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How to Prepare an Official High School Transcript for Your Homeschool Graduate

UPDATED: My oldest daughter received a full academic college scholarship using the high school transcript I created with this method.


Would you like to know how to prepare an official high school transcript for your homeschool graduate?

Whether you are just beginning to homeschool your preschooler, or are nearing the end of your homeschool journey, knowing how to prepare an official transcript is knowledge that will most likely come in handy sooner or later.

Since our 17 year old, in true first born fashion, finished her high school courses early, and already has colleges calling, mailing, and emailing, I knuckled down and did quite a bit of research to put together an official high school transcript for her.

The college she has chosen has excused her from an entrance exam and much of the application process because she scored in the top 5% on her SAT test. One thing they did request, though, was a high school transcript.

Here are the steps I took to put together an official high school transcript for our homeschool graduate.

  • Find out the graduation requirements for your state.

In our case, I did a Google search for “Texas high school graduation requirements”. This should be done upon entering the high school years.

  • Use those requirements with this high school credit planner, and pencil in what courses your child needs to complete by graduation.

This can be fairly flexible. Your state, like Texas, may not even require that you meet all state requirements, but this will be a good indication of what colleges will expect from a high school graduate.

I saw different styles of transcripts, but they all were in a spreadsheet format and listed courses, credits, and grades for all 4 years of high school.

  • Use a template to make your own high school transcript.

Here is a free transcript template. I used the free template on this site. (My daughter is not applying there. I just liked the simplicity of the template.)

  • Make it official.

Include all of your graduate’s important information: date of birth, address, phone number, date of graduation. Put the name of your homeschool at the top, sign the bottom, and have it notarized.

That’s it! Congratulations! You have an official high school transcript!

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Comments

  1. So…my oldest is in 7th and the only thing we actually grade is math. Where do the grades for high school courses come from? Did you actually grade everything she did, or just give her an A if she met requirements?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      My grading technique is, “You got this one wrong. Do it over. When everything is right, you are through.”

      Since she scored so high on her SAT test, and because she had complete mastery, I gave her all A’s.

      • That’s pretty much how we do things now, but I’ve never worried about grades so I wasn’t sure what to do about that! Thanks for all the links–this is wonderful!

        • Stephanie Chancellor says:

          Yes, you MUST “worry” about grades. You need accurate assessments to assess mastery of subjects and you need up-to-date, accurate, recorded grades in a gradebook and more importantly on a verifiable, official homeschool transcript. If not, you can be audited, you will have issues with college admissions (must have a clear, professional-looking, official transcript to apply), and you will need the transcript for getting a permit/drivers license (proof of school attendance). As a retired high school teacher, and homeschool teacher of three teens, I promise you you need to be giving at a minimum, grades for projects, exams, and essays. Other grades can be for quizzes or even daily work if you want. This prepares them for how college works and the projects/essays/exams ensure they have mastered the concepts. You MUST have accurate assessments that knowledge has been attained and concepts mastered. These grades must be recorded and maintained on a transcript for college. You can include the PSAT/SAT scores on the bottom of the transcript. Both my older kids scored over 1220 on the SAT, but still had to submit a transcript, just to take dual credit courses at the local junior college. We had to repeat the entire admissions process when they applied as full-time students at the same college.

          • Smockity Frocks says:

            Stephanie,
            Audited by whom or what organization? I have never heard of such a thing.

            Also, we did not need any transcript or grades to get drivers licenses. I am going through driver’s ed with my 3rd teen and no such trouble so far.

            Perhaps laws are different in your state. ?? Texas is the land of the free. :)

    • Stephanie Chancellor says:

      Homeschool teachers: You need to be keeping up-to-date, accurate, recorded grades in a gradebook and more importantly on a verifiable, official homeschool transcript. If not, you can be audited, you will have issues with college admissions (must have a clear, professional-looking, official transcript to apply), and you will need the transcript for getting a permit/drivers license (proof of school attendance).

      As a retired high school teacher, and homeschool teacher of three teens, I promise you you need to be giving at a minimum, grades for projects, exams, and essays. Other grades can be for quizzes or even daily work if you want. This prepares them for how college works and the projects/essays/exams ensure they have mastered the concepts. You MUST have accurate assessments that knowledge has been attained and concepts mastered. These grades must be recorded and maintained on a transcript for college. You can include the PSAT/SAT scores on the bottom of the transcript. Both my older kids scored over 1220 on the SAT, but still had to submit a transcript, just to take dual credit courses at the local junior college. We had to repeat the entire admissions process when they applied as full-time students at the same college.

      • Smockity Frocks says:

        Stephanie,
        Please, explain who would be auditing and what states require transcripts for drivers license. This is not true for Texas in my experience.

