Build an Amazing Transcript

August 5, 2013

by Jean Burk

What if your student had a high school transcript so outstanding that that even the admissions office of Harvard would be impressed? It’s easier than you might think. Homeschooling has great advantages, one of which is the ability to tailor your child’s education according to his or her individual needs. That’s the true beauty of getting to be principal, teacher, and head guidance counselor all in one. Unfortunately with these roles comes the responsibility of record keeping — a daunting task to say the least.

Now that the summer is almost over it is important to start the new school year off on the right foot. Don’t wait another minute to get yourself organized. It will only get harder as time goes by. Make sure your students transcript is update before you start another term. Even the most organized home-school parent can get overwhelmed by the task of making a transcript. Tackling it one step at a time is the key to an amazing transcript.

Remember, a transcript can be created in a word processor or other similar computer program. There is no hard-and-fast rule about how a transcript should look, so you have some leeway in terms of organization. Try to review the transcripts of other parents in your homeschooling group. See what you like and copy it. Very likely, someone you know will already have a template that fits perfectly to your child’s academic career.

Also, transcripts are NOT about academics alone. Colleges are looking for students of substance. They do not want to admit a one-dimensional erudite. Your student’s transcript may look great in the academic department, but may be severely lacking in the community service aspect. Come up with a list of community service organizations and projects that your student can get involved in, and then dive right in. Sit down and think about all that your student has accomplished over the summer and see if any of it is worth notating on the transcript. Summer sports, recitals, and community service all have a place on a transcript because they show potenial admission counselor that your student is well-rounded.

Lastly, it is important to add the student’s standardized test scores to the transcript. For homeschoolers, these scores validate their academics achievements since they are unbiased and administered unilaterally. Transcripts should notate PSAT score as well as SAT or ACT scores. Although PSAT’s are not required for college entrance, higher scores often yield bigger scholarships. Many colleges put more emphasis on test scores than GPA’s because a 4.0 at one school is not necessarily equivalent to a 4.0 at a different school. That’s especially true for homeschoolers because every parent has a different grading scale.

A home school transcript is more than a record of your student’s achievements. It’s also a reminder of your accomplishments as a homeschooling parent. As much as you should congratulate your child on the success of completion, feel free to pat yourself on the back. Getting your student through high school is a great accomplishment all in itself and the end result just might be coveted by Harvard.

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