Record-keeping might not be everybody’s thing. Yet, keeping a record of your child’s school years and the work they did in each one is so important. You might think you’ll remember everything your child did in his school years, but as time goes by you might be surprised at how blurred the years become!
As your child prepares for high school graduation and the path they’ll take beyond homeschool, you’ll want the records of their school years, especially the high school years. Especially if they plan to go to college after high school, when you’ll generally need a copy of their high school transcript. This is challenging…but doable! Here are some great tools that were amazing helps for me.
What has worked best for you via lesson planning? There are great online planners that many of my friends have used. However, I am (and always have been) a paper and ink (or pencil, in this case) planner lover. My two favorite planners have been The Old Schoolhouse’s Hey Mama Planner and the Well Planned Gal‘s Well Planned Day Planner.
These planners are just fantastic and must flow well with my thinking and planning styles. There’s room to record the courses, the days, semester grades, attendance, books read, and both contain extra places. The boxes include enough room for pages, time spent, even extra notes you might need to record. These were just, truly, invaluable when I prepared my son’s transcript.
You’ll need to be keeping records of all these things, and having them all in one place will make your life so much easier!
Homeschool High School Made Easy
Lea Ann Garfias‘ awesome Homeschool High School Made Easy was my first introduction to what the homeschool high school life would comprise. This lovely book, written in a conversational style that makes the reader seem immediately welcome and comfortable, covers tons of good info for the mom of homeschooled high school teens. Garfias, who was homeschooled herself in addition to homeschooling her own kiddos, covers teaching styles, testing, relationships, homeschooling styles, dating, driver training, and life preparation. The book sections that relate to transcript prep include credits, standardized testing, college essay writing, state requirements, college entrance.
Homeschool High School Made Easy was the most wonderful book to read. It made me feel so much more comfortable about homeschooling high school and gave me a great overview of the things I needed to be conscious of and focusing on as we moved through the high school years. So helpful!
Lee Binz The HomeScholar Resources
Several years ago, I purchased Lee Binz’ “Total Transcript Solution” from TheHomeScholar website. This was, hands down, the most helpful training and resource I utilized in creating Jackson’s transcript. This provided samples of excellent transcripts, instructions on what needs to be included in a transcript, and what colleges find impressive in a student’s records and applications. It was offered to me at a discounted price and I purchased the Silver membership level. I learned most of what I know about transcripts from Lee Binz!
The HomeScholar does have a ton of free resources that you can check out, if you’re not ready to purchase some products. Here are some examples of freebies you can find there:
- Free seminars on: scholarships for homeschoolers; high school success; avoiding high school mistakes; grades/transcripts/credits
- Free guides: high school Kindle e-books; 10 Essentials for Homeschooling High School; free record-keeping samples, and more
- Free workshops
Just visit TheHomeScholar for all these and more. And just so you know, I’m not an affiliate for TheHomeScholar. They’re just an amazing help that I wanted to share with you!
My own tips for you
It is a HUGE task to create your student’s transcript. I learned so much about how to do it recently, and all that I learned (along with all the work my son put in during his high school career) made a huge difference! Here are the things I found most helpful, that I hope will assist you!
- Keep good records of your student’s coursework, including:
- Hours spent
- Books read
- What was learned in each course
- Curricula used and completed
- Field trips or activities which enhanced learning
- And, update those records semester by semester. (Again, this way you won’t have to rely on your memory!)
- Keep records of your child’s extracurricular activities, such as:
- Piano (or any other instrument) lessons and performances
- Drama activities, roles played in performances
- Volunteer work (places and organizations served at, dates serves, and number of hours)
- Leadership activities
- Honors and awards
- Sports activities
- Jobs held
- Learn what a Carnegie Unit is, to assist you in knowing what is required for your students’ transcript records
- Visit the websites of each college or university your child is interested in, if he or she wants to attend college. Find out what they require (course-wise and ACT/SAT test scores) for admission or selection so you know what you’re needing to set as goals. You can also contact the universities’ admissions office to inquire what they require from homeschooled students for application.
- Know your state’s laws for homeschool graduation and course completion. It’s definitely going to vary from state to state, but this will help you to plan your student’s high school course work requirements.
I hope this has been helpful for you! Most of all, enjoy the time with your high schooler. It really does fly by so quickly.