Updated: Nov 9, 2019
If you live in a state that allows you to home school, then you most likely have the right to create and maintain your own transcript. This document is important for college admissions, graduation, military enrollment, job hunting, and just good ole' self esteem. If you are going to make one, follow these key steps. Remember when giving out an official transcript, it is a legally binding document.
Make A Great Transcript in 5 Easy Steps
If you just need a great transcript for graduation, then don't over think it. Just down load a great template and start filling in the blanks. Here are five easy steps that will make the process go a lot easier.
Step #1: Make A List
Before getting started, the parent and student should sit down together to brainstorm a master list of all the classes the student has taken since 8th grade. It does not have to be an official "class" such as at a coop or with an outside teacher. Did the student do the work? If so, it is a class and should be on your list.
Your list should include all of this and more:
All grammar, literature, spelling, writing, etc - ENGLISH
Any math from Algebra 1 and up (even if taken in 8th grade) - HS MATH
Biology, Chemistry, Robotics, Equine Physiology, Nutrition (It all counts) - SCIENCE
Any Worldviews, Sonlight, Geography, Personal Finance, Civics - SOCIAL SCIENCE
All years of any foreign language even if was immersive or in-country - FL
Every art endeavor done for 60 -75 hours over the course of a semester. - ART
Same for PE, Health, Sports, Gymnastics, Band, Cheer, or Nutrition - PE
Step #2: Look Up Your State's Requirements
The rules are not in stone but you will need to adhere to the regulations sheet by your state's education agency. Don't take a school's word for what is required. They often assume that the default is the optimal. It rarely is. Get the rules directly from your state's agency, read it and interpret it for yourself. Then write out the classes required to graduate. Here are the 2019 requirements for Texas.
Step #3: Create Class Names
Now it time to take the "classes" on your list and name them based on your State's requirement. Because a homeschooling may look different from a form public school class, turning a student’s academic experiences into named classes can see daunting. Use your state’s high school graduation requirements as a guide. If your state requires 4 credits of English, you should have 4 credits of English listed, and so forth. Ideally, the transcript you produce should verify that the student meets the requirement for high school graduation in your state. What is English? Go back to your master list and look at everything you listed under the ENGLISH section. Those will be your "English classes".
Step #4: Give Each Class A Grade
You will need to give each class a credit and a grade. A good rule of thumb is the Carnegie credit system. Essentially, if you did 135 hours of class time and homework in a subject over the course of a school year, then that will be worth 1.0 credits. Half of that would be worth 0.5 credits and so on. Next comes the grading scale. A standard scale is 90-100 is an 'A' and is worth a 4.0 GPA. This is a very solid scale to use unless you are aiming for elite college admissions, in which case intensification and plus/minus will be necessary.
How Do You Assign A Grade?
Combine the scores for any tests, quizzes, homework, or other assignments.
Divide by the total number of items you scored.
There's your average grade.
Is it 90-100?
Then you get an 'A' and a 4.0 gpa.
Step #5: Put it on the Transcript
Now that you have all the info you need, just start plugging it into your template. There is no exact way to do this except to just make sure that everything you did gets represented on the template somewhere. Now, add up all your grades and average them into one master GPA.
If you want to weight your GPA, you will need some help!
Print it out. Get it notarized. It is official.
To get more details on creating an official transcript read Chapter 18 of my book.