It’s August already, and as the summer draws to an end, homeschool parents seem to get busier than ever. Summer can be a busy time! While I’m all for taking a break, it’s important to stay up on homeschool record keeping tasks in high school, especially your transcript. In fact, as I consult with homeschool families, I’ve started to notice some transcript pitfalls that are common to many homeschoolers. Keep an eye open for these 3 transcript pitfalls to avoid!
Your homeschool grades don’t match your student’s college admission test scores (such as the SAT or ACT). I am not saying that test scores are the "real" part of your child's education, but they do reflect the learning your child has done. Make sure grades and test scores reflect and match each other as much as possible. (If your child tests poorly and their test scores do not reflect their knowledge, make sure to communicate this to colleges.)
This isn't merely a warning not to inflate your child’s grades - it goes both ways. I heard from a parent recently who had a college request that she raise her daughter’s homeschool grades in order to match her college admission scores! That sure made me laugh.
The tendency to convey your child as one-dimensional. While your transcript is definitely the place to show your student’s math, science, and foreign language accomplishments, it’s your student’s passions and delight directed learning that help a college see your student's unique aspects.
Remember that colleges don’t particularly want another cookie-cutter kid. They see those all the time. You want your student to rise above the crowd and be different. You want your student to be a unique individual, a character, someone colleges have never seen before. The transcript is one of the places to reflect this.
Leaving out entire chunks of information. You might laugh at this, but sometimes homeschool parents seem to forget entire courses when they’re putting their transcripts together - usually because they haven’t kept good records!
I was working with a homeschool mother on a transcript for her high school junior. She and I went over every subject area they had covered, and discussed everything in detail from high school algebra to American Sign Language. Everything was complete. As I was leaving, I asked, “What are you doing this weekend?” The mom didn’t hesitate for a moment, explaining that they were going to a Latin competition that weekend. “Latin?” I said. “You never mentioned Latin!” This was how I discovered that her high school junior had already completed four years of high school Latin, and she had completely forgotten about it.
Although these common transcript pitfalls do happen, you don’t have to let them happen to you! You can create great homeschool records, prepare your child for college tests so they’re ready to show what they know, and represent their unique strengths and passions on their transcript so they’ll be offered awesome scholarships! Stay ontop of your records, doing a little bit each month, and you will never forget 4 years of Latin.