The time to think about a high school transcript for homeschoolers usually begins around 7th or 8th grade. Because the job of keeping accurate records falls on the parents, it is good to know what to expect ahead of time.
Many homeschoolers find they need to shift subjects around to fit their transcript. For instance, if your child takes World Geography in 8th grade, you will want to count that as their 9th grade World Geography requirement. The same holds true with math. If your child takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that can count toward their 9th or 10th grade math requirement.
When keeping track of grades during high school years, it is also important to list the textbooks and workbooks you have used, along with a short summary of what is included in the book. This gives you documentation if a school wants to know your child's course of study in order to support the grade given on the transcript.
Make a photocopy of the textbook/workbook front cover and attach a short synopsis of the materials/subjects included. Remember that a transcript is a work in progress until your child graduates, so keep the transcript and supporting materials in a safe place. If you are keeping records on your computer, back up your files frequently.
Some higher education institutions hold extracurricular activities very high in their decision-making process. It is good to encourage your child to become involved in community projects and recreational sports. Keep a list of all the things your child has done outside of school work, such as being a camp counselor or participating in a sport. Also mention awards and citations your child has received. Pertinent information on a transcript includes:
Student's full legal name
Social Security number
Date of birth
School name (could be your last name and "homeschool," i.e., Jones Homeschool)
Courses of study by grade year (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th) and grade achieved
Whether your student plans to attend a trade school, a community college or a major university, you should keep solid records of your child's high school years. Even if he or she is not planning to attend school immediately after graduation, maintain a transcript — it gives your child a foundation for the future.
Denise Oliveri is a homeschooling mom who is active in her homeschool support group as an electives teacher, newsletter production agent and field trips event planner. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.