Ten Tips for Terrific Transcripts

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Ten Terrific Tips for Transcripts.

Ten Tips for a Terrific Transcript

Ten Tips for Terrific Transcripts

Transcripts are vitally important as record of all the work your homeschool high schoolers have done. Who needs need a high school transcript:

  • Homeschool graduates who want to serve in the military (check out this interview with a military recruiter)
  • Non-college-bound homeschool graduates who will be going into the workforce. (Most employers do not ask to see your teens’ transcript, but it does happen occasionally.)
  • College-bound homeschool graduates

    How to Create a High School Transcript. Create meaningful transcripts with this editable PDF transcript, course checklist and detailed guide.

    Click image for full description.

BTW- 7Sisters has a transcript kit that includes an editable template and detailed instructions.

So if your teen needs a transcript, it might as well be the most advantageous transcript you can produce. With that in mind, here are ten tips for a terrific transcript!

Remember, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. Also, there’s not ONE right way to create a transcript. So, do what is best for you and your teens.

Transcript Tip #1

You need it. You may not be required by homeschool law to produce a transcript, but your teen will likely need it at some point.

In my years as the upperclass advisor for our local umbrella school, I found that transcripts can be important years after graduating from high school.

  • I remember one graduate school insisting that one of our graduates produce her high school transcript, even though she had just graduated with her undergraduate degree from a four-year college.
  • Another young man was required to produce his high school transcript for a new job years after homeschool graduation.

Transcript Tip #2

It should be easy to read. As we have often noted: there is not a standardized format that your homeschoolers’ transcripts need to follow. However, the most useful transcripts are easy to scan quickly to get an idea of who your teens are.

Transcript Tip #3

Start in ninth grade. You will thank me for this tip. Can you imagine getting to senior year and needing to dig through years of portfolios and crates and boxes, trying to piece together a transcript? (We have had to help a few homeschoolers do that. While we made it happen, it’s tough.)

You don’t need that stress. Go ahead. Start in ninth grade!

The cool thing, as you watch that transcript develop year to year, you and your teens will feel SO proud of what they are accomplishing. As the transcript builds each year, teens can really feel proud of their successes.

Start the transcript in the 9th Grade

Transcript Tip #4

Keep the format consistent year to year, especially the order of the courses your teen completes. Take for instance:

  • List English/Language Arts first each year
  • Then list Math next each year
  • After that list Science
  • Then list History

You do not need to follow this format, per se, but do order the courses. That way admissions officer, military recruiter or human resources personnel can quickly scan to make sure your teen accomplished all they needed to in high school.

Also, choose the titles for the courses wisely. Here’s a post to help you choose the names for courses.

Transcript Tip #5

Show the level of rigor your homeschool high schooler worked at for each core course:

  • English/Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Levels can be used for other courses also.

Simply record the level of rigor right next to the course title on the homeschool transcript. For instance:

  • Level 1: Remedial
  • Level 2: Average high school
  • Level 3: College prep
  • Level 4: Advanced
  • Level 5: Honors

Check this post for details on levels on a transcript.

This lets colleges or military recruiters know that your teen can handle rigorous academics.

Transcript Tip #6

Include a legend or key on the transcript. Because there is no standardized format for Levels, you will need to include a key or legend on the transcript to explain how the levels are earned.

Transcript Tip #7

Have a GPA recorded on the homeschool transcript. Decide whether you want that GPA:

  • Weighted or
  • Unweighted

For instance, a weighted GPA might be greater than 4.0 to reward teens for their hard work. On the other hand, when applying to colleges, the GPA tends to undo the weighting so that they can compare student to student.

Transcript Tip #8

Include testing scores. If your teen is taking SAT or ACT, it is good to include those scores on the transcript.

Although teens often are often asked these scores as part of their college applications, it is good to have them on the transcript also. That’s because of the “skimmers”. In other words, having the testing scores on the transcript helps admissions officers skim the transcript and turn up LOTS of good information.

Transcript Tip #9

Include extracurricular activities and competitions on the transcript. This is so beneficial for teens who participate in chosen activities for a couple of years in a row. It makes the transcript look so powerful.

Also, include service hours on the transcript. Volunteering shows strength of character and willingness to be involved in the community. Not only that, but these projects helps them when they build their experiential resume.

It is also good for nostalgia when your teens are grown and on their own. You and they can look back and remember all the cool things they did!

Transcript Tip #10

Make sure you include identifying information for your teen. (This seems so obvious, but hey, we are homeschoolers and our kids don’t have to put their names on papers. In the same way, it is easy for us to forget all the important identifying information on the transcript.)

Include this information at the top of the transcript:

  • Student’s full name
  • Complete address
  • Email address
  • Your homeschool’s name or the word “Homeschool” at the top. (This is optional.)

This distinguishes your teen from other applicants with similar names.

These tips are tips that have worked for us and our advisees. Remember: there’s not ONE right way to build a transcript so do what is best for you and yours.

Want more support?

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And for more homeschool support, check out our sister podcasts right here on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network:

Join Vicki for encouragement and tips for terrific transcripts!

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A Special Thank You to Our Network Sponsor:  Show Me The Father Movie

The Kendrick Brothers, creators of WAR ROOM and FIREPROOF, have some exciting news to share: they have TWO films coming to theaters this fall—SHOW ME THE FATHER on September 10 and COURAGEOUS Legacy on September 24.

Featuring a variety of amazing, true stories, the Kendrick Brothers’ new feature film SHOW ME THE FATHER takes audiences on an inspiring and emotional cinematic journey. Their first documentary film has something for everyone and invites you to think differently about how you view your earthly father story and also how you personally relate to God.

Check out the trailer here!


 

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge.

