Homeschooling High School and How to Make Your Teen's Transcripts

SUMMARY:  This article offers a step by step guide for making your teen's homeschool transcripts,  the kind the colleges are used to seeing.  Homeschool transcripts are not hard to do! 
#homeschooltocollege #homeschoolhighschooltranscripts

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Are you wondering how you might make your teen's transcripts?  Or are you in the midst of working on them and just having a question or two?

You will find answers to your transcripts questions here.  When my daughter was in 9th grade, I was quite nervous about starting the high school years at home.  The thing that worried me was making her homeschool transcripts.  

So I went about doing some research on that, and came up with a step by step guide for me to follow.  It was a help to me and I hope that it will be a help to you, too.  

Our daughter got into each of the colleges on her list with her homeschool transcripts.  They are being widely accepted by the colleges.  She graduated college in 4 years and is now working in the area of her major, Communications.

Knowing what to put on my daughter's homeschool transcripts was a big part of her getting into college.  And she got into each college on her list with the homeschool transcript that we put together.  

So let's get started....

Here are 10 key steps to doing your teen's transcripts and through that, you are showcasing your student to college admissions...

1.  First, let's start with a definition of transcripts, from our friends at HSLDA:

"Transcripts are a record of the courses your child completed in high school, the credit he earned for each course, and each course's final grade. Transcripts also include personal information used for identification purposes and, usually, a grade point average (GPA)." 

2.  What should be included in the homeschool transcript?

The Homeschool Transcript 

It is to include all courses and studies your student has done, in the home and out.  It is the place to compile all courses, including those from a community college. 

If there were public school courses done, include them, too.  They put an * next to those courses, and explain where they were done, in a key at the bottom of the transcript form.  That shows the colleges where they were done and that they were accredited courses.  

The same is true for courses done at a community college.

Be sure to choose a name, like Johns Academy, instead of Learning and Growing School, as that actually helps to lend a serious tone to your transcript, and that is what the colleges are looking for.
    • School name and address, phone number 
    • Name of student, DOB
    • ALL courses from 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years, with grades and credits earned  (One year study = 1 high school credit.  One semester = 1/2 credit)
    • Add in any community college courses, dual enrollment, any online courses, etc, as the homeschool transcript should include everything taken, so the college can see it all in one place.
    • Scores from SAT or ACT.  Chose the highest scores and list them on your transcript.
    • Student's graduation date and GPA - grade point average
    • Parent signature with a date.
    -------------- From HSLDA & Let's Homeschool High School: -

    3. What should the homeschool transcript look like?  

    Sample Transcripts

    If you go to the HSLDA High School-Transcripts, scroll down to HSLDA Sample Transcript, then click on Completed Transcript Example.  There are others there to check out, too.

  • HSLDA Sample Transcripts
  • - See more at:
    I also have a sample transcript in my book.  (See below)

    4.  Where can I find a downloadable transcript form?

    First, here are my best tips for making your teen's transcripts, from my personal experience.  I recommend putting your transcript all on one page, if possible. That is what the colleges are used to seeing.  

    Also, activities, awards, and honor societies don't need to be on the transcript, as there will be space for those important things on the actual college application itself.  That is also helpful to the admissions folks.

    There are transcript forms available on the web, at HSLDA and more.

    I also have a transcript form in my book. It is just like the transcript form that my daughter used when she applied to college.  Again, this is the type of transcript that the colleges are used to seeing.  

    5.  What about calculating credits?

    All of your teen's courses are to be included in the homeschool transcript.  Both courses that are outsourced to a community college or public school, and also your at home courses.

    This way the colleges get to see everything that they did in one place.

    a.  For High School courses, whether they are in your homeschool, at co-op, or online:  Follow this rule:

    One year of study = 1 high school credit.  
    One semester = 1/2 credit

    b.  Dual Credit - Generally, a one-semester three-credit college course is equal to a year-long one-credit high school course. 

    For dual credit courses, mark them with a star or an asterisk, and note that they were dual credit at the bottom of the form.  (More on 3 easy ways to assign high school credit is in my new book below.)

    The homeschool transcript serves as a clearinghouse for everything that your teen did as far as courses.  The colleges like that.  

    What about sending out other transcripts, such as from a community college?  Is that really necessary?

    If your student earned credit from somewhere else, the colleges will want to see that transcript as well.  For outside credits earned, they will want to see an official transcript, sent directly to them.

    So, for any courses that were done outside the home, such as community college courses or public school ones, those school transcripts need to be sent to the colleges.  In addition to the need for you to mention those courses on the homeschool transcript.

    Just ask the college or public school or online school to send their official transcripts directly to the colleges.

    Homeschool Transcripts are being widely accepted by colleges, especially when the transcripts include two things...strong reference letters and clear course descriptions.

    7. What about course descriptions, and reference letters?

    Not all colleges require course descriptions, but if they do, it is not hard to make them.  

    The most helpful thing is to make note of what resources you will be using for each course, and then save this info until the end of the year.  That way, you have what is essential for writing your descriptions.

    Reference letters are important, too.  If you have a teacher or co-op leader to ask, they are great sources for references.  Many homeschoolers will use their high school activity leaders as sources for their teen's references.  

    We used our irish dance teacher, our Youth and Government leader, and someone from her volunteer work, as references. 

    Colleges are used to getting references from a variety of sources for their homeschool applicants.  (My book has more on reference letters, plus a form to use to request references.)

    The Common Application also requires us homeshool moms to write the counselor recommendation letter for our teens.  

    More on that is in my step by step guide to the Common Application.  Most colleges are now using this form instead of individual ones from each college.

    Did you know that we have to do the counselor recommendation letter, as part of the Common Application?  That is why I wrote a chapter on that, and it is not that hard to do!

