If you’ve read just about any other blog post of mine, you know that I am bound and determined that there is no reason to make things any more difficult than they need to be. I will WORK HARD for my right to be lazy, lol! The same is true with creating a homeschool high school transcript. This is a big worry for homeschoolers — and it just doesn’t need to be. In this post I will tell you everything you need to know! (AND I will offer you a downloadable transcript form! Keep reading!)
I asked my Facebook group recently to share their greatest fear about homeschooling high school. (BTW, the group is called It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool High School. Join today by clicking HERE; you won’t regret it! 🙂 ) For many it was transcripts. They are worried about making them correctly, so that colleges will accept them. There seems to be some kind of power in the piece of paper from the public school, and many moms think they can’t produce that same magic in their homeschool high school transcript.
Well, I’m here to tell you today that it is NO BIG DEAL. Seriously!! A transcript is nothing more than a list of the high school courses that your child has taken, his grade for each course, and how many credits he received for it. At the end there is a summary of the same information that includes a cumulative GPA and total number of credits. And there is an “official” signature. That’s it! The public high schools don’t do it any differently than this, y’all. Doing a Google image search will bring up myriads of samples of public school transcripts, if you want to see for yourself. 🙂
Just to be sure I wouldn’t be steering you wrong, I did search for an authoritative list of all the information that is absolutely REQUIRED on a high school transcript. And — no surprise — I found varying recommendations. Which confirms for me that the only absolute necessities are what I already listed above. All other information, such as standardized test scores, extra-curricular activities, etc. is OPTIONAL. Much of that type of information will be found on the application itself, so there is no need to replicate it on the transcript.
I do recommend giving your child’s date of birth and social security number, just so that the colleges can easily compile their paperwork. You will also want your school name and address at the top. I didn’t include a grading scale on my daughters’ transcripts, because I gave that information separately along with course descriptions. (They are a topic for another post… watch this space… 🙂 ) But if you want to include a grading scale, you certainly may. Honestly, though, a transcript is a very simple document. There is no need to be scared!!
If you are concerned about a particular college application, then look on their website under “Admissions” to see if they have any specific requirements for transcripts. Chances are they do not, because they know they can’t expect public schools to adapt their transcripts for individual student applications. Often a college will have a page on their website just for homeschool applicants, and there they will tell you what they need to see. But I would be surprised if it differs at all from what I’ve already described.
How you format the information is totally up to you. I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true!! If you are comfortable with word-processing or spreadsheet software, you can totally just make your own! All that is important is that the information is accurate and that the overall look is organized for easy comprehension. For ideas regarding formatting, I’ve compiled some samples specifically for homeschoolers and listed the links for them at the end of the post. OR read on for my own solution… *creating suspense here* 🙂
Oh, and that whole “official transcript” vs. “unofficial transcript” thing?? Don’t even worry about it. I suppose there are some colleges that may want you to have the transcript notarized to make it “official.” But there is no need to do that unless they specifically ask for it. Why spend the money? I never had any of my girls’ transcripts notarized, and none of the many colleges they applied to had a beef about it.
Below is what my three older girls’ transcripts all looked like. This was formatted by the homeschool record-keeping software I was using at the time, called Homeschool Tracker. To be honest, using your homeschool software is really the easiest way to go, because the software does all the calculations and formatting, and you just choose which student, courses, and other information you want on there and then print that bugger out.
But what if you are not using homeschool software, or you don’t like the way the pre-formatted transcript looks, and/or you don’t want to take the time to format your own form?
Hey, you can purchase and download my fill-in and print homeschool high school transcript form for only $4.99! Just sayin’… 🙂
Yes, I am here to make things easy!! That’s what this blog is all about!! So I have created a fillable PDF transcript form that you can download, type your child’s information into, and print. All the calculations of grades and GPA will be up to you (instructions included); but the formatting is all done, which is half the battle! Since it is a PDF, you can use it on either a Mac or PC. It is available for $4.99, which makes it a very reasonable way to have a great-looking transcript!
To sum up, the homeschool high school transcript is very doable, y’all, just like every other aspect of homeschooling high school. Don’t make it more difficult or worrisome than it needs to be. You’ve got this!!