      • Cheryle says:

        Stephanie,
        This is not true where we live in Colorado. I just graduated our 3rd high school student. All four of our oldest children (currently 23, 21, 18 and 16) are attending the local jr. college. I’ve never had to submit transcripts or grades. By the way, they’re all 3.5-4.0 gpa students. They’ve had no problems with the concepts of college :)
        All 4 have their driver’s license and no one ever asked what school they went to. Or if they were in school.
        I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years and have friends allllll over the world :) I’ve never heard issues with getting their DL. I think it *really* depends on your state. Which state do you reside?

  2. Thank you, Connie! You just put this in a way I can understand!

  3. My son is only 11 but I have put this on my Pinterest for the future, also forwarded it to my Homeschool support group and my Homeschool Extension classes.
    Thanks! I hope to meet you at the Women’s Summit! Only 2-1/2 weeks! I am excited.

  4. Tiffany Jenson says:

    Since many schools want an official transcript in a sealed envelope, we got quality paper and envelopes, and had a stamp made up with our homeschool name. Whenever I need to send a transcript, I seal the envelope and stamp across the seal. I’ve noticed that many transcripts are done that way.

  5. Thank you so much! We’ve just begun the homeschool journey, but our oldest is in 9th grade so this is perfect timing!

  6. Alice McD says:

    I’d like to suggest something else: Don’t forget to check high school graduation requirements yearly, as they have a way of changing. You might end up knocking yourself out on a course, only to find later that it is no longer necessary!

  7. Congrats to your daughter on her high SAT score. GOOD job. Was that in the 5% nationally? Any AP exams? Is she receiving a scholarship for college?
    As an aside, and out of curiosity, I know that you advocate a lot of Vision Forum products. Everything that I’ve read on other blogs from those who also sell or write about those products, usually support the idea of women/girls staying home until marriage. I understand that everyone doesn’t think alike (nor should they), but, obviously, you don’t adhere to that philosophy.

  8. Just a couple comments: 1. I have graduated 5 students and made transcripts. I didn’t notarize any of their transcripts and they all went to college with varying amounts of scholarships from full ride to full tuition. Notarizing is a good idea, but not necessary.
    2. Beginning in high school, I do grade tests and average scores to give them grades. Grades are up to the teacher, but they should agree with your standardized tests. If your student makes average scores on SAT/ACT and you give them all A’s, that will look like a discrepancy.
    3. The high school transcript does not get your student a scholarship. While an official transcript is required, high SAT/ACT scores, as well as leadership and extra-curricular involvement are what help land scholarships.

  9. Deborah Halasz says:

    I just started homeschooling my stepdaughter. We pulled her out of her junior year at public school. I am doing some grading so she’ll have a transcript. My only fear is that her grades from public school will be dramatically different from those at home school. They truly failed her, and I’m working to remediate. Should I include a note about the drastic change or leave things as they are? Transcripts aren’t required, but if she decides to go to college, they’d be extremely helpful!

    • I wouldn’t include any special notes about her public school grades. You could average those in with her homeschool grades, or you could use your own grading scale.

    • Stephanie Chancellor says:

      Do not include a note. Add in all the public school grades onto one transcript and average everything. Keep your public school transcript and submit it with your four-year, complete, finalized homeschool transcript. This worked perfectly for us! Our teens were admitted into college without too many difficulties. Also, my electronic grade book includes categories for averaging exams, projects, and essays only for most subjects. This is consistent with the grading process most professors use. Daily grades or quizzes can be added, but I found intelligent high-schoolers don’t require much daily (busy) work. Math is probably the ONLY course requiring consistent daily work.

  10. I hated not knowing how to turn everything my child has accomplished on a transcript. Until i found the home scholar website http://e60bdfor1fof0t9fwnsb-5dj8o.hop.clickbank.net/. it has helped me a lot.

  11. You’re a lifesaver!! I absolutely love the transcript template you listed from Covenant College!

  12. Valuable info. Thank you. My son who began homeschooling his 11th grade year has excelled tremendously. We didn’t know anyone who homeschooled their child so this has been a journey full of ‘find outs’. Thank you for your detailed info so I can make him his official high school transcript.

  13. Hi, Smockity Frocks i have 2 granddaughters who are 17 they have been home schooled for some time now and i do know that they need some “official transcripts” and i’m not sure on how to type them up i have read your artical but i’m still having a hard time i am 52 and i work a lot, and i want to get this done before then if i could have you help me out i would highly appreciate it i’ll even pay for your generous time if possible.

    Thanks Donna.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Hi Donna,

      I am right there with you on the time crunch. I need to type up my 18yo’s transcript and haven’t found a spare moment to do it yet!

      The simplest thing to do is click on the “free transcript template” in my post above and fill in the classes your granddaughters have done, along with their grades. I know it’s time consuming. Good luck!

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