit for Algebra II even if it took the student two years to complete the subject.
Step 4 Enter the information into a formal transcript template
Here are several options: you can create a transcript through an online form; pay to have a transcript created professionally; download and customize a template; or design your own transcript using a word processor.
Whether you pay a service or use an online form, download a template or design one from scratch, it’s important that the transcript look professional.
The transcript should include:
- Student and school information
- Each course taken, month and year each course is completed, credits earned, and grades received
- Total course credits, GPA for each year and cumulative GPA for four years
- The graduation date
- A grading scale
- A signature and date
What do transcripts look like for grades K-8?
No official transcripts exist for elementary school or middle school, so there is really no standard practice for transcripts for grades below high school. At least, “transcript” is not the vocabulary used in education for lower grades.
Do All Homeschool Students Need A Transcript For High School?
The answer is yes, in general it’s a good practice. Having it up to date will be a help if your child decides to apply to a community college, four year university, join a U.S. military service branch or other post high school career training.
If you want to start with a free homeschool high school transcript, try this blank form for a blank homeschool transcript. It’s a simple high school transcript template, but it’s a good start in creating your high school homeschool transcript.
What Is The Best Way To Keep Records For A High School Transcript?
The records can be kept on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, notebook paper with columns drawn by hand and updated monthly or use a free or paid online homeschool transcript service.
The key is to keep the records simple and up to date for each child.
What Goes On A Homeschool High School Transcript?
Four main sections are needed on a high school transcript.
Student identification and homeschool contact information.
This section lists your teen’s personal and contact information as well as contact information for your homeschool.
Although there is a great deal of overlap between the student identification information and homeschool contact information, they are listed separately to prevent any confusion about where the student went to school and who is the homeschool administrator (usually the parent).
This section forms the body of the transcript. Most transcripts use a yearly grade-level format listing courses by grade level and school year and there are specific instances when a subject format is appropriate, with courses listed under subject headings.
For instance, Texas Home School Coalition supplies members with two different types of transcript templates so that parents can decide whether they prefer grade-level or subject templates.
For each course, indicate the title, final grade, and credit earned. List academic subjects like English, math, science, history, and foreign language first, followed by elective courses.
If you have withdrawn your student from public or private school to finish high school at home, the transcript will need to show all the courses your student takes during the full four years of high school.
Use the notes section on the transcript to indicate what courses were taught by a specific public or private high school or other outside instructor.
Choose course titles that clearly convey course content. A textbook title is usually a poor choice for a course title.
For example, even if your student is using Saxon’s Advanced Mathematics textbook, name the course after its content: Precalculus/Trigonometry. The key is a clear course title description.
If you are homeschooling a high schooler with unique learning challenges, you can find lots of great tips for creative, customized coursework along with sample transcripts here.
This section consists of the four yearly GPAs as well as the four cumulative GPAs. Here are step-by-step instructions to calculate it found here.
The self-certification, signature, and date attest to the truthfulness of the information presented and bear the signature of the person (or people) who supervised the homeschool education (that’s you, mom—and/or dad!).
A note about dates
The transcript should include two dates: your student’s graduation date and the date of signature. These dates will likely not be the same.
The graduation date should be specific, including month, day, and year, typically occurring after the completion of all senior year courses, and this same date is also indicated on the homeschool diploma. The graduation date is not necessarily the date you award your teen their diploma or the date of their graduation ceremony.
Whenever the transcript is requested, always provide an original of the document, signed and dated in ink. The signature date is the actual date you sign the document and will change each time someone requests the transcript.
How Do I Calculate Grades For Our Homeschool Transcript?
A simple way to calculate grades is to take all the assignments and tests, add them together and take the average score. You can modify that by counting some assignments or tests more important, by adding them in 2 or 3 times and then taking the average score of it all.
Some more factors to consider when you’re calculating grades:
Mastery doesn’t mean all 100’s though.
It might be possible for public school students to earn all 100’s. But, in homeschooling, we should be challenging the student somewhat so that they cannot earn all 100’s.
We are working toward mastery, but your student might not “get it” right away. When we homeschool, we individualize the learning to the child’s pace.
It’s not like you can say,”We covered fractions yesterday, too bad you don’t get it. We’re moving on today.”
No. You have to keep repeating the concept until the student masters it.
Whatever grade you assign needs to figure in the number of retries. For example, if it takes 3 times for an assignment. Take the three scores and average it together for a grade.
“A” for effort is not an accurate reflection of the student’s accomplishments. Trying hard to learn a world language doesn’t mean that the student is proficient at it.
The effort grade can be considered, but it should not be the whole grade. Extra credit for above 100’s is not an accurate reflection of the student’s abilities.
Remember that we’re translating the work into the language that is commonly used.
Set specific goals and objectives for the grade.
You can set a list of objectives to cover in a subject or skills to master. You can also set specific details to be included in a project.
For example, no grammar errors in a paper is an A. Up to six errors is a B.
And up to 10 is a C. Over 10 is a redo.
Include whatever expectations you want to evaluate. Maybe it’s how quickly an assignment can be completed, or neatness, or accuracy.
When you say on a resume that you’re proficient in something, you really need to be able to back that up. You can earn courses and credits from real life learning even though you might not have tests or projects that were graded along the way.
It’s not beneficial to arbitrarily inflate your abilities and accomplishments when you need to just be accurate. You can’t say that you’re proficient in Japanese, when all you’ve done is watched anime.
We’re translating what you’ve accomplished into the “language” of transcripts and report cards. So, instead of saying you’ve mastered the subject at a high level of expertise, you’d say that’s an A.
We need to know the number value of that A. Designate a number somewhere between 90-100.
If they’re proficient at the subject, that’s a B. Designate a number somewhere between 80-89.
If the student is still a novice at it, that would be a C between 70-79. In my opinion, it would be really rare for a homeschooler to earn below a C.
How Do I Calculate a GPA For Our High School Homeschool Transcript?
If you’re unsure how to calculate a grade point average (GPA) for your homeschool high school transcript template, you can use an online GPA calculator. However, calculating a GPA isn’t hard.
How is GPA calculated for homeschooling?
To calculate a GPA:
- Assign a value to each grade letter, from highest to lowest. (So an A=4 points, B=3 points, C=2 points, D=1 point, F= 0 points).
- Go through each course completed and assign the numerical value to the grade received.
- For each course, multiply the numerical grade value by the number of credits for the course. For example, if your homeschooled student took a Chemistry class worth 3 credits and received an “A” in the class, the formula is: 4 (value for a grade of A) x 3 (number of credits) = 12 grade points for that Chemistry course. Repeat this step for each course.
- Add the grade points for each course and divide by the number of courses.
- This is the current (or cumulative) GPA.
A homeschool transcript template is a diary, journal or living history of your child’s journey with you and your family through homeschooling one subject, one grade, one month, one semester and one year at a time. This can be drudgery or joy, but the choice of how to approach it is in your hands.
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