What Colleges Like to See on a Homeschool Transcript
Subjects and Materials
For sure, colleges are interested in knowing what subjects your student has been studying. But this doesn’t limit students to a generic list. This is an opportunity for homeschoolers to have the benefit of tailoring their education and stand out among their peers. All the rabbit trails and delight directed interests will pay dividends, as will your student’s personal list of electives.
See What Your Local State Requires
It may seem like part of the “standards game,” but it may be helpful to consider what your state requirements for homeschool students includes. These should be included on your student’s transcript (assuming they’ve done the course work.)
But what if your state requires three years of language and your student has absolutely no interest in learning one? Well, perhaps your student isn’t interested in learning a second verbal language. For some students, it’s difficult for them to roll the ‘r’ in Spanish. Or your student for some reason may simply struggle with language recall.
However, your student may love and catch on easily to the conceptual art of American Sign Language. Even pre-language courses such as Latin or Greek derivatives can be counted as language study. Homeschooling gives you an advantage to think outside the box.
The Name Game
As you read earlier, subjects listed on the transcript don’t need to be boring. Let’s hear it for dressing up subject titles! (Of course, with an honest reflection upon your student’s learning, yet something that shows the uniqueness and importance of what they’ve learned.)
One other example could be Drama—Shakespeare, Bard of the Bible. Many people are unaware that Shakespeare’s works have many references to the Bible. And the fact that your student participated in drama and studies of Shakespeare will cause your student to stand out.
With credits, there are several different ways students may acquire them. Your state’s requirements will guide you to how many credits your student needs in each subject. But oftentimes homeschool moms have questions about what constitutes one high school credit.
- The completion of a high school level textbook
- Completing a semester-long course at a college
- Taking a high school or college level online course
- Completing a year-long unit study
- Taking a year-long course at a high school (preferably a private school)
- Participate in homeschool sports teams
- Take private lessons and participate in competitions (Martial Arts, Dance, Swim, etc.)
One credit is approximately 120-180 hours of work. The upper end of this range (180 hours) is usually appropriate for lab science courses, while 150 hours is the average for a year long academic course such as English or History. Using this formula, you could also assign 1/2 credit for 60-90 hours.
Missing Required Credits
In general, students in a well-ordered, well-planned homeschool won’t be missing credits because the homeschool sets the requirements. A wise parent will be aware of the work load facing their student in the college years and prepare them for success. That said, it’s wise to contact colleges your student is considering attending and ask them what requirements they look for students to complete. Don’t be surprised if they expect all state requirements to be met.
Making if Formal
A transcript ought to follow a formal layout. On a formal transcript, the following is presented:
- Student information- The name and basic information about the student.
- School information – The name and address of the school. You do not need to identify it as a “homeschool.” In fact, I would avoid using the term “homeschool” in your school name or any “cutesy” names that were adorable for kindergarten, but may not impress on a high school transcript.
- Courses, credits, grades – What the student learned, the credit awarded, and the grade assigned.
- The graduation date – The actual or expected graduation date of the student should be included.
- A grading scale- This would be the weight given to credits, the scale used to award grades, and the statement of how grades and credit are evaluated.
- Student’s GPA – A GPA is a grade point average. There are different ways to figure a GPA. This article is helpful.
- Parent’s signature and date – You can identify yourself as primary educator, tutor, or principal.
Transcripts have only so much space to state what your student has covered. Therefore, it’s an excellent idea for a document of course descriptions to accompany the transcript. In this way, colleges can learn the individuality of your student’s education.
The Perfect Transcript
The transcript is the silent interview your student provides to potential colleges. Don’t be afraid to take the time to make a great first impression. Ask veteran homeschool parents who have graduated a homeschool student to share a sample with you.
And when you’re all done, congratulate your student on a job well done. Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back a little either.