Homeschoolers know that eventually they will need a transcript. Homeschoolers probably have some idea of what goes on that transcript. They may even have a template to plug their data into. And, odds are that they have a homeschool friend who knows how to calculate that all important GPA.
But, how do you make that homeschool transcript official?
And, what about the other homeschool documents that colleges will require when you apply: graduation plan, teacher references, mentor references, counselor's recommendation, school report, resume, the list goes on and on.......HERE'S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW!
Graduation Plan - This is simply a list of what courses you, the parent and official representative of your school, is requiring your student to complete in order to be officially graduate high school.
Check with your state's education agency
Get a list of their "distinguished" or "honors" graduation requirements
Parse all courses out evenly over 4 years
Make sure to replace all core English, Science, & History with dual credit or AP exams
Now you have a perfect grad plan that any college will love
Teacher Reference - This is a one page recommendation written by any teacher, tutor, coop director, or family friend who has ever taught your student. This should NOT be the parent. (There is room on my college apps for a parents' recommendation -- this is not it..)
Request this no later than the end of your junior year
Ask only 'teachers' that are likely to write something special about you
Math & science teachers are considered more highly by colleges
Get a PDF copy for your files + use the college app system to upload this doc
Mentor Reference - This is a one page recommendation written by any friend, coach, minister, employer, home-school confederate, or family friend who knows your students and can say something meaningfully positive about the student. This is also not the parent.
Also request no later than end of your junior year
Ask more people than you need and hope to get at least 2 for college apps
People known to a college or leaders in the community are great if you know any
Keep a copy for yourself... you may need it later for other applications
Counselor's Recommendation - This is a one page overview of what kind of student your counselor thinks you are in comparison to other students they have worked with. For homeschoolers, this can be a parent but a academic advisor that knows the student is a better option. Think about helpful people from coops, HS Associations, or even private advisors.
This document will be uploaded with college apps or later via each college's portal
If done by a parent, focus on your child's academic and personal strengths, and definitely avoid gushing
School Report - This is a unique document that states how your school works. They literally want to know what criteria you used for grading, what curriculum your use, any coops or outside teachers that are used, how you weighted the GPA (assuming you did), and anything else a regular school would report about how grades are generated.
Sometimes you can get away without this report, but when you can't, then I personally recommend you get a pro to handle this doc
Resume - This is literally an academic resume. Instead of talking about your career goals and what jobs you have had, use a template to layout these main categories.
School Name, Graduation date, GPA, and highlights such as AP, IB, etc.
Volunteer & Services Hours
Awards & Recognitions