    What if you would like help with, what to put where on your homeschool transcripts?

    The link above lists my favorite frugal resource for transcripts.....and I highly recommend HSLDA's Fast Transcripts, which is included in this post.  All you have to do for that is send in a list of completed courses, with grades and they will take it from there.

    Now that you know how to make your teen's transcript, are you wondering what subjects should be included on it?

    9.  Are there certain courses that should be covered before graduation?

    In my state of WA, the parents choose which subjects to focus on, and decide when their student is ready to graduate.  

    This means that a student going to a vocational institute after graduation, may not need to follow the same recommended courses for teens who will be headed to community college or a 4 year college.  Most states give this decision to the homeschooling family.

    But, catch this please - There are some states that do have specific requirements for homeschool graduation, so it is advisable to check with your state on that.  

    What more do you need to know if your child is headed to college?

    10.  How about the college bound?  What courses should they be doing in high school?

    Kids who are headed to college need to know what their specific college entrance requirements will be.  This will vary from college to college.  It is helpful to search the websites of the most likely colleges that your teen would be considering.

    Knowing your teen's college entrance requirements is key to your high school planning. 

    For more information on homeschooling high school, I invite you to check out my book, 2nd edition.

    It is recommended by Lessa Scherrer, a certified college counselor and a homeschooling mama of 3.  
    For more info: Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd Edition

    My friend, Vicki from 7 Sisters Homeschool, shares 10 Tips for Making Your Transripts Terrific, on the Homeschool High School Podcast.

    There is more information on making yours here, as well. 


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    Do you have a question or concern about yours that I might be able to answer?  Please share in the comments or feel free to send me an IM.  And I invite you to join my homeschool high school group called:

    More high school posts are on Pinterest here:

    Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


    Betsy is a former O.T, preschool teacher, veteran homeschooler and published author of children's stories.  She is mom to her college grad whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool about the early yearshigh schoolcollegeand is the author of "Homeschooling High School with College in Mind".  She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting.

    Want to stay in touch?


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    1. Loved it! Most blogs I run across are geared to only those with this was great, thanks. :)

    2. Thanks, YesiHomeschool, for stopping by, and it's nice to meet you, another mom who homechools older ones!

    3. Wow! This is a resource to pin!!! My kids are still young, but useful information for later down the road. Hope your daughter has a great time in college!!!

      1. Thanks, Bekah, for stopping by! I hope that this helps you in the future. Next time I will be sharing - T is for Transcripts - The Frugal Way, with links to frugal resources for transcripts. And my daughter is enjoying her classes and also has joined the student government activities board at her college. Thanks!

    4. Thank you for sharing this. This is something I have been thinking about. My son is in 7th grade and I was wondering about this.

    5. Thanks for your comment, a49erfangirl! You are way ahead, thinking about this in 7th grade!.....I'll also be sharing my favorite frugal resources for transcripts, next time, if you'd like to pin that one, too. Have a good week,

    6. Thanks for sharing this walkthru. This was a scary endeavor for me when I had to do it 2 years ago for my daughter. I had joined an Umbrella school to have someone walk me through it. Now that I know the process I won't have a problem doing it for my younger 2 kids.

      1. Hi NIta! Congratulations on your daughter's acceptance into college! Did you like the help that you recieved from your umbrella school? I am collecting resources on that option, too, for a later post. If you would like to share, I could use any names of umbrella schools that were helpful, to encourage other families, on that option, too. Glad that this info was a help to you!

    7. Thanks for sharing this valuable info at the Special Needs and/or Homeschooling Blog Linkup! I'm going to add it to my resources page! We've had 5 of our homeschoolers graduate from college, one is a freshman and we've got one more to go!

    8. Thanks, Sylvia Phillips! I am honored to be included in your resource page at the Special Needs and/or Homeschooling Blog Linkup. I will go over there now, and look for the resource page. Wow, 5 already graduated from college! Mine is a freshman now, just started this fall. It is so exciting to watch her take on college!

    9. Thanks for sharing over at the Snickerdoodle Sunday. I love how you have organized everything in the post for a upcoming graduate who is about to apply for school.

    10. Thanks, Felicia R, from Snickerdoodle Sunday, for stopping by, and for your kind comments! I'll be back again, on your great blog hop soon.

    11. I have a long way to go before we consider these things but the way time is flying I'm sure I'll be stunned when it's here.

      Thanks for this information!

      Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    12. Thanks, Jennifer from The Deliberate Mom, for stopping by, and for your kind comments! I'll be back to the #SHINEbloghop soon.

    13. My oldest is going to graduate from our homeschool this coming December. I'm going to be quite truthful. When I read the title of this my first thought was UGH! However, you have turned my UGH! thought into something manageable. Thank you so much. I'm going to "favorite" this to use with, not only my oldest, but all of my kids.

    14. Thanks, Tim, and I am glad that you found this post helpful. Taking it step by step sure helped us as we worked on our transcripts. Have a good rest of the week,

    15. Thanks so much for this... my Anna is in 9th grade this year and right now we are keeping meticulous records, samples of her work, and very detailed course descriptions. This post is hugely helpful!

      1. SO nice of you to stop by, Mary Prather, and I hope that it is a help to you. I enjoy linking up to Collage Friday each week, and thank you for hosting that. Have a good week!

    16. Thank you so much for this. I am bookmarking this for when I need it soon. Great information!

      1. Thanks to you for stopping by and I hope these tips are a help to you, Amanda Bell. Have a good weekend,

    17. This article came at a great time! I'm beginning 9th grade with my daughter, so I'll need to start keeping records for a transcript for her. Thank you for linking up with us at Hip Homeschool Moms!

      1. Thanks, Wendy Hilton, and I hope that it is a help to you!


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