Creating a Homeschool Transcript
The idea of creating a homeschool transcript can be a very intimidating one. I know not one homeschooling parent who hasn’t questioned themselves at least a little bit when it comes to the transcript.
The first time I sat down to create a homeschool transcript for my children was a disaster. Two hours behind a locked door frantically trying to figure out what I was doing. Guess what? I didn’t know what I was doing. I learned a lot that year and was glad that I was doing it early in my child’s high school years. By the time my oldest two kids graduated high school I had a better idea of what I was doing – and I’m here to share what I learned with you.
Homeschool Transcript FAQ
What is a homeschool transcript?
What do I list on a homeschool transcript?
When do I create a homeschool transcript?
My kid isn’t going to college, do we need a homeschool transcript?
Can I put middle school classes on a high school transcript?
Can I see a sample of your homeschool transcript?
How do I verify my child’s homeschool transcript as legitimate?
Resources to help create a homeschool transcript
What else do I need to know about homeschool transcripts?
What is a Homeschool Transcript?
A homeschool transcript is a formal record of your child’s academic pursuits, volunteer work, and extracurricular interests. A transcript should reflect the child’s high school classes, demonstrate their interests, and be as unique as they are. The point of a transcript is to show admission officials (potentially employers and car insurance companies as well) what your child has done the during their high school years. A homeschool transcript is an important piece of paperwork that typically outweighs a diploma and is considered mandatory for college admission.
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What Do I List on a Homeschool Transcript?
At the minimum your child’s transcript should include:
-Your child’s identifying information (name, address, D.O.B., social security number if required, etc.)
-Your child’s class list for grades 9-12, including grades or pass/fail as appropriate
-List of volunteer activities and hours
-List of extracurricular activities and lessons
-Total credits given, GPA, and/or points count (read more about grade points here)
Many parents add a simple course description to the classes list as some colleges may wish to see that. This brings up a good point, each college will want to see something different. It’s a good idea to call around to the schools and programs your child is interested in and ask what they want to see.
PRO TIP: Always contact the school or program your child is interested in to find out what they require in a transcript. Make your child’s transcript work for them by editing it to showcase their unique talents!
What do I do? I create minimalist-style transcripts, there is an example below. I also, however, have course descriptions written so I can enhance the minimalist transcript by adding another page when necessary. This makes it very easy for me to adjust the transcript to best suit its purpose.
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When Do I Create a Homeschool Transcript?
You can create a transcript whenever you like, however, colleges generally only want to see transcripts for grades 9 – 12.
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My Kid Isn’t Going To College, Do We Need A Homeschool Transcript?
Yes! Your child can use their transcript in place of a grade report or diploma in most cases. It’s come up in my family twice, once when claiming a good student driving discount and again when a potential employer wanted to verify that my child graduated high school.
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Can I Put Middle School Work on a High School Transcript?
Yes, but also no. It really depends on the situation. I’m going to tell you again to call around to your child’s school/program’s choices to see what they will accept. Some institutions won’t accept any credits before 9th grade, period. Some institutions won’t accept credits earned under a certain age. Some will accept them only on a case-by-case basis.
Credit Hours – Did the work equal one full credit hour, which is roughly 120-180 hours worth of work? Read more about assigning credits in this post. If the work done doesn’t equal a credit, do not include it. You may wish to consider adding work to what has already been done & list it as 9th grade credit.
High School Level – Was the work truly considered high school level? If you are unsure, don’t list it. Even if it’s determined that the work was high school level, you generally won’t list it unless it’s a prerequisite or an admission requirement.
Prerequisite – Was the class a prerequisite? Example: a child who took Algebra 1 in 8th grade may wish to list this on their transcript as a prerequisite for taking Algebra 2 in 9th grade. Ensure that the institution will accept credits earned before 9th grade, especially if the child will not be taking a fourth year in that subject.
Admission Requirement – If the class is required for college/program admission and meets all high school credit criteria, list it. Be prepared, however, for the possibility that the credit may not be accepted or that placement testing may be expected.
AP/Honors Courses – AP and Honors classes are generally only listed for the high school years because they’re weighted differently in many institutions.
Early Graduation / Dual Enrollment – If your child is graduating early or taking college-level dual enrollment courses, list them.
Electives – Electives chosen by the student really helps colleges determine what kind of a student they’re potentially taking on. Your child should have plenty of elective credits on their transcript, but only in the high school years. Why? Because your child is more mature and has a better idea of how they learn and what they want to do, because your child’s high school electives show their progression from idea to action. For more information on choosing electives, I suggest this article by the College Board.
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Can I See A Sample Homeschool Transcript?
Here is a sample of what my third child’s high school transcript looks like. I chose to show you a transcript in progress, it’s a little less overwhelming.
Please note that I am not showing my child’s volunteer list because it has too much identifying information. It looks very similar to this sample but lists activities and addresses and hours information listed, as well as contact information for the volunteer coordinator. We include this sheet with the transcript when needed.
Note from Meg: Note how I have not filled out the “sex” part of the transcript. The template I have (which I have not recommended above because I later found out the creator holds anti-equality views that spill over into their work, and I cannot recommend that) has this as mandatory. First of all, sex is not the same thing as gender. Secondly, gender isn’t a this or that thing. When my child is ready to apply for college she will have the option to either fill this out or leave it blank and write a killer essay explaining why she chose that option.
How Do I Verify My Child’s Homeschool Transcript?
Unfortunately fraudulent transcript services exist, so on rare occasions a homeschooled student may be asked to verify their transcript. You can’t really verify a transcript if you’re creating it yourself. What you can do, however, is have all of your records in order. Have your course descriptions or a list of curriculum used available. You may be asked to have paperwork notarized, be sure to do this in a timely manner and to the exact specifications requested. This is especially important if your child has a IEP they would like to continue using or if their test scores arent a good representation of their knowledge and ability.
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Resources to Create a Homeschool Transcript
Free Transcript Template from A2ZHomesCool
Free Transcript Creator from How to Homeschool Today
Setting the Records Straight by Lee Binz
Transcript Templates & Downloads from Let’s Homeschool High School
Weighted GPA Calculator (for AP & Honors classes)
What Else Do I Need to Know About Homeschool Transcripts?
Remember that there is no wrong way to create a transcript, and while I know it’s easier said than done, don’t overthink it. Your child’s transcript should be unique to them and you can always edit it along the way.
More Posts about Homeschooling High School
Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes, please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.