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge

Let me tell you, Vicki was so excited for this week’s interview. When her oldest homeschoolers were still very young, she ran across a series of biographies (Christian Heroes, Then and Now) by Janet and Geoff Benge. The first biography she read to her kids (the story of Adoniram Judson) was so inspirational, that they made a practice of reading the books as often as they could afford to by another.

So, Vicki was thrilled when she got a chance to hear Janet Benge talk at the beloved 2:1 Conference (for homeschool bloggers). Vicki made a point of chatting with Janet afterwards and next thing you knew, Janet and Geoff made time for an interview on Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

Janet and Geoff love to inspire young writers for writing non-fiction. Teens can sometimes feel intimidated by writing, especially the non-fiction topics, so make sure you listen in on this week’s episode.

Janet and Geoff are from New Zealand. Janet was originally an elementary school teacher and Geoff a chef. They had no idea God had planned for them to write. When they joined Youth With a Mission with their young daughter. After a time on a mission ship, they were stationed in the Philippines. They found this service changed their lives forever (one way it changed was that they adopted a child there).

Janet and Geoff Benge of Christian Heroes: Then and Now biography series

Janet and Geoff Benge Photo use with permission

 

Janet and Geoff were deeply touched by the poverty and needs of the people in the community they were serving. She began a newsletter for their supporters back home to raise funds to help their community. The newsletter became so popular, they were asked to write the national newsletter for YWAM. They were soon asked by Ginny Rogers (the sister of the founder of YWAM) to come to Texas to attend a workshop on book-writing by John and Elizabeth Sherrill (authors of the Cross and Switchblade and other Christian classics of that generation).

God miraculously provided for them to attend when an old friend tithed the sale of their farm. They were able to attend the workshop. It was revolutionary to Janet and Geoff’s writing. They learned that:

  • Books are crafted
  • There are techniques for leading a reader along
  • They could learn these techniques

Janet and Geoff next became ghost writers with their new skills (for about fifteen years). Geoff is a great partner, so their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. Then they launched into their biography series for YWAM, at YWAM’s request because they had been to homeschool conventions where the few biographies they saw were boring and uninspiring. YWAM new that missionary stories are powerful and exciting. So Janet and Geoff started writing: Christian Heroes, Then and Now (now 35 books) and also  Heroes of History (now 33 books).

Janet wants to encourage young writers that learning difficulties do not need to keep you from writing. She is ADHD and dyslexic.

Here are Janet and Geoff’s tips for non-fiction writing for homeschool high school!

When you choose a person to write about begin to read about them:

  • Read books. Janet says ABEbooks.com is a good resource for used books
  • If there is an organization aligned with the person, check their website. You can even contact them and see if there is someone you can interview about your person
  • Get a since of the person
  • Read about their time period and location for background information
  • Interview the person, if alive, if possible (or a family member)
  • Look for little bits of interesting information or stories

Begin to organize material by time period in their lives

  • Make connections between events or ideas that can connect the time periods
  • Fact check if there are areas where the information is fuzzy
  • Remember to understand the person in context of their times and locations

How to decide what to include and what to drop in writing

  • Remember you can only give a flavor of the person’s life and events
  • Remember your audience, but you do not have to be a “Polyanna”
  • Concentrate on events and ideas that shows the person’s character

Reading and writing biographies can help inspire teens to make the world a better place. Janet and Geoff Benge

The Benges love to inspire their readers. One of their biggest blessings is to hear from parents that one of their biographies was the first book their kid ever loved.

Vicki asked Janet and Geoff who were their favorite stories. Janet listed Adoniram Judson, because he kept serving and facing down obstacles despite struggles with mental health. Geoff mentioned David Bussau, who Geoff had the opportunity to interview personally and found that David understands poverty and able to come up with wise solutions. Geoff also was inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

If you have a homeschool high schooler who wants to write a book:

  • Get started with essays, shorter narratives, a research paper about a person (Check out 7Sisters’ writing materials to get started and listen to this HSHSP episode.)
  • Experiment with some journalism
  • Get feedback on your writing
  • Read, read, read
    • See how other’s write
    • When you find a book you love, read it several times, note how they start the book in the first chapter
      • How did it start?
      • How much information is presented?
      • How many characters are introduced?
        • How are they introduced?
      • How is the time period introduced?
      • How is the conflict introduced?
        • How is the main story hinted at?
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Take a class on writing (you can find them online). Janet and Geoff have taught writing in live settings and are working on an online version now.

Check out Janet and Geoff Benge’s Christian Heroes: Then and Now; and Heroes of History at YWAM.

Vicki asked Janet and Geoff if they had any advice for homeschool high schoolers. They said, “These are tumultuous times. Dig in. Find others who have lived through difficult times. Biographies can help inspire you through these times. Also, keep notes, you may be writing your own story in the future.”

Join Vicki, Janet and Geoff for an inspiring interview!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO HSHSP VIA COMPUTER

  1. Follow this link to our Apple Podcasts page.
  2. OR take this IMPORTANT STEP: Under our Homeschool Highschool Podcast logo, click on View in “…your favorite podcast source”
  3. This will take you to Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast source and our own podcast page.
  4. Click SUBSCRIBE.
  5. Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. (Please take a minute and do this. It helps others find us. Thanks!)
  6. Thanks!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE VIA iPHONE

  1. Tap the purple Podcast icon on your phone
  2. Tap the search icon on the bottom-right of your screen
  3. In the search bar type: Homeschool Highschool Podcast
  4. Tap the Homeschool Highschool Podcast icon
  5. Tap *Subscribe*
  6. Please tap *Ratings and Review*

Non-fiction Writing for Homeschool High School, Interview with Janet and Geoff Benge