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Come Spring Into Transcripts With Me!

Come Spring Into Transcripts With Me!
Let me guess.... You KNOW that you should get your homeschool transcript done now, but you really don't want to do it. You know you should, but it doesn't sound like fun.  But wait! What if we can MAKE it fun?? How about if I share with you all ...
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Homeschool: Freedom to Tailor Education

Homeschool: Freedom to Tailor Education
Homeschooling is successful because we can tailor education to the needs of our own child , giving them information in a way that makes sense to them. Homeschooling works because we are highly motivated by love to work for the ultimate success of our...
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10 Topics Covered in High School Health Class

10 Topics Covered in High School Health Class
Have you ever wondered what you would cover in a high school health class? Here's your list of the most-covered topics in high school health. There are only 10 subjects to teach for your home high school to be a success. Curious? Click to find out mo...
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From Qatar to College Requires a Transcript

From Qatar to College Requires a Transcript
What do you do when you live and homeschool in Qatar and your child is going to college in the US? Make a homeschool transcript , of course! Margaret wrote, "We just received my son's Early Decision acceptance! Your Total Transcript Solution is aweso...
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3 Homeschool Transcript Problems and How to Avoid Them

3 Homeschool Transcript Problems and How to Avoid Them
3 Homeschool Transcript Problems and How to Avoid Them There are three homeschool transcript problems that you can easily avoid or overcome. First Problem: Your child's grades don't match their test scores. High test scores usually combine with great...
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SAT Prep - Credit for Work Done?

SAT Prep - Credit for Work Done?
Did you know ... study time spent on tests such as the SAT or ACT can be included on the transcript!



SAT Prep - Credit for Work Done?



It can take a lot of work for kids to prepare for high school tests such as the SAT or ACT. There are ways to give them credit for all the work they've done using test prep books, classes, or other supplementary materials.

• Consider it a supplement for math and science classes, and don't list it separately on the transcript.

• Consider it hard work and a valuable experience that helps kids learn, and put it on the transcript separately.

If you put it on the transcript, I don't recommend calling it "test preparation." Instead, I prefer to give the class a more general title. I prefer calling it "Study Skills." I usually put it in the "elective" section of the transcript. For a credit value, estimate how many hours are spent. If your child racks up more than 75 hours, then give 1/2 credit.

If you prefer, you can leave it off the transcript. Some parents consider studying for these tests simply a part of the college application process. That's okay too!



Please note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The Comprehensive Record Solution provides what you need to create homeschool records to amaze and impress colleges.
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A Quick Homeschool Transcript Tip

A Quick Homeschool Transcript Tip
Your child is in senior year and it's time to send the homeschool transcript! Some colleges want to see a hard copy of your homeschool transcript, a paper copy sent through snail mail. Other colleges, and some organizations such as camps and prospective employers, require you to provide your child's transcript by email. Here's a quick homeschool transcript tip for sending by email.


A Quick Homeschool Transcript Tip


When submitting your child's transcript electronically, make sure nobody but you can edit it. To make it un-editable, and therefore more official, save your transcript as a PDF document before emailing it. Microsoft Word 2007 (and subsequent versions) will allow you to "Save File as PDF." 

If you have an older version of Word, or a different word processor that doesn't allow saving as PDF, there are many free resources online you can download that will enable you to convert your documents into PDF format as well. PDF files also have the added benefit of being smaller files. That means they upload and download more quickly, both for you and the college on the receiving end.

So, remember to make a PDF copy of the transcript when you submit it electronically. Just don't forget to take a peek at it first, in case the formatting changes when it is converted into a PDF file.

Are you in the midst of sending out transcripts? Please share in the comments below!



Please note: This post was originally published in July 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Read what others are saying about The HomeScholar Gold Care Club! All the help you need for homeschooling through high school!
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Should I Give My Student Pass/Fail Grades?

Should I Give My Student Pass/Fail Grades?
Should you use letter, number or pass/fail grades on your homeschool transcript?




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Go-Getter Gets Scholarships! Tuition Zero!

Go-Getter Gets Scholarships! Tuition Zero!

Dana is a long-time member, and she wrote to me ecstatically sharing about her daughter's scholarship awards.  I asked her to share the advice she would like to give to other mothers, and she has some wonderful suggestions that I think you will find useful!





Dear Lee,

I have been meaning to follow up and let you know the results of Natalie's college applications. It has been an extremely busy month with her graduation. She will be attending the honors college in an out of state public university.  Natalie applied for four scholarships and received all four. The first two scholarships reduce her tuition to zero. We will still pay for her room, board, books, and lab supplies.Now let me tell you how you helped with all of this. I joined the Gold Care Club during critical periods in Natalie's high school career -- her sophomore year, junior year, and again for part of her senior year.

During this time you gave me excellent personal advice, particularly on testing. If it had not been for you, she may have not tried to take the ACT, a test that we found was much easier for her than the SAT. The reason that she may never have tried the ACT is that we had to travel to another city to get to a test center which was a big hassle, especially in the winter.  After taking sample tests for ACT and SAT and finding that the ACT was easier for her, she focused entirely on the ACT. She ended up taking the ACT three times, improving each time. A good score on the ACT was the key that opened the doors to these scholarships.

Another great piece of advice you gave me was to pay someone else to teach the areas where I was weakest. I subsequently outsourced Spanish, physics, writing, and upper level math. This alone saved my sanity.

Lee, I can't stress enough how your guidance helped me have the confidence I needed to plow through the college application process. I know I was the one preparing transcripts, etc., but being able to touch base with you through the Gold Care Club kept me on track and thinking about the right things at the right time. I purchased the CDs on Testing and Big Scholarships, and listened to those in the car while driving the kids around to activities. Even though we had a terrible internet connection at the time, I managed to participate in a few webinars.

I would also like to share something that maybe you can learn from us.

Be a go-getter. On a lark, Natalie joined an entrepreneur class during her senior year. They were funded by a grant (not associated the school system) which provided a mentor, and Natalie was the only home educated student in the class. Their goal was to start a business using only $100 of their own money and make a profit. The class was quite an eye-opener for most of these kids --  the realities of business became very real to them, and in some cases the results were hilarious. Natalie chose to refinish furniture and sell it at craft fairs. She had to buy supplies, refinish the furniture, market her business, and finally, learn the art of selling. She had to force herself out of her comfort zone for many of these tasks. This was a valuable education in itself, but the added benefit was that she talked about her business in some of her scholarship essays and mentioned it in her resume. I know scholarship committees are always looking for evidence of someone who is a go-getter, and I think this helped set her apart from other applicants.

Plan ahead. Create course descriptions and book lists in advance.  Don't apply to just one college, because it's extremely stressful. Order a homeschool diploma and take senior portraits well in advance. There are so many things that happen during senior year, it's difficult to get it all done!  We have to plan ahead for college too, because our scholarship awards have some funny requirements.  She needs to join the fan club and attend alumni board receptions. This combined with the honors college activities ought to keep her plenty busy, so she will have to be judicious about her extra-curricular activities and to do only what she can handle.

Thank you, Lee, for everything you have taught me about the college application process. It has been a long  journey, and my daughter will be receiving $80,000 in merit scholarship awards at an out of state public university.  I learned so much from your website, the Gold Care Club, CDs, your  many resources and positive, encouraging emails.

Lee, you have been a blessing to our family and the best mentor I could have ever asked for.

~ Dana from Oregon, and her daughter Natalie



Invest in homeschooling independently!  Good things can happen in your family too!  And when it happens, please write to me, and share the wisdom you have learned.  It's like paying it forward, so other homeschool parents will benefit..



You can find great support and ideas from my online Comprehensive Record Solution and my book Setting the Records Straight. Let me know if you need help!
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Have your children EVER changed their mind?

Have your children EVER changed their mind?
Have your children EVER changed their minds?  When I'm speaking to a group, I usually ask parents to raise their hand if their child has every changed their mind about anything.  Every hand goes in the air!



Why bother with getting your kids ready for college when you feel certain they won't go?  Because sometimes, when you least expect it, teenagers will change their minds.

Stop laughing! You know it's true!

College preparation makes a lot of sense for students who plan on going to college. College-bound students need course work that will prepare them for their college studies. Students need to take college admission tests, and parents need to learn about grades and credits. College-bound students need a homeschool diploma and a homeschool transcript. College preparation for college-bound students is expected.

But have you ever considered what a college preparatory home education could provide for students who will not go to college?

I have an article that will help you, called Warning! Teenagers Change Their Mind!

In this article you will learn these 5 important things about homeschooling high school, and being prepared for anything.




  1. Why college preparation is best for non-college bound children.

  2. How you can provide maximum flexibility for your child.

  3. Why it's OK for Christians to attend college.

  4. The difference between our history and our children's academic future.

  5. Why academic preparation can't hurt anyone!


Read Warning! Teenagers Change Their Mind!
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Transcripts or Course Descriptions?

Transcripts or Course Descriptions?


 


 

Although most homeschool students utilize transcripts for college admissions, many students are also now submitting a homeschool portfolio when they apply to colleges.  What’s the difference, and why should you use a portfolio?  In general, a transcript is a one-page piece of paper that gives a college the opportunity to get a snapshot of your student, and decide whether they get a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on admissions.  A portfolio, also known as a comprehensive record or course descriptions, is more detailed information.

On a transcript, you only list the title of the class, the grade, and the credit. On a course description, however, you list what was taught in the class. For example, a transcript might report one credit for Biology, but a course description would indicate the textbook used (i.e. ‘Exploring Creation with Biology’ by Apologia), the different concepts that were taught, a listing of how many tests you gave, and/or a list of how many labs you did.

A transcript has the information for each class on one line, but a course description or portfolio might have a whole page of information on each class.  Most colleges will want to see course descriptions of some kind, but the first step in creating course descriptions is to create your transcript, so you really need to do both!



When you are applying for colleges, you will need a great homeschool transcript.  The good news is you can “do-it-yourself” and save thousands.  Discover the Total Transcript Solution.
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Transcripts for the Rest of Us!

Transcripts for the Rest of Us!



It’s not too hard to create a stellar transcript for a student that excels in all they do, but what about the more average student who struggles in certain areas, and may be a little reluctant to learn?  How do you make their transcript look acceptable without any stretching of the truth?

Usually the first thing I suggest when I consult with somebody in this situation is to figure out what your child does for fun. There are often things that they do that you may have forgotten are academic in nature.  For example, if your child is a football player, make sure that you include football on his transcript as a P.E. credit each year. Make sure that you get all the good stuff on their transcript, the places where they shine, and don’t just try to make it look like everybody else’s transcript with only the standard academic courses.

In addition, make sure that you’re not requiring too much of your child, and that they’re learning in the ways that makes sense and fit them. They don’t have to be evaluated with tests, so if it makes more sense to evaluate them through oral reports rather than written reports, or by tracking the time they spend on their studies, that’s perfectly fine.  Remember, if they were in public school as remedial students, chances are their course credits would be measured by the hours they spend doing things. Perhaps they would have more hands-on projects or group activities. You can include all of that in your determination of high school credits for all the different subject areas.



When you are applying for colleges, you will need a great homeschool transcript.  The good news is you can “do-it-yourself” and save thousands.  Discover the Total Transcript Solution.
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Total Transcript Solution at Your Service!

Total Transcript Solution at Your Service!


 
While there are lots of resources for homeschooling high school on The HomeScholar website, one of the most popular is our Total Transcript Solution (TTS).  What many people don’t realize is that this program can be used over time, and for more than one student!  If you have a lot of children, TTS is a really good value, because you can use it for an unlimited number of students for as long as you want. You’re actually purchasing a website page that you will have access to forever, so you can download the book three times, and if you lose it, you can download it again. If your computer crashes, you’ll still have access to the information there, and everything will be easy for you to find.

We make continuous improvements over time to TTS, which are put on the main webpage. This means that you’ll always have up-to-date information, which will always be easy for you to use.  Recently, we added a section on emergency transcripts to the web page, because a lot of people seem to need to have their transcript done tomorrow! I created a program to follow, including a series of simple steps, which will enable you to get your transcript done within one day if you need one in an emergency. Many other great things are being added continuously to this site, so it’s really worth the investment!



Learn how to translate all those great homeschool high school classes into the words and numbers that colleges will understand.  Get the Total Transcript Solution  
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Transcripts and Course Descriptions for Music and Theater People

Transcripts and Course Descriptions for Music and Theater People


 

I asked Bari "How do you like it?" after he purchased the Comprehensive Record Solution, and he said "We are theater/music people and many things seem to not apply or go over my head a bit. Overall - I am pleased with the material."  So.... how do you make a transcript and course description when you are a dealing with a lot of fine arts?

When you are music and theater people, it can help to think about what would happen if they were doing music and theater in a public school.  Because EACH class would be on the high school transcript, even though there is more than one fine art per year.  So divide those musical/theater experiences into groups that take about 150 hours to complete.  Put each one as one credit.  Another way of looking at it:  if your children do theater every year, and it's over 150 hours then give them 1 credit of theater.  If they also do the violin for 150 hours or more, then give them 1 credit for violin.  If they ALSO do piano, and they do more than 150 hours of piano (not counting time they spend on violin) then you can give them 1 credit of piano.

Example:  I know a girl who did most of her fine art at public school and almost all her other subject homeschooling independently.  We saw for ourselves how the public school put that on the transcript.  EACH YEAR it said:
Theater 1 credit
Band 1 credit
Choir 1 credit
Orchestra 1 credit.

She earned 4 credits in fine arts each year.

To make a course description, look online.  Either look at the experiences (the orchestra) to read about it and then cut & paste information or google "High school choir course description" and you'll come up with lots of options.  Make sure to include "high school" on it.  Edit that course description as necessary, and voila!



See those cute buttons at the bottom of these blog posts?  Those are there to help you share helpful posts with others who might need encouragement.  Go ahead and give it a try.  I promise that nothing will blow up!
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Crazy Lifestyle of Learning

Crazy Lifestyle of Learning


 

Lots of homeschoolers have a "Crazy Lifestyle of Learning".  I'm a huge fan of Delight Directed Learning , and I love helping my members turn that into words and numbers that colleges understand - and putting those on a Homeschool Transcript. Here is one example!

"My son spends his remaining school day working on film projects. He had already won two contests. I took him to the San Antonio Christian film festival academy a few Weeks back. I have no clue what all this counts as or what to call it. Lastly, we volunteer every week accompanying a senior adult choir on our instruments. We already take choir so we have that credit. We are called a band by our director. You are kind to help. I should have asked sooner but I figured no one could relate to our crazy but wonderful lifestyle." ~ Bari

Dear Bari,

I talk to a LOT of homeschoolers, so nothing really throws me :)

If you look at a community college catalog, you should find some classes that involve film projects.  Find those classes, find a description that looks the MOST like what he is doing. Use that class title (perhaps it's Film Making") and then use the description of the class that you find from the college catalog - adding as many specific examples as you can.  Each of those contests he entered is how you evaluated.  Certainly if he WON two contests then her should get an A - his work was even evaluated by someone else!

For the choir, since you already have choir, that may be all you need, and you can save the volunteer work as either a supplement for the other choir class OR you can just use it for Volunteer Work.  Here is the key - if that work on the senior adult choir ALONE is 150+ hours, I'd call it a class.  If it's much less (perhaps 50 hours?) then I would call it a supplement or just Volunteer work.



Learn how you can create homeschool records that win college admission and scholarships.
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