High-School Transcripts

Not sure how to handle High-School transcripts?
You’re going to love this!


My Student Logbook
Create High School Transcripts
When I wanted to record these videos I had a cold and last minute realized I couldn’t make it 4 minutes without coughing!  So my daughter graciously agreed to narrate for me while I popped one cough drop after another into my mouth.  The hands in the videos are mine, but the voice is hers!  🙂
Referenced or shown in this video:
Apologia High School Science Curriculum
Saxon Math
Referenced or shown in this video:
(our children have participated in these at our state capitol)
(by HSLDA – we have personally not participated in this, but it looks good!)

Referenced in this video:
My Student Logbook
Create High School Transcripts
      Making your own high school transcripts isn’t as hard as you may think.  High School Transcripts are easiest to make each year when everything is still fresh in your mind.  You may even want to start earlier if your child is doing high school level work or just for the sense of accomplishment and celebration you and your child will have looking at a year-end summary.  There are four basic components to the actual records put on a high school transcript:  


1.  Course title


2.  Course description (optional)


3.  Credit Hours
4.  Grade
I am going to address these 4 points in reverse order.
Though you could give a lower grade, most home educated students get grades of A or 4.0.  Why?  Because if they don’t show mastery (a job well-done), parents make them re-do it until they do.  Remember, public school teachers provide opportunities to re-do work or to earn extra credit to improve grades – so can we!
Credit Hours:
          What is a credit hour?  Imagine a child sitting in a school setting.  One credit hour is a one hour class (actually 50 minutes) your child takes every day all school year long (180 days).  There are at least 3 ways to assign credit hours:
1.  High School Level Textbook/Course.  If the textbook or course your child is using is labeled by the publishing company as a high-school level course and your child completes at least 80% of the book (even if your child is younger than high-school), your child gets one high school credit hour for that course.2.   Count Hours.  This one is the most fun because this is where home educating parents get to create their own curriculum.  This is also where My Student Logbook becomes invaluable.  When completing assignments or projects that do not have a specific high school textbook, instead of placing a checkmark in the box on your weekly logbook pages, your child can write the number of hours spent on the assignment/project.  Completing 150-180 hours of work in a particular subject counts as one credit hour.  (Half that amount counts as ½ credit hour.  Smaller amounts of time can be listed on Transcripts as “Activities”).  Alternately, for those once-in-a-while field trips or large book report projects, you may choose to list them in the back of your My Student Logbook under “Books Read” or “Events, Projects, Field Trips, Presentations, Activites.”  Separate columns are provided for you to record hours and the possible subjects those hours may count toward.
3.  Show Mastery.  If your child is published as a knowledgeable adult (in a magazine or journal for example) on a particular topic, your child may receive credit for that subject.  Additionally, if a high-school level teacher or other knowledgeable person in the field vouches for your child’s level of understanding in an area, they may receive high-school credit.  Also, if your child has won a High School or adult-level competition, that is also a demonstration of mastery. 
Mastery can also be demonstrated by passing a CLEP or AP test, a wonderful, highly recognized, and objective way for your child to demonstrate his proficiency in a subject.  Any CLEP or AP exam passed goes on the transcript as a 1 HS credit hour course.  You may even call it an “Honors” course, since both exams are considered to be college level.  Many student helps are available both in book form and online.  A great opportunity!  Note:  College Credit.  CLEP and AP exams are designed to evaluate college level proficiency and can often be transferred to Universities as college credit.  Every college has their own list of which CLEP and AP exams they will transfer.  Every university will have a page on their website listed what tests will transfer for credit.  This College Board CLEP website allows you to search for your institution and see which CLEP tests will transfer for college credits.  I also recommend the short book, “His BA was Only 8K!” by Kathy Cooksey for more information about preparing for and taking CLEP exams and even getting a college degree using CLEP.
Course Title and (optional) Description:
Hours reading, writing, singing, performing, field-trips, etc. can all count toward a credit of your choice.  What’s best is you get to make up the course title!  (Note:  It is important to use course titles that the University of your choosing will be able to recognize and comprehend – see resource below).  
Many books and projects may count toward any one of several subjects with different course titles.  For example, if your child reads a book on The Economic Factors Influencing 17th century British Colony Relationships (I just made that up), the hours spent on that book and book report could count toward “Economics”, “US History”, “Western Civilization”, “World History”, “Government”, or “Writing”.  (Note, however, that the same set of hours cannot count toward more than one course.)  
In this way, at the end of the year you can combine the different completed assignments into neat packages and assign nicely created course titles (and optional descriptions) to go with them.  This is essentially translating the home education you already do into a language Universities understand.
Outside of Class Hours:  Don’t forget to give your children credit for the hours they spend in activities and educational pursuits outside of “bookwork”.  For example, if your child studies music, he may not only record his practice, instruction, and recital time, but also the time he spends participating in music at church.  This is why My Student Logbook was redesigned to include the full seven days on each weekly page. 
(You can tell your children they can relax now.  My Student Logbook is not actually promoting 7-day week school schedules!) 
Bible reading (done any day of the week) can count toward a credit in a Bible or Reading/Lang. Arts course.  Your student may also be involved in public speaking or group discussions at church or other activities.  Count those hours, too!  They could count toward a credit in Communication, Public Speaking, etc. 
Just remember, the same hours cannot count for more than one course; no double-dipping!  🙂
Never Too Many Hours:  If your child’s hours (in music, for example) greatly exceed the 150-180 hours required for a credit, you may wish to divide “Music” into two courses.  Possibilities for course titles include:  “Classical Music”, “Music Performance”, “History of Music”, “Music Theory”, or “Career Development: Teaching Music”.  Be creative!  You may also begin accumulating hours for next years’ class, just as if you were getting a head start in next year’s textbook.
Quick Hours Count:  Sometimes many hours can add up quickly.  If your child is involved in a play, he may accumulate the 150-180 hours required for one full credit of Drama in a matter of weeks.  The same quick hour accumulation may be true for field trips (count them all!), activities such as Physical Ed: Swim Team, or intensive instruction and experience in Government such as TeenPact, iGovern, Homeschool Day at the State Capitol, or Generation Joshua.
Record as you go:  
All this is a cinch if you record the hours spent as you go.  My Student Logbook makes that easy to do.  You can write the number of hours in your checkbox each day in lieu of a checkmark, or you may choose to record hours in the “Books Read” or “Activities” pages (great for field trips) in the record section of your My Student Logbook.
Putting it all Together:
The final step, of course, is to actually put everything together into a beautifully polished, professional looking transcript that accurately and thoroughly portrays the culmination of all the work your child has accomplished to a prospective employer, University, or to formally recognize your student’s accomplishments at your private home graduation celebration!  Imagine how rewarding it will be to look at!  
For this final step including formatting, help choosing course titles Universities will understand, creating course descriptions, calculating credit hours, more information on grades, and wonderful additional (and personal) encouragement along the way, I must recommend the woman I consider to be the queen of high school transcripts: Lee Binz, The Home Scholar.
You can do this!
Your child is worth it and it’s going to be beautiful.
This is a very interesting article by linkedin on the future trends of the Higher Education industry.  Trend is toward:  more flexibility for students, less dependence on the brick and mortar campus, greater use of online courses taken from anywhere in the world, lower cost, and higher quality.  Well worth the read.