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How to Include Bible on a Homeschool Transcript

How to Include Bible on a Homeschool Transcript
Homeschoolers are often Christian families - and they often include Christian education in their homeschool. Let me show you how to include your study of faith onto your transcript. After all, Christian high schools include faith-based classes on the...
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How to Write Professional Course Descriptions in Yoga Pants

How to Write Professional Course Descriptions in Yoga Pants
Course descriptions require a professional demeanor on paper. Your words should sound "business casual" not " yoga pants " even if you are writing professional course descriptions while actually wearing yoga pants .   Why? Read on and let me tel...
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High School Record Keeping Simply Explained

High School Record Keeping Simply Explained
Here's how to keep high school records in 5 easy steps for under $10. You don't need an expensive system. In fact, owning a fancy system is no guarantee you will actually use it. The best record keeping system is simple enough to use, and doesn't cos...
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6 Ways to Save Homeschool Records Forever

6 Ways to Save Homeschool Records Forever
6 Ways to Save Homeschool Records Forever You don't have to save your curriculum forever, and you don't have to save all your child's daily work or notebooks or papers. But you do need to save the OFFICIAL homeschool records forever. ​ In my class, H...
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The Relative Importance of Homeschool Transcripts and Standardized Tests

The Relative Importance of Homeschool Transcripts and Standardized Tests
"How important is the transcript compared to SAT or ACT scores when it comes to college admissions or scholarships? I know it is good to have both but without those great scores it seems like all is lost."

~ Anne on Facebook

Hi Anne!

The transcript is extremely important. It's the one page overview of your student so the college can give them a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" quickly. It's a good idea to have some outside documentation besides your transcript. Usually that's the SAT or ACT test. Sometimes it can be online classes, dual enrollment, or letters of recommendation. It depends on the college how much emphasis they put on tests, because each college is unique that way.

It's NOT necessarily good to have both the SAT and ACT test, actually. First, check to see if the college your child wants to go to prefers one test over the other. Usually colleges don't care which test they take. Then give a sample SAT and sample ACT at home. Kids usually do better on one test than the other. Then take them to be tested with the one that makes them look smarter :-) This article will explain everything. Your children don't have to have a perfect score, you just want them to score their best.

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Homeschool Record Keeping - Yearly Standardized Testing

Homeschool Record Keeping - Yearly Standardized Testing
For standardized testing, I recommend a generic grade level test (CAT, IOWA, etc.)  I think it's helpful in middle school to take a test in a fairly large group.  That will help make it a normal and natural experience for kids.  Hopefully that will reduce test anxiety later on, when they need to take the SAT or ACT and it counts.    It's helpful to use the same test each year, until you start taking the college admission tests.  Taking the same test each you can help you compare progress year to year.  Even so, parents usually know how well kids are doing anyway, so it's not ALL that helpful.

The most important things about standardized testing are:

1. Fulfilling your state legal requirement
2. Learning to fill in bubble tests
3. Become familiar with test taking to reduce anxiety later on

Interested in learning what a successful book of course descriptions looks like.  Check out my Sample Comprehensive Record here.
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Our Second Comprehensive Record Solution Review!

Our Second Comprehensive Record Solution Review!
On this Thanksgiving, we are so blessed by this review from Annie Kate of the Tea Time With Annie Kate blog.   You can read her whole review here, but this was my favorite part!
So far I’ve enjoyed some of the videos and studied a few of the E-books and documents.  The videos are basically well-organized talks with notes, something that fits well with my learning style.  Lee has a pleasant voice, and it has been a joy to learn from her.  The E-books are clear and thorough, showing in great detail exactly how Lee documented her boys’ high school education.  The templates are well-organized and logical, and the prepared course descriptions, as well as the explanations of how to write your own, are thorough and very helpful.

What I like best so far, besides the clear examples and templates, is Lee’s assertion that the quickest and easiest path to college admissions and scholarships is to focus on helping the student become the person God created them to be.  She does not advocate a rigid, stressful style of high school at all.  In fact, she says that a big advantage of homeschooling is the opportunity to enjoy life-defining experiences during the school year.   This is our family’s style, too.  Although we encourage thorough and rigorous courses, we also allow ample opportunity for exploring personal interests.  Knowing that Lee’s philosophy is similar to ours makes me feel more comfortable with her suggestions.

Although I’ll post a full review later, I can confidently say that the Comprehensive Record Solution promises to be a helpful, empowering, and calming influence for those who are educating their teens at home.  I’m sure the investment will pay off handsomely for almost every homeschooling family that does not have transcripts, records, and portfolios completely under control…and maybe even for some that do.

Launch is just a few days away!  There is still time to enter our blog contest to win a free copy of the Comprehensive Record Solution.  You can also sign up for our free launch webinar, which will reveal the secrets of creating  amazing homeschool records that will cause the colleges to sit up and take notice.  You can also view the series of videos on our blog.  Finally, you can read our entire offer here.

You are going to love this product!

PS.  I want to wish you and your family a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!!
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Our First Comprehensive Record Solution Review!

Our First Comprehensive Record Solution Review!
Sally is a client I helped with comprehensive records.  She made such beautiful records, I asked her to review my latest creation, the Comprehensive Record Solution.  By the way, Sally let me include all of her course descriptions in the my Course Description Collection, which comes with the purchase of the Comprehensive Record Solution.

Dear Lee,

WOW!!!!!!  I love this product. Oh, how I wish it would have been available a couple of years ago!!  Still, the info you have shared ever since I met you (thankfully, just before Clayton started high school!) has been awesome.  But this resource contains it all!!

I just finished going through it and I am amazed at the wealth of information you have provided for homeschool parents and their high schoolers.  As I am in thick of the application and admission process, I can confidently say that you have done your homework very thoroughly, the information you share is right on.  This product is going to save many homeschool parents time, energy and money.  It is by far the best resource I have seen on homeschooling high school for college preparation and admission.

Not only does it explain the process of creating a Comprehensive High School Record, but it also shares the information in a number of different ways so that parents can learn about it in their preferred learning style:  audio, video or book format.  The written information is clear, concise and easy to use.  The audio/video portions are easy to listen to and your chatty conversation-like style puts the overwhelmed homeschooler at ease. Also, the user can stop and start according to his or her time restraints. The different formats also give the user an opportunity to see the process of creating a Comprehensive High School Record as a quick overview or as an in-depth course to follow step-by-step depending on his or her need at the time.

You have taken an enormous amount of information and put it into bite-sized pieces so that the homeschooling parent can learn the information and process without becoming overwhelmed and frustrated--that goes for beginner homeschool high school parents and those of us who have been at it awhile. And you speak in the videos like a girlfriend who is going through all the same stuff with me!  I feel myself saying, "YES!!! That was your experience too?!"  It is soooo affirming.

Also, your encouragement is awesome.  I loved the Prologue for Easy Truth About Course Descriptions.  You not only broke the process of writing course descriptions into small, easy steps, but also gave Scripture to inspire and comfort along the way.  You understand the concerns, anxieties and questions of homeschooling parents and effectively address them all. Not until recently did I realize that creating a Comprehensive Record is a process to be maintained throughout the high school years, not an event that I can just check off and be done with.  You address this idea in your material and it keeps the expectations of the user in check so that he or she does not become weary of it "never ending."

Another aspect that is very helpful is your warnings against procrastination.  You effectively debunked false self-talk that leads to procrastination.  I am certain that procrastinating is one of the worst things a homeschooling parent can do.  It will terribly limit a student's future opportunities and cause unspeakable stress during some of the best years of homeschooling...the time when the parent and student get to see the fruit of all their hard work.

Your understanding of the admission process was awesome too.

The format is great.  I will tell you that it is like drinking from a fire hose!  There is so much there and I worry that I may not be able to tell you how easy it is to follow because I have been using your resources for Clayton's entire high school career.  It all makes a lot of sense to me.  So your inclusion of other course descriptions and comprehensive records add a lot of strength the resource because it shows the variety of ways to display the information, just in case a person who does not think like you do comes along.  It covers a wide range of styles.

As I said, you have done your homework and the experiences and information you share will save many parents hours and hours of time and effort.  Your product is worth every penny and I can't wait to recommend this new resource to all of my homeschooling friends. Great job and thank you so much for sharing your work, energy, time and expertise with the rest of us.  You have been the best resource for my homeschool high school.

I have written a lot and I could provide more details on what I thought.  As I said, there is so much there.  Nice, nice work.  You are going to bless sooooooo many parents with this!

Blessings and thank you,

PS.  Two more days to enter our contest to win a copy of the Comprehensive Record Solution.
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Paperless Homeschool?

Paperless Homeschool?
Somewhere between hoarding and a sterile paperless environment is the perfect amount of high school records.

Laura wrote:
"Do you have any thoughts on student work typed and saved on the computer vs handwritten work?  I thought colleges would want to see examples of student's work in his own handwriting rather than work done on computer that theoretically could have been done by anyone.  I want to move my kids to a paperless (or almost paperless) school.  Will my children suffer as a result?"

It's possible to keep a vast majority of homeschool records on the computer.  Test scores can be recorded, evaluations listed, and papers can be saved in digital format on your computer.  We kept a computer file for each child.  Each child was responsible for saving their computer work into that folder.  It's still there today - MANY years later - and it's filled with wonderful memories for us!

But is paperless really enough?  No.  When you homeschool high school, it can get messy.

Colleges will want to see some examples of work in the students own handwriting.  A math test will do.  A lab report from science is great.  A paragraph written in French is good.  It's nice to have an English paper that includes comments from "the teacher" - yes!   That's YOU!

In my homeschool I tried to have at least one physical piece of work from each course on the transcript.  With some things, it was a  simple typed  report or paper.  Some parents have included menus and shopping lists from a culinary arts class.  My goal was simple.  If any particular college wanted  a work sample from any class, I was bound and determined to be prepared for that.  Knowing that most students apply to 6 colleges (some even more) I tried to keep enough just in case all the colleges happened to ask for the same thing.  I kept these items in neat and tidy 3-ring binders.  Yes, it wasn't completely paperless, but it wasn't a candidate for the "Hoarders"  show either.  It was a completely manageable amount, and I was able to keep everything to a single binder per child per year of high school.

When we applied to college, I was asked for some work samples:  math in their own handwriting, a graded English paper, a lab report.  I wanted to give the colleges whatever they wanted, because I was hoping for BIG scholarships.  I was glad I was prepared to provide work samples.

I hope that helps!

Homeschool records that open doors!  The HomeScholar Comprehensive Record Solution launches on November 29, 2010.
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