Homeschoolers are often Christian families, and they regularly include Christian education in their homeschool. Let me show you how to include your study of faith on your homeschool transcript. After all, Christian high schools include faith-based classes on their transcripts, and you can too!
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It's possible that secular colleges won't consider a homeschool Bible class in their GPA, but some Christian colleges will want to see Bible classes so they know kids are prepared. Don't worry about what the college thinks, though. Your job is to make a homeschool transcript that is honest and true. If Bible class was truly part of your child's home education, I would give the credit.
Your normal, natural study of the Bible and faith can be included on your high school transcript. 120-180 hours is one credit, and 60-90 hours is half credit, or a semester. If your child works for an hour per day on biblical study, then give one credit. If your child works 1/2 hour per day on studying the Bible, then give half credit.
I encourage you to be specific in your class title when you can. Instead of calling it "Bible," you could mention the topic that was covered, or give a more detailed and descriptive title. First, look over the resources you have used, and look for a common thread. Then consider these ideas:
Give a grade for the class, just like you would in all your other classes. A grade for this class is no more or less important than a grade for a math class. A "pass or fail" class can have a negative impact on how a college perceives your GPA; it's important to give a real letter or number grade. You can give a grade of A or 4.0 if your child met your high expectations, put in the work, did as they were told, and completed their "assignments," even if those were family requirements more than school requirements.
Like a Christian private high school, you choose your policy about your homeschool Bible classes. It could be considered an elective in your homeschool, or it could be a required course, like algebra or calculus for math.
Perhaps like you, my Bible class included morning devotions, scripture, church attendance, youth group, and regular faith-based, non-fiction reading. I didn't use a curriculum, and my goal was for my children to grow up, love the Lord, and love reading scripture. Our "Bible Class" was a normal part of how we lived our life. I wanted to include Bible classes on my homeschool transcript, as a full and accurate description of what we did.
As a part of your transcript packet, create a course description for all high school classes. Elective courses have descriptions too, and they are no more or less important than other course descriptions. Some colleges may read only the core class descriptions. Others feel those classes are "proven" by the SAT® or ACT® test and may read only the course descriptions for electives. It's hard to know which course descriptions are going to be important, so I encourage parents to treat all classes equally, and write descriptions for all of them.
I wrote Bible course descriptions to show that it was of equal importance as math and science. I decided that Christian universities were used to seeing Christian education classes from the Christian high school applicants. I decided that a public university was accustomed to seeing transcripts from Christian schools, as well. I knew that public universities love diversity, and emphasizing our Biblical worldview would bring much-desired diversity to their secular campus. For those reasons, I decided my Bible classes were not "electives" but were core classes like the English courses on the transcript. Just like I had a label for math and science classes, I also had a label on my homeschool transcript for our Bible classes. And just like I had course descriptions for my other electives, I had course descriptions for Bible classes.
Proverbs 1:5 says, "Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance." Having daily devotions means we dig directly into God's Word. Listen. Learn. Discern. Get guidance. Now if we could just teach our children to have a quiet time and devotional with the Word of God, they could listen, learn, discern, and get guidance too!
Sometimes kids will gobble it up and love reading the Word. Other times ... not so much: same kid, just different stage. It doesn't mean they have made a long-term commitment to fighting you on devotions. In general, it just means their brain is focused on other things.
There are two ways to encourage and train a child to have devotions.
1. Demonstrate Devotions
Demonstrate a devotional lifestyle, by having a quiet time yourself. Show your children that real adults read their Bible on a day-to-day basis, and that will become normal behavior for them. Check out my devotional for homeschooling moms, Finding the Faith to Homeschool High School: Weekly Reflections for Weary Parents on Amazon. This weekly devotional covers the challenges parents face while homeschooling high school. Gain a refreshing perspective on homeschooling that will support and encourage you along the way throughout the year. Read the 5-star reviews!
2. Encourage Ownership
Find a devotional that fits your children. At the beginning of high school we used The One Year Book of Josh McDowell's Youth Devotions. We read it together, and discussed the scriptures we read. I called it "cozy couch time" because I wanted it to be a warm, friendly, non-schoolish environment. My goal was for them to love scripture. Just like teaching them to love reading, I thought the best way would be to get cozy with the book.
Later in high school, I bought them each their own devotional. Rather than commentaries, I liked The One Year Bible. Each day it provides a section from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. It was a good fit for me, because sometimes I get bogged down in some sections (Lamentations and Revelation come to mind). Having a mix of Old, New, and Wisdom books really helped me have something each day that would spark my interest and keep me excited about devotions.
Be faithful in your devotions, and faithfully put your bible class studies on the high school transcript.
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