Creating a homeschool high school transcript can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. This is everything you need to get started, including a sample for your own records.
One of the things I worried about most, in our early years of homeschooling, was how I would handle high school – especially high school graduation requirements and transcripts. I know I am not the only one!
I am asked every single week, more than once, about how we handle high school transcripts in our interest-led homeschool. It can be hard to picture how such a relaxed lifestyle of learning translates into formal documentation.
After graduating one homeschooler and sending him off to college, I realize now that it is so much easier than I thought.
High School Diploma Requirements
Before you take any steps at all in creating a transcript, I recommend you double check your state’s high school diploma requirements. This will form the backbone of your transcript and will also help guide your coursework decisions.
My state’s minimum standards for receiving a high school diploma are as follows:
- 3 years of Language Arts
- 2 Years of Mathematics (either Integrated Math or a minimum of Algebra 1)
- 3 years of Social Science (including US history and Geography, World History, Culture and Geography, One Semester of American Government and One Semester of Economics)
- 2 Years of Science (including biology and physical science)
- 2 Years of Physical Education
- One year of Foreign Language or Visual/Performing Arts or Career Technical Education
Our state also has a set of university bound standards. They are as follows:
- 4 years language arts
- 3 Years Mathematics
- 2 Years History
- 2 Years Science
- 2 Years Foreign Language
- 1 year Visual/Performing Arts
- 1 Year College Preparatory Elective (chosen from the subjects above, including visual/performing arts)
Although my youngest son has no plans to go to college post-graduation, I use the university bound standards as a guide for all of my record keeping and transcripts.
Topics Of Study By Subject
Because I have been sharing all of our learning as it progresses in my weekly lesson plans, you already know most of the topics we’ve covered. The first step in creating my 9th grade son’s actual transcript was to group all of his areas of study by subject.
LANGUAGE ARTS 9
- Literature Study
- The Island of Doctor Moreau
- A Tale of Two Cities
- The Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
- The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
- The Crucible
- Mythologies of the World
- Creative Writing – short stories
- Vocabulary and Spelling Practice
- Figurative Language Activities
INTEGRATED MATHEMATICS 9
- Everyday Math – multiplication and division word problems
- Squared and Triangular Numbers
- Primes and Composites
- Statistics and Probability
- Units of Measure
WORLD HISTORY, CULTURES AND GEOGRAPHY
- Countries of the World Study and Mapping
- Eastern Europe
- Russian and Ukrainian Culture
US HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
- How History Is Documented
- Ancient Indigenous Cultures
- The Declaration of Independence vs. Current Events
- Mississippi River Mapping
BIOLOGY (LIFE SCIENCE)
- The Scientific Method
- Ethical Obligations In Science
- Genetics and Mendel’s Law
- Cellular Biology
- Evolutionary Theory
- Animal Adaptations
- Marine Biology
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Beginning Physics
- Observing the planets
- Intro to NASA
- Rock Climbing – minimum of 2 x’s weekly
- Physical Therapy – once weekly
- Intro to Drawing (offsite at private school)
- Art History – Medieval Art
Because I create these lists throughout the school year (usually once a month, but at least once a quarter), I have everything I need for the actual documentation for his transcript.
Course Credits On Your Transcript
The standard for awarding course credit is in increments of .5 and 1.0 credits per class.
- .5 credit = one semester of study
- 1.0 credit = one school year of study
Based on the amount of time, as well as the amount of subject material covered, credit is awarded accordingly. (See sample transcript below)
For more information on how to determine course credit, I love this post from Kara.
Homeschool Transcript Course Descriptions
Given all of the above information, I create a semester or year long course description for each subject. (If you are not sure what to name a particular course, this list is one I have found helpful to determine what to name certain courses of study for high school transcripts —> Sample High School Courses For Strength Based Learning)
This is what it looks like when you put it all together. Take a look at my youngest son’s 9th grade transcript for this past school year.
|COURSE TITLE||Course Description||CREDITS|
|Language Arts 9A – Literature Study||Intensive study and analysis of world literature, including the classics, as well as a comparative study of world mythologies.||0.5|
|Language Arts 9B – Language Study||Figurative language study, essay writing, creative writing, poetry||0.5|
|Math 9A – Integrated Mathematics||Algebraic concepts and application, Financial Literacy, Discrete Math, Mathematics in Nature||0.5|
|Math 9B – Integrated Mathematics||Algebraic concepts and application, Financial Literacy, Discrete Math, Intro to Geometry||0.5|
|World Cultures and Geography||Countries of the World Study and Mapping, Current Events Analysis||1.0|
|US History and Geography||United States Study and Mapping, Ancient Civilizations through Declaration of Independence||1.0|
|Life Science 9 – Biology||The Scientific Method, Ethical Obligations in Science, Genetics and Mendel’s Law, Cellular Biology, Evolutionary Theory, Animal Adaptations, Marine Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology||1.0|
|Physical Science 9 –||Beginning Physics, Astronomy, Geology||1.0|
|Art Exploration||Introduce and develop skills and knowledge in the areas of art history, art criticism, design concepts, art production, and art careers. (see attached private school transcript)||1.0|
|Performing Arts 9 – Voice and Guitar||Integrated vocal and guitar instruction. Includes music theory, music history, and music technology||1.0|
|Physical Education 9||Competitive rock climbing, stretching basics, nutrition and wellness||1.0|
This is a snapshot of what this looks like in my son’s actual transcript.
Sample High School Transcript For Homeschoolers
Now that you’ve seen our entire 9th grade school year, both weekly and in transcript form, you might be wondering what the entire transcript document looks like.
I am happy to send you a sample of the transcript format we use, for all four years of high school. Just fill-out the information below and I will send it right over.
For more homeschooling high school resources and support:
- Unique Homeschool Portfolios, Record Keeping And Transcripts (Interest-Led)
- Homeschooling Actually Works (why am I so surprised?)
- Homeschooling High School: Online AP Classes And Dual Enrollment
- Homeschooling High School: What Matters Most May Surprise You
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.