What is homeschooling? Its general definition would be the practice of parents teaching their children at home, using a more personalized curriculum but which would still be based on Department of Education standards.
The practice of homeschooling is becoming more common than ever before. In fact, it is reported that 1.5 million children were being homeschooled in the United States in 2007, which is an increase of 36% from the number reported back in 2003. There are certainly numerous benefits that homeschooled children receive: some of these are a more protected environment (away from peer pressure and bullying); closer bonds with parents; the opportunity to receive individualized needs-based training; and the chance to receive well-rounded schooling (particularly on subjects which schools generally lack, such as Bible-based instruction and values education).
As much as homeschooling has numerous benefits, it does have its drawbacks too. One specific problem parents may encounter when homeschooling their children would be the issue of producing school transcripts. As the common trend is for students to receive homeschooling education until their senior year of highschool and then enroll at a formal college or university afterwards, parents feel the added pressure of making an academic transcript that would gain school acceptance and which would pass the standards of school requirements. So if you're one such parent who would like to find out how to best produce a school transcript for your homeschool kids, read on.
First of all, it is best to start early. Even if homeschooling has gained general acceptance, some schools would still regard homeschool records as biased since parents are the ones who make them. Collect and document work accomplished by your child so that your transcript could be duly qualified if the school requires you to do so as part of the school applications process.
In creating your transcript forms, make sure that you indicate full information on your child, including his full legal name, address, gender, date of birth, parent or guardian name, and Social Security number. Also, make sure to limit your transcript to only 2 pages. Think of the academic transcript as a summary of your child's achievements: basically it would list the subjects that he studied, along with his letter (or numerical) grades and the number of credits of each subject. Other information that could be included would be the standardized tests that he has taken (and his corresponding scores) and a listing of his extracurricular activities. Details of his academic and extra-curricular pursuits could be attached as additional pages, but they are not part of the transcript itself.
Remember to use a consistent grading scale that you would keep throughout your child's homeschooling years. Include this information in one part of your transcript. For example, your grading scale could look like this: A = 92 to 100; B = 84 to 91; C = 76 to 83; D = 67 to 75. Also, you have to know how many credits to assign a particular subject: typically, 40 weeks would be 1 unit, 20 weeks 0.5 unit, and 10 weeks is equivalent to 0.25 unit.
If you have included nontraditional subjects in the course of study, attach a brief description of these subjects.
A tip is to obtain a sample of an official transcript from an academic institution so that you would have an idea as to which information you'd need to include, and which formats you could follow. You could also find copies of sample transcripts online; check out homeschooltranscripts.com for samples and templates of school transcripts in different formats such as standard annual format, school semester format, and by-subject format.
If you want to order software to easily create transcripts, check out education-edge.com or diplomacreator.com to order.
That's it! Just remember, no matter how important it is to document and grade your child's schooling, what's more important is the learning itself! Good